Services: Residential Alterations
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 project 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.
Any residential alterations including additions, remodels, change-outs, ADUs (accessory dwelling units), and energy efficiency upgrades are regulated by Title 24 codes. Alterations made to systems that provide heating or cooling within conditioned spaces in a home also fall into this category. A change-out is when someone replaces a component of the HVAC system, such as the ductwork or the furnace. Any of these alterations require a HERS test by California state law. The technician must certify that the installation has remained within energy efficiency guidelines.
Before a Title 24 Report, or an architectural plan is drawn up, we must examine the best energy strategy for your project. First, we must assess and record existing conditions.
Pre-HERS is an investment in your project, and clients typically save thousands overall. After reporting the existing conditions to authorities, we’ll help you to assess your budget and consult you about 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.
Plans / Title 24 Report
Then, we will translate your plans into a Title 24 Report, which shows an overview of all energy-consuming features. The Title 24 Report is also known as the CF1R (Alt-01 or Alt-02).
BarrierEnergy will take care of the paperwork and data entry for your project, from beginning to end!
We will offer consultation to help you stay on schedule, on budget, and compliant with energy standards. The advice we offer includes Q&A, compliance measures, brand selection, and referrals.
Certificate of Compliance - Permit Approval
Solar Ready Area (SRA)
Currently, all new or altered buildings in the state of California must have solar panels or sufficient space for solar panel installation. A solar-ready area is a large, relatively flat, empty space on the roof.
Tesla was created as a precursor for PV solar requirements. Most new buildings will need to have solar panels installed unless they make certain exemptions. Read more about solar-ready areas and solar panel requirements here.
Certificate of Installation
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
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
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.
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)
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.
Refrigerant Charge Test
If your home has a cooling component, i.e. a condenser, this test is required. The technician will determine if there are proper levels of coolant in the condenser itself. If there is less refrigerant than recommended at factory set level, the system is known as undercharged. Conversely, if there is too much refrigerant, the system is known as overcharged. The correct amount of coolant will assure that the cooling unit is functioning properly.
Condensers are legally required to be tested. Using an aerometer, and a mass airflow meter, the technician will measure the humidity, pressure, and temperature of the cooling unit. They will measure the volume of air being transferred in cubic feet per minute (CFMs) in order to determine how efficiently the AC unit is working.
Most single-family residential homes that are altered 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 the Energy Code Ace reference tool (2022).
Envelope Air Sealing / Building leakage
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 be sealed properly.
To learn more, visit our page on building leakage.
Space Conditioning Systems
Heating and cooling systems provide temperature control for buildings. Because heating and cooling typically account for around half of a buildings’ entire energy usage, they have efficiency requirements. Components of these systems include piping, pumps, coils, condensers, thermostats, and so on. All these factors must be verified in the Mech-01 form.
Materials Quantity Variance (MQV)
Ducts in Conditioned Space
Fan Efficacy / Fan Watt Draw (AC)
To determine fan efficacy on an AC system, the technician must first perform a fan watt draw test. FWD is an energy consumption test, in which, a fan watt meter will be attached to the conditioning unit in order to read how much energy it uses to produce airflow. Efficacy is recorded as Watts/CFM. This formula is important because it verifies that the ductwork doesn’t have resistance to airflow.
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 was installed in accordance with the manufacturer.
Hot Water Systems
Hot water systems must be inspected and serviced to ensure the water heater is working at the proper BTU rate (British Thermal Unit). BTU measures the amount of energy to heat one pound of water by 1 Degree Fahrenheit. The water heater installed should be the exact unit that was specified in the plans.
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.
Project Status Report
Certificate of Verification
Existing Conditions Report
An EXC form may be required to get your building plans to pass. It’s technically a 3R because only a HERS Rater is allowed to sign off on this form. However, its role is to verify the conditions on-site before any alterations are made. This is to satisfy the Building Department by showing the percentage of improvement. To learn more visit our blog post on Existing Conditions Reports.
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
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
HERS Raters sign-off on insulation at final. Learn more about insulation requirements here.
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.
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 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.
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.
(888) 383-HERS (4377)
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