Title 24 Update: Are You Ready?

Are you considering any alterations or additions to your home? Or breaking ground on any new residential construction?  If yes, there are some changes taking place in California’s building code standards that you should be aware of.  At a recent AIA East Bay Small Firm Forum, Gina Rodda of Gabel Associates, LLC gave a brief, but comprehensive, overview of this recent update to Title 24 part 6, California’s energy standards for low-rise residential buildings.  Any projects that apply for permit on or after JULY 1, 2014 will be subject to these 2013 standards.

To comply with the mandatory measures, the two methods are the Prescriptive approach (often used for minor alterations and additions) or the Performance approach (most commonly used for new construction).  Of the two, the Performance approach is the more flexible, though more complicated, method.  The mandatory measures generally focus on:

  • Infiltration control
  • Lighting
  • Insulation levels and
  • Minimum equipment efficiency

One of the many changes discussed during the presentation was the need to secure a Certificate of Compliance (CF1R) before submitting to the building department.  There are also several new requirements for residential additions and alternations.  For example, if you are considering a new addition, size does matter; as is the case with all new residential development, a HERs (Home Energy Rating System) rater is required to verify the structure’s ventilation requirements if over 1,000 sq.  Come July, HERS raters are going to be in big demand!

Net zero energy cottage

Though the 2013 Title 24 revisions are significant changes for California’s building community, our state has long-time been a leader in energy efficiency and efforts are paying off.  Rodda illustrates this with “The Rosenfeld Effect” chart.   In 1960, California had the same total electric use per capita as the U.S. average at 4,000 kwh.  However, by 2001 the U.S. per capita average measured at 12,000 kwh, whereas CA was only using 7,000 kwh!

Rosenfeld Effect

For a summary of changes and other information on the Title 24 update, please visit the California’s Energy Commission website at www.energy.ca.gov.

 

 

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Attention All Architects – Join Us!

 

Less of this means….

New Avenue is launching an Architect’s Profile feature for our website and we would love your input.  Our cloud-based collaboration program connects homeowners to the architect and takes care of the paperwork, helping them through the complicated process of designing and building sustainable accessory dwellings.

…more of this!

Now we are ready to showcase our amazing architects with a new feature in development.  We are holding focus group sessions at our Emeryville office in the next few weeks.  We are excited to meet you and get your feedback!

If you, or a colleague, would be interested in learning about our SAS program or becoming an architect partner, please call us at 855-5NewAve or email partners@newavenuehomes.com

Here is what our current partners have to say about our software and business model:

“New Avenue has helped to take the work of finding and attracting new clients off of our to do list, allowing us to focus on what we enjoy doing the most – designing for our clients.”

-Patrick Bartlett, Bevan Bartlett Architects

“If you’re not pursuing an integrated design process, in all probability it’s a ‘dis-integrated’ process, with sub-optimized results pretty much guaranteed. For top outcomes, an integrated process is a must.”

-Ann V Edminster, Advisor, former Chair of LEED for Homes and renowned sustainability and green building leader

You can sign up and use the New Avenue system for free here: Get Started

Have any questions? We are available to discuss your goals & ideas. There’s no fee or commitment. To request a time for a call, just click here and tell us when to call you.

$1,000 for a “free” salvaged window

Salvaging windows and finding crazy deals on Craigslist can be fun, sustainable and affordable. But salvaged windows can also be costly if they aren’t part of the plan from the very beginning.

In one of our favorite projects for our favorite clients we used several reclaimed windows in a little 120 square foot office.

The windows were cheap and some were free, but there were several changes that occurred that got pricey. This is an example and cautionary tale about how changing something like a window can cause the cost of the work to double or triple. This is due to the increased hours required to make the changes and every hour that a guy is working adds up.

For example, this cool nine pane window could be installed in about four hours. A $65 per hour carpenter adding water proofing, leveling, squaring and attaching it to the walls will add up to a total of $260.

But this office had different windows planned when the walls were built. The original windows were installed and then removed and then new ones installed.

The original plan was to
1) Build the walls
2) Install the windows

But some new salvaged windows were found as the project progressed and the project ended up requiring these steps:
1) Build the walls
2) Install the original windows
3) Find different windows and the superintendent figures out how to make them fit
4) Remove the original windows
5) Rebuild the walls to change the size of the opening
6) Install the newer windows

These changes each required about four hours of work by a carpenter that earns $65 per hour. That’s $260 for each unplanned step #3, #4, #5 and #6. Plus an extra trip to the local hardware store to pick up additional materials. That’s over $1,000 in labor to put in a “free” window.

These are rough numbers to demonstrate a point, but it’s close to the actual costs of making changes like these.

You don’t have to shy away from salvaged windows – but try to find those great windows and put them in your garage before the architect even starts designing the home.   If they are always part of the plan, then you will save a lot of expense and do the environment a favor.    The sooner you can find them the better!

You can sign up and use the New Avenue system for free here: Get Started

Have any questions? We are available to discuss your goals & ideas. There’s no fee or commitment. To request a time for a call, just click here and tell us when to call you.