Home Performance Contracting

Home Performance Contracting is the area of the contracting business that involves
the application of building science principles to construction of residential and small
to medium commercial buildings. This is a relatively new area, as these concepts have
only recently started to find a foothold in construction practice and in the market, due to
increased environmental concerns, including global warming and the need to find alterna-
tive energy sources.

It involves viewing the building as a set of interacting systems that work together to produce
an environment for living and working. Each of these systems has an influence on some or all
of the others. Typically, this has not been the approach builders have taken. each trade installs its
systems and components.

For an existing building, the process often starts with a Home Performance Assessment, to identify the systems, subsystems, and various elements thereof; to evaluate their operation; and to find opportunities for improvement, especially with regard to energy use. The assessment may be a full evaluation, or a more limited one, depending on the budget and objectives of the owner. But even if only one component or system is being repaired or replaced, its effect on the rest of the building can be considered; such considerations may well modify the work and/or components to improve overall building performance after the work more than it would have otherwise improved.

For new construction including remodels, the architects and designers have to incorporate the building science principles into the design. Many of them are aware of some of the principles of "green" building, but do not have a comprehensive understanding of building science--it was not taught in school until recently.

Green Building Solutions has made a substantial investment in specialty equipment and tools so that we can perform an in-depth assessment of the systems and components in any building. We have also made a substantial investment in training to use the tools and interpret the results, and continue with ongoing continuing education. We are usually able to suggest ways to improve energy efficiency, comfort, and safety, while building in durability.

We are one of a small number of local contractors who have gained experience in improving building performance, reducing energy usage, and solving comfort issues. Obviously, the knowledge of how to do this is not widespread. But now, trained home performance contractors have the ability to cost-effectively reduce a home's energy consumption 25% to as much as 75%.

Many of the upgrades that improve building performance are not visible like new granite countertops. But they may have a much more dramatic effect on your quality of life and your expenses in operating and maintaining your home or office building. In the workplace, they may significantly improve productivity.

Money Saving Tip:

Tune up your heating and air conditioning system.
Regular maintenance can lower your operating costs and
extend the service life of your equipment. And do you
change your air filters regularly? Use a programmable
thermostat? Taking small steps such as these can
make your wallet as well as your home greener.

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