Building Success: Helpful Hints for Collaboration and Quality Control on the Job Site

There’s been a large spike of multifamily development in Chicago recently. Between January’s  IECC 2015  launch and the sustainability criteria for affordable housing expanding in November, Fall 2015 saw increases in proposed new construction projects before the deadlines. This makes for a busy building season in 2016. With that in mind, Eco Achievers is here to offer some helpful hints on quality control at the job site. Impress your HUD-contractor and building inspectors this year by avoiding some of these typical project “snafus!”

The Edge: World Example of Sustainable Building Design from OVG Real Estate.

The Edge: World Example of Sustainable Building Design from OVG Real Estate.

Eco Achievers encourages project teams to incorporate their green building specialists (like us) early in the design process to ensure certification, energy code, and quality-control requirements are met ahead of time. Our goal is to prepare you for upcoming requirements and performance metrics so that costly post-remedy maneuvers are avoided. We want you to succeed!  When we’re brought in late in the game, we often discover deficient-quality work, which increases labor and material costs, puts certification in jeopardy, and adds a sizeable headache for everyone on board.

As interest in green building grows, especially with added financial incentives, we’re finding ourselves in a situation where the number of skilled construction workers and laborers to do the job is lagging. The questions we face now are how can we grow the number of skilled workers in the residential building industry, and how do we adequately bridge the knowledge gap between veterans in the industry and our new, stricter building requirements? How do we avoid previously accepted practices that may now be considered “deficient?” Training resources from ENERGY STAR, IL DCEO, and others are leading the way, but more needs to be done.

Our colleague, Carl Seville, a green builder, consultant, and educator with SK Collaborative, wrote a recent article for greenbuildingadvisor.com about the slow adoption of needed skills and the lack of communication within project teams. In “Desperately Seeking Quality,” Seville lists some of the building woes that he comes across regularly, with a plea to project teams for better training, oversight, and quality control. On the same token, BuilderOnline.com writer, Jennifer Goodman, shared another great article; “Building Inspectors’ Top Nine Construction Snafus,” with a number of issues that building scientists frequently see  on the job site.

Infrared image of a duct diffuser covered by drywall

Just a few weeks ago, we made an interesting discovery of our own: a drywaller inadvertently sealed over a ceiling duct register. No wonder this unit was failing leakage requirements!

 

Builders, Architects, Engineers: check out these articles and let us know what you see on-site, too! What are issues that your team comes across in a green building project? How can the developer and their site superintendents work with subcontractors on accountability and quality control? Any advice to developers, architects, or building engineers?

 

Eco Achievers can help you design and strategize your  new and existing multifamily projects and single family homes . We conduct diagnostic testing and building energy analyses  to determine how to best reduce infiltration and mechanical loads, how to increase fresh air and energy efficiency, and then how to help prioritize capital improvements to maximize your building's net operating income. Let’s lay out all the bumps early in the design process, so that your project and team members achieve success the whole way through.

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