California’s Energy Code is nothing new. More commonly called Title 24 – the set of energy standards for new and upgraded buildings has been around since 1978. But even though it’s decades old, the strict regulations continue to be a difficult road for businesses to navigate, particularly when it comes to commissioning.
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When you're in the business of opening beautiful places – be they retail stores, restaurants, office buildings, or apartment complexes – life can feel like a game of compromises.
Typically, you have four main objectives: meet building code, maintain design intent, stay within budget, and open up on time. And oftentimes, achieving all four of those things feels like a pipe dream. Just choose two or three. Something almost always has to give.
It doesn't have to be that way.
In January 2017, the most recent update of Title 24 went into effect. Since these standards were drafted in 2016, they are referred to as the 2016 standards, which can be confusing, since they actually go into effect in 2017.
The changes may end up being pretty important to a lot of our California customers, especially those eyeing retrofit projects on the horizon.
There's a lot of confusion surrounding California's Energy Code, commonly known as Title 24. Just what is it and what kind of effect will it have on your lighting?
As you'd see published in Section 6 of the California Code of Regulations, Title 24 is a broad set of requirements for “energy conservation, green design, construction and maintenance, fire and life safety, and accessibility” that apply to the “structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems” in a building. The code applies to all buildings in California, not just state-owned buildings.
In recent years, legislatures outside of California have begun to put similar sets of code into place in their respective areas, especially when it comes to lighting.
When California's Title 24 regulations became more stringent last year, there was widespread confusion among those in the construction industry. Everyone was trying to determine if the code applied to their projects and how. Yet, the waters around the standards were pretty murky, as they so often are with new building regulations.
Let’s review what Title 24 is – shoring up some of the confusion still in the water today while addressing some newer questions which are beginning to emerge.