Diagnostic testing can be a wonderful way to assess the current conditions in your building in order to solve an existing problem or to plan for future projects - or both.
With that said, it is not essential to have a Comprehensive Energy Audit prior to a project. It does, however, make sense to involve a Building Scientist anytime you experience a problem in your building - from moisture to rodents and from ice dams to air quality. Incorporating the expertise of a Building Scientist into any project - whether current or early in the planning stages - ensures that all the aspects of your project are performed to achieve the comfort, efficiency, durability,health, safety and resilience you deserve. . We currently offer the following tests:
Indoor Air Quality Diagnostics - If you or other building occupants experience health symptoms while indoors, it makes sense to perform a set of tests that include: accumulated gases, boroscope*, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, gas leak test, moisture, relative humidity, particle counts, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) as well as a Blower Door Pressure test, Building Air Flow Standard calculations and assessment of existing passive & mechanical ventilation. This set of tests includes a report with recommendations for remediation. The cost of testing varies depending on what is necessary. Please contact us for pricing.
Blower Door Pressure Diagnostics - This test is helpful in determining how much air from the outside in coming into your building as well as how much heated or cooled air is leaving your building - in order to reduce drafts, improve comfort, reduce utility bills and improve efficiency.
Duct Pressure Leakage Test - This test is now required by Building Code Enforcement Officers when a new heating or cooling system is installed that utilizes duct work. This is a lengthy test that requires the use of a Blower Door in addition to a Duct Blaster.
Gas Leak Test/Accumulated Gases (propane & methane) Test - Whether you want to check gas lines, tanks, cooking appliance or check on accumulated gases in a building, we have a test that can determine if there is a gas leak so that it can be fixed promptly.
Formaldehyde Test - It is common for Formaldehyde to be present in binding agents and glues that are used by manufacturers in a wide array of products. Formaldehyde from resins used in construction can produce thirst, headaches, dizziness, apathy, and inability to concentrate. headaches, dizziness, disturbed sleep, weakness, and apathy. Airborne formaldehyde concentrations released from paper treated with urea-formaldehyde or melamine-formaldehyde resin were found to produce an annoying odor, constant prickling irritation of mucous membranes, wheezing, tearing, excessive thirst, and disturbed sleep. Formaldehyde in fabrics produced increased eye and upper respiratory tract irritation.
Comfort Assessment - The "Virtual" Comfort Assessment is informal yet very informative. Using the video conferencing platform Zoom, we have an in-depth conversation with you about your building. We utilize our vast knowledge and experience to assess your unique situation. The "Virtual" Comfort Assessment includes an assessment of the conditions within the building based on our conversation with you as well as review of your energy utility usage data. This package includes a set of recommendations to solve the problem(s) you are concerned with and a written estimate. This audit does not include diagnostic testing. You can expect the "Virtual" Audit to take about one hour and is offered at no charge. Call Chris or Melinda at (845) 338-3864 to schedule an appointment.
The "Comprehensive" Comfort Assessment includes a complete visual inspection of the building along with a full array of diagnostic testing. In addition to a full inspection of all building systems - we will perform the following tests:
Boroscope (*as needed)
Gas Leak Test
Vent Fan Testing
Blower Door Pressure Diagnostics (*prior to the start of a project)
You can expect to receive a set of recommendations to solve the problem(s) you are concerned with in a custom Building Science Report. You can expect the "Comprehensive" Comfort Assessment to take three (3) or four (4) hours and ask that the key decision makers be present. The cost of this audit, data collection, diagnostic testing and Building Science Report is $500 to $750 depending on the size and complexity of the building.
About Comfort Assessments & COVID-19: Due to the impact of the virus and the ensuing pandemic, we embrace a "low touch/no touch" operation as much as possible. Any Comprehensive Comfort Assessment we conduct should be performed with minimal contact with the property owner. Our staff takes every precaution necessary to keep you and our staff safe. We ask that you wear a mask, maintain a safe distance and talk with us outside whenever possible.
Diagnostic Testing and Building Science Principles may also be used to diagnose an array of issues in buildings where traditional solutions have failed.
No matter what your project entails, it is always beneficial to include a
Professional Building Scientist in your plans and projects.