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.
We understand that new construction projects involve many steps over time. It’s more important than ever to get us started on your project early on. We’ll ensure that all your bases are covered to prevent delays later on. It’s best that we catch any mistakes in the beginning, and that we are there to thoroughly inspect the project at each stage. Contact us to discuss your energy solution, assessment, and HERS rating needs.
Submitting a pre-existing conditions report is sometimes necessary to get the permit/plans approved. The purpose is to define all current conditions of the property in order to provide the building authorities with the proposed percentage of improvement. Learn more by clicking here.
Plans / Title 24 Report
The Title 24 Report, also known as the CF1R (Alt-01 or Alt-02), is a required document to get permit approval. It shows an overview of all energy-consuming features. Click to learn more about the Title 24 Compliance process.
We offer a simple solution to streamline our compliance process. We manage your electronic file by uploading Title 24 data on your behalf, 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! Learn more about CalCERTS vs CHEERS.
Projects go more smoothly when the architect, HERS Rater, and T-24 consultant discuss the project from beginning to end.
We will offer consultation to help you stay on schedule, on budget, and compliant with energy standards. Throughout your project, we will advise you and answer all your questions. The advice we offer includes referrals, compliance measures, and brand selection. Click here to learn more about what consultation adds to your project.
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 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 required to get permits approved for a new job. Then, construction may begin! Learn more about this process in our blog post How to get a Certificate of Occupancy.
Solar Ready Area (SRA)
Currently, all new or altered buildings in the state of California must have sufficient space for solar panel installation. A solar-ready area is a large, relatively flat, empty space on the roof.
This law was created as a precursor for PV solar requirements. Most new buildings will need to have solar panels installed unless they meet search and exemptions. Read more about solar-ready areas and solar panel requirements here.
Certificate of Installation
Once systems have been installed, they are ready for initial inspection/testing. Its important that some verifications are 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 certificates of installation. Learn more about this process on our page How to get a Certificate of Occupancy.
Building Walk Around
On new job sites, the 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.
Duct Leakage Testing At Frame
Whenever changes are made to an existing HVAC system 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 must be sealed properly. Hence, we test when the building is at-rough before the walls are up.
As HERS Raters, this test is our specialty! For more information, visit our duct leakage testing page.
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.
In order to meet energy efficiency guidelines, lighting systems must adhere to a specific “power allowance”. Using energy-efficient bulbs, such as LED, will allow you to stay within the allotted allowance. Another method of limiting waste is to install lighting controls such as movement-detecting lights, automatic shut-off schedules, and so on.
This stage is to verify that the plan-set for lighting matches the installation. Learn more about Title 24 Lighting.
Quality Insulation Inspection
When a building is at “rough”, before the drywall has been installed, it’s important to assure the insulation is installed properly. Firstly, a pre-insulation inspection will help determine the parameters of the installation.
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.
QII HERS inspections require much attention 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. Learn more about insulation requirements here.
Fenestrations (Doors & Windows)
Fenestration refers to the arrangement of windows and doors on a building. For this service, a technician will first measure the dimensions. Physical dimensions are used for energy calculations.
Factors of thermal transmission include placement, reflectiveness, tinting, and more. Therefore, different kinds of windows and doors are required depending on the setting. Learn more about the codes for windows and doors here.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
Indoor air quality is a series of tests that verify systems of exhaust, intake air, and filtration. There must be adequate airflow based on how many occupants the building can hold and its size. This will control the levels of carbon dioxide and other pollutants. Learn more on our page about Indoor Air Quality Inspections.
Space Conditioning Systems
Refrigerant Charge Test
Fan Efficacy / Fan Watt Draw (AC)
In order to verify that a piece of equipment is functioning correctly and according to the manufacturer’s standards, we must validate its AHRI certification. 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 is an approved piece of equipment to use in your project.
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, identified leakage paths must be sealed properly.
To learn more, visit our page on building leakage.
Cool Roof / Radiant Barrier
A cool roof is designed with high thermal emittance and solar reflectance which reduces heat transfer. Alternatively, a radiant barrier is a reflective material with low thermal conduciveness that is installed on the underside of a roof to achieve efficiency.
Either or both of these efficient roof designs might be a requirement in your project. Learn more about this topic in our blog post Title 24 Cool Roof Requirements.
Hot Water Systems
Hot water systems must be inspected to ensure they were installed according to the plan set. We fill out the plumbing installer verification form and other compliance documentation if water heating credits were claimed in your plans. Learn more about compliance credits on our page on efficient water heaters.
Most single-family residential homes that are newly constructed must have solar panels installed. In this case, PV solar certificate of installation will need to be issued. For more details on exemptions, requirements, or output equations, visit our page about solar requirements.
Ducts in Conditioned Space
Materials Quantity Variance (MQV)
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
If ductwork is not located in a conditioned space, temperature control will lose its potency. There are two ways to increase the efficiency of the heating and cooling system in this situation. Decreasing the duct surface area is one way to make up efficiency. In tandem with the use of insulation, ductwork can meet compliance codes. The effectiveness of insulation is measured by R-value, or how easily heat is able to passe through.
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.
Project Status Report
Certificate of Verification
Duct Leakage Testing At Final
Using a duct blower, technicians test the internal pressure of ductwork to make sure it is tightly sealed. Testing ductwork will ensure its structural integrity.
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
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 will verify the results of the first airflow test.
Quality Insulation Inspection
QII must be signed off by a certified HERS Rater. Learn more about insulation requirements here.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) At Final
Indoor air quality is a quantitative test that measures how much air is flowing in and out of a building. There must be a certain amount of airflow based on how many occupants it can hold and the size of the building because of carbon dioxide. For this test, a technician will use an airflow meter to measure the flow of air in cubic feet per minute (CFM).
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.
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
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 Efficient Mortgage (EEM)
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
We know which programs will work best for you. Reach out to our experts today.
Energy Efficient Tax Credits
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.
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
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.
Residential Air Test and Balance
Whenever you get a new HVAC system installed, you should always get an air balance test. Air balance testing protects a home by assuring consistent airflow throughout each space. Say goodbye to hot and cold spots, moisture problems, and high energy bills affecting your home. Learn more page about Residential Air Test and Balance.
Energy Efficiency Audit
We are licensed by CalCERTS to perform energy efficiency audits. A licensed technician will analyze all features of the building for efficiency. An energy audit provides an 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. We recommend this test be performed every year. This will identify and prevent major expenses, such as overworked HVAC systems that cause system collapse. To learn more, visit our post about Home Energy Ratings.
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