We would like to bring to our builder and subcontractor’s attention some issues that could occur in the field regarding HERS Verification. The 2016 Energy Code has implemented more and/or tighter regulations when it comes to compliance. Subcontractors need to pay even more attention to the detail of the field installation team. Here are a few suggested items you may want to address with your team:
- Air Flow Testing: Subcontractors may have issues passing which sometimes is because of the zone system not being adjusted properly. Please make sure your team is pre-testing.
- Refrigeration Charge (RCM): Make sure the subcontractors are testing the system prior to the third-party inspectors coming out to verify.
- Equipment Installation: Make sure the correct equipment is being installed in the correct units and matches the CF1R per plan type.
- High Quality Insulation Installation: It is becoming common for projects under the 2016 Code to now have a QII verification on the project’s mandatory compliance. The installation must have no voids or gaps and fill the cavity side-to-side, top-to-bottom, and front-to-back. The inspection requires two site visits from the HERS Verification company. One verification is prior to drywall (rough stage) and the other is near final (during all the other verification measures). Please make sure your team is calling us out prior to drywall and following the QII checklist.
- Signing off on the CF Forms: DuctTesters is a hands-on Energy Consulting Company. We work with, help, train, and follow up with the subcontractors filling out and signing off on the paperwork. Installers are responsible for 100% (each and every home) of respective CF2R documents. There are some areas where trades cross over and issues arise as to who will sign off for what. Please note that a builder can always sign off if there are subcontractors refusing to comply. There are items such as a whole house fan where one company supplies it and another installs it. There are also areas where QII crosses into drywall and/or framing. Please try to address items prior to work starting by holding a pre-construction meeting and/or list subcontractor cross over area items in scopes of work. The forms in the mandatory provider database sometimes only allow one company to sign off on the install. Here are some suggestions of who should sign what form:
Below will have both CF2R & CF3R to complete and sign off:
|Subcontractor Responsible||HERS Measure||Form|
|HVAC||Duct Leakage||MECH 20a|
|HVAC||Air Flow||MECH 23|
|HVAC||Fan Watt||MECH 22|
|HVAC or Electrician||Indoor Air Quality||MECH 27|
|HVAC||Refrigerant Verification||MECH 25|
|HVAC||Low Leakage Air Handler (LLAH)||MECH 20c|
|Insulation||Quality Insulation Inspection (QII)||ENV 21, 22, 23|
Below will only have CF2R to complete and sign off:
|Insulation||ENV 02, 03|
|Roofer / Framer
(for attic eave vents & radiant barrier)
|Electrician or Lighting||LGT 01|
Builders back charge subcontractors for not passing HERS inspections the first time which requires a HERS Verification return trip to pass the second time. It also can hold up a builder’s project to reschedule the subcontractor to fix the mistake and to reschedule the HERS Verification return trip. HERS Inspections are contracted with the builder under sampling protocol. Although we spot check, we process sample groups and provide CF3R documents for each and every home. Our hands are tied if non-compliance is not resolved and/or if installer CF2R documents are not completed.
CF1R: Certificate of Compliance (Permit Application)
- The Project’s Energy Code Design Requirements / Permit Application
- Provided with Plans or Equipment Schedule
- Submitted to Building Department for Permit
- Must be Signed by All Parties Responsible for Building Design & Registered with Approved HERS Provider
- Submitted to Enforcement Agency
CF2R: Certificate of Installation (Installation & Installer Inspection)
- Construction and Installer Verification Testing
- Forms Signed and Submitted by Installing Subcontractor or Builder During Construction Verifying Installations and Installation Testing
- Posted at Building Site
- Reviewed by Building Inspector
- Mandatory Measures Found within these Forms
CF3R: Certificate of Verification – HERS (HERS Verification)
- The Third-Party Verification (HERS) Sign Off After All of the Above Are Completed
- Verification Provided by a Certified HERS Rater
- Field Inspections
We know everyone takes pride in their work and we are here to conduct “QUALITY ENERGY CONSULTING WITH THE TESTING TO PROVE IT.” We are part of your team and are here to help you get the job done right.
Below are free materials to help your team:
- Instructional Videos: https://www.calcerts.com/instructional-videos/
- Resources (checklists, trigger sheets, application guides): http://energycodeace.com/resources
- 2016 Residential Compliance Forms: http://www.energy.ca.gov/2015publications/CEC-400-2015-032/appendices/forms/
- 2016 Non-Residential Compliance Forms: http://www.energy.ca.gov/2015publications/CEC-400-2015-033/appendices/forms/
***DuctTesters put together “the above suggestions”. Please note that DuctTesters is not an attorney nor responsible for verbiage written in outside company scopes of work and/or contracts. Please consult with your company’s attorney and/or contract/scope writer. Above is merely suggested and in no way pointing out one or any current companies doing anything wrong.
The California Energy Commission (CEC) has set a standard for the way insulation should be installed in a home called High Quality Insulation Installation (QII). In order to meet QII, insulated framing areas need to resist thermal bridging of the assembly separating conditioned from unconditioned space. This visual inspection is conducted by a “third party” called a certified HERS Rater. The HERS Rater (HERS Verifier or HERS Verification) confirms the insulation was installed almost perfectly, allowing the home to perform per the insulation manufacturer’s specifications. In addition, the HERS rater verifies that compliance meets or exceeds the project’s Title 24 Design or the CF-1R. QII verification almost always requires two visits to conduct full verification. The first visit is usually held at rough stage (before drywall) and the other is held after.
A few of the items inspected for QII include:
- the insulation holds the proper R-value and type listed
- there are no gaps or voids between the framing or insulation
- there is no insulation compression where restricted from achieving full thickness
- pipes and wires are in cavities where insulation occurs and are covered with non-compressed insulation in front and back
- an air barrier is installed at all exposed faces of batt, loose fill, and SPF insulation
- electrical boxes are carefully cut out in the insulation in order to provide a tight fit with no gaps or holes
- and more. Review the entire checklist here: CEC: Quality Insulation Installation (QII) – Insulation Installation Checklist.
If your Title 24 Design or CF-1R requires QII, be sure to contact DuctTesters (a HERS rater) at the beginning of the project. If you do not know what compliance is required for your project, also feel free to contact us. We can put a proposal together and help you from the beginning through the end of your project. DuctTesters has a team of certified HERS raters covering the entire state of CA and select areas of NV, NM, CO and AZ.
**Please note this is DuctTesters interpretation of QII. It is the responsibility of anyone utilizing this information to ensure that it is in compliance with the CEC and CA Title 24 Standards.**