Building Science Consulting
Our dedicated team of building science experts takes the complexity and guesswork out of evaluating energy efficiency in new and existing structures.
RSR offers energy modeling services of planned or existing commercial and residential structures. Our experienced team has modeled hundreds of structures to evaluate their predicted energy usage.
By energy modeling a structure, RSR can predict energy savings resulting from the physical details vs. a code-built structure, offering the possibility to impact its energy consumption early in the process. Design revision recommendations may include building orientation, window size or placement improvements, lighting revisions, or changes to the mechanicals or HVAC components.
Energy modeling also provides the necessary documentation needed to qualify for energy ratings, energy credits or certification programs and standards such as ENERGY STAR®.
Poor indoor air quality can have a significant impact on health, safety, comfort, and energy costs. Often air quality issues trace back to duct leakage, where untreated and unclean air from attics, additions, and floors is drawn inside the home through leaky ducts. This unintentional leakage may cause air contamination as well as varying temperatures throughout the building, leading to higher energy bills.
Duct leakage testing became required with the 2012 IECC release and has been included in both the 2015 and 2018 IECC. Many State codes will also require this test if they are based on the 2012 or later IECC.
Duct leakage testing assesses the tightness of the entire duct system by measuring forced air heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) ductwork. During a total duct leakage test, RSR helps builders and their contractors identify areas where leakage is noted so ducts can be properly sealed to avoid indoor air quality problems.
Whatever the climate, insulation defects have a significant impact on the comfort and energy efficiency of all structures. Thermal imaging is used to assess heat loss in new or existing structures by measuring or testing the effectiveness of air sealing and insulation.
During a build, thermal imaging helps auditors determine if a home needs additional insulation and air sealing. Thermal scans are often performed in conjunction with duct leakage testing to pinpoint heat loss and air leaks within the structure.
Our dedicated team of building science experts takes the complexity and guesswork out of evaluating energy efficiency in new construction. During the rating process, RSR raters and building science consultants identify improvements and recommendations for builders to address construction issues before it’s too late in the building process. Through the use of our proprietary HouseRater apps, this quality assurance process provides photo documentation and verification to ensure proper building practices have been implemented.
Whatever climate you live in, insulation defects have a significant impact on the comfort and costs associated with home energy efficiency. RSR analyzes thermal scans to assess heat loss in homes by visually documenting the effectiveness of air sealing and insulation.
A staple of new construction testing is measuring the tightness of a building. Properly sealed ductwork helps avoid indoor air quality problems and assures that heated or cooled air gets to the intended rooms, helping reduce energy costs. RSR raters and auditors are experts at performing all field tests, including the use of a blower door to measure both the tightness of a structure and the amount of air exchanged between conditioned and unconditioned areas. Results of these tests are directly related to household energy use.
RSR’s building science experts can help you find the perfect balance of advanced building practices and energy efficiency that buyers want and will pay for.
Quality assurance site visits at key points during construction maximize energy savings potential and provide detailed reporting resulting in standardized best building practices for builders. This allows building science consultants to identify improvements and recommendations for builders to address construction issues before it’s too late in the building process. This Quality Assurance process also provides photo documentation and verification to ensure proper building practices have been implemented.
As the experts in building science and energy efficiency, RSR lets our work speak for us. That means providing clear, detailed documentation and recommendations for every service we provide. Whether it’s Code Stickers, builder construction processes, or detailed program guides, you will have the necessary documentation on energy efficiency to ensure rebates, code compliance, and verifiable documentation for your buyers.
When building or remodeling a home, costs can multiply pretty quickly. Fortunately, enrolling in energy efficiency programs like ENERGY STAR® can provide builders significant tax rebates and even help homeowners qualify for a low-cost energy efficiency mortgage. To make sure builders qualify for those tax rebates and mortgages, an in-depth energy performance assessment – the full home energy rating – is necessary.
Conducted by contracted RESNET® Home Energy Raters, energy ratings are measured by a HERS® Index Score. This score is an index showing how the home ranks in terms of energy efficiency when compared to a standard code-built home. A certified RESNET Home Energy Rater uses the HERS Index as a way to compress over 200 collected data points into an easy to understand single number rating.
The rating process during a new home build includes framing, post-insulation, and final inspections to assure that subcontractors are following best practices and that the house performs to expectations. The inspection includes a thermal camera review, blower-door testing, and duct leakage testing to determine areas of possible air and moisture leakage.
Not only does RSR have RESNET® Training Provider status, but RSR also provides raters and auditors with ongoing building science and code compliance education and training. RSR’s proprietary software is updated regularly to meet new standards and codes.
But energy efficiency doesn’t just depend or stop with a home rating. Homeowners and builders who want to implement energy efficient best practices to meet and exceed energy codes need training too. That’s why RSR provides training tailored specifically to the needs of raters, property owners, and homebuilders, empowering them to make the best possible energy efficiency decisions.
As accredited HERS® trainers, we help raters pass the RESNET Rater Test and learn to use REM/Rate, Ekotrope or NREL modeling software as well as the HouseRater platform. But energy efficiency doesn’t just stop when a home is rated.
Homeowners and builders who need to implement energy efficient best practices and build to energy efficient codes need training too! That’s why we provide training specific to the needs of raters, property owners, and homebuilders. You can feel at ease knowing you have the expertise, certifications, and years of field experience behind every energy efficient decision you make for your home.
Building Science 101 – The New Minnesota Energy Code Made Easy
Target Audience: Builder Agents, Builders, Remodelers, Project Managers, Purchasers. Help your buyers understand that the extra cost of requirements in the 2015 MN Energy Code can be offset by energy savings AND make them more comfortable in their new homes.
Building Performance Institute RBE-WHALCI
Target Audience: Insulation contractors needing certification by the Building Performance Institute as an Air Leakage Control Installer. A hands-on and oral test preparation for the RBE-WHALCI Certification. RSR provides the training and administers the test.
Free Money – Maximizing Utility Program Rebates and Tax Credits
Target Audience: Builders, Builder Agents, Construction Managers, Purchasers, HVAC Contractors, Architects. Learn how to understand and implement the application of rebates for your new home or remodel projects.
Marketing Energy Efficiency – Selling High Performance Homes
Target Audience: Builders, Builder Agents, Real Estate Agents. This class provides builders and their agents with the language and tools to tell and to show buyers how choosing energy efficient upgrades and even going beyond code in a new home will provide not just energy savings, but will increase the comfort, livability, and resale opportunity of their new home.
Target Audience: Builders, Builder employees (field and office), Builder Agents. Tell us what you need! Whether it’s to meet the new 2015 Minnesota Energy Code, how to improve scheduling to make sure all requirements are completed in a timely manner, or helping your employees understand the importance of construction details. We will make it work for you.