New California Energy Efficient Building Standards

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Energy Commission (CEC) recently approved energy efficiency building standards by a unanimous vote of 4-0. The new standards will generate significant cost and energy savings for residential and nonresidential structures in California.

A key component of the new CEC standards for nonresidential buildings include improving window efficiency — emphasizing increased natural light and decreased heat gain.

The Energy Commission’s 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards are 30 percent more efficient than pervious standards for nonresidential construction, according to the CEC. The standards take effect on January 1, 2014.

An independent research report released earlier this year by Stockton, Calif.-based firm ConSol, revealed that when window film is used in existing commercial buildings the energy savings alone can offer a payback of less than two years depending on the construction, location and type of window film.

San Diego-based Solar Gard has taken the new standards and applied it to recent renovation projects throughout the country and has seen a number of benefits including energy savings, reduced carbon footprint, LEED benefits and systematic benefits.

This is the first time that window film has been recognized by a state building code in the United States, according to Kathryn Giblin, director of global marketing and technical services at Solar Gard.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s laboratories, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, confirms that window film is the most cost-effective way to upgrade a building’s windows. It is also more of an environmentally responsible way to retrofit existing windows — as the improved window performance will reduce the load on HVAC systems, and in many cases allow buildings to downsize their HVAC equipment, according to Giblin.

The savings are part of California’s commitment to better its buildings and work towards energy efficiency in building projects throughout the state. Pacific Gas and Electric Company, California’s leading gas and electric company, have applauded the building standards for its role in supporting clean energy.

“PG&E is a strong supporter of codes and standards as a vital tool in helping California achieve its clean energy goals. The California Energy Commission’s work on building standards is integral to California’s long-standing leadership in energy efficiency,” said Steve Malnight, vice president of customer energy solutions for Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Improved Measures for Nonresidential Buildings
• High performance windows, sensors and controls that allow buildings to use daylighting
• Efficient process equipment in supermarkets, computer data centers, commercial kitchens, laboratories and parking garages
• Advanced lighting controls to synchronize light levels with daylight and building occupancy, and provide demand response capability
• Solar ready roofs to allow businesses to add solar photovoltaic panels at a future date
• Cool roof technologies
SOURCE: California Energy Commission

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