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Dock Seals

Nonresidential Envelope

Codes and Standards Enhancement (CASE) Report

The Statewide CASE Team 2019 Title 24, Part 6 Final CASE Report is available below. The Final CASE Report incorporates feedback received during utility-sponsored stakeholder meetings, Energy Commission Pre-Rulemaking workshops, and personal communication with stakeholders. We encourage stakeholders to email feedback on the Final CASE Report to You can also participate in the 2019 Title 24, Part 6 Standards updated by attending the Energy Commission workshops and submitting written comments to the rulemaking docket. Refer to the Pre-Rulemaking and Rulemaking Workshop Notices for instructions on how to submit comments to the Energy Commission’s docket (available here).

Measure Description

The proposed measure adds a mandatory requirement for loading docks to be equipped with dock seals or shelters. Dock seals and shelters are designed to eliminate the gap between a truck trailer and the interior of a loading bay. Dock seals typically consist of foam with vinyl covering that is installed on the exterior perimeter, excluding the bottom of a dock door. When a truck trailer backs into the dock seal, the foam is compressed and a gasket is created that protects the loading bay, truck, and goods from the elements. Dock shelters are flexible curtains that surround the exterior perimeter, excluding the bottom of a dock door. When a truck backs into the shelter, the curtains are pushed into contact with the truck creating a seal. Dock shelters can accommodate a wider range of truck trailers than dock seals.

The proposed dock seal and shelter measure will primarily impact newly constructed warehouse facilities, though other newly constructed commercial buildings with loading docks and bays will also be impacted. The measure applies to exterior dock doors that are adjacent to spaces that are either heated and or cooled. Doors that enclose unconditioned spaces will not be impacted by the proposed change.

This measure is not recommended for additions and alterations, because dock doors currently do not have other requirements within the California Building Code, and would trigger a new requirement to apply for a building permit where one does not currently exist. This would create a significant compliance barrier and cost impact that could impact cost-effectiveness.

The proposed measure limits infiltration and subsequent energy loss in warehouse buildings, big box retail, and other commercial buildings that have loading dock doors. Air leakage through doors when trucks are at the loading dock can have significant energy impacts. ASHRAE 90.1-2016 has requirements for weather seals in the colder climate zones (ASHRAE Climate Zones 4 through 8). Although the energy use intensity (EUI) of warehouse buildings is lower than the EUI of other buildings, forecasted construction estimates indicate a significant statewide savings potential. This measure could also move warehouses closer to an energy use target that allows for the design of zero net energy buildings.