March 2020

Reach Code News Brief: March 2020

Wide Range of No-Cost Virtual and Online Events

While numerous in-person events and activities have been postponed, many activities remain scheduled for online participation, both in real time and on demand.

Looking forward, the upcoming 2022 Standards development webinars hosted by the Statewide Codes & Standards program offer reach codes professionals a preview of new measures and requirements being proposed for adoption in the 2022 code cycle. Details on how to register for these free webinars are in the left column.

The column below details the wide range of on-demand classes and interactive tools available from Energy Code Ace.

Interested stakeholders are encouraged to take advantage of the distance learning opportunities and register for as many of these online and on-demand resources as are appropriate.

Upcoming Events


April 2A Call to Action for Zero Embodied Carbon. New Buildings Institute webinar

April 2: Statewide Codes & Standards Stakeholders webinar for 2022 Standards: Refrigeration System Opportunities.

April 14: Statewide Codes & Standards Stakeholders webinar for 2022 Standards: Nonresidential HVAC and Envelope

April 16: Statewide Codes & Standards Stakeholders webinar for 2022 Standards: Controlled Environment Horticulture

April 23: Statewide Codes & Standards Stakeholders webinar for 2022 Standards: Nonresidential High Performance Envelope.


May 2: Statewide Codes & Standards Stakeholders webinar for 2022 Standards: Multi-family Chapter Restructuring.

May 13Kicking Carbon out of Buildings-Design for Decarbonized Buildings. Pacific Energy Center webinar.

New Items!

Scenic Sausalito

Marin County Offers Integrated Approach for Reach Code Adoption

Marin County is made up of twelve jurisdictions (including the unincorporated area), all with populations below 100,000 and most with fewer than 15,000. “Because each jurisdiction is small, collaboration allows Marin’s local governments to have a larger impact than we would have acting individually,” says Alice Zanmiller, Marin County Planner, “and alignment of policies and messaging around reach codes really supports implementation.” In developing its 2019 reach code update, the County led a process that included building department and sustainability staff from multiple Marin County jurisdictions.

The package of reach codes adopted by the County in October 2019 and approved by the California Energy Commission in December 2019 includes:

  • Energy Efficiency measures outlining three pathways (all-electric, limited mixed-fuel, mixed-fuel) for single-family, low-rise multi-family, high-rise multi-family and nonresidential
  • Electric Vehicle measures for single- and two-family, multi-family (both low- and high-rise), and nonresidential
  • Additions and alterations measures dependent on specific project scope

While the ordinances set progressive standards for new homes, County staff acknowledges that ongoing work, such as that being done by the County’s Sustainability Team to promote and provide financial incentives to property owners for energy efficiency and electrification in retrofits and remodels is also important, given the fact that large new developments are uncommon in Marin. The County collaborates in programs such as BayREN’s Single Family and Commercial programs and operates Electrify Marin to provide opportunities for all buildings to reduce their carbon footprint, save money, and support a healthier built environment. Read the complete story here.

New Construction Cost Effectiveness Studies

Sneak Peek: Preliminary Results from Mid-Rise Cost-Effectiveness Study

The Statewide Reach Codes team hosted a webinar on March 11, 2020 to provide an overview of preliminary results from the Mid-Rise Multifamily Residential Cost-Effectiveness Study. The webinar, attended by dozens of professionals from across the state, focused on the new Mid-Rise New Construction building prototype.

New Prototype

Many jurisdictions have identified affordable multifamily housing as a high priority to alleviate the housing shortage across California. The Energy Commission recently developed updated prototype models to better reflect the current building styles for multifamily projects.

To provide cost-effectiveness analysis for local jurisdictions wishing to adopt ordinances that include mid-rise residential occupancies, the Statewide Codes and Standards Reach Codes program is currently completing the analysis of the most popular style: a mid-rise multifamily building (4-7 stories), typically with a commercial occupancy on the first floor and residences above.

The webinar included a general overview of the study objectives, development process, and results, followed by a summary and discussion with the analysts. The technical team presented the preliminary results from modeling a 5-story mid-rise multifamily prototype design in all 16 climate zones.

The results showed that the mixed-fuel design is able to cost-effectively meet CALGreen Tier 1 performance requirement 5% beyond) in all climate zones.  The all-electric design is compliant in nearly all climates, except for zones 1 and 16. The design is cost-effective from a TDV perspective in all climate zones (except 1 and 16), and is also cost-effective from the individual customer’s perspective in most Southern California zones.

The team anticipates the final report will be available early in Q2.

The webinar materials are available for download free of charge.

ECA online tools

Energy Code Ace Offers Comprehensive Toolkit of Online Resources

While COVID-19 may be cancelling industry events and in-person training, building professionals can still rely on a robust set of online resources from Energy Code Ace.

Online training courses are available in both real time or on-demand (self-study) formats, and a full complement of topics related to the 2019 Building Energy Code have been published.

A wide range of resources is also available online, including application guides, fact sheets, trigger sheets that help determine when code compliance is required, and checklists for building inspectors and plans examiners.

The interactive Tools section of the website helps users pinpoint specific resources and zero in on specific compliance provisions to streamline project planning and minimize delays. The new “virtual compliance assistant” component of the Forms Ace tool helps you complete your 2019 NRCC forms online and verify compliance.  While the recently published Energy Code Product Finder identifies Title 24, Part 6 compliant products specific to your project, and supplies example specification language and a link to the applicable product database.

Click here to download a list of all currently available online tools, training courses and resources for the 2019 Energy Code. All Energy Code Ace offerings are provided to industry professionals and consumers at no cost, as part of the Statewide Codes and Standards Program.

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