Energy Inspections Made Easier
Although this project is technically a remodel, the amount of work is so vast that it’s considered new construction for many purposes, including energy efficiency codes.
We caught up with David Bostrom, the 3rd party energy inspector for the ModelReModel and talked with him about ways remodelers can make the process a little easier.
For starters, Dallas is like most metroplexes: It’s actually a group of separate municipalities, many of them under different versions of the IECC. This can get complicated for remodelers working across multiple cities.
“Remodelers often don’t know the codes for the cities they’re working in,” Bostrom says. “Usually problems get sorted out in the plan review, but sometimes they’re not caught.”
Bostrom highly recommends that remodelers take the time to become more familiar with the requirements. This helps in estimating, he explains, since he often sees products and materials already speced in that don’t meet code. Now the remodeler has to rework the plans and go back to the homeowner.
There are also a number of voluntary options for certification of green projects.
Carl Seville, a partner at SK Collaborative, offers tips for working with national or regional programs.
• Use the program’s checklist when preparing plans.
• Include all documentation requirements in trade contractor and vendor specifications, and make their final payments contingent on providing that documentation.
• Identify requirements that you, as the contractor, must provide, such as owner’s manuals, waste recycling documentation, and employee training. Don’t wait until the end of the project to collect your documentation since it’s too easy to forget about it, move on to the next job, and never finish certification.
• Communicate regularly with your inspector and confirm that you haven’t missed anything.
• Ask the inspector for advice if you’re having problems meeting any program requirements. The inspector wants your project certified as much as you do and will do whatever he or she can to make sure you’re successful.
Check out the September issue of Professional Remodeler for an article by Seville on this topic.