The depletion of the ozone layer is caused mainly by the increase in emissions of compounds like CFCs, halons, carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform and methyl bromide. Emissions of greenhouse gases can affect the depletion of the ozone layer through atmospheric interaction. Greenhouse gases absorbs heat at low altitudes and warm the surface but they have the opposite effect in higher altitudes because they prevent heat from rising. In a cooler stratosphere, ozone loss creates a cooling effect that results in further ozone depletion.
CALGreen Code Section 5.508.1: Ozone depletion and greenhouse gas reductions.
Installations of HVAC, refrigeration and fire suppression equipment shall comply with Sections 5.508.1.1 and 5.508.1.2.
CALGreen Code Section 5.508.1.1: Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs.)
Install HVAC, refrigeration and fire suppression equipment that do not contain CFCs.
CALGreen Code Section 5.508.1.2: Halons.
Install HVAC, refrigeration and fire suppression equipment that do not contain Halons.
This requirement eliminates the use of chlorofluorocarbons and Halons in fire suppression, HVAC and refrigeration systems in order to assist in meeting statewide requirements for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels and to prevent ozone destruction. Refrigerants are regulated at the federal level by the Environmental Protection Agency and those containing ozone-depleting chemicals are being gradually phased out. In California, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, Assembly Bill 32 (Chapter 488, Statutes of 2006), calls for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Although these damaging compounds have been widely outlawed for most uses, prior to CALGreen, these issues were not addressed by Title 24 building standards.
Add a note in the construction documents and in the equipment specifications that CFCs and Halons are prohibited.
Note: Typically, new fire suppression, HVAC and refrigeration systems are designed to operate on a new generation of refrigerants that do not contribute to greenhouse gases, but there is an inventory of CFCs and Halons used for the recharge of existing equipment. Ensure that new equipment is specified and installed, which is usually required in a new project.
Plan intake: The plan reviewer should confirm HVAC, fire suppression or refrigeration systems specified meet the code.
On-site enforcement: The inspector should verify that the equipment installed meets the construction document(s) requirements. Inspection of this equipment may be combined with verification of building commissioning or testing and adjusting.
(Excerpted from ‘Guide to the 2019 California Green Building Standards Code Nonresidential’ – Chapter 5)