Title 24 Commercial Lighting Acceptance Testing
What You Need to Know about Commercial Lighting Acceptance
Commercial Title 24 is a complex system of rules that is finely divided into three distinct areas; envelope (basically, the exterior surfaces of the building), lighting, and mechanical. In theory, the documentation of commercial lighting acceptance for energy is needed for every building project that is to comprise of one, two, or even the three aspects. There are specific requirements for several formerly exempt commercial “processes” which are new for 2014. Some of these requirements are supermarket refrigeration, commercial kitchens, and computer data centers. In a situation when you are not planning to immediately install space conditioning equipment, but the chance still exists that you will have it installed in the future, it is beyond recommended that you get Title 24 Envelope compliance. Immediately a building or space is conditioned for the first time, then every aspect of Commercial Title 24 Testing begins to kick in and takes full effect. We’re fully certified by CALCTP-AT to handle any of your commercial lighting services.
Summary of New Measures in Commercial Lighting & Commercial Title 24 Acceptance Testing
Energy efficient engineering and architecture is going to undoubtedly be one of the most pressing concerns that the entirety of your design team will have to deal with. The codes are so strict that there will be no more tolerance for oversized HVAC units that have sloppy commissioning, lighting designs that are simply overblown, and simple metal storefront extrusions. The prescriptive standards in these codes are also so stockpiled with onerous requirements that a vast majority of analysts believe in the fact that the computerized Performance Approach will attain a higher rate of popularity than ever before.
Although the benefits that you stand to gain from making use of the Performance Approach will be marginal in terms of requirement mitigation, the small adjustments that will need to be made in certain areas that are just too critical- such as storefront performance- can add up and eventually mean that you will be laying out a large sum of money. If you’re looking to effectively compensate for a storefront that is below the required standard or any other thing that is not in compliance with the new Prescriptive Standards, then it would be wise for you to consider making use of super-efficient LED lighting for your building. However, in the midst of all these, it is also important for you to know that there are still a great number of logistical aspects that concern nonresidential and commercial energy compliance that remain undetermined and/or unimplemented.
It is possible for you to produce Title 24 reports. As a matter of fact, it is even much easier for you to produce prescriptive reports, although you should note that they could be overloaded with onerous requirements. The world is entering into a time of great frustration and turbulence; a time where the standard of taking great care will simply be “making do”.
As regards the latest changes, here are a few ways through which alterations and modifications have been made to the major divisions of Title 24:
The already onerous U-factors and SHGCs that were previously contained in the prescriptive standard are now accompanied by a Visible Transmittance (VT) minimum to the point where there is a very limited amount of storefront products that are available to meet the required standard. There has been a great support for insulation requirements. New buildings will also require a tight weather barrier which will be tested by the HERS by fan pressurization. However, installers and building designers are most irked by the plethora of new installation and “acceptance” procedures that have been added to the Envelope section of the Code.
The Lighting aspect of the Code now emphasizes dimmable and high efficacy lighting for commercial buildings. This is joined by various automatic controls that will come into play apply in a very wide array of situations. Full compliance will also apply to and be triggered wiring alterations and even minor changes in occupancy levels. Various types of lighting (and other load classifications) must be designed on dedicated circuits, and there must be a type of management system that governs the use and application of all forms of lighting. However, for all its complications, the Lighting compliance methodology still remains the same, except for some more granular control requirements, the need for dimming features, and some other reduced power allowances (which especially come to play in a retail display).
Again, the most noticeable changes are in the field. There is a slew of installation, commissioning and “acceptance” procedures that must be carried out on the building in order to maintain Lighting acceptance, many of which have to be performed by a Certified Lighting Controls Acceptance Test Technician (CLCATT). The position is a new professional qualification that was created by Title 24, Part 6.
Every system had to be properly sized and each of them must have met new higher efficiency standards by the 1st of January, 2015. Also, the economizer threshold was significantly lowered to 4½ tons. The standards included a provision for the addition of variable pumps and fans with digital control systems. Owners of most of the projects that were in the permitting phase, installation phase, and commissioning phase had to contend with quite a lot of forms. Most significantly, there was a change in the structure of the permitting phase forms in the sense that they now required detailed specifications for virtually every mechanical component as well as references to commissioning and/or required “acceptance tests.” As a matter of fact, the forms themselves were modified to serve as guides for mechanical engineers. In a similar manner to the Lighting acceptance section, there were new “acceptance” procedures that involved inspection and subsequent ratification by third party Acceptance Test Technicians (ATT).
Learn About Title 24 Acceptance Testing.
The latest update that was made to Title 24, Part 6 is one which contains an astounding number of incredibly significant requirements that will apply to your building, all the way from the schematic design creation phase through to the final inspection by technicians. For buildings which were just constructed, there is even a mandate that makes it mandatory for you to document the proceedings and resolutions of early design phase energy engineering meetings on official forms. After this documentation, you are to submit the final copy with the application for a permit.
Fundamentals of Commercial Title 24
In California, Commercial Title 24 testing is usually triggered whenever the permit of a building has been pulled. This basically means that once you gave your permit pulled, you will need to have a professional and a licensed building worker review the plans of your building and inspect the building itself so as to ensure its compliance with the provisions of the Code. All new construction projects will have to comply with Title 24 and the buildings that were standing before the Code was etched into legislation will have to adjust in such a way that they comply as well.
Retrofits (also known as alterations or modifications in place) which are made under the code will usually require being compliant with the Code. If you are able to complete work in an area or space that is capable of qualifying as a “luminaire alteration” (basically, a place where adjustments have been made to the lighting system to comply with the Code’s lighting requirement), it will most probably mean that you have been able to convert 10 percent or more of your fixtures or 40+ of your total fixtures. You will have to ensure that the watts or lighting per square foot and the lighting controls in the space are in perfect compliance with the provisions of the current Title 24 Certificate. However, it is also worth noting that you stand a little chance of triggering Title 24 when you make general repairs to your lighting system. Repairs hardly have anything to do with Title 24 Testing & Commercial Title 24, but that doesn’t necessarily constitute a reason for people to make use of substandard lighting systems when repairing their buildings’ lights.
What specific things will an acceptance test technician be on the lookout for when determining whether a building is in full compliance with Title 24?
As always, the final decision is one which will ultimately come down to the local municipality and building inspectors and sometimes, it is possible for you to fall short of additional local requirements, despite the fact that you have been able to achieve compliance with the standards.
To that end, here are the major areas that you are expected to look for whenever you’re working toward making your commercial lighting or residential lighting compliant with what’s needed to receive Title 24 Certificate:
Automatic countdown switch requirements for Title 24 Certificate
Title 24 clearly requires in its provisions that some restroom and server room applications should include automatic countdown timer switches that will automatically turn off the lights after they have been in use for 10 to 30 minutes.
For more information about this, feel free to examine Section 130.1(c) of the Standards
Daylighting requirements for Title 24 Testing
Most buildings that are comprised of skylit and sidelit zones are required by Title 24 to have Daylighting controls. The Daylighting systems which these buildings make use of must be tested, inspected, and approved by acceptance test technicians. That means that if your building has a skylit or sidelit zone, there is a very high probability that the acceptance test technicians will be on the lookout for this. Take note.
Demand response requirements
If your building measures larger than 10,000 square feet in area, it is mandatory that it has demand responsive lighting controls. These controls will be able to reduce the load put on lighting by 15 percent at the very least whenever a utility company signal has been received.
Lighting power density (LPD) requirements for Title 24 Lighting Acceptance
Lighting power density (LPD) is a very important aspect of Title 24 lighting acceptance testing especially when applied in practice by a commercial electrician on buildings. It is defined as “the total rated wattage of lighting fixtures that a building or space makes use of used per square foot”. LPD essentially designates specific wattage allowances to specific areas all through the entirety of a building. There are three main methods which you can make use of when you are looking to meet the requirements of LPD as stated under Title 24; these are prescriptive, performance, and tailored.
The most straightforward method for attaining Title 24 testing under LPD is by making use of the prescriptive method. This method essentially gives baseline wattage requirements per space. The most important thing here is the maximum rated wattage of the fixture (or luminaire, if you will) and not that of the lamp, or bulb. As a result, the easiest way through which you can meet Title 24 LPD standards is to make use of a LED retrofit kit. This kit serves to reduce the maximum rated wattage of the original fixture or an integral LED fixture in your application.
Manual dimmer requirements
Commercial buildings or settings make use of manual dimmers in order to reduce the density of lighting power. Under Title 24 Lighting Acceptance, it is possible for certain luminaries such as LED to come with requirements for continuous dimming. You need to take note of these and work around them in order to ensure compliance with Title 24
Manual on/ off switch requirements
Most areas that have ceiling-height partitions are required by Title 24 to install manual on/ off switch controls. These controls must also be separately circuited by the type of lighting (e.g. accent lighting, general lighting, display lighting, etc). Typically, it is also recommended that you have these switches in the same room as the lighting.
Occupancy/ vacancy sensor requirements
Title 24 requires that every commercial building should make use of either an occupancy or vacancy sensor so as to be able to reduce the usage of energy. It is also mandatory that your occupancy sensors should be automatic and programmed in such a way that they adjust the loads exerted by lighting loads in accordance with the activity of a space and just how many people are there. Axiomatically; the lesser the people present in a space, the lesser the lighting load.
As an alternative to using an occupancy sensor, you are also free to use a vacancy sensor with a manual “on” and automatic “off”. The vacancy sensors are most commonly seen in spaces that people hardly occupy (and those where are occupied for a short time, if occupied at all)
Part-night outdoor control requirements
It is highly possible for commercial buildings which make use of outdoor lighting applications (like car dealerships, nightclubs, etc) to be required by code to have certain controls installed that will serve to reduce the lighting power by up to 40 percent for a part of the night.
Does Title 24 apply to me?
The truth is that Title 24 might not necessarily apply to you or rather, your project). It is also possible that some aspects of it actually do not apply to you. Knowing what does and what doesn’t apply to you is very important as it could save you from outlaying some money that will rather be put into something else. It is also important to know that this code is subject to constant change. You need to know whether the latest version of the code applies to your project and that means being conversant with the whole thing in the first place.