Complete guide to Energy Design Resources

Energy Design Resources logo

Energy Design Resources is a California-based company dedicated to helping in the design, building and operation of smarter, more energy-efficient buildings. It uses impartial research and design tools to evaluate the energy impact of architectural design decisions.

Since its establishment almost twenty years ago, Energy Design Resources has been educating architects, engineers, lighting designers and developers about the new technologies and latest techniques that are improving the efficiency of commercial and industries workplaces.

Initially solely focused on nonresidential construction, the company has since branched out into helping home builders, design educators and students, and owners of existing buildings in need of alterations make sure their projects result in energy-efficient buildings.

Looking to improve your home’s energy efficiency?See our guide on energy-efficient appliances and, to keep your home energy use under complete control, see our smart meter guide.

Ace Tools

Energy Design Resources’ three Ace Tools help in identifying the forms, regulations and standards relevant to building construction projects in the state of California. Here are the tools and their particular functions:

  1. The Forms Ace™ tool
  2. The Reference Ace™ tool
  3. The Installation Ace™ tool

In this section, we’ll take you through the tools and what each offers a construction project.

1. Forms Ace™

The Forms Ace is a tool that can be used at the beginning of a construction project in order to:

  • Identify the steps to take in order to make sure the project is in compliance with Title 24, Part 6 (building legislation relevant to California).
  • Identify which path is the least cumbersome to take in bringing your project up to compliance.
  • Generate a checklist of Title 24, Part 6 forms will be required to make the addition/alteration you want to make.
  • Learn whether or not your project requires HERS (Home Energy Rating System) verification.

The tool’s questionnaire requires users to provide information on the project they’re planning to permit so as to generate the Title 24 Building Energy Forms needed at the Plan Check and Inspection. All of the above is to ensure that projects go ahead adhered to the letter of the law and that no bureaucratic stumbling blocks turn up further down the road.

2. Reference Ace™

The Reference Ace is a tool for helping users to navigate the Title 24, Part 6 Standards documents. The tool is available to use online or via download and includes the latest Residential and Non-residential Standards.

This Energy Design Resources tool allows you to read through Standards documents with keyword search capabilities as well as hyperlinked tables and related sections. The most recent version of the tool also includes the following additions:

  • Compliance Manuals,
  • Alternative Calculation Method Reference Manuals,
  • And appendices.

3. Installation Ace™

The Installation Ace helps users identify the proper installation techniques for Title 24, Part 6 components, and includes visual aids for certain components that are often poorly installed in the field. This will eradicate the possibility for errors to occur during installation that could cost you in the future.


Energy Design Resources has assisted in the construction of all manner of buildings, including:

  • Schools
  • Office buildings
  • Homes
  • Manufacturing and distribution centres
  • Hospitals and laboratories
  • Public assembly buildings
  • Agricultural and food processing facilities
  • Water and wastewater facilities
  • Retail parks
  • Hospitality venues
  • Restaurants
  • Data centres

The buildings in its portfolio are often complicated designs built for a wide variety of types of energy usages, always with energy efficiency at their heart. The result of this is often that its buildings cut energy costs significantly and often increases their resale value when compared to standard builds.


In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the technologies incorporated into Energy Design Resources’ buildings and their effect:

Building envelope design

Building envelope design provides a thermal barrier between the indoor and the outdoor environment of your building. It also aids in determining how the building can use natural lighting, ventilation and heating resources.

Lighting design

Energy-efficient lighting design helps to enhance the functionality of your building and Energy Design Resources uses its knowledge of available and emerging lighting techniques to get the most out of your building architecturally.

Daylighting design

Utilising the natural lighting within your building requires careful planning, which Energy Design Resources does in order to balance heat loss and gain, prevent glare, and adjust for variations in light availability throughout the day. Its design strategy can cut energy usage and can be applied to many kinds of constructions.

HVAC design

Energy Design Resources chooses more efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) than those used in current practice. This saves money on energy while maintaining a comfortable environment in your building.

Thermal energy storage

Air conditioning systems represent a building’s largest contributor to energy costs during summer peak-hours in California. Thermal energy storage (TES) systems used by Energy Design Resources use water chillers or ice makers to produce and store thermal energy for later use in cooling.

This energy is produced and stored during the hours when the demand and charge for electricity is lower, and then used to cool the building during peak hours.

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