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Session Spotlight: Energy Efficiency Codes


A panel of architects, engineers and retailers discussed 2013 California Title 24, Part 6, which is widely acknowledged as the strictest energy code in the United States. And its relevance extends far beyond the Golden State.

“As California goes, so goes the nation,” said Ken Kosinski, construction director, Nike Factory Stores, North America, Nike.

The updated version of the code went into effect on July 1, 2014, and includes a big increase in the lighting-control requirement. The new standard requirements are similar to those in LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design), according to speaker Simon Atkinson, VP national accounts, Capitol Light.

Atkinson explained that the new lighting control requirements include area control (with separate switches required as opposed to a master switch for entire store), automatic shutoff control (that turn off all lighting when building is unoccupied), multi-level lighting and automatic daylighting control.

Additional lighting control requirements involve exterior lighting control, sign lighting control and demand response.

“In addition to lighting control, electrical power distribution requirements need to be considered,” Atkinson said. “The big one is load disaggregation. You need the capability to meter different load types (lighting, HVAC, receptacle) separately by floor.”

And under new metering requirements, user-accessible meters for each electrical service are required. Some of the new requirements involve significant additional calculations, and documentations are required, Bret Willett, project manager, Henderson Engineers, told attendees.

“It has doubled the time it takes us to document compliance [with these requirements],” he said.

  • Additions and alteration requirements: Additions must meet all requirements of 2013 Title 24 code, explained Ryan Rosche, project architect, BRR Architecture.

With regard to alterations, lighting control requirements must be met if greater than 10% of the lighting is altered, room areas have been altered, or greater than 40 luminaire modifications are in place.

Commissioning and acceptance testing also have been updated. If a space is less than 10,000 sq. ft., the building commissioning requirements are fairly simple, advised Rosche. Considerations for buildings over 10,000 sq. ft. are more complicated, and involve a commissioning plan, functional performance testing, and documentation and training.

Notable changes to the building envelope include new daylighting requirements whereby spaces larger than 5,000 sq. ft. are required to have 75% of the floor area illuminated by daylight (any combination of sky lit or side lit is acceptable).

Also, every building must have a section of the roof designed and reserved for the future installation of solar electric or solar thermal systems.

“You have to provide future accommodations in ground-up buildings for solar panel installations,” Rosche said, with the minimum size varying by building area.

In a building code change, all elevators, regardless of the number of stories served, must be sized to provide for a 24-in.-by-84-in. stretcher.

Impact on Retailers

Ken Kosinski, construction director, Nike Factory Outlet Stores, gave an overview of how the new requirements in Title 24, Part 6, will affect retailers.

These include:

  • Traveling unchartered territories regarding demand response, mandated commissioning and load disaggregation;
  • Increased costs for lighting packages and controls;
  • Decreased store lighting levels;
  • Increased professional fees for additional design and documentation;
  • Increased cost for electrical distribution equipment;
  • Increased costs and schedule impacts for commissioning and functional testing; and
  • California trends lead the way to impact all states, and LEED applications.

“There is a good chance this will get rolled out to other parts of the country,” Kosinski said.

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