Newly constructed and renovated buildings in California will be some of the most energy efficient in the nation when new Title 24 standards take effect on Jan. 1, 2014. Because of updates to the existing 2013 California Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Title 24), California building owners and facilities managers are expected to see energy savings of 30% or higher (or 14% for low-rise multifamily housing facilities).
In addition to saving building owners, facilities managers, and tenants several billion dollars in lower electricity and natural gas bills, these new standards are also predicted to halt construction of six large power plants and prevent the emission of several million tons of CO2.
So what can commercial facilities professionals expect as a result of these standards? A list of new requirements and recommendations for their buildings:
- REQUIRED: Solar-ready roofs. Rooftops will need to make space available for easy installation of optional photovoltaic or solar thermal panels.
- REQUIRED: Lighting controls. Sensor-based controls located near windows will adjust lighting based on available daylighting and occupancy levels.
- REQUIRED: Efficient process equipment. Refrigeration equipment for data centers, laboratories, grocery stores, and commercial kitchens will be more energy efficient.
- RECOMMENDED: Cool roofs. Lighter-colored roofing materials will reflect the sun away from the building to reduce air-conditioning requirements.
- RECOMMENDED: High-efficiency HVAC. Variable speed HVAC systems will match HVAC usage to cooling and heating requirements rather than running at full capacity all of the time.
- RECOMMENDED: Improved windows. Windows will keep the sun’s heat energy out of the building in warm months and keep warmth in during cold months to improve comfort and energy use.
Because of policies like these, California has held its per capita energy use almost flat over the last 30 years, while the rest of the country has seen per capita energy use increase by almost 50%.
What do you think of these Title 24 changes? Does your building already have some of these new requirements or recommendations in place?