NET-ZERO HOMES - Build Quality Control Services

Blower Door equipment is utilized to conduct objective testing of the building envelope for air tightness. This comprehensive test confirms  proper build practises during construction.  Normally there would be 2 blower door tests completed during the build process.  The first test is run when the building envelope including windows, and doors and there is no exterior or drywall finishes installed.  This provides the baseline for the home.  The second is done upon completion of the exterior and interior.  This allows the discovery of any issues created by installation of equipment. The impact to build is that you get the observation of your actual Air Changes per Hour (ACH) measurement.  The lower the air changes the less operating cost to the owner for energy to heat or cool the building.  Building code minimums do not provide a good baseline for an Net Zero or truly low energy cost home.  The target should be to reduce ACH to below the required fresh air requirement of 2.5 ACH by building code.  If the building leaks are below 2.5 ACH (Targets should be <1.0) then you are truly controlling as much of the air changes through your HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation unit) and recovering the energy from that air that you just heated or cooled.  The HRV takes the heat/cool from the air it is exhausting and puts it into the air it is bringing into the home, therefore saving you energy dollars.  If the house is leaking by itself, then none of the energy is captured and you have to re-heat or cool that air again. Costing you money.

We also use the final blower door test to complete the ACH (Air Changes per Hour) official testing for building permit sign off.  This service is required anyway and we include it in the price.

The use of a very sophisticated thermal camera to capture heat/cool (energy) loss from your building’s envelope.  This test allows us to find all the places where there is “thermal bridging” occurring in the walls/foundation/roof.  These are areas that may have had insulation missed, or other thermal elements removed/missed.  For example if you have a steel beam that is only covered by drywall on the inside and siding on the outside, it will be radiating heat/cool through your wall 24 hrs a day.  Heat/cool that cost you energy to produce or to compensate for.

We perform the image service once when all the windows and doors are installed and the envelope is considered closed in.  This shows many areas that can be addressed immediately and with little or no cost for access.

The second image would normally be performed upon completion and used to verify the building is performing as expected.

Other items that are found using thermal imaging are water leaks inside walls, door seals, window seals, heating system performance issues and roofing issues.

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This menu of services allows the home owner or builder to pick and chose the services most needed to compliment their existing skills.  Each service will have a cost based on home size and scope of work.  Please contact us today to begin your journey to a low cost Net Zero home or business.

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