As a developer in California, being able to construct commercial buildings, residential towers or whole new urban areas is what gives full sense to your life. You do not want mistakes to derail your projects, and you undertake each development hoping that they will not happen. But they do happen.
However, we believe that by paying attention to certain key points, you can either avoid them or minimize their impact, not only on specific projects, but on your firm as a whole.
This is the fourth installment in our blog series on how to avoid and mitigate development risks through energy planning. If you’ve just arrived at the series, follow the shortcuts to read more about this key topic.
Follow the shorcuts:
- How Energy Planning Impacts the Cost and Value of a Development Project
- 4 Critical Phases for a Successful Development Project in California
- The 3 Top Energy Compliance Risks in Commercial Development across California
- 5 Energy Compliance Mistakes that Will Kill the Bottom Line of a Development Project
- How to Be Energy Compliant Without Impacting Your Development Timeline
- Commercial Development in California: Mitigating Energy Compliance Risks
The 5 most common mistakes in California developments
These mistakes are all due to a lack of attention to energy efficiency regulations or being too much into the comfort zone, so even though we focus on developer’s responsibilities, we can all learn from them.
- Skipping energy compliance at the outset. There is plenty of information about California Energy Code (referred to as Title 24), both from public and private sources. We highly recommend not to skip energy considerations at the outset of a development project. There are certain mandatory elements that must be included in your design. In fact, skipping this early planning can become a real burden for companies, developers or architects, because of future liabilities and costs down the road.
- Ignoring energy modeling. The main reason for this mistake is a lack of knowledge or the idea of saving money at the beginning of a project. Energy modeling provides the starting point, or the base or the minimum standards for the project. The mechanics of the modeling may not be important to you but the results should be. Once you get the first bits of information about your project, you will be able to act. It is important to do energy modeling. This will help you determine the most efficient configuration, including materials and systems design, for your development.
- Choosing the wrong construction materials. You are aware of the importance of incorporating early energy efficiency design, and you engage in an effective energy modeling process, but then fail to choose the right construction materials. Be sure the entire project team is aware of the energy requirements, including purchasing agents and all sub-contractors. The energy documentation is required to be a part of the construction documents so, if they are not there, be sure to ask for a copy.
- Not leveraging energy efficient technologies. Some technologies are better than others, so it’s best look for the most efficient ones that fit your project goals. What is the one technology that achieves the best results in terms of energy efficiency? What is the best energy configuration for the whole project that produces the best result? One of the main objectives of energy planning must be to design the most efficient and cost-effective building or project.
- Leaving out energy planning from your development timeline. Three quick points here: First, energy planning must be included from the beginning, and a timeline without energy compliance tasks is incomplete. Second, energy planning must be present throughout the whole development schedule, because it is an integral part of the project. Third, any delay will cause harm and can actually trigger a really negative spiral.