As we move into summers prime building months we wanted to refresh everyone’s memory with regards to scheduling of your inspections.
We recommend that you schedule this inspection as soon as the house is tight enough to have the blower door test performed. EnergyLogic needs a minimum of 4 days’ notice to schedule finals, next day scheduling of finals is no longer possible.
It never hurts to have a reminder about how EnergyLogic inspections interact with your construction schedule, especially now that things are BOOMING . With the pace of building picking up we want to ensure that we are not slowing your construction schedule. So we are once again putting out our scheduling expectations.
Many of you are participating in a two inspection process or code, Energy Star, HERS, or both, which begins with our rough insulation and air barrier inspection (which may also include rough duct leakage testing), but some Builders have requested three distinct field visits from us for verification of the Energy Star program:
1. Total Duct Leakage Testing: Yes, this test is required of ESv3.
For many of you, for fanatical reasons, we have moved to testing total duct leakage at the same time we perform the rough insulation and air barrier inspection. However, we continue to recommend that it occur as soon as the HVAC furnace cabinet has been set. In this way we can ensure that we not only test the system, review the installation of ducts and ventilation systems required by the ESv3 Rater HVAC Checklist, but also have minimal impact on your schedule. If for some reason there is an issue that requires a re-inspection, we have in most cases, 2-3 weeks before insulation to get the system fixed and re-inspected before ducts are covered up with insulation and drywall. This will require a third site visit and additional fees
2. Rough Insulation and Air Barrier Inspection:
This inspection occurs right after insulation and prior to drywall. Essentially we are looking for the same air barrier and insulation issues we have always looked at, with the addition of thermal bridging items and advanced air sealing details such as the connection between the top plate and the attic. Total duct leakage can also be tested at this stage with the knowledge that if there is an issue with the ducts drywall must be delayed. We recommend that this inspection be scheduled at least at the same time that the insulation has been called
3. Final Inspection:
We recommend that this is called at least 5 days before you need your reports, or as soon as the house is tight enough to have the blower door test performed (cover plates, weather stripping, attic hatch and sump pump seals, penetrations to unconditioned spaces like outlet boxes and fan housing to attics, etc., should all be in place). Obviously, we perform the blower door test, but we are also looking at insulation we could not see at rough, such as in attics and on foundations. Additionally, we are testing the flow of ventilation systems, measuring window openings, confirming orientation, and compiling your code and program compliance documentation.
4. For those working with the ESv3 program, you will also need to manage those pesky checklists and documentation. Here is what you need to know:
- Revision 8 of the ESv3 program is due out sometime this summer so keep your eye out for it.
- EnergyLogic will take care of the Thermal Enclosure Checklist and the Rater HVAC Checklist
- Your ESv3 credentialed HVAC contractor must turn in the following to EnergyLogic, by the final inspection, at the latest. We will continue to talk with HVAC Contractors, but it would help everyone if you set strong expectations of timely delivery of this information to ensure that this documentation does not slow your construction schedule or cost re-inspection fees:
- Full Manual J heat load calculation and HVAC design for the system and house
- Balancing report
- AHRI certificates
- Ventilation system documentation
- The Builder’s Water Management Checklist must be turned into EnergyLogic by the final inspection, at the latest.
The most current fill-able PDF versions of the checklists can be found on our website at: Energy Star v 3 Resources.
To assist your delivery of ESv3 documentation, we currently suggest all documents be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Shortly we will be releasing usernames and passwords to our online database, “DASH,” where you will be able to directly upload checklists and other documents to each house address. In addition, you will be gaining direct access to archived reports, schedules, and more.
As we move into the busy summer months we are hopeful that this quick review helps solidify the process of compliance with the IECC and the programs you are working with. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Robby Schwarz and the EnergyLogic Team