I'm interested to know if the State you live in requires Blower door testing of the residential building envelope on new construction?

Here in Washington State the Code official in the jurisdiction has the right to require third party testing but none do so.

As a consequence of that situation the insulation contractors are usually chosen to perform the blower door testing at Final inspection and there is no system of verification in place. 

It is not my intent to imply wrong doing with this process but in my opinion this is not a good arrangement.  The insulation contractor runs the risk of losing future jobs when blower door tests fail at Final inspection.

The State of California requires third party testing by a HERS rater and anyone under contract otherwise is not allowed to submit test results.  This to me seems like a logical arrangement.

We create these code requirements to provide for a better/safer future then give them no teeth in implementation.

If your jurisdiction requires third party testing I would love to know about it.  I could use some feed back as grist for the mill when submitting for this code change before our State Building Code Council.

Views: 81

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Most of the states I know that require testing allow HERS Raters, those with BPI certifications (though they never teach duct testing except for 1 class) and those that go through a DET certifier course (HVAC / Builders / Insulation companies / etc..) to do the testing.

Is having an individual that has a vested interest in the result the best choice? Might not be depending on that company but in many cases they also can see what they can improve. Along those lines just because you have a third party, that doesn't mean they might not fudge the numbers also. The best one I have heard of is an inspection office in our area that has the equipment & spot checks the results - if you are off they can quite simply say, no more

As for the insulation component -  unless they are fully responsible for air sealing (which actually every trade should be) they shouldn't really lose any jobs for a failed result.

Thanks for your reply.  As for duct testing I reluctantly admit that the better scenario from a cost perspective is to have the installer provide testing results.  I don't like that but with regard to practicality it probably makes  the most sense since they're already there.  What I'm referring to is envelope testing.  The insulation installers must come back anyway to conduct the blower door test.  We all want to see the best results from the testing and having someone under contract for additional services is not, in my opinion the best case scenario.  The State of California has had third party testing rq'd since 2004  ( I think).  They explain their rqmt in their Title 24 of their energy code.

Let's say that as per your suggestion the insulation installers are on the hook for sealing measures (which they are not in WA.. that task is completed by a separate entity)  What is the solution for a failed test at Final?  Will they then dismantle the interior to seal ( for instance) penetrations between conditioned space and the garage?  Tear off siding to further seal the rim joist? Remove attic insulation to increase attic sealing? or...........simply state that the project passed.  Remember, there is no verification system in place to come back in after homeowners have moved in. Lastly, would you please further explain the motivation a third party tester would have for fudging the numbers?  Thanks much.

RSS

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

David Eakin replied to Kaushal Bharath Raju's discussion Affordability & Deep Energy Upgrade/Passive House Retrofit in Berkeley, California.
"I mis-spoke - I was referring to the Midori House in Santa Cruz. Have an in-depth discussion with…"
5 hours ago
Profile IconScot Davidson, j jarvella and Michael joined Home Energy Pros
11 hours ago
Kaushal Bharath Raju replied to Kaushal Bharath Raju's discussion Affordability & Deep Energy Upgrade/Passive House Retrofit in Berkeley, California.
"Hi David & Bud, $400/sqf > $300 sqf. The latter is the minimum cost of new construction in…"
12 hours ago
David Eakin replied to Kaushal Bharath Raju's discussion Affordability & Deep Energy Upgrade/Passive House Retrofit in Berkeley, California.
"Kaushal, There was a deep energy retrofit upgrade project (to Passive House standards) in San Jose…"
14 hours ago
Kim Tanner updated an event

Beyond Residential Testing at The Energy Conservatory

May 14, 2014 to May 16, 2014
The Energy Conservatory (TEC) is hosting a Beyond Residential Testing event. In addition we are…See More
17 hours ago
Casey Gesell posted a video

Super Attic - Attic Insulation System

http://www.drenergysaver.com | 1-888-225-6260 The new Super Attic: Advanced Conversion System -- converts your attic from a vented attic into an unvented at...
17 hours ago

Casey Gesell just added their location.
(via Member Map)

19 hours ago
H.O. Electric posted a video

H.O. Services, Generator, Electrical, Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Belmont, Lexington, Arlington, MA

H.O. Services is your residential Electric-Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Specialist. We are an electrical contracting company providing homeowners the best Electr...
19 hours ago
Jim Gunshinan's blog post was featured
19 hours ago
Luis Hernandez posted a discussion

Air Source Heat pump or mini-split efficiency

Greetings everyone!    I have a technical questions I hope I could get some feedback! I understood…See More
21 hours ago
Jim Gunshinan posted blog posts
yesterday
H.O. Electric posted a photo

about us-team

H.O. Services is your residential Electric-Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Specialist. We are an…
yesterday

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service