What is a COO?:
Most builders and contractors understand the bottom line of their construction projects. That is, their projects need to pass inspection. Then, the Department of Building and Safety will grant their Certificate of Occupancy. It authorizes that a building is ready for habitation. However, the process is not that simple. There are many steps that must be taken, first. Primarily, they must prove the building is compliant with California Energy Commission’s Building Code. That is where HERS Raters come in.
What is the Process of Attaining a Certificate of Occupancy?
Builders must take three steps to gain final approval. First, the Certificate of Compliance verifies the plan-set meets energy efficiency standards. This initial report, also known as the CF1R or Title 24, is necessary to receive a building permit. It contains all the plans for energy usage throughout every consuming feature of the building. Therefore, your architect should always be aware of current Energy Standards or work closely with an Energy Consultant. At BarrierEnergy, we both create Title 24 Reports and provide consulting. Next, this document is submitted to the Building Department for approval, along with the building’s plans.
Once authorities approve the plans, construction may begin. At this stage, it is time to fill out the installer verification forms. We will inspect the electrical, mechanical, and plumbing installations to verify that they match the plans. HERS Raters will test or report on the efficiency of all energy-consuming systems. Typically, this should be completed before the walls are put up. We should have access to all HVAC systems as well as other altered features, such as insulation. Once everything passes, the Rater can complete the data entry for the Certificate of Installation. Then, the installer or designated contractor signs off on these CF2R documents.
Lastly, the project must obtain a Certificate of Verification before the final inspection. The COV is the last document to authenticate construction. After construction is completed, HERS Raters perform final testing on the job site and enter their findings into an online database. This legally binding document ensures consistency between state codes and the actualization of the building plan. Now, it’s finally time to call for a final inspection! Local building Inspectors have direct access to the data we’ve entered.
Are There Penalties for Noncompliance?
So, what happens if someone opens a place of business without a Certificate of Occupancy? Or, what if they try to move somebody in anyways? Well, there are always consequences, just as if someone started building without a permit. It’s not usually a question of if, but when this issue is caught. The State may administer fines, lawsuits, liens, and/or legal charges. Places of business may be closed, and properties vacated, or worse forced into demolition. One thing is certain. That is, there will be no way to pass an inspection or sell the property. A property undergoes serious scrutiny when being sold. Any legal issues will be found and freeze transactions from occurring.
In conclusion, we hope this article has been informative. If so, please subscribe to our blog. Now, you should understand what all goes into passing inspection behind the scenes. BarrierEnergy can take care of all reporting required by the State, from Certificate of Compliance to Certificate of Verification. Our HERS Raters inspect and report building energy efficiency. Do you work in Southern California’s construction industry? Check out a full list of the services we offer or learn more about us. Currently, we provide services in Ventura County, Santa Barbara County, and San Luis Obispo County.