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
- 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!
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!
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.