Services: Residential New Construction
BarrierEnergy is your one-stop-shop for consulting, referrals, and assessments for your construction project. We can help, whether you want to improve the durability of your residential property, reduce energy costs, add value for re-sale, or improve your safety and comfort.
Title 24 Compliance
Title 24 of the California Energy Commission (CEC) outlines energy efficiency standards for new, altered, and existing buildings in the state of California. California requires a minimum mandatory energy score, as well as mandatory compliance measures. Optional upgrades and tests can translate into compliance points. For more information, visit the CEC website.
The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) is used to test and enforce energy code standards set by the California Energy Commission. HERS Raters are private building inspectors who perform state compliance inspections and functional tests on residential and commercial buildings. Compliance testing has been legally required since 1974, and the codes are updated every couple of years. A HERS Rater is licensed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an HVACR (Heating, Ventilation, Air conditioning, Cooling, Refrigeration) technician. At BarrierEnergy, our certified HERS Raters are thoroughly trained on all new building codes and regulations.
Recently, a new code cycle for building compliance in California was set as of 2019. In 2020, these standards go into effect. Our team offers over a decade of experience to help you keep up in a constantly changing work environment. BarrierEnergy’s goal is to keep your construction on schedule and compliant with energy standards. Furthermore, we can help you to decide what solutions will work best for your project and budget. Contact us to discuss your energy solution, assessment, and HERS rating needs.
Energy efficiency saves money and resources for homeowners, contractors, and builders alike. As a result, energy bills are lowered, building systems last longer, creature comfort is improved, and construction projects are streamlined. Not to mention, performing these tests can earn you tax credits and rebates from the state. Since the implementation of efficiency, real estate value has improved and California has saved billions of dollars annually. Evidently, this clean energy model is sustainable for the economy as well as the environment.
Before a Title 24 Report, or an architectural plan is drawn up, we must examine existing conditions. The Pre-HERS contains all the information about the job site before any work is done. Once the Pre-HERS form is filled out, the information is sent to a Title 24 consultant, and the project may be approved for a permit.
Pre-HERS is an investment in your project, and clients typically save thousands overall. That’s because property values are maximized. We’ll help you to assess your budget and consult you about what you really need, and which upgrades will benefit you the most.
This preliminary measure will prevent any time delays further down the road, and make sure your entire Title 24 process runs smoothly.
Certificate of Compliance - Permit Approval
After we have received your permit information and building design plans, we will complete, register, and submit the necessary CF1R-ALT-02 form for your project. When the building inspector receives this, they will know your project is registered with an approved HERS provider. This document is requierd to get permits approved for a new job. Then, construction may begin!
We offer a simple solution to streamline our compliance process. We maganage your electronic file by uploading Title 24 data on your behlaf, as required by the state. Typically, CalCerts is our first choice, but Cheers is another alternative. For your convenience, we will navigate the software and sign-off documents.
BarrierEnergy will take care of the paperwork and data entry for your project, from beginning to end!
An important element of what we do is to make sure your construction project matches the CF1R plan set. Projects go more smoothly when the architect, HERS Rater, and T-24 consultant discuss the project from beginning to end.
Consultations are free to you at any time when you choose BarrierEnergy. Throughout your project, we will advise you and answer all your questions. Advice we offer inculdes referrals, compliance measures, and brand selection.
Solar Ready Area (SRA)
Currently, all new or altered buildings in the state of California must have sufficient space for solar panel installation. A potential solar ready area is a large, relatively flat, empty space on the roof. This law was set as a precursor in the 2016-2019 code cycle. As of 2020, all new buildings will be required to have solar panels installed.
Certificate of Installation
Once systems have been installed, they are ready for initial inspection/testing. It’s important testing is done before the walls are built, in case we do uncover major installation errors.
We will ensure energy guidelines have been met for the project, as outlined by the CF1R. At the end of this stage, you will receive the certificate of installation.
Building Walk Around
On new job sites, our team needs to identify the scope of work. The inspector will obtain information from every aspect of the project to determine what has been accomplished already, versus what needs to be done.
The inspector will obtain information on the project through the building’s ‘plan set’, or title 24 report. This report is an energy calculation file with all information relevant to that job site including square footage, number of rooms, etc. The title 24 report is an all-encompassing document listing the features on a building, including all systems.
When a building is still at its “rough” stage, only the foundation and framework has been erected. Before walls are built, wiring is put in, or other systems are installed, inspectors must make sure the framework is free of error.
A visual inspection means visiting the job site and verifying that the interior structure has been installed properly, based upon state mandated codes. Some of these inspections include proper space for insulation and checking for gaps, etc.
Duct Leakage Testing At Frame
Whenever a new HVAC system is installed, technicians must test the internal pressure of the ductwork. According to California’s energy efficiency laws, we have a legal obligation to ensure the duct system is tightly sealed. If the pressure reading is not within approved guidelines, it is caused by excess air escaping from the ducts. As HERS Raters, this test is our specialty! For more information, visit our duct leakage testing page.
Air Flow & Air Balance
The rate of airflow in ductwork is measured by calculating the output of the vents in cubic feet per minute (CFMs). Our technicians will perform this service with a duct blower before walls are constructed, in case any problems are uncovered.
Air balance simply means we are testing whether air is being distributed evenly through each vent. This ensures consistent temperatures throughout the building.
Electrical Set Up
So, the goal is to deisgn an efficient, yet cost effective Power Distribution System. We are the experts that will help you do just that, while adhering to California State efficiency requirements.
This stage is to verify that the plan-set for lighting matches the installation.
Quality Insulation Inspection
Then after installation, another inspection will certify the quality. This visual inspection involved making sure there are no gaps, the proper type of insulation is being used, etc.
Our QII services include a certificate of installation, plus inspections of infiltration sealing, installation, structural insulated panels (SIP), and insulated concrete form (ICF).
QII HERS inspections require much atention to detail. Let us make sure that insulation does not hold up your construction process, by communicating with the installer, builder, and contractor throughout the process.
California requires compliance with types, locations, numbers, and sizes of widows. Windows are surprising trap in a building project because it is often overlooked. Every wall and window transmits a certain amount of energy, or radiation, known as SHGC. Windows and doors must have specific value of transmission to be considered efficient. Factors in transmission include geothermal placement, reflection effectiveness, window tinting, and thermodynamics. Therefore, different kinds of windows and doors are required depending on the setting.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
For this test, a technician will use an airflow meter to measure the flow of air in cubic feet per minute (CFM).
Refrigerant Charge Test
Envelope Air Sealing / Building Leakage
A building envelope refers to the exterior construction of a building. Building leakage thusly, is how tightly a building is sealed as a whole. Air could be leaking into or out of a building from windows, doors, flooring, roofing, and so on. A tight seal is important because solving the problem will save money, comfort, and energy.
A duct blower is used to determine how much air leakage is coming from a building. If the testing results do not meet efficiency code standards, identitified leakage paths must be be sealed properly.
To learn more, visit our page on building leakage.
Space Conditioning Systems
Materials Quantity Variance (MQV)
Ducts in Conditioned Space
Fan Efficacy Verification
In order to verify that a piece of equipment is functioning correctly and according the manufacturers standards, it must be tested. Our technicians are certified by the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) to do just that! If HVACR or water heating equipment is AHRI certified, you can trust it was installed in accordance to the manufacturer.
Hot Water Systems
Return Duct Design
It is our job to verify the return vent has been installed properly and the airflow is up to code. Certified HERS Raters will hook a flow hood up to the return vent in order to read the airflow.
Detailed Duct System Design
In order to claim compliance credits, the duct design must be listed on the plan-set, approved by proper enforcement, and installation must be certified by a HERS Rater.
Fan Watt Draw: Energy Consumption Test
Lastly, the CF2R must be authenticated when the project is at final. CF3R is known as the certificate of verification because it verifies the HERS test results. This legally binding document ensures consistency between our data files and the actualization of the building plan.
Project Status Report
A Project Status Report lists the completion status of each necessary HERS component in a project. All pertinent information to the project will be listed, as well as what forms have been completed. Periodically, we will update the PSR, which will note completed progress with a green dot. Enforcement agencies can access this report at any time, as it will be used by officials to authenticate Title 24 compliance. When the file is complete, we send you a copy to provide the final inspector.
Certificate of Verification
Now that the walls are up, some energy tests will need to be re-verified. The Certificate of Verification is the last document that needs to be submitted at final inspection. The CV contains all diagnostic test results, which must match the certificate of installation. Congratulations, your proejct is complete!
Duct Leakage Testing At Final
Our technicians will verify the duct leakage test results when the construction project is at final. This will ensure that all the information in the CF3R is correct. For more information, visit our duct leakage testing page.
Air Flow & Air Balance At Final
The rate of airflow in ductwork is measured by calculating the output of the vents in cubic feet per minute (CFMs). Airflow must be able to accomodate for the size of the building as well as its occupancy load. Air balance ensures air is being distributed evenly throughout the building.
Airflow will be double-checked once the construction project has reached it’s final stages. Once the walls and permanent fixtures have been installed, we want to verify the results of the first airflow test.
Quality Insulation Inspection At Final
For quality control purposes, the insulation installation will need to be re-verified at final.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) At Final
Our technicians will test IAQ at the beginning stages of a project, and once again at the end.
Materials Quantity Variance (MQV) At Final
This is somethig we will check on during a project, and especially at the end of a project. Performing MQV at final gives an overrall picture of how successful a project was at staying on budget.
Refrigerant Charge Test At Final
We will check the condensor at the start of a project, and again when the project is at final. At final, the walls have been errected and permanent fixtures have been installed. We do this to certify the CF2R test results.
Return Duct Design At Final
It is our job to verify the return vent has been installed properly and the airflow is up to code. Certified HERS Raters will hook a flow hood up to the return vent in order to read the airflow. This test will be performed at final to verify the results from the first test.
Detailed Duct System Design At Final
In order to claim compliance credits, the duct design must be listed on the plan-set, approved by proper enforcement, and installation must be certified by a HERS Rater. We will perform this service again at the end of the project to authenticate passing results.
Ventilation Cooling At Final
Our technicians will test again at final, to verify the CF2R test results.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a global system for rating the environmentalism of buildings. As LEED Green Associates, we can get your project certified LEED. This extra level of certification will increase the value and environmental benefits of the property.
Through LEED you can also aquire points and credits for your project. We will help you choose which credits to pursue for the most payback. The amount of points obtained will determine which level of certification you are rewarded: Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum.
Energy Star Certification
Energy Star is another certification program, run by the EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency). Buildings that score a 75 or higher on this scale, can qualify for this additional designation. All that you need is a licensed professional to sign off on your energy rating.
Buildings with the Energy Star stamp have higher market value while saving time and resources in the long run. It’s a great return on investment.
Energy Efficiency Audit
We are licensed by ASHRAE to perform energy efficiency audits. A licensed technician will analyze all features of a home for efficiency. An energy audit provides and opportunity to assess what improvements could be made to make the building more efficient.
Not only will money and resources be saved, but creature comfort will improve. Plus, the value of your home will remain high, as quality will prevent damage. That is why we recommend this test is performed every year. We can identify and prevent major expenses, such as overworked HVAC systems that cause system collapse.
An EE audit, or home energy assessment, is also the first step to qualifying for a special programs/energy lungs
Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM)
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers an Energy Efficient Mortgage program to help make green energy upgrades affordable. You can save up to half a percent on your mortgage with certain providers if you pass California State Energy Efficient Mortgage guidelines. An opportunity to save tens of thousands of dollars when purchasing, selling, or refinancing your property is huge! In order to qualify, an energy assessment will need to be performed in order to verify basic mandatory upgrades. This option is cost effective and easy.
Energy Efficient Mortgages can also be used for upgrading new homes. In this instance, HERS Raters would be conducting a home energy assessment to help determine the cost effectiveness of upgrades. The expected savings from installing efficiency upgrades will offset the cost of the improvements. Based on these findings, the FHA approves an allocated amount towards energy efficient upgrades. Therefore, the FHA can guarantee an energy package loan to cover initial installation fees by lumping it in with the mortgage. Reach out to our experts for more information about this service.
PACE Loan / Special Programs
PACE is one of the many programs that exist in California to help their residence afford energy-efficienct improvements. PACE loans are offered through government approved third parties. First, an Energy assessment must be completed by a licensed inspector. That’s where we come in!
We know which programs will work best for you. Reach out to our experts today.
Energy Efficient Tax Credits
To incentivise energy efficinecy, the government offers many tax credit oppurtunities and programs.
For example, 45L is a tax credit that encourages the construction of energy efficient residential properties. Contractors may be eligible for a $2,000 tax credit per energy efficient unit. In order to qualify, a certified field technician must verify the efficiency of the dwelling unit(s) meets the programs standards.
To learn more about the special programs and savings you could qualify for, reach out to our expert team today.
If an appliance in your home has a current warranty, and it breaks, you would need a certified inspector to sign-off approval for replacing it. The reason is because warranties are not applicable in certain situations. The inspector would make sure that the appliance was installed properly according to California state law as well as according to the manufactures intructions. That way they can prove that the fault is due to the manufacturer.
We are certified by the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) to perform home inspections. Home inspections are typically a part of real estate transactions, for example selling a home. A home inspection is also required to qualify for an Energy Efficiency Mortgage (EEM).
During a home inspection, the inspector will document every part of the home. The data they collect will be supported with picture evidence, and documented through an inpection report.
Miscellaneous Compliance Testing
Our technicians will work with the owner and builders to make sure every step of the construction process is done properly, given codes in certain municipalities.
Basic Health and Safety
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set a maximum level for every toxin that could be found in a home.
If you are experiencing symptoms of sickness for no apparent reason, it may be a good idea to get some general tests done. We can ensure proper airflow, temperature control, and exterior seal. Reach out to an expert at BarrierEnergy; we are here to protect your health.
Testing Solar Panel Installs
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