Tag Archives: Building Energy Efficiency Standards

A Crash Course in Roof Venting

When To Vent Your Roof and When Not To
Much information has been devoted to the subject of roof venting. So much, that it’s easy to become confused and to lose focus. So let’s start with something that might sound controversial, but really isn’t: a vented attic, where insulation is placed on an air-sealed attic floor, is one of the most under-appreciated building assemblies in all of building science. A vented attic works in hot climates, mixed climates, and cold climates. It works in the polar arctic and in humid rain forests.

Executed properly it works absolutely everywhere, in every climate. Continue reading

Thermal Insulation: Which is Best?

There are plenty of excellent insulation materials on the market today. Many of these have been around for quite some time. Each of these insulations have their own ups and downs. As a result, when deciding which insulation material you should use, you should be sure to be aware of which material would work the best in your situation. Considering differences like R-value, price, environmental impact, flammability, sound insulation and other factors, here are the 5 most common types of insulation materials:

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The 5 most common types of insulation on the market.

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2016 California Building Standards Effective January 1, 2017

califbldgcodesThe 2016 Edition of Title 24, the California Building Standards has become effective as of January 1, 2017. The codes are revised every three years and are in conjunction primarily with the Code Change Cycle for the International Family of Codes and other Standards.

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New California Energy Standards Effective January 1, 2017

code-changesEvery three years, the California Energy Commission (CEC) revisits its energy efficiency standards, augmenting the building code to align with recent technological advancements and the state’s new efficiency goals. The commission underwent this process again this year, identifying areas for improvement in both new construction and retrofits for residential and nonresidential properties.

With this most recent set of revisions, the commission is striving toward a pair of new state efficiency targets: achieving net zero energy for new residential construction by 2020 and for new commercial construction by 2030. Referred to as the 2016 version, these standards will go into effect January 1, 2017. Continue reading

Choosing The Best Windows for Your Home

replacement-windows_awadandkoontzGone are the days when a homeowner’s interest in windows was limited to whether they could find stylish window treatments. Today, energy-conscious homeowners want to minimize the costs of heating and cooling their homes, and selecting the right windows is a crucial step. So how far should you go when choosing energy-efficient windows? The key is knowing what window upgrades will give you the biggest bang for your buck without delivering a blow to your bottom line. Continue reading

Green Building Codes 2016: The Goalposts are Moving Again

badgers-moving-goalpostsGreen building in 2016 — it’s going to be an exciting time for anyone who likes:
• unintended consequences
• hidden surprises
• forms with essay questions
• cost increases
• obscure code language
• three-ring binders
• drawing sheets full of tiny words
• new unexpected third parties creeping around your project
• continually shifting compliance requirements Continue reading

Should You “Can” Your Plans For Recessed Cans?

The 2013 iteration of California’s Title 24 energy standards, which came into effect last July, effectively raises the bar on the energy performance of buildings. One aspect of their thermal performance which now comes under the microscope in terms of obtaining the building’s final permit and Certificate of Occupancy is air infiltration. And can lights, while aesthetically pleasing, present certain real challenges from an energy performance perspective.

Recessed lights add elegant beauty to this minimalist bathroom, a beauty that comes with an energy price tag.

Recessed lights add elegant beauty to this minimalist bathroom, a beauty that comes with an energy price tag.

Recessed Can Lights: The Beauty And The Beast
Also known as “can lights” or “downlights”, recessed lighting lends an uncluttered look that provides light without taking up headroom or ceiling space. Recessed lights are often used to highlight wall features or to provide focused overhead lighting for reading or working. They can be used to increase the amount of light in a room, highlight artwork or other special features, and open up spaces so they look and feel bigger. Continue reading