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Third Party and Title 24 Energy Code Acceptance Testing

Acceptance testing is the process of ensuring that HVAC systems and lighting systems are tested for compliance with Title 24 as well as their intended energy saving and/or human health measures. VCA Green specializes in two forms of acceptance testing as a qualified third party: lighting controls, and garage exhaust fan controls. Both of these systems must be tested for compliance with the California Energy Code, and when delivered from a third party perspective, the added benefit of a second pair of eyes performing a quality check on these systems can save energy, protect your building’s occupants, and reduce any delays in gaining a Certificate of Occupancy.

Per the California Energy Code, all new nonresidential construction of spaces containing hardwired light fixtures must be tested by a qualified Acceptance Test Technician (ATT). These technicians are required to be certified through an Acceptance Test Technician Certification Provider Program. VCA Green’s Lighting Control Acceptance Test Technicians are equipped with the skills necessary to test lighting systems for quality control and mandatory state requirements as defined by the California Energy Efficiency Standards.

The value of a third party Lighting Control ATT comes in the form of quality assurance from an objective perspective. Third party acceptance testing can result in the detection of test failures that may be challenging to spot from a firsthand point of view. For example, a parking structure with motion-based occupancy sensors on the ceilings of each level can be accidentally triggered by the movement of vehicles and/or people on the floor(s) above if they are not properly calibrated to account for these expected instances of movement. This is a code violation that may be difficult to detect without a second set of eyes to ensure that the installed devices are working as intended.

Additionally, sensor placement makes a considerable difference as well. VCA Green is able to review lighting plans to check for code violations before the design phase is complete. For instance, the Energy Code demands that occupancy sensors of any kind must be located within certain distances of specific mechanical systems or other noisy equipment to avoid triggering the sensors through the vibrations and/or sounds of the systems (depending on what kind of sensor it is). Catching these compliance issues in the design phase can save precious resources during construction and prevent disassembling building components, rewiring, or otherwise delaying the project from attaining a Certificate of Occupancy.

When it comes to garage exhaust fans located within enclosed spaces, these systems are required to have carbon monoxide sensors that are programmed to activate when a certain threshold of carbon monoxide is detected in the air. This is to prevent excess carbon monoxide from flooding the area and harming anyone within the space. Similar to the lighting acceptance testing procedure, VCA Green’s experienced technicians will test these sensors and advise on possible solutions if a problem arises during testing. Oftentimes a sensor may be improperly calibrated due to ongoing construction and tight deadlines, so checking these factors before final inspection can be critical both to human health and to the completion of the project.

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