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Keeping A Green Eye On California

Posted in Builders

Keeping A Green Eye On California

Radiant barrier products give California builders greater flexibility in meeting energy codes.

Home designers and builders nationwide have always kept a close eye on California building codes because the Golden State is often a bellwether of trends to come.

The California Energy Commission’s Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Title 24, Part 6), one of the “greenest” in the nation, gives homebuilders two ways to comply with the standards. While the “prescriptive” path relies on computer modeling to demonstrate compliance, the “performance” path uses computer modeling together with third-party energy inspections. As the standards become more stringent and the compliance software becomes more sophisticated, radiant barrier products are playing a greater role in achieving Title 24 compliance.

“Title 24 performance software now has a new component called the Unconditioned Zonal Model (UZM), also known as the ‘attic’ model,” says Michael Hodgson, president of building science company ConSol in Stockton, California, an energy inspection company. “Radiant barrier products are now modeled based on their decreased emissivity rather than an estimated R-value or U-factor. This means that radiant barrier products now have an even greater impact on Title 24 compliance margins and energy efficiency.”

“The modeling software shows that radiant barrier can improve Title 24 compliance margins significantly—from 5% to 16%—for both single family and multifamily homes, and may explain why more than 95% of California homebuilders choose the ‘performance’ option,” adds Hodgson.

California recently passed the California Green Building Standards (popularly referred to as CALGreen), which will serve as the mandatory baseline green building code for all cities and counties.

Products like LP® TechShield® Radiant Barrier Sheathing help builders meet even the toughest codes on the horizon without sacrificing design flexibility. For more information on California green building standards, visit www.bsc.ca.gov.

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