California is one of the most populated states in the nation and has the largest economy. It is also second to Texas in energy use, yet California has one of the lowest per capita energy consumption levels in the US. In part, that’s due to Title 24.
California leads the nation in reducing waste and energy consumption in day-to-day life and construction of homes or commercial properties under Title 24. Title 24 applies to all buildings and homes already in use as well. If you don’t know if your property meets Title 24 mandates, you may want to learn about it by reading further.
There may be nothing more important than having the right engineer for your Title 24 new construction or renovations of an existing property. That’s because with the right engineer you gain the engineer’s professional knowledge and insight into the mandates under Title 24. There’s also nothing more important than the right engineer being able to find out about your Title 24 project needs.
Both of these needs are detailed below. The data below also addresses Title 24’s established energy standards.
What is Title 24?
Title 24 is a group of energy standards that deal with energy efficiency in new or renovated homes and commercial buildings. Residents of California have to meet the energy mandates under Title 24. Title 24 has been in existence since 1978.
It is a major reason why California has reduced its overall energy consumption and costs. Title 24 has also increased energy reliability and availability while improving home and commercial building energy standards. Title 24 mandates have accomplished all of this while reducing energy waste.
This has led to more than $70 billion being saved since the inception of Title 24’s building efficiency standards in 1978. Planning for using the energy efficiency tools and applications for heating and cooling in your home or commercial property must be planned and executed within a timeline you can afford. Engineers need a place where they can find out about your project needs.
Eliminating the Middleman in Title 24
When these two needs are combined, you can cut out the middleman. Then work can begin with the engineer’s expertise delivering design drawings for you to consider. By being able to draw from a nationwide pool of Professional Engineers (PEs) your Title 24 project is set to succeed.
More importantly, PE’s can find and review projects in a reliable network of contract consulting venues seeking their knowledge and experience. The result will be an energy-efficient home or commercial building that meets all of Title 24 mandates expertly.
Title 24 Standards and Mandates
California’s Title 24 isn’t anything to play with as it’s strictly enforced and there are legal consequences for not following it. The building standards under Title 24 ensure energy efficiency. California takes the success of the rules and regulations seriously because the program’s been so successful.
If you fail to meet the standards or fail to procure the proper permits, the contractor can be fined a $5,000 fine for each violation per project. There is a fairly straight-forward prescriptive way forward. The calculations needed for each of the Title 24 mandates are listed below.
During your pre-construction phase, you want to get a permit. For commercial construction work you want a building permit that fits the non-residential/commercial building. You must also make sure you get permits for outdoor lighting system and any signs.
If additions are being made to an existing building you want to have a permit for any major alterations being done. To have a chance at getting the permit, you want to make sure you already have ready your building plans, specifications examined by your local officials to make sure your property meets code. Any contractor knows they need to have the scope of work, the plans, and all other Title 24 forms ready to go before obtaining the permit.
The contractor will also have a budget with a project schedule. Even if all the above has been completed you still want to check with the building department to determine if any Title 24 regulations may be applicable and have an unforeseen or unexpected impact on your building.
Two Ways to Meet Title 24
Engineers and building owners comply with Title 24 two ways so projects can meet the criteria. California accepts both ways as long as you comply. They are prescriptive vs. performance methods.
The Prescriptive Method
This is a straightforward PE favorite. Each of the project components meets minimum energy requirements, and therefore, the project structure passes code regulations.
The Performance Method
This method is not for the faint of heart and takes a winding route for the home or building to meet code regulations. The method requires a computer program calculation on the building’s energy budget. The building’s energy budget formula includes using the maximum amount of energy consumption needed for the building.
This method has more flexibility for design and construction but should be done by an engineering professional for the best results.
Title 24 Construction Phase
Plans and specifications mean everything during this phase. Field inspectors will make sure your structure meets design, but if there’s been a variation, paperwork must have been approved. Any variations need the design team to verify with the building enforcement agency that the new design still complies with Title 24 energy code.
For lighting and energy use, there’s a total amount of wattage allowed. Similar mandates are on HVAC units too. Insulation requirements are vital to meet for floors, walls, and roof as they all bear an impact on the temperature inside the house or building.
Title 24 Post-Construction Phase
Even though the home or building is ready to use, PE’s are still not finished with meeting the mandates of Title 24. Whether you’re a contractor or owner, you still need to verify all systems and subsystems are properly maintained, so they can still meet the mandates if inspected. The home or building must keep following all energy efficiency criteria.
Achieving the Title 24 Criteria
Planning for energy-efficient homes or buildings, as well as the building’s heating and cooling is vital to California’s healthy environmental future. California has eliminated 250 metric tons of greenhouse gases since the program’s inception. When you’re ready to perform the Title 24 services, where can you go to find the opportunities?
As California becomes cleaner, there is an optimized way for PE’s who have qualifications and stellar reputation for finding contractors in need of their qualifications. There are also contractors trying to locate esteemed engineers seeking a project. All of this can be accomplished without having to deal with a middleman.
Reach out to P.E. For Hire (PEforHire.com) if you want to find great opportunities with contractors. Serving as a contractor performing Title 24 projects is beneficial to all Californians because it allows you to select licensed engineers who are the best of the best.