Consulting and Field Services
Our expectations of home have changed considerably from the early 1900’s to our modern day. See the above aesthetic differences. Now think about how our notion of comfort, durability, safety, health, and efficiency has changed and how we have had to change the way we approach building to achieve our new expectations. Applied building science and system thinking have and are transforming how we approach building and BUILDTank is helping to lead the way.
Applied Building Science
Fieldwork, Consulting, Education
Analyst . Synergist . Catalyst
BUILDTank is a Colorado and Denver based pragmatic building think tank specializing in actionable applied building science solutions. Our services have been designed to help our clients build homes that perform to move our industry forward.
Before Construction Services
Building consulting can and has taken many forms, but one thing has always proven to be true. Start a conversation early to take full advantage of an applied building science performance-based perspective. We have helped determine project objectives, specifications, and expectations, as well as, enclosure details, scopes of work documents, and plan review. When building a house your opportunity cost is high because you only have one chance to get what's behind the drywall correct. Consulting or just having a conversation it the catalyst to a successful project outcome.
Recently adopted municipal energy codes, in the the Denver Metro area, Colorado and the country at large, has increased the rigor of what is expected of architects, builders, and trade partners during the construction of houses. At BUILDTank, we specialize in using the Simulated
Performance path, now called Building Performance compliance, for energy code compliance to help our client achieve the most cost-effective performance possible. We are also well versed in 3rd party compliance requirements for programs such as Energy Star, DOE Zero Energy Ready, Indoor Air Plus, and Passive House. Marrying code and program compliance seamlessly and cost effectively increases performance and satisfaction with the homes you are building.
Energy modeling is used in the consulting and permitting phases of house construction to help understand proposed building performance before the house is built to optimize cost effective energy specification that meet the objectives for the project. Modeling results can also be used to demonstrate compliance with energy codes and building programs. It is then used to confirm or true the proposed modeling with data gathered during and after the building process, to predict actual performance and provide documentation for code or program compliance as well as a RESNET Home Energy Rating Index score.
Builder, architect, trade partner coordination is critical for successful applied building science, sustainable, and high-performance building. When BUILDTank facilitates a kickoff meeting our goal is first to ensure all understand the goals of the project, whether it’s code compliance, program certification, or better performance. We will discuss expectations of 3rd party verification, building science and build a dialog so all participating get there questions answered or are comfortable contacting us to ask questions when needed. What is great about this industry is that we learn something new everyday and often our education come through this opportunity to dialog with the diverse group that is building a specific project.
Relaying the objectives for a house on a set of plans is not easy. Especially a house that must be code compliant and perform, as code does not always ensure performance aligns with the objectives for the house. BUILDTank’s design and plan review service is based on an applied building science and systems thinking perspective to better ensure performance. From continuous control layer (moisture, air, thermal) to code or program compliance requirements, to construction details, HVAC design review and more, our review adds a second set of eyes to a complex design and corresponding plan set.
During Construction Services
You get what you inspect not what you expect. BUILDTank’s site observations are customized to your needs, and usually take place during the construction process and just prior to obtaining the certificate of occupancy. To limit any impact to the construction schedule, communication is critical, which is one reason we recommend starting the consulting process early to build our relationship and properly set expectations on both sides. Our compliance and quality assurance site observations use an applied building science perspective and focus on water management and flashing details, framing, insulation, air barrier, HVAC installation, and more.
Sometimes existing or a newly built house just does not seem to work, or it continually fails to meet the owner’s expectation. BUILDTank provides 3rd party building science-based evaluation which may be just what is needed to determine if a fix is possible, practical, economical, or needed.
Diagnostic testing (blower door and duct leakage testing for example) coupled with BUILDTank's site observations allows us to not only verify what has been specified to be installed in a home has been, but that what has been installed in the home is performing as expected. Is it there and does it work? Diagnostic testing includes, blower door and duct leakage testing, HVAC flow, ventilation, room, and house pressure measurements, temperature, and humidity measurements, and more.
Many codes and program now have specific performance metrics that must be 3rd party verified, but this information is also critical to better ensure that the house will perform as designed, and as a quality assurance mechanism, to better ensure there is an opportunity to fix something if needed when it can actually be fixed.
PHIUS (Passive House Institute US, Inc.)
The term passive house is something of a misnomer. It is not a passive solar design standard but rather a holistic applied building science based strategy used to build homes that use 40-60 percent less energy for space conditioning than conventional buildings and possibly Net Zero Energy. PHIUS+ buildings provide superior indoor air quality, resilience during power outages, and an extremely quiet, comfortable indoor environment.
A successful Passive House project begins with a project team. BUILDTank would be a member of that team and need to be brought on early in the design process before vertical construction begins.
Program Compliance and Builder Incentives
BUILDTank can certify homes under the requirements of the programs listed here. Contact us with questions or Click the logo for more information.
In addition, we can help you comply with the 45L Federal Tax Credit and local Xcel Energy, Black Hills, and Colorado Springs Utility Builder incentives.
Certifications and Builder Incentives
Program certification can be worthwhile to pursue as a systematic approach to achieve performance goals that also brings significant marketing benefit. BUILDTank can certify Doe Zero Energy Ready, EnergyStar, and EPA Indoor airPlus homes. In addition, we can qualify homes for the Federal L45 tax credit and all local utility builder incentive programs.
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Let's make something together.