Call us for more information 415-897-0088


CA Energy Code Changes for Fenestration Products


2013 Energy Code Requirement Discussion, Part 1

A lot of customers have been asking about the new 2013 Standards from the California Energy Commission and the impact on windows and doors. The new standards are challenging to understand and even some of the manufacturers whose products we sell are not ready for the new requirements.  Thankfully the state has postponed the original date the requirements were to take affect, from today to July 1st.  Click to view the full press release.

To allow more time for the industry to prepare for the 2013 requirements the California Energy Commission voted to postponed the start date of the 2013 requirements until July 1st, 2014.  More information can be found at the CA Energy Commision’s site.   If you aren’t familiar with the proposed changes, check out the summary of changes from the 2008 code that is on the top of the webpage in the above link.

The new standard that will now take affect on July 1st, 2014 requires better performance for fenestration (windows, doors, skylights) products that are installed into both residential and commercial structures.  In the climate zones (Zone 2 and Zone 3) where a majority of our business is, the current (2008) code requirement for Solar Heat Gain Cofficient (SHGC) and U Value is .40 and .40, respectively.   These are the two main energy related attributes that people talk about with windows and doors.

The SHGC and U Value can be found on any NFRC rated product.  The photos below from Velux, Marvin and Integrity show what the labels look like.  These are the labels that building inspectors currently ask for during a final inspection to compare to the Title 24 report or the default energy values required in each jurisdiction.

Velux Skylight Deck Mount

Marvin Clad Casement Windows, Installed in Wood Siding
Marvin Clad Casement Windows, Installed in Wood Siding
Integrity Window and Door in wood siding
Integrity Window and Door in wood siding

OTGMarvinDwellProject (37)

To change a window or door, without having a Title 24 consultant run an energy report on a home – it was simple.   One needed to replace an existing window or door – with one that met the code requirements.  It really wasn’t a big deal.  Many of our product offerings exceeded the code requirements of .40/.40.  These include Marvin Windows and Doors, Milgard Windows and Doors, Andersen Windows and Doors, to name a few.  Our aluminum windows and doors could meet the 2008 code requirements with upgrades to the glass or changing from dual pane insulated units to triple pane insulated units and utilizing thermal break frames.   To change the old to new, you could go in and pull a building permit. Pay the fees and  fill out the CFR -ALT form that is required with the NFRC ratings that we provide on our quotes or most manufacturer’s have on their websites.

Now it is getting a bit more complicated due to the change in energy requirements.  The new SHGC and U Value are a bit harder to meet.  It will likely require running a Title 24 on more projects, if you do not want to use fenestration products that meet of exceed the default values.

Per the California Energy Commission’s 2013 code:  (refer to page 250)

Climate Zone 2: U – Value is .32 and SHGC is .25

Climate Zone 3: U Value is .32 and SHGC is not required

We are still waiting on some of the window and door manufacturers we work with to provided updated NFRC test data.  Once we have it available, we will share this to help you better understand the new code requirements.   In certain window and door products, we will need to use Triple Pane Windows and Doors or Utilize two surfaces of lowe.  One common solution that is already offered by Cardinal Glass that Marvin, Integrity, and Milgard have available is the new Cardinal i89 lowe coating.  When i89 is used with Cardinal 272 of Cardinal 366 in an energy efficient window frame the U Value and SHGC are pretty amazing.

Here are some approximate values from Cardinal’s website. The resulting energy efficiency is pretty amazing.

Note: The NFRC values that will be provided on window and door manufacturer’s labels may differ slightly.  If you are planning to install windows or doors after July and your project does not require a Title 24, please give us a call and we can provide the relevant data specific to the window and door products you are planning to use on your project.

Double-Pane, Clear, Air 0.48
Double-Pane w/LoĒ³-366, Argon 0.24
Double-Pane w/LoĒ³-366 and LoĒ-i89, Air 0.23
Double-Pane w/LoĒ³-366 and LoĒ-i89, Argon 0.20
7/8″ IG UNIT
Triple-Pane, Clear 0.37
Triple-Pane w/LoĒ³-366, Argon 0.25
Triple-Pane w/LoĒ³-366, LoĒ-180, Argon 0.20
Triple-Pane w/LoĒ³-366, LoĒ-180, LoĒ-i89, Argon 0.17

To compare here are the approximate values for Cardinal 272 Lowe Glass.  These are typically the center of glass measurement and do not assume the frames impact. A less efficient frame (aluminum) will not perform as well as a more efficient frame (aluminum clad wood).

272 with Argon, U Factor .25

272 with Argon, SHGC:  .41

More to follow in Part 2.  . .

In the meantime for your reading pleasure, a Full Copy of the Energy Code for 2013 is available.

Written by John Pope, Old Town Glass, Inc.  Old Town Glass is a full service commercial and residential glazing contractor and window and door dealer.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Article

Expanding installation capability in 2022

With an increased demand for oversized flat, cold bent, and warm bent, glass installations within the residential construction market on the West Coast there has

Building Envelope with SIGA

Featuring SIGA products on a Santa Rosa fire rebuild. On a recent project in Santa Rosa, CA we used European Windows & Doors with SIGA’s