BayREN Codes and Standards Program

March 25, 2016

The BayREN Codes and Standards program helps Bay Area counties reduce their energy usage through improved building design and construction. The collaborative program supplies local governments with the resources they need to achieve full compliance with and enforce the California Energy Code, including best practice guides, checklists, policy support, targeted training and on-site support. Benningfield Group supports the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and consulting firm BKI as a subcontractor on the project, implementing in-field and technical support.

At the start of the project, our team focused on finding ways to help jurisdictions ensure compliance. We spent hours conducting interviews, participating in ride-alongs and reviewing project plans in an effort to determine both the key challenges to enforcing the energy code training, tools and guides that would benefit each county, then tracked their effectiveness as they were implemented.

To ensure the performance of the program’s training offerings, we also conducted a region-wide survey, looking for gaps in understanding of the energy code and its enforcement. From this information, we worked with BayREN to develop several training programs that would address these specific issue areas.

Our current focus is on the development and delivery of BayREN’s extensive building department training program, with a focus on developing new classes, best practice guides and over-the-counter permit guides that focus on ease of use with minimal intrusion. These include training in niche areas requested by participating counties.

We are also currently developing ePermitting Guides, which are electronic, online versions of our printed over-the-counter permit guides. They are designed to be user friendly for enforcement personnel, installers, as well as the general public.  We will continue to bring cutting edge support to the team and BayREN as they continue to adapt to the ever-changing needs of the communities being served.