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Loading Dock Seals

Nonresidential Envelope

Codes and Standards Enhancement (CASE) Report

The Statewide CASE Team is requesting feedback on the 2019 Title 24, Part 6 Draft CASE Reports. The CASE Report presents pertinent information that supports the code change proposal. Please email feedback to You may also submit written comments to the Energy Commission. See the agenda for Energy Commission pre-rulemaking workshop (available here) for instructions on how to submit comments to the Energy Commission’s docket.

Draft CASE Report: Loading Dock Seals

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 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 uncontained spaces will not be impacted by the proposed change. This measure has not been 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 mitigate cost-effectiveness. The measure was proposed to limit 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 has requirements for weather seal 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.

Request for Feedback

The Statewide Utility Team encourages participation in the CASE Report development process through the submission of data—both primary sources and references to existing data. We are requesting data on areas such as energy savings, costs, market impacts, industry practices, barriers to code compliance, etc. from stakeholders. The data will inform the energy savings estimates, cost-effectiveness analysis, compliance and enforcement, and market impacts that will be presented in CASE Reports.

Do you have feedback or data to share? Send us an email at

California Statewide Utility Codes and Standards Program

This program is funded by California utility customers and administered by Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Gas Company, Sacramento Municipal District, and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in preparation for the California Energy Commission’s Codes and Standards Buildings Advocacy.