Building Code Compliance and Enforcement: The Experience of SanFrancisco's Residential Energy Conservation Ordinanace and California'sBuildign Standards for New Construction

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As part of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory's (LBL) technical assistance to the Sustainable City Project, compliance and enforcement activities related to local and state building codes for existing and new construction were evaluated in two case studies. The analysis of the City of San Francisco's Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance (RECO) showed that a limited, prescriptive energy conservation ordinance for existing residential construction can be enforced relatively easily with little administrative costs, and that compliance with such ordinances can be quite high. Compliance with the code was facilitated by extensive publicity, an informed public concerned with the cost of energy and knowledgeable ... continued below

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39

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Vine, E. November 1, 1990.

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Description

As part of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory's (LBL) technical assistance to the Sustainable City Project, compliance and enforcement activities related to local and state building codes for existing and new construction were evaluated in two case studies. The analysis of the City of San Francisco's Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance (RECO) showed that a limited, prescriptive energy conservation ordinance for existing residential construction can be enforced relatively easily with little administrative costs, and that compliance with such ordinances can be quite high. Compliance with the code was facilitated by extensive publicity, an informed public concerned with the cost of energy and knowledgeable about energy efficiency, the threat of punishment (Order of Abatement), the use of private inspectors, and training workshops for City and private inspectors. The analysis of California's Title 24 Standards for new residential and commercial construction showed that enforcement of this type of code for many climate zones is more complex and requires extensive administrative support for education and training of inspectors, architects, engineers, and builders. Under this code, prescriptive and performance approaches for compliance are permitted, resulting in the demand for alternative methods of enforcement: technical assistance, plan review, field inspection, and computer analysis. In contrast to existing construction, building design and new materials and construction practices are of critical importance in new construction, creating a need for extensive technical assistance and extensive interaction between enforcement personnel and the building community. Compliance problems associated with building design and installation did occur in both residential and nonresidential buildings. Because statewide codes are enforced by local officials, these problems may increase over time as energy standards change and become more complex and as other standards (eg, health and safety codes) remain a higher priority. The California Energy Commission realizes that code enforcement by itself is insufficient and expects that additional educational and technical assistance efforts (eg, manuals, training programs, and toll-free telephone lines) will ameliorate these problems.

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39

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  • Report No.: LBL--29748
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • DOI: 10.2172/908155 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 908155
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc889178

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • November 1, 1990

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Sept. 30, 2016, 12:59 p.m.

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Vine, E. Building Code Compliance and Enforcement: The Experience of SanFrancisco's Residential Energy Conservation Ordinanace and California'sBuildign Standards for New Construction, report, November 1, 1990; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc889178/: accessed December 14, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.