- Infrared Services
- Builder Services & Code Compliance
- Homeowner Services
Infrared Diagnostic has been supplying Code Compliance Services and HERS rater services to Massachusetts builders and homeowners since 2007. Energy efficiency requirements in the building code have changed over the years. We know what needs to happen to make your project go through the system smoothly, keeping you on-schedule and on-budget.
What Code Are You Under?
As of Jan 1, 2017, there is one base energy code in Massachusetts: the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) 2015 Code with Massachusetts amendments. In addition, some towns and communities have elected to adopt the “Stretch Energy Code.” Which one your new home falls under depends on what program your town has chosen to participate in. If you are building in a “Green Energy Community”, for example, then you have to meet the requirements of the Stretch Energy Code.
If your community has not adopted the Stretch Energy Code, you’ll need to meet the requirements of the 2015 IECC with the Massachusetts amendments. A blower door test and a duct leakage test, carried out by a HERS rater, are required. Choosing the “performance” option instead of the “prescriptive” option under the IECC, will provide greater flexibility on how to meet the energy code requirements.
If your community has adopted the Stretch Energy Code through Green Community Act, you’ll need to have a HERS rater carry out energy modeling on your house plans to confirm that the design will meet an Energy Rating Index (ERI) of 55 or less. This is also known as the HERS rating.
Infrared Diagnostic regularly works with architects, designers, builders and homeowners to ensure compliance. For many of our clients, we also apply for (and process) MassSave for Residential New Construction Program rebates and incentives
What’s the Code Compliance Process?
Under the Stretch Energy Code, the builder or homeowner gets plans from the designer. Before going to the planning office to get the building permit, they work with Infrared Diagnostic to provide energy modeling. The house has to have an ERI Index (HERS score) of 55 or less on paper to proceed with construction.
After the construction is underway, Infrared Diagnostic is then brought in for insulation and air sealing inspections, HVAC duct leak testing, blower door testing and mechanical ventilation commissioning. When the house passes all inspections and testing, Infrared Diagnostic provides the final sign off on compliance.
The builder or owner then takes the certificate to a building inspector to get the occupancy permit!
In areas that aren’t under the Stretch Energy Code, HVAC duct leak testing, blower door testing and mechanical ventilation verification are still required. While you don’t have to use energy modeling, a HERS rating and score give you much more flexibility on how you build house.
As an alternative to the 2015 IECC code requirements, homeowners, builders and developers may choose to meet the energy code requirements by certifying the home under the ENERGY STAR 3.1 program.