Affordable Housing Developments in California: When to Ask for Help

energy efficiency planning, energy planning in California, energy planning guidance in California, energy planning consultants California, Energy Consulting Services

It would be in our best interest here at E3 California to say that a developer should ask us to join a project during the development phase, but we also understand that without the proper backup, this is just shameless marketing. However, it’s not untrue, not in the slightest.

California’s current energy code is complicated, specific and riddled with compliance requirements.  Having a budget sunk and timelines extended are a shame, especially in much needed affordable housing developments that bring so much to so many AND often avoidable!

In this article, we will discuss the most common points in which a development project can get caught up in California’s energy code requirements and how engaging with an energy consultant early can ensure a smooth path to compliance!

 

The design

Starting right at the beginning, there are many cases in which the proposed energy systems in the construction documents do not quite work out. This is generally a result of one of two reasons: the systems themselves will not be code compliant by construction, which is a big problem, or the systems cannot be feasibly implemented in the way that they have been designed.

The outcome of the latter is that minor changes are made on-site which can cause non-compliance.

Materials and practices

The second most common snare is that the materials or practices that are used in the construction or installation of these systems do not meet code. This gets tricky because of the required testing and verification requirements. Planned components and materials could be perfectly compliant materials and the practices might work out just fine for a different project, but they could both fail inspection in yours if it falls under a separate branch of compliance.

 

Prior to an inspection

By ‘prior to an inspection,’ we would also like to include ‘prior to all inspections.’ Knowing which inspections are mandatory and then timing these inspections accordingly is crucial for the well-being of the project. Missing or mis-timing a required inspection can be absolutely devastating to project timelines.

 

Conclusion

A building is a mini-ecosystem of its own and it must be treated as such. An energy planning professional would be able to tell you not only whether your plans meet Title 24 requirements and share many of the effects these systems in combination will be on the future of the building.

 

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