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What You Need To Know Regarding Your Potential Title 24 Challenges

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The most recent update of Part 6 of the California Building Standards Code requirements, known as Title 24, went into effect on  July 1, 2014. The chief objective of the updated policies is increased automation in energy conservation in all building projects within the state that require a building permit. The  new regulations apply to both new construction and to alterations made to commercial buildings.

Among the array of new regulations, the standards for lighting for commercial buildings are the most likely to affect your office. The updated list of requirements for office lighting can seem bewildering, but can be summarized as follows:

  • Lowered Threshold for Compliance: The previous threshold for Title 24 regulations has been lowered. Prior regulations stipulated that any project requiring a permit in which 50% of lighting fixtures would be replaced or modified would trigger Title 24 rules. That has been lowered to projects in which 10% or 40 lighting fixtures will be affected. This does not, however, normally apply to regular maintenance projects.
  • Demand Response Regulations: While prior regulations for demand responsive controls on lighting only applied to retail establishments of 50,000 square feet or more, the current requirements apply to all new commercial buildings over 10,000 square feet. 
  • Lighting Must Be Operated on a Separate Circuit: Lighting systems must be operated via their own circuits separate from all other loads. Lighting circuits must have their own separate, automated controls.
  • Multi-level Controls: New Title 24 requirements include automated multi-level controls on general lighting in spaces of 100 or more square feet. The guidelines require either a minimum of three different levels between on and off or continuous dimming capabilities.
  • Occupancy Sensors: Three new requirements for occupancy sensors will apply to all new projects in the state that require a building permit. First, parking garages will be required to install occupancy sensors that dim or turn off lights in areas that are not in use. Second, general lighting for secondary areas such as library stacks, hallways, staircases, and warehouse aisles will be required to have occupancy sensors that lower the lighting level in areas that are unoccupied, while still maintaining sufficient lighting for safety. Third, hotels will be required to install occupancy sensors that will control HVAC systems as well as lighting in guest rooms.
  • Area Controls: Any space with partitions of ceiling height must have an independent, dedicated control device that is located within the space and is accessible to occupants.
  • Photocontrols for Daylit Areas: Spaces that receive daylight -- such as parking garages -- are required to utilize automated, multi-level photocontrols. There are also now different requirements for primary and secondary zones in daylit areas, and each zone is required to have its own automated controls.

    Miramar Office Furniture can help you ensure that your lighting project complies with Title 24 regulations. We provide consultations on Title 24 guidelines and carry a broad range of compliance products. Send us an email, fill out our contact form, or call us to discuss your office lighting options.

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  • Ian Daly