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Reach Code Resources - Tips

Tips for Project Teams:

Build your Integrated Design Team
  • Include a Certified Energy Analyst (CEA) early in the project and communicate the goal to build all-electric or how to meet the increased efficiency and solar requirements for mixed-fuel designs. CEAs are required to author the project's Title 24 Certificate of Compliance (the Energy Modeling Report submitted during Plan Check). Find a CEA here:
  • Form working relationships with professional HERS Raters because HERS verifications are mandatory for multiple efficiency measures for all new building projects.
  • High-performance buildings are now standard and will require modifications to the traditional design and construction process. Start early to set goals and make sure all stakeholders recognize they will need to work together to achieve the desired results.
Design your Project
  • To reduce energy consumption, consider measures in the following order: building orientation, envelope improvements, systems and equipment improvements, HERS verifications, and finally, renewables.
  • Project teams should discuss fenestration deign and performance values with a CEA to optimize and balance project goals in regards to window area, orientation, and performance characteristics. Considering wall, floor, roof insulation, and other envelope measures early in the design process can reduce the size of the HVAC system.

Select Efficient Equipment

  • Energy modeling can assist with the exercise of selecting high performance equipment. Also consider duct design that improvements such as locating ducts in the conditioned space to minimize heat transfer.
  • Installing a heating and cooling system that is more efficient than the minimum efficiency set by the DOE is another way to reduce energy use.  Consider installing ENERGY STAR rated heat-pumps with a high Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) and have a HER Rater verify the SEER and EER values of the installed system.
  • Installing heat-pumps for Domestic Hot Water is a key strategy for building electrification. Consider installing an ENERGY STAR certified unit or units throughout the building.
  • Design with Compact Hot Water Distribution in mind early in the schematic design so the water heater, hot water fixtures, and piping paths are properly located to minimize pipe lengths and also water, energy, and time waste. This measure can also save project material and labor costs compared to traditional hot water distribution because less piping is used.
Verify Reach Code Compliance
  • Projects show compliance with the State code and local reach code using CEC-approved energy simulation software. CEAs have extensive knowledge of the software and can produce the required Title 24 and local reach code documentation.
Other Resources


Last updated: Wednesday, 11/20/2019

New Construction Guide (Updated 2020)

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Energy Reach Code Cost Effectiveness Studies

 ZNE Cost Effectiveness Study
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Matrix 2.0 Alternative Water Guidelines 

 Matrix Document Banner
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New roadmap for decentralized, alternate water supplies - indoor and outdoor non-potable water regulations streamlined for rainwater, graywater, stormwater, blackwater use.

Solution Finding for Net Zero Water 

Sustainability experts from across the nation convened to explore statutory, technological, and engineering barriers to the widespread implementation of water recycling and reuse systems in commercial and residential buildings.
Net Zero Water Booklet
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High Performance Buildings Study

Designing high performance green buildings literally build our sustainable city commitments into the fabric of the community.  
Check out this study analyzing the costs of a prototypical mixed-use project.

High Performance Building Study Cover
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Santa Monica Office of Sustainability and the Environment
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