CET’s Expanding Commercial Efficiency Services

By Aliza Heeren, Marketing and High Performance Building Fellow

The Center for EcoTechnology has been providing practical solutions for 40 years that save energy, materials and money and have a positive impact on our environment and community. CET has provided technical assistance, energy modeling, inspection services, energy code compliance testing, and green building certifications to over 2,000 projects throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and New Hampshire. In 2004, CET participated in the first LEED for Homes pilot, and since then has completed dozens of LEED for Homes, LEED Multifamily Low-Rise, and LEED Multifamily Mid-Rise projects. Since 2005 CET has worked with dozens of homebuilders participating in the ENERGY STAR Homes program and has certified over 1,400 ENERGY STAR Homes. Our team also conducts Energy Star certification for modular building plants in accordance with the SBRA requirements. CET’s technicians have completed thousands of diagnostic tests for envelope and duct tightness and advised hundreds of builders on leakage reduction techniques. Finally, to educate the construction industry about changes to the Massachusetts energy codes and the Stretch Energy Code, CET has provided approximately 75 energy code trainings across Massachusetts both independently and through the Massachusetts Department of Energy Services.

CET’s expertise in the residential new construction sector has laid the groundwork for our growing commercial services. We now offer services spanning from plan review and consultation to inspections and testing. Using the most current industry knowledge, building performance technologies and strategies enables CET to help our clients effectively address a multitude of design and construction issues. Below is an overview of our commercial services:

Plan Review

  • Comprehensive review of architectural, mechanical, plumbing, and lighting plans for energy performance, including air barrier continuity and thermal bridging.
  • Participation in up to 2 in-person preliminary design meetings to provide building science consultation and to recommend design strategies for optimizing energy performance. Recommendations cover building envelope (insulation, air barrier, windows, and doors), mechanical systems (heating, cooling, and ventilation), plumbing systems (service water heating), and lighting (interior and exterior).
  • Comparison of plans and specifications with the IECC 2015 Prescriptive Path.

Energy Modeling

  • ASHRAE 90.1 energy modeling in eQuest software to determine project’s energy efficiency compared to the base energy code. Modeling can be used to determine the benefit of different energy efficiency technologies and can be used for compliance with the IECC 2015 ASHRAE modeling path or the Massachusetts Stretch Energy Code.
  • Parametric modeling of options being considered by project team to assess their relative benefit to the project’s energy performance.
  • Development of an Energy Efficiency Plan documenting the final inputs to the ASHRAE 90.1 energy model to reflect final specifications.

Field Verification Inspections

  • Foundation inspection prior to pouring slab floor to verify foundation insulation installed effectively.
  • Framing inspection prior to insulation installation to verify air barrier systems, recommend air sealing opportunities, and inspection of duct systems.
  • Final inspection to verify final energy features, including mechanical equipment, appliances, and lighting.

Mid-Construction Blower Door Testing

  • Blower door test of the building prior to insulation and drywall. This test verifies the effectiveness of the air barrier while it is still possible to correct problems. Many projects achieve a reduction in air infiltration of 30% as a result of this test.

Final Blower Door Testing

  • Blower door test of the building at completion. This test documents the final air tightness achieved by the project and can be used for compliance with energy code air tightness requirement of 0.4 CFM75 per square foot of building shell.

Duct Leakage Testing

  • Duct leakage testing can occur at any stage of construction once ductwork has been installed, although it is easier to make corrections prior to installation of finish materials. Only fully ducted systems can be tested (open plenum systems cannot be tested). Duct testing is appropriate for high-pressure duct systems and duct systems outside the building thermal envelope.

For more information on any of our commercial services, or to schedule your plan review, modeling, inspection, or testing, call us today!

 413-586-7350 ext. 242

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