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Where -- or what -- is the next frontier in energy codes/stds. in the NW?

Created 11/2/2011 by Mark Wills
Updated 10/15/2012 by Ben Fowler
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I'm new to Conduit and relatively new (and naive) in the energy codes world, though it comprises a large part of my job. I know that Oregon's Reach Code is moving along swimmingly and Washington State is a model in striving toward the well-publicized 2030 goals of carbon neutrality in the built environment. What else is coming up? It's hard from Washington, DC to gauge what's going on 3,000 miles away -- even with modern technology. Any and all responses welcome.

Best,
Mark Wills
Manager, State and Local Government Affairs
ASHRAE
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Comments (1)
Owen Howlett on 11/02/11 on 03:40 PM (Pacific Time)
Mark, I work mainly in California (developing code change proposals for lighting measures, for the utilities) but do some work in the NW too.  I anticipate that codes will continue to move steadily toward zero net energy commercial buildings in the conventional way, i.e., by requiring more and more efficient technologies, e.g. LEDs, controls.  But I expect the tricky part will be the changes to design approaches and to the operation of buildings.  Design approaches such as task/ambient lighting, controllable egress lighting etc. are major opportunities but we'll need to develop a track record of success for these approaches within utility programs before they're ready for widespread adoption through code.  That process of using programs as a proving ground for code measures is very successful.  The second major area of opportunity I see if for code to require improved operation of buildings *after* they're built.  However, building codes (at least in the NW and CA) don't have any jurisdiction over what happens after occupancy.  So at present the most we can do is to require buildings to be equipped with energy monitoring equipment (e.g. data loggers, energy management systems, reporting software).  Though in future it's possible that the authority of code could be expanded to cover the ongoing operation of buildings.  This is happening to some extent in California through the requirement under AB1103 for utilities to make energy performance data for commercial buildings available at the time of sale.  This could potentially lead to a rating system for the energy performance of buildings, similar to what they have in Europe.  Clearly this is mostly speculation, but you're looking for ideas :-)

Owen Howlett

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