Plan Review

Incorporating high-performance details into design documents…

“I wish we had come to you before we built.”

We hear this so often. Don’t let it be you. Let us mark up your construction documents and provide recommendations for improvements – before you build. Our suggestions may surprise you. For even the most conventional house there typically are framing, air-sealing, and HVAC details that provide energy-saving opportunities at no added construction cost. For high performance houses, design, water heating, glazing, advanced HVAC, or passive solar features may have a role. In all cases, we make sure you have the most cost-effective strategies for energy efficiency, comfort, and health.

We are happy to work with the homeowner, designer, or contractor at any phase of the project. Contact us at the very beginning of the design phase to take advantage of the most effective and affordable green building strategies.

Prices start at $200. This base fee covers houses of 2500 or fewer conditioned square feet (conditioned basements are counted). Add five cents per square foot for additional floor area in excess of 2500.

For qualifying plans, we offer the “Designed to earn ENERGY STAR” mark. This requires an energy model – see below.

Energy Modeling – add $200 to other review fees
Calculate the savings impact of different energy efficiency strategies for your house – before building! Using software approved by the US Dept. of Energy, we create a computer-based simulation that models the energy use of the house. After establishing the as-built or as-designed base case, we can “test-drive” strategies such as upgrading windows, improving insulation, improving HVAC design, upgrading HVAC equipment, upgrading appliances, etc. With local utility rates programmed in, the software calculates the real dollar savings achieved by these options – helping homeowners and builders make the best decisions to lower the total cost of ownership.

The software also establishes the home’s relative efficiency (HERS index). This index is required for energy efficient mortgages (EEMs – see www.dsireusa.org) and to establish elegibibliy for the $2000 new home Federal tax credit – payable to the builder (see www.dsireusa.org).

The base fee of $200 covers houses of 2500 or fewer conditioned square feet (conditioned basements are counted). Add five cents per square foot for additional floor area in excess of 2500. For new houses, the modeling fee is added to the cost of a plan review. For existing houses, a walk-through audit and blower door and duct blaster tests are necessary first steps. Add $150 for the “Designed to earn ENERGY STAR” mark (for qualifying houses).

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