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Original Edition

The original 1967 edition was published in green and red

Original Edition

The red edition was used in Northern California

1994 Edition

By 1994, it had
become known as the "Greenbook"

First Field Edition

Original 1997
Field Edition

History of The "Greenbook"

The "Greenbook" was first published in 1967. The original edition of the Greenbook, seen on the right, was the product of nearly four years of very intensive work by a 400-person task force which then comprised the Joint Cooperative Committee. The City and County of Los Angeles were major contributors to this effort and these two agencies were the first to adopt the Greenbook.

To date, more than 200 other cities, counties, and agencies in the area have also adopted it as their standard for public works construction specifications. Interest in the Greenbook has been worldwide, with copies being acquired and studied by public works officials throughout the United States, Canada, and many countries overseas.

Immediately after publication of the Greenbook, a permanent Joint Committee, comprised of representatives from cities, counties, utility companies, and contractors throughout Southern California, was established to carry on the work. The function of this committee is to study and update the provisions of these specifications to reflect the constantly changing technology and advanced thinking of the construction industry.

The first 10 editions of the Greenbook were the product of the Joint Cooperative Committee of the Southern California Chapter of the American Public Works Association, and the Southern California Districts of the Associated General Contractors of California.

In December 1995, the Joint Committee formally ceased operations. In January 1996, Public Works Standards, Inc., a mutual benefit corporation, began producing the Greenbook. The Corporation’s Board of Directors is comprised of nine members – five representing the American Public Works Association, and the other four from the Associated General Contractors of California, the Engineering Contractors Association, the Southern California Contractors Association, and BNi Publications, Inc. The Board appoints a 25-member Greenbook Committee which carries on the tradition and function of the original Joint Committee. This committee convenes regularly on each month to consider new changes.

In each of the two years between publication of a new Greenbook edition, the changes which have been researched and approved by the committee during the preceding year, are published in pamphlet form as amendments to the current edition. This program maintains a “living” document in public works specifications. Stripes in the margin of each new edition point out significant changes in the text adopted since the preceding edition.

The original edition of the Greenbook consisted of three parts: General Provisions, Construction Materials, and Construction Methods.

In 1970, 1991, and 1994, Parts 4, 5 and 6 were added to provide specifications for alternate aggregate materials, pipeline system rehabilitation, and modified asphalt products, respectively.

The Greenbook is designed to aid in furthering uniformity of plans and specifications accepted and used by those involved in public works construction and to take such other steps as are designed to promote more competitive bidding by private contractors. The Greenbook provides specifications that have general applicability to public works projects. The Greenbook does NOT test or approve products. It is the function of public agencies and private project owners that utilize the Greenbook to determine whether products proposed by a contractor satisfy the Greenbook specifications or the Special Provisions.

Interested parties who wish to suggest changes or amendments to this book may communicate with Public Works Standards, Inc., c/o Associated General Contractors of California, 1906 W. Garvey Avenue South, Suite 100, West Covina, CA 91790.

In 1984, a companion to the Greenbook entitled the Standard Plans for Public Works Construction was adopted by the joint committee. Both books are available from BNi Publications, Inc., or other technical bookstores.

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