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Old 05-31-2019, 04:26 PM   #1
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Default Dumb National Energy Code rule

I have been advised that all the lights in a tenant space have to go off automatically when the space is vacant. A timer is acceptable but do you want staff to be fuddling around with a timer in the dark when they work late?

Connecting it to the security system is acceptable but there’s no security system.

What else? A ton of occ sensors? Install a timer and remove it after inspection?
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Old 05-31-2019, 05:00 PM   #2
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Presumably this isn't residential, in which case it's part of the energy savings for having lights and hvac system being fully powered for ~1/3+ of the day when nobody is in the structure.

Seems like you're referring to the Div B 4.2.2.1 section of the NECB-2017. Depending on the size there are allowances but it really depends on the use of the structure.
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Old 05-31-2019, 05:18 PM   #3
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We've been accomplishing that with occupancy sensors for decades. Just make sure to locate them where people will be or you'll piss them off. You can parallel them. Get with the times!
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Old 05-31-2019, 05:21 PM   #4
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I’m going with Plan B. No money in the budget for a bunch of occ sensors. First time I have been hit with this one. What about night lights? Are they a felony now too?
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Old 05-31-2019, 05:42 PM   #5
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I’m going with Plan B. No money in the budget for a bunch of occ sensors. First time I have been hit with this one. What about night lights? Are they a felony now too?
Almost every commercial building I have been in, has night lights/security lights. Usually it's a 2x2 troffer here and there. (Or just 1 if it's a small space).

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Old 05-31-2019, 07:02 PM   #6
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Somebody has to keep the power company in business. May as well be me.
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Old 05-31-2019, 07:07 PM   #7
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When I wired banks, all the lights (save for a few night lights) were connected to a multi-pole ASCO. The hours were programmed into a digital timer. A regular intermatic wound dial timer was installed to override the digital timer for the cleaning crew.
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Old 05-31-2019, 08:21 PM   #8
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By chance, are you working off a set of prints? If so, why didn't the designer call for the occ sensors and everything else?

Regarding NECB, I feel pretty confident about this one! In case you wanted to look this one up yourself, the NECB is now free. Here is a copy available directly from the feds:

http://publications.gc.ca/collection...4-2017-eng.pdf

You are looking for Table 4.2.1.6. The introduction of this table was the most relevant change between NECB 2011 and the later versions. The type of lighting controls depend entirely on the type of room. Most rooms are controlled with a manual ON switch and automatic OFF via occupancy (vacancy) sensors. Most rooms also require bi-level switching or dimming fixtures, and daylight harvesting. This can mean a ton of occupancy sensors, photocells and low voltage wiring.

This particular switch has all this built in but it is costly. It also requires a lot of 0-10v low voltage dimming cable.
https://www.acuitybrands.com/product...cy-wall-switch

There are a few other wireless (ie. expensive) solutions available if you are interested.

Without getting into too much detail, there is more than one way to comply with the NECB. The different paths are:
  • Prescriptive path - follow the code exactly as written
  • Trade-off path - Use higher efficiencies in one part of the building to offset lower efficiencies somewhere else
  • Performance path - Hire an energy modeler to simulate the whole building however you want to build it.

Prescriptive path and trade-off path usually don't require an engineer but it does mean carrying more devices and wiring. The performance path requires a specialty consultant.

This is going to sound like soliciting but it truly isn't. With the performance path and energy modeling, the energy engineer can potentially eliminate the need for all the lighting controls, in addition to a lot of other costly items in other disciplines. The cost savings of the lighting controls alone can usually pay for the energy modeling services. In almost all situations, the cheapest construction option is to hire an energy modeler.
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Old 05-31-2019, 08:22 PM   #9
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Who did what on the where now?? Who is demanding this and what are they citing? is this a LEED building?
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Old 05-31-2019, 11:15 PM   #10
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Who did what on the where now?? Who is demanding this and what are they citing? is this a LEED building?
It’s in the ‘burbs. Nobody in Perky has ever asked for it. It sounds legit, though. The city engineer was good enough to send a letter detailing what he would be looking for prior to inspection.

Drawings were approved by the city with nothing about this but oh well. No sense picking a fight I can’t win.

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Old 06-01-2019, 01:48 AM   #11
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Who did what on the where now?? Who is demanding this and what are they citing? is this a LEED building?
It's NECB, ladies and gentlemen! Coming to a province near you! Not sure how much it is enforced in your neighborhood but it is all the rage here in 'berta.

In fact, it has been adopted in almost every province:

BC - NECB 2015

Alberta - NECB 2017

Saskatchewan - NECB 2017

Manitoba - NECB 2011

Ontario - NECB 2015

And some others... note that this link is a little out of date.

This is for all new commercial construction. Residential has their own codes, mostly related to building envelope. If you haven't seen it yet, you likely will in the near future. NECB has the potential to greatly impact your quotes and installs. As mentioned above, energy modeling can help but the energy modeling consultant usually needs to be carried by the GC or owner as it applies to all building components: envelope, mechanical and electrical. Recently I have been recommending that the contractors add the following qualification to their pricing:

Proposal pricing assumes NECB compliance via the performance path (ie. full building energy modeling). We have assumed that engineering fees for energy modeling are carried directly by the GC. This proposal is NOT intended to be compliant via the prescriptive or trade-off paths.

Without energy modeling, you likely need to carry lots of occ sensors, daylight harvesting, dimming, etc. LED is more-or-less mandatory. Fluorescent is pretty much impossible.
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:15 AM   #12
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It’s in the ‘burbs. Nobody in Perky has ever asked for it. It sounds legit, though. The city engineer was good enough to send a letter detailing what he would be looking for prior to inspection.

Drawings were approved by the city with nothing about this but oh well. No sense picking a fight I can’t win.
Is your job a tenant improvement or a ground up?
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:03 AM   #13
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Is your job a tenant improvement or a ground up?
It’s a TI.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:09 AM   #14
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It’s a TI.
oh goodie.....looks like I've got some reading to do. I requested the free downloadable code, lets see how long it takes the gubbamint to let me have it.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:50 AM   #15
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oh goodie.....looks like I've got some reading to do. I requested the free downloadable code, lets see how long it takes the gubbamint to let me have it.
The NECB 2017 is available here without having to go through the ordering process:
http://publications.gc.ca/collection...4-2017-eng.pdf
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:52 AM   #16
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oh goodie.....looks like I've got some reading to do. I requested the free downloadable code, lets see how long it takes the gubbamint to let me have it.
908 posted the link. It’s fugging complicated. I think it has been in the books since 2011 but nobody has really enforced it.

This is a small space and allowing for it during rough-in would have been fairly simple. Now that everything is buttoned up, I need to go for a quick fix and will know better next time.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:59 AM   #17
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908 posted the link. It’s fugging complicated. I think it has been in the books since 2011 but nobody has really enforced it.

This is a small space and allowing for it during rough-in would have been fairly simple. Now that everything is buttoned up, I need to go for a quick fix and will know better next time.
If your lighting power density is low enough, there is a chance that you won't need any specialty lighting controls. You have to do a trade-off calculation. I'll dig up an excel sheet and send it later tonight. You may be able to throw some maths at this problem rather than some gear.
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Old 06-01-2019, 12:23 PM   #18
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If your lighting power density is low enough, there is a chance that you won't need any specialty lighting controls. You have to do a trade-off calculation. I'll dig up an excel sheet and send it later tonight. You may be able to throw some maths at this problem rather than some gear.
Thanks, 908. We keep up on electrical code but energy code, not so much.
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Old 06-01-2019, 01:15 PM   #19
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Thanks, 908. We keep up on electrical code but energy code, not so much.
Sounds a lot like our Title 24 here in Cali. For residential it is pretty simple and straightforward, but when it gets into commercial...

They are way overcommitting things.

We have done work for the Federal Dept. of Fish and Game at one of their LEED Platinum buildings. All was well until the 1 year warranty ended and the lighting controls and energy controls started to fail. They didn't have it in their maintenance budget to repair the items, as replacements on some of those parts can be very expensive. Especially in comparison to the budgets that they have for repairs, budgets that have been based off of historical replacement costs.

Replacing a $5 switch in comparison to a $100 or more switch.
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Old 06-01-2019, 02:05 PM   #20
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You mean a $5 switch that has lasted 15 years...

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