An Evening with Cal Green

The enforcement of the 2010 California Building Code (CBC) is changing into the new 2013 CBC. The 2011 Los Angeles Building Code we have been told will be enforcing the 2013 CBC. We have not received confirmation on this yet. As part of JHAI continuing education program Arnie LeVine and I participated in the AIASFV "New T24 Energy Code - Cal Green" Evening program 11/2013.

This was not the first time we have attended seminars on this subject. I have also been working on the Sierra Club Cool Committee (Lore Pekrul [This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]) and Dominique Smith [This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.] to further push governments in to achieving a higher level of sustainability. The need to understand the new paradigm design starting 1/1/14 has never been so important for an efficient design process, maximizing project outcomes and schedules.

During the monthly Cool Committee phone conference meetings we discuss how these rules should be implemented by cities. We work at discussing tier level requirements and in what code year they should be pushed. The consensus is as fast as possible for we do not wish to leave a legacy from our generation that leaves our kids with a planets ecosystem in peril. I also note the practical impact this has on the architectural community and cost issues. There needs to be a tiered system determined by the scale of a project for small projects. Now there is a tiered definition for larger projects and residential vs. commercial projects. From there you can choose options under a prescriptive or performance based check list to score the points you need to achieve differing levels of development points required to secure a development / building permit. Each building code gets more restrictive. This time the code is raising the bar 15% above the previous California building code energy saving standards.

I know now as I have continued my research into code development that it will be best to have the ability to do our own energy studies, day lighting analysis, and final Title 24 / sustainability documentation in house. We already have the main software required. The software to do all our modeling under the new codes is not yet available as noted in the AIA meeting. The city of Los Angeles does not yet have the plan check sign-off lists to review the new requirements. We will all need to work together to achieve the new standards in the design and approval process. This is a work in progress but it is being enforced starting 1/1/14. JHAI is keeping on top of this issue so we know what the plan checkers will require and to keep our clients aware of these issues in their decision making process.