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Passivhaus, Passive Houses, and Your Carbon Footprint

Passivhaus, Passive Houses, and Your Carbon Footprint

Posted on 27. Aug, 2009 by .

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The Passive House Institute in Germany  has improved upon American ideas from the 1970s and re-branded it as PASSIVHAUS. Superinsulated homes have been built in many locations in the U.S. over the last 30 years, as covered by many articles on the ASHRAE web site.

Passive houses use significantly less energy than do existing or new conventional residences. In fact, they use so little heating energy that a conventional heating and cooling system is mostly unnecessary. The house stays warm by recycling heat that is already being generated by internal sources – lighting fixtures, stoves, toasters, dryers.

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Title 24 Will Require HERS Ratings On Nearly All Projects

Title 24 Will Require HERS Ratings On Nearly All Projects

Posted on 04. Aug, 2009 by .

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The 2008 Title 24 requirements, which will become effective in January of 2010, will now require both HERS verification and electronic document filing and registration for all Title 24 documents, including the following:

  • The CF-1R Certificate of Compliance, which completed and signed by both the Title 24 Document Author and the Architect
  • The CF-6R Installation Certificate, completed by the installing contractor
  • The CF-4R Certificate of Field Verification and Diagnostic Testing, completed by the HERS Rater

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Slab Edge Insulation and Termites: A Solution

Slab Edge Insulation and Termites: A Solution

Posted on 13. Jun, 2009 by .

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Interview with Bill Michelson, CEPE, San Joaquin County Building Inspector from November 2008

In GCP No.12, we had published an explanation of the slab edge insulation requirements which are required by Title 24 when specifying radiant heated floor slabs. We illustrated that prior discussion with examples of slab edge insulation as shown in the 2005 Residential Compliance Manual.

However, being practicing architects and architectural engineers ourselves, we also push projects through permitting, construction and final inspections, which allow us firsthand knowledge of how Title 24 requirements interface with building inspection requirements. So, after discussing those slab insulation details last week with one of our colleagues, Bill Michelson, CEPE who is a San Joaquin County Building Inspector, he mentioned one glitch in those Title 24’s details which Building Inspectors find troublesome in zones where termites are a problem, but he also recommended a solution, and here is that interview.

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New Title 24 is 15% Stricter

New Title 24 is 15% Stricter

Posted on 11. Jun, 2009 by .

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EVERYTHING CHANGES AUGUST FIRST: The new 2008 Title 24, which becomes mandatory after August 1, 2009, is 15% more stringent than the 2005 version was, and also creates a whole new set of electronic filing requirements.

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What Do HERS Raters Do?

Posted on 27. May, 2009 by .

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As registered and certified Home Energy Raters, we are trained by our HERS Provider (CalCERTS) to evaluate onsite installation techniques, take key measurements,  perform inspections and duct testing procedures to verify a home’s energy efficient performance, and then electronically file with our HERS provider (CalCERTS) the Title 24 forms which verify that a new home matches the CF-1R created by the Title 24 Author.

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What Do Energy Analysts Do?

Posted on 26. May, 2009 by .

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Registered California Certified Energy Analysts (CEA’s) such as ourselves can assist Architects, Builders and Developers through:

Existing Home Energy Audits: The Certified Energy Analyst (CEA) performs a site survey of an existing home and identifies all energy consuming equipment; Lighting, HVAC and Appliances. The CEA also measures the home and determines R-values and U-values for the existing building envelope. Performing a general ducting and systems visual inspection, looking at hot water tank blankets and insulation, hot water re-circ systems etc. The CEA may also decide that a duct blower test or door blower test, usually done by a HERS-rater may be required to determine the tightness of the building and ducting leakage.
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Title 24 and HERS: The Only Two Key Project Roles

Posted on 25. May, 2009 by .

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We often get asked, “Who does what with Energy Compliance?” with regard to new residential construction and existing residential remodels. The traditional roles of Architect, Building Contractor, and Sub Contractors are well understood. But, as energy efficiency has become more regulated and the documentation required by the California Energy Efficiency Code (Title 24) has become more complicated…

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Alan Achieves HERS Rater Certification

Posted on 25. May, 2009 by .

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Our editor, Alan Hugenot, who is also Director of Energy Compliance at Mark English Architects, is now a Certified HERS Rater with CalCERTS. This now allows him to verify the energy efficiency of the heating and cooling installations on completed projects. And this provides our Title 24 clients with ONE STOP SHOPPING when it comes to energy efficiency.

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Residential Wind Energy

Residential Wind Energy

Posted on 18. May, 2009 by .

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Currently, a client in rural Oregon, who owns a windy butte, is looking at installing a major sized wind generator on the mountain top, and selling power back to the grid. All of that sounds like fun, but what about a normal residential client who wants to look at wind generation? [...]

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