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SEATTLE ENERGY CODE ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES: PLAN REVIEW AND INSPECTION. John Hogan, A.I.A., P.E. Seattle Department of Planning and Development 700 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2000, P.O. Box 34019 Seattle, Washington 98124-4019 Creating a Green Building Roadmap for Houston
John Hogan, A.I.A., P.E.
Seattle Department of Planning and Development
700 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2000, P.O. Box 34019
Seattle, Washington 98124-4019
Creating a Green Building Roadmap for Houston
City of Houston and Clinton Climate Initiative
Houston TX, 10 May 2007
Mandatory enforcement: importance, why & how to start
Seattle Energy Code history: mandatory residential and nonresidential, regular updates, applies to alterations
Review of design drawings before issuing permit to build: reasons, items to check, staffing, how to handle problems
Inspection of each phase of the construction:reasons, items to check, staffing, how to handle problems
Mandatory enforcement is the only way to guarantee energy savings.
Designers and construction companies are more likely to comply with the code if they know that everyone else must.
Manufacturers will provide energy-efficient products if they know that there is a sure market due to code enforcement.
Pick a date to begin mandatory enforcement.
Publicize the date in advance so that designers and contractors have plenty of notice.
Stick to the date. Enforce the requirements for everyone. No exceptions. No excuses.
1974 - first residential insulation requirements:- mandatory for all residential buildings
1980 - first comprehensive Energy Code:- mandatory for all nonresidential buildings (e.g. office, retail)
Updated in 1984, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1994, 1997, 2001, 2003:- to incorporate changes in technology and to clarify the code
Applies to all buildings- all building types (so that energy-efficiency is in all designs)- all key energy enduses (building envelope, space heating, space cooling, ventilation, water heating, lighting)- existing buildings (whatever is altered must comply)
Location: northwest United States, 48° North latitude
Area: 56 square miles
Electricity: peak electrical load is 1800 MW
Plan review (number of applications and value): - multifamily (new): 284 applications $ 235,000,000 - single-family (new): 882 applications $ 250,000,000 - commercial (new): 104 applications $ 834,000,000- residential (alterations): 3057 applications $ 154,000,000- commercial (alterations): 2854 applications $ 568,000,000
Inspections:- approximately 80,000 (building, mechanical, electrical)
Initial implementation: energy fee = 20% of building fee- Separate fee was established to pay for Energy Code staff to review the design and to inspect the construction
Current situation: building permit fee ~ 0.5% of value- Energy fee is now incorporated into building permit fee- Electric utility pays for additional staff as Seattle’s code saves 20% more energy than the national standard
Review of the design: need to review drawings & plans for compliance with the Energy Code before construction begins
Inspection of the construction: need to verify that each phase of the construction is consistent with the approved plans
Building Department reviews the drawings for all projects for compliance with the Energy Code before issuing a permit for construction to begin. This is important because:(1) designers will often start with a design from a previous project (need to update them to the current code)
(2) designers do not always know the code so they make mistakes (there are many codes, it is difficult to know all of them)
(3) it is easier to make a change to a drawing than to make a change after something has been installed
(4) if the correct information is in the construction documents, then designer and contractor have more legal responsibility
Review of the energy design:- preliminary screening of application by 12 people- building envelope and mechanical systems for multifamily residential & commercial reviewed by 5 persons who are specialists and only do Energy/Mechanical plan review - lighting by 4 persons along with other electrical review
Building envelope: overall fenestration (window & skylight) U-factor, SHGC, and area; insulation on roof, wall, floor
Mechanical: equipment schedule with size & efficiency, variable speed drive, energy recovery, motor efficiency
Lighting: number of fixtures, wattage of lamps and ballasts; separate circuits for daylight zones, automatic controls
Send written correction list for important Energy Code requirements: - for missing information not shown on drawings and - all incorrect information on drawings
Do not issue permit to begin construction until drawings have been revised for compliance with the Energy Code.
Building Department inspects all construction for compliance with the Energy Code before issuing a permit for the building to be occupied. This is important because:(1) contractors make mistakes (they may use methods that they have used in the past, rather than following the drawings)
(2) frequently there are change orders (there may be substitutions, but they need to be of comparable energy efficiency)
(3) each phase of construction is approved before materials are covered, while changes can be made
Inspection of the construction (staff checks energy features at same time as other code requirements):- building envelope by 9 structural inspectors - mechanical by 4 mechanical inspectors- lighting by 9 electrical inspectors- service water heating by 6 plumbing inspectors - boilers by 5 boiler inspectors
Building envelope: fenestration labels for U-factor & SHGC; insulation R-value on roof, wall, floor; proper installation
Mechanical: equipment efficiency, variable speed drive, duct & pipe insulation, controls, commissioning
Lighting: wattage of lamps and ballasts; occupancy sensors, automatic controls to respond to daylighting & off-hours
Inspect each phase of the construction & write correction:- envelope (foundation, insulation, windows, and final) - mechanical: initial (before cover) and final- lighting: initial (before cover) and final
Do not allow occupancy of the building until construction has been revised for compliance with the Energy Code.
Arrange pre-construction meeting with contractorand discuss important Energy Code requirements.
Inspect important features early in construction (example: check the first windows that appear on the site) so that problems can be corrected before they go too far.
Require removal and replacement of non-complying items- this can be difficult, but is very important- word will travel quickly, there will be fewer problems in future
Respond to complaints about non-compliance so everyone knows that you are serious & will treat all fairly.- do not let bad contractors get away with substandard work
Mandatory enforcement yields energy savings.
Review of the drawings is important to set expectations and will make inspection easier and save time.
Inspection of the construction will ensure that correct features are installed.
Be firm and fair to all parties.