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How going green will affect our industries

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Although the new Title 24 “requirements” were pushed back to July 1, (originally slated to hit Jan. 1), the building owner and contractor industries are scrambling to make sense of it all.

California’s path to zero net energy by 2030, which is only 16 years away, is starting by law in 2014 -- whether we agree or disagree with its green concepts and/or laws or not. The new codes are heavily influenced by the fact that California has not, nor will any time soon, construct new traditional electrical power generating stations (or stop older ones from closing). Inevitably higher costs of electricity in our hot and dry state will rise every year until 2030. To keep costs down and make everyone comfortable in their seats under the roofs they live and/or work under, we are all being asked to change our behaviors.

If you are in building maintenance/operations or construction, you are no doubt having to pivot and learn who, what, why and how LEED, Energy Star, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are all starting to influence the design stage, as well as retrofitting and new construction. All of these components are being driven and dictated by California’s energy and water demands. Because of the lack of new energy delivering infrastructure, the California Legislature and EPA are requiring that we, the consumer, find our own ways to provide what we individually consume. Zero net energy will be attained when each building in the state becomes its own power station.

It all starts with AB 1103 from our state government. This law requires all non residential buildings that are 5,000 square feet or larger (July 1), triggering any transactions (sale, lease, finance, or refinance) to disclose its energy use. All the data collected from an Energy Star Certified Portfolio Manager is and will be accessible to the public on Energy Star’s website. It all sounds Orwellian, right?

What do the tea leaves suggest? We are headed toward more regulations that will eventually demand that you comply and use green building methods, considerations and solutions that will decrease energy consumption. Simply put, if you live in California, you’ll be forced to participate in changing its consumptive ways. Regardless of your political or social views, green is good, as long as it isn’t run like our health care system -- hopefully.

So now what? The most proven and time-tested of all green building solutions to help offset energy consumption in the last 20 years is the “cool roof.”

In Southern California, who needs a roof when there’s a drought? But droughts make us run our AC and use energy. Enter the cool roof: A building can offset costs of 40 cents to $1.35 per square foot over the 15-year projected life of a cool roof. When electricity rates jump 4 to 12 cents per square foot and kilowatt hour over those 15 years, that cool roof will have nearly paid for itself with the energy savings.

RSI has been putting cool roofs on buildings in San Diego for two decades. Today, because of better and longer-lasting materials, the cool roof energy savings potential will outweigh its waterproofing function. That’s why Title 24 picked the cool roof as its first requirement.

For more information about RSI Roofing feel free to contact them at info@thinkrsi.com or (858) 278-7200.

-Submitted by Joshua Gorham, RSI Roofing.

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