Title 24

California's energy efficiency standard.

What is Title 24

California Title 24 building code regulations were established in 1978 in response to a legislative mandate to reduce energy consumption and to improve the state’s energy efficiency.  The title was adapted to control energy consumption as it relates to the construction of buildings, and every building must adhere to certain rules during the design, construction, and final permit process.

Title 24 Compliance

When building a new commercial structure or expanding to the conditioned floor space in an existing space, Title 24 documentation needs to be submitted to obtain the building permits.

The construction project needs to comply with California Lighting Standards if you are altering the lighting system or adding new lighting fixtures.  In order for your Title 24 lighting to be approved, your energy calculation forms need to show the steps you will take to conserve energy in the building, including correct usage of light energy and other power-saving standards.

To comply with the regulations stated in the Title 24, Part 6, a non-residential building has to meet two basic requirements:

  • All system measures listed as mandatory under Title 24 must be installed
  • The predicted annual consumption of energy should not exceed the energy budget for lighting set forth in the Title 24 standards

Calculation of the Energy Compliance

There are two ways to calculate energy compliance as laid down in the legislature.  They are Prescriptive Title 24 compliance and Performance Title 24 energy compliance.

The prescriptive energy compliance method consists of packages, which are simple to adopt but inflexible.

The performance method of Title 24 compliance is an alternative to the prescriptive method which is more suitable for non-residential buildings with varied electrical equipment.  This is a method consisting of approved computer program models with features that determine the energy required for any given space based on the prescribed equipment and features being used.

Acceptance Testing

Non-residential acceptance testing requires four major check-points to be conducted.

Plan Review

A certified Field Technician is responsible to certify their actual acceptance testing & verification on the Certificate of Acceptance form.  They must review the plans and specifications to ensure that they conform to the acceptance requirements – typically done prior to signing a Certificate of Compliance.

Construction Inspection

The person responsible for certification of the acceptance testing & verification must perform a construction inspection prior to testing.

Reviewing the acceptance requirements with the contractor prior to installation is very useful on several counts. Awareness of the acceptance test requirements may result in the contractor identifying a design or construction practice that would not comply with the acceptance requirements prior to installation.

The purpose of the construction inspection is to assure that the equipment installed is capable of complying with the requirements of the Standards. A construction inspection also assures that the equipment is installed correctly and is properly calibrated.

Functional Testing and Verification

A Field Technician must take responsibility for performing the required acceptance requirements procedures. The Field Technician who performs the test is responsible for identifying all performance deficiencies, ensuring that they are corrected, and if necessary, must repeat the acceptance requirement procedures until the specified systems and equipment are performing in accordance with the acceptance requirements.

The Field Technician who performs the testing must sign the Certificate of Acceptance to certify the information provided documents the results of the acceptance procedures as true and correct.

Certificate of Occupancy

Certificate of Occupancy Enforcement agencies will not release a final Certificate of Occupancy until all required Certificates of Acceptance are submitted. Copies of all completed, signed Certificates of Acceptance are required to be posted, or made available with the building permit(s) issued for the building, and shall be made available to the enforcement agency for all applicable inspections.

(More information about Acceptance Testing & Standards can be found in Chapter 13 of the 2013 Nonresidential Compliance Manual, and in Section 10-103-A and Section 10-103-B of the 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards)