Using 2PSI Elevated Pressure Natural Gas Technology to Help Reduce Costs in Next- Generation Multi-Family New Construction

Meeting ever-increasing energy-efficiency requirements for evolving building codes and strict green
standards can present a financial challenge for today’s builders

Incorporating the latest techniques and expensive new materials can send your construction costs soaring. However, when you include natural gas as part of a dual-fuel approach to achieving green goals like zero net energy in new multi-family projects, you can benefit from using elevated pressure natural gas service.

Standard natural gas pressure operates at one-third pound-per-square-inch (7-9” water column) pressure and typically utilizes a ¾ to 1¼-inch rigid steel piping system to deliver the natural gas to the appliances throughout a home. In multi-family buildings, the distance from the meter to the first appliance in each unit is usually much greater than what is commonly found in a single-family residence. 

With elevated pressure natural gas service, natural gas from the meter to each unit is sent at 2 pounds-per-square inch (2PSI) pressure. Once inside the apartment, a step-down line regulator reduces the gas pressure to the traditional one-third PSI since residential appliances are designed to burn natural gas only at low pressure.

Elevated natural gas pressure operating at 2PSI allows for the use of smaller-diameter piping, commonly ½-inch or ¾-inch. Since the smaller-diameter piping requires less raw materials than the larger-diameter piping it’s generally less expensive to purchase and install, saving you money on materials and labor.

2PSI pressure also allows you to take advantage of corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST), an alternative gas piping material to rigid steel pipe. CSST is hand-bendable and is installed in continuous runs similar to electric Romex cable. With up to four times fewer joints than a comparable rigid steel piping system, a CSST piping system is simple, easy to install, and less expensive.

Effective this year, multi-family builders in Southern California can request 2PSI elevated pressure natural gas service from SoCalGas® as a “standard service offering.” There are some technical qualifications and requirements that still must be met including individual unit utility natural gas meters, shut-off valves, step-down line regulators and bypass tees. 

Including natural gas in your next-generation multi-family new construction project can help you provide a home that functions with energy-efficiency. Incorporating 2PSI elevated pressure natural gas service can help you construct a home with cost-efficiency.

For more information visit: socalgas.com/2PSIG