On July 1, 2014, changes to the California Building Standards Code, including many energy efficiency provisions in the 2013 CALGreen, Part 11, Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations, will go into effect. The proposed changes will require owners of nonresidential buildings to ensure that qualified construction projects, including additions, alterations, retrofits, and new construction, meet new and more restrictive energy-efficiency requirements. Some of new requirements for owners include:
- Install daylighting control measures, including photo-sensors, which shut off or dim electric lights when natural light is present;
- Install occupancy sensors for lighting in warehouses, aisles, stairwells, parking lots, and loading docks to reduce lighting during unoccupied periods;
- Install low-flow plumbing fixtures;
- Install timers on particular fixtures and circuits to turn off power during certain times; and
- Install motion-control sensors, scheduling-control systems, and photo-sensors on exterior lighting that is over 100 watts and 24 feet or lower to the ground.
The California Energy Commission approved these changes in order to lower energy consumption throughout the state. Project owners complying with these requirements should see a decrease in their utility bills. Construction costs, however, will also increase in order to comply with these new requirements. Owners should check with their energy consultants or architects to ensure projects begun after July 1, 2014, adhere to these new requirements.