It makes sense that the state that has led the country in creating green buildings would have a regulation that ensures that new and existing buildings offer energy efficiency and maintain environmental quality both inside and outside the building.
No surprise then that California initiated Title 24, a building energy efficiency standard first published in 2013.
The purpose of the standard is to ensure that a building is constructed in such away as to optimize more comfort, lower energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In short, that every building constructed in California feature the latest technologies that encourage energy efficiency.
The standard is not static. Instead, it is often reviewed to determine how it can be updated or improved. The state’s Energy Commission is required to adopt new standards every three years that are cost effective for homeowners during a building’s lifespan of 30-years. The review and update is necessary so that the state can incorporate new technologies and construction methods to the standards. Each update is meant to ensure that more energy is saved, and that the electricity supply reliability and indoor comfort are increased thus preventing the need to construct new power plants.
The Title 24 Standard was updated in 2016. Parts of it apply to single-family homes constructed in 2016 and beyond. The standard ensures that energy consumption for lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation, and water heating is reduced by about 28 percent compared to the 2013 standard. It is estimated that within 30 years of following these standards, California will save enough energy to power 2.2 million homes. This would reduce the need to construct 12 new power plants.
There are two methods of compliance to Title 24. They include:
- Prescriptive Method
- Performance Method
The prescriptive Method requires that a projected building must meet prescribed minimum energy obligations. Obviously, this approach is the least flexible, but it is the simplest path to compliance. A person proposing the construction of the building must simply prove that it meets each minimum or maximum requirement set down in the standard. This method of compliance is not recommended for new homes or large additions and can lead to higher construction costs.
The Performance Method of compliance permits the use of Energy Commission-approved computer software. It is the most flexible and accurate way to achieve compliance and also requires the most effort. The computer software calculates the energy budget of the building based on its design.
Khalifeh & Associates are experts on title 24 compliance. As a result, we can accurately and efficiency review your building’s design to determine whether or not it complies. If there is a problem, we can make corrections in the design to ensure compliance. We will then help you acquire certification of compliance, which will assist in obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy.