Archive for October 2012

So last time I talked about the issues we had to deal with in implementing the all-electric home. It wasn’t easy. A lot of people told us it wasn’t feasible. A lot of people told us it wasn’t practical. A lot of people told us it wouldn’t be marketable.

A lot of people were wrong.

As I said last time we had some marketing issues we had to deal with, especially as it related to cooking. Electric cooking has always had a bad reputation. And deservedly so. But induction cooking has changed all that and our Greenkey homes have induction cooking so we solved that issue. Go back and read what I said about induction cooking in my last Blog or look it up on the internet. I think it’s the future of cooking and anyone that is serious about cooking agrees.

Last time I also said we had some insanity issues to deal with as well. Let’s talk about those.

I’ll try not to bore you but I need to give a little background. There is something called the California Code of Regulations. It is the codification of the general and permanent rules and regulations of the State. In short, it’s the laws of the State of California. Obviously there are a lot of laws in a State this size, so it’s a big Code. Its divided into 28 “Titles”. Titles are almost like chapters in a sense. Each chapter deals with certain segments of life in California. There’s a title for Business regulations, Education regulations, Vehicle regulations etc. Literally EVERY law or regulation related to anything and everything is in the Code of Regulations in one title or another.

Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations is called the California Building Standards Code. It contains all the laws and regulations that govern the construction of all building in the State. Most people in the homebuilding industry have heard the term “Title 24” as it relates to energy compliance but don’t understand that it’s much more than that. Interestingly most people think Title 24 is only the “test” that all buildings most go through to prove compliance with the California Energy Commission’s minimum standards. And it is, kind of. In reality Title 24 is the “chapter” of the California Code of Regulations that governs all construction in the State. WITHIN Title 24 is a regulation that states all buildings must comply with a minimum energy test. The test is designed to insure that all buildings built, require the least amount of energy possible to operate. The State uses Title 24 and the compliance test as a means to guide all builders to build buildings that are as energy efficient as possible. It’s very similar to what the Federal Government does when it sets minimum miles per gallon standards for auto makers. If the law states that the cars that an auto manufacturer produces must average 25 MPG than the government is using a Code to promote energy efficiency. And if it changes every few years, say they up the average to 30 MPG, then they are using the code to push producers to continually improve their abilities to create more energy efficient autos.

Title 24 is no different. Although technically it’s ALL the laws and regulation that govern construction, for most people, their familiarity with Title 24 has to do with the compliance test that every building must go through to obtain a building permit. Which is a “part” of Title 24..

The State uses Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations as a means to promote more energy efficient construction, much like the Federal Government does with the auto industry as it relates to MPG standards. There are minimum standards that all buildings must pass before they can receive a building permit anywhere in California. Failure to comply with these minimum standards will result in an inability to get a building permit. These standards are continually updated and increased so that as time goes on, buildings are required to meet higher and higher energy efficient standards. Having built in several other states, I can tell you that these California standards are MUCH higher than most of the Country. Put simply, the buildings built in California require less energy to operate than buildings in other states because of the requirements of Title 24. Obviously there are buildings in other states that are energy efficient, but it’s not a law that they be so. In California, it is.

That doesn’t seem insane. It makes perfect sense. We’re encouraged, actually forced through the regulations of Title 24, to build more energy efficient homes in California. What does my reference to insanity have to do with this?

Well we’ll have to deal with that next time as I’ve already written too much.

Until then



The Green Builder’s Journal is written by Herb Gardner, President of City Ventures Home Building Group. Herb has 30 years experience managing the building of residential and apartment communities in over 60 municipalities in 3 different states.

A big proponent of in-fill communities and the urban lifestyle Mr. Gardner has extensive experience in all aspects of residential home building, ranging from land acquisition to warranty management, he specializes in managing teams of people in delivering communities on time, on budget and to the quality standards the marketplace demands.

For Questions, Feedback or observations you can Click here to Email Herb