Archive for 'Case Studies'
Posted on 06. Feb, 2012 by Rebecca Firestone.
In early October, I got a call from Steven House of House+House Architects. They were doing a remodel in Marin and needed our Title 24 energy services. House+House is an award-winning firm whose focus is mainly single-family custom home design. Their work is characterized by a daring contemporary sensibility, and they have a large body of work both within California and also in Mexico.
So what do daring designs have to do with Title 24 energy compliance? Well, they need a lot of special attention because they often feature expansive windows to celebrate the crisp and brilliant California sunshine, and in the North Bay area, they let in gorgeous views as well. Vaulted ceilings, also a common design feature, can require special attention to the roof assembly to ensure that there’s enough space to fit the necessary amount of insulation.
Posted on 30. Jan, 2012 by Rebecca Firestone.
“People don’t understand the impact of ‘beyond compliance’ and what it requires,” said Mark English, as we were discussing Title 24 energy compliance for various types of custom home designs and remodels. “They don’t understand the difficulty of getting even very small additions to comply – and if they have to meet local green building ordinances that require exceeding Title 24 by 15% or more, it’s even more challenging.”
Posted on 31. May, 2011 by Rebecca Firestone.
Remember last week, when we were talking about glass houses? Well, here’s another Title 24 case study on a 4,500 SF house, also from Swatt|Miers Architects. This house had almost 60% glazing to floor area, much of it custom built on site: 564 square feet of single paned butt glazed corner windows, 540 square feet of frameless glazing, a steel framed window, a 30 foot tall translucent window in a stair tower, 300 square feet of skylights, and a custom built wood screen interspersed with glass panels. That’s almost 2,700 square feet of glass.
And, to make the challenge that much more… piquant… it was in California climate zone 2 (Sonoma – HOT)… AND, they needed to beat California’s Title 24 energy standard by 15% because of local ordinances. It was the combination of all that single glazed area with the climate zone that concerned us the most. But, we had a reputation to maintain, and our motto to designers was, “We’ll never tell you that you have to shrink your windows.”
(Above image courtesy Swatt|Miers Architects.)
Posted on 23. May, 2011 by Rebecca Firestone.
Actually the real question is whether an all-glass pavilion can still comply with the new version of California’s Title 24 energy code. Although Title 24 has been around since the 1970s, it is only now that designers are feeling the pinch. Given the increasing strictness of the energy code, what can an architect do if he (or she) wants to create designs with dramatic glass curtain walls?
The “glass house” shown on the cover image is, of course, Philip Johnson’s famous Modernist masterpiece, also called the Glass House. Even that house could, with the right high-performing window system, comply with Title 24 requirements – I tested it out. But, let’s talk about some more current designs for our case study.
Posted on 22. Dec, 2009 by Rebecca Firestone.
One of our Title 24 clients, Okamoto Saijo Architecture, recently completed a $50M retrofit that included creating a 900-kW PV system that is currently one of the largest affordable-housing solar installations in the world. We interviewed one of the principal architects, Eric Saijo, about how the Crescent Park project went from his perspective. He was actually quite happy with the outcome, and after 4+ years of budgeting, negotiating with utilities, the project is completed.
Posted on 09. Jul, 2009 by Rebecca Firestone.
When I first ran the numbers on the new Title 24 project from Klopf Architecture, the numbers were so high – 50% over compliance – that I immediately assumed that I had made a mistake somewhere in the calculations. After an internal review, however, we realized that it really was one of the most efficient projects we had ever taken through the energy compliance process. How did they do it?
Posted on 22. May, 2009 by Rebecca Firestone.
A principal in a local architectural firm approached us for T24 on a new house in Sonoma County that he was designing for himself and his partner. They needed Title 24 documents for their permit submittal, but beyond that, he wanted to qualify for solar rebate credits through California’s New Solar Homes Partnership Program (NSHP). He also wanted the house to be as “green” as possible, just because.