How "Green" Will Affect Our Industry
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
by: RSI Roofing

Section: Trends and Tips

Although the new Title 24 “requirements” were pushed back to July 1, 2014 (originally slated to hit Jan. 1, 2014), 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 each and every year till that 2030 date. 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 EPA are all starting to influence the design stage, but the retrofit and new-construction as well. 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, California State Legislature and the federalized EPA are requiring 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 5000SF or larger (July 1, 2014), triggering any transactions (sale, lease, finance, or re-finance) to disclose its “Energy Use”. All the data collected from an Energy Star (ES) Certified Portfolio Manager is and will be accessible to the public on ES’s website. It all sounds Orwellian, right?
What do the tea-leaves suggest? We are headed toward more regulations that will eventually demand you comply and utilize 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 healthcare 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 SoCal, 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-$1.35/SF over the 15 year projected life of a cool roof. When (NOT IF) electricity rates jump $.04-$.12/SF/Kwh 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 for 2 decades in San Diego. Today, because of better and longer lasting materials, the “cool roof’s” energy savings potential will (or already is) outweighing its waterproofing function. That’s why Title 24 picked the “cool roof” as its first requirement above all the pending new ones.
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