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From the field

Title 24 in Parking Garages – Maximizing Energy Savings

The benefits of Title 24 guidelines

During this period of local and statewide health-related lock downs, many building owners and property managers ask what to do about parking structures that are lit 24/7 when there is such a dramatic decrease in usage.

Facility managers are faced with a dilemma. Closing down the structure and turning off the lights is typically not an available option. But if they keep the garage open, for safety and security, as well as building code compliance, it must remain lit at all times. So how can they minimize their energy consumption while maintaining the safety and security of their facility?

The California Energy Commission’s Title 24 guidelines are usually seen as a pain, but they can also point us in the right direction to maximize energy savings using what the guidelines call “partial-off” controls.

Partial-off refers to dimming fixtures when not in use and powering off fixtures where there is sufficient daylight. LED fixtures and retrofits make this easy!

There is no need to run all the light fixtures in a parking structure at full power unless there are people present. Dimming fixtures when an area is vacant saves energy while still adhering to code requirements. Title 24 guidelines require 20% to 50% reduction in light output when an area is vacant. By upgrading your lighting from fluorescent to LED you can reduce your energy usage by at least 40% (more if you are converting from metal halide or other HID lighting). Dimming fixtures in vacant areas creates another 15% or more in savings. But, with the current low occupancy at parking garages, this additional savings becomes much, much greater.

During daytime hours, daylight harvesting sensors can detect whether there is a sufficient amount of natural sunlight present, and turn off or dim lighting fixtures. This creates up to 50% additional savings during daylight hours. Title 24 details how to determine if daylight harvesting will be effective (and required) based on how much exposure an area has to sunlight.

Following Title 24 requirements can be extra work and may lengthen project timelines. But at American Power Solutions, we have the knowledge, the experience, and the expertise to navigate these requirements and to use them to recommend the best, most efficient solutions for your project.

Please contact us for more details how best to reduce energy in your parking structure and to schedule a free audit where available.


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