SK Collaborative, a construction consulting firm that helps industry experts to achieve green building certification for their residential and commercial projects, did a recent study that finds value in a third-party inspection. The company analyzed ten new construction and renovation projects that were recently completed for multifamily affordable housing in Georgia.
Around five of these projects also strived to obtain a green building certification called the ICC-700 National Green Building Standard® (NGBS). This voluntary green building program requires a third-party inspection for a verified certification. During the study, many facts were found that showed the importance of third-party inspections.
A third-party inspector might find problems that have been overlooked. During the study of the inspection process, several deficiencies and failures came to light. A prime example found during the process was insulation failures. During the inspection, a builder or trade contractor can actually correct the problem on-site. When this occurs, the failures will not show up on the final inspection report.
Of the five projects inspected for the green building certification around seven failures were found during mid-construction and six failures were found at the final inspection. Of the failures found, many were building code failures. These included missing or incomplete envelope air sealing and poorly installed or completely missing insulation. Failures specific to the green building requirements included poorly installed HVAC ductwork (excessive bends and crimps), non-specified HVAC filter installed, no rodent or pest screens over ventilation openings, and missing dampers on bath exhaust ductwork.
The remaining projects that were not trying to obtain a green building certificate, also had inspections done to meet the state Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) and also had issues. During the mid-construction inspection, three failures were found and only one failure at the final inspection.
A third-party inspection can eliminate many long-term issues. Failures such as improper insulation or air sealing installation can produce high utility bills and an uncomfortable environment in homes. Remember to always use a third-party inspector who can find and help remedy long-term problems.
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