Energy Efficiency and Codes

While it is a fact that codes and energy efficiency are inexorably linked, the codes have few requirements that affect the facility's energy efficiency directly. Recommended standards (see below) have a greater influence on the energy consumption of the laboratory facility. The building standards that apply to all occupancies throughout the state of California appear in the California Code of Regulations and the California Health and Safety Code. Laboratory facilities, per the Uniform Building Code (UBC), typically fall into one of three classifications; B, H-8, or H-7.

The occupancy classification is the key to any impacts of a building standard on the facility's energy efficiency. The energy engineer rarely will have a say in the determination of the facility's UBC classification. However, the indirect benefits of a less stringent classification can reduce energy consumption, e.g., by allowing the recirculation of air within a laboratory rather than requiring 100% outside air at all times. Therefore, the energy engineer should study the requirements of each classification to be familiar with their potential energy impacts and relate these findings to the project design team. For a general evaluation of codes and building energy-efficiency programs, see Lee, 1997.


California Health and Safety Code

Uniform Building Code

Uniform Fire Code

California Code of Regulations

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