Testing a building’s envelope has become a game of chasing air. While there has been a great deal of progress made in increasing a building’s energy efficiency and diagnosing deficiencies in air barriers, there’s still a lot left to do.
Because we often work with older buildings to rehabilitate existing structures, we are often dealing with energy efficiency issues and diagnosis problems. While energy audits are nothing new, there is still tons of headway to be made when it comes to commercialized spaces.
Diagnosing Energy Efficiency
Every trade, from electricians to plumbers, has their own agenda when it comes to improving energy efficiency. But, for building diagnostics to successfully work, there needs to be a more holistic approach to performing these audits. Often times, professionals come into a building diagnostics project with a specific and narrow checklist. They have their expertise and their knowledge to find the solutions to the issues they are able to identify, but not the issues they aren’t familiar with or aren’t on their checklists.
Often, the most appropriate building diagnostics tests aren’t performed until the building’s owner specifically requests a test be performed. Then, and typically only then, will the professional perform the test and work to find a solution to the energy efficiency issue.
Taking A More Holistic Approach
While the energy efficiency issues may be resolved eventually, many of the problems plaguing an existing building could be solved much more readily by taking a holistic approach. Rather than being caught up in protocols and specific checklists, testing companies should listen to their clients and look at the envelope of a building as an entire piece.
By looking at the entire building through various testing including air barrier testing, rather than single points of issue, testing companies can gain a better perspective and diagnose the larger issues.
Listening To Owner’s Concerns
Further, testing companies can better serve their clients by listening to their needs and concerns. Many owners reach out to testing companies because they have specific inefficiencies they want to address. Often, a complete system and building overhaul is not practical, so understanding the building owner’s concerns will help companies better target and test specific inefficiencies.
Setting aside specific and narrowed checklists and examining a building’s inefficiencies holistically will better benefit building owners and the building itself.
Are you looking to increase your building’s energy efficiency or diagnose building envelope issues? Building Envelope Allies provides the testing services you need to improve your building.