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Build It Green

APP-TECH Incorporated is a firm specializing in Energy Efficient Building Design, Code Compliance & Outdoor Lighting Design. We have been in business since 1982 and are located in Santa Cruz California. Our services include the integrated design of energy-efficient Building Envelope, HVAC, Plumbing, and Lighting Systems for Residential & Commercial buildings. We can show you how your project can cost-effectively meet and exceed California’s Title-24 Building Energy Requirements. We specialize in Low Energy/Zero-Net energy & Passive House building design.

Green Power

APP-TECH’s office now utilizes 100% “Green” Energy as a member of Monterey Bay Community Power.

Monterey Bay Community Power is a new, locally-controlled public agency providing carbon-free electricity to residents and businesses in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties. MBCP is based on a local energy model called community choice energy that partners with the local utility (in our case PG&E) which continues to provide consolidated billing, power transmission and distribution, customer service and grid maintenance services.

Fire Retardants in Insulation


A research team drawn from U.S-based centers of excellence, including the University of California and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has conducted a thorough review of fire safety literature since the mid-1970s and concluded that the addition of halogenated organic compounds to plastic insulation materials, such as polystyrene, polyisocyanurate and polyurethane, is costly, ineffective and environmentally damaging. Their conclusions are published in the latest issue of the journal Building Research and Information.

Led by internationally renowned fire expert Dr. Vytenis Babrauskas of Fire Science & Technology Inc., the research team investigated the impact of the “Steiner Tunnel test,” which is used to test the propagation of fire over the surface of all sorts of building materials in the early stages of fire (before flashover point is reached). Their paper suggests that changing the U.S. building codes to exempt foam plastic insulation materials from the test would avoid the use of thousands of tons of flame retardants that are known or suspected to be persistent organic pollutants. They conclude:

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Emergency Revisions to California’s Green Code

Included below is a notice I received from the California Building Standards Commission. This is in response to a Petition APP-TECH presented to, and accepted by, the California Building Standards Commission to initiate an Emergency Rulemaking proceeding to amend the State’s Green Code. This is an opportunity for the public to propose revisions or additions to both the Residential and Non-Residential State Green Code, April 5th. It is especially important to identify implementation problems with the Mandatory requirements and possible solutions.
What is not clear in this notice is that the CBSC plans on incorporating the recommendations of this Committee meeting and enacting them as an Emergency Rulemaking proceeding at their April 19 meeting. Once enacted, these revisions will become effective immediately! If you know of any other organizations which might want to inform their membership about this meeting, please pass this information along to them.

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Title-24 Compliance Forms

The latest Title-24 Energy Compliance forms have been uploaded to this Website. All prescriptive compliance forms, including Installation & Acceptance forms required during the construction of a building can be found here. These forms are located in the “Documents” section of the APP-TECH Inc. Website.

Performance Compliance forms are not included, since they must be generated by the appropriate software application and are unique to each building modeled.

U. S. Green Tech Exports?

Here is some interesting reading.

Losing the Game Before it Starts


Published In: EnergyBiz Magazine March/April 2011

Clyde Prestowitz

IN THE COURSE OF CHINA’S PRESIDENT HU JINTAO’S recent visit to Washington, there was much talk of opening China’s market to the exports of American high technology goods and services, especially including green technology products.
It sounded logical and, of course, it was soothing to Americans to be pictured as the quintessential makers and exporters of high- and green-tech goods and services. But that only begged the question of exactly which green-tech goods and services America would be exporting to China and other emerging markets like India.

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Energy Upgrade California

The California Energy Commission joined regional efforts to increase energy efficiency and encourage clean jobs with the statewide launch of Energy Upgrade California, the new energy efficiency program. Part of this comprehensive program is the integrated Web Portal, http://www.EnergyUpgradeCA.org which provides easy to use tools and resources to property owners to help them improve their energy and water efficiency, save money and increase building comfort. Continue reading this post »

Water Softener Replacements

Many of the building sites that we design plumbing and/or hydronic heating systems for have hard water. In an effort to be as “Green” as possible, we have stopped specifying traditional water softeners. App-tech now tailors the water treatment to the specific needs of each job. Our goal was to find a substitute for traditional water softeners that did not add chemicals such as sodium or potassium to the water and did not consume excessive amounts of water with back flushing cycles. We have spent a lot of effort checking out the fantastic claims of many of these products. Continue reading this post »

Final Statement of Reasons

The Final Statement of Reasons for the California Energy Commission’s adoption of the 2008 Title-24 Energy Code & the CEC’s comment response summary can be found in the Documents section of this Website.

Revised Website Design

I thought our last website design was OK, but it was all Flash based. Some of you had problems viewing the site, especially from business computers. So I have re-designed the site with almost no Flash. The only exception is in the Gallery section for viewing photos & videos. Continue reading this post »