A Review of the New Energy Consumption Limits Mandated for Laboratory Exhaust Systems In California’s 2019 Version of Title 24

Brad Cochran, CPP Wind Engineering, Inc.

The 2019 version of the California Energy Commission's, Title 24, Part 6, Section 104.9(c), is the first State or Federal code to specifically address the fan energy consumption in laboratory exhaust systems. Most other energy codes or standards have either outright eliminated laboratory ventilation systems from their purview or have focused primarily on ventilation rates. The implication of this new code will have a profound impact on the future design and operation of laboratory exhaust systems across the state and potentially across the nation, as other states look to adopt similar standards.

During this presentation, Mr. Cochran will walk through the changes to the standard that specifically address the operation of laboratory exhaust systems. This includes the first time that discharge requirements from ANSI/ACGIH Z9.5-2012 – Laboratory Ventilation Standards have been part of the California code. Title 24 prescribes minimum allowable fan power per volume flow rate requirements for untreated and treated exhaust systems; or variable air volume control strategies that can be implemented when the minimum fan power allowances cannot be achieved.

As with most new codes, Section 104.9 (c) of Title 24 has its idiosyncrasies and maybe a few unintended consequences. However, it is a major step forward towards making laboratory exhaust systems safer and more energy efficient. Once this new code goes into effect in January 2020, lab designers will no longer be able to justify using prescriptive based rules of thumb, such as 10 ft stack heights and/or 3000 fpm exit velocities. Under Title 24, and its adoption of Standard Z9.5, future laboratory designs will be required to go through the additional steps to develop a performance-based exhaust systems that meet applicable health and odor standards, while minimizing energy consumption.

Learning Objectives

  • What changes are going to be mandated in the new California Title 24 that apply to laboratory exhaust systems;
  • What impact does the inclusion of ANSI/ACGIH Z9.5 in the Title 24 code have on the design and operation of laboratory exhaust systems;
  • How to design safe and energy efficient laboratory exhaust systems that meet the new requirements specified in the new Title 24; and
  • How does the adoption of maximum energy consumption standards in California's Title 24 impact the design and operation of laboratory exhaust systems throughout the rest of the country.


Brad has over 25 yrs of experience conducting dispersion modeling assessment. He holds a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering, an MBA, and is a registered PE. Since the early 2000's he has been developing new design techniques to minimize the energy requirements for lab exhaust systems. He has successfully designed and employed VAV lab exhaust control systems, such as those described in the new 2019 California Title 24 energy code, for more than 100 labs throughout the US, Canada, and the UK.


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