This time, we will look at the third part of how the EarthCraft Multifamily (ECMF) process works. This part of the ECMF process will cover steps 12-17. Again, portions of this description are pulled directly from the latest EarthCraft Multifamily Manual.

Step 12 - Pre-Drywall Inspection Submittal
In part 2, we ended with the EarthCraft Pre-Drywall (PDW) Inspections. After each inspection is completed the TA will need to prepare reports covering the details of the inspections. These reports will be divided by the individual categories.

Copies of the reports will be submitted to the owner/developer, project manager, and site superintendent. These persons will be responsible to distribute copies to any other appropriate persons. Each person should review the report and contact their TA if any questions arise.

Step 13 - Final Inspections
Every unit on all EarthCraft Multifamily projects must pass a final inspection conducted by an ECMF TA. When the first building or section (for larger, one building projects) is ready for finals, the TA should be called in for inspection.

The TA will:
  1. Review appliances, mechanical equipment, fans, etc. are properly installed.
  2. Confirm items on the EarthCraft worksheet.
  3. Gather any documentation not already received.
  4. Perform diagnostic testing on units.

Now, a special note here: With multifamily projects, it is the goal of TA's to perform final diagnostic testing using the RESNET Sampling Protocol. In short, seven units will be tested sequentially. If they all pass, then the project immediately qualifies for sampling. After qualifying, the remainder of the units will be tested at a rate of 15% (i.e. 1 in 7). A mix of each unit type and configuration will be chosen randomly. The units chosen will not be announced prior to the inspections.

If a unit fails during sample testing, that unit will be required to be corrected. Also, additional diagnostic testing will be required on all same type units in that building or section.

If one of the first even fails, then that unit must be corrected and the seven count starts again. If more than two units fail while attempting to qualify the project for sample testing, the project will not be qualified for sampling.

This brings up the importance for the TA, General Contractor, and sub-contractors to work together to assure that problems are minimized (if not completely eliminated). Additional costs are incurred for the time and material to make corrections as well as fees for the additional testing.

There is so much more to this subject that it will soon receive its own individual article.

Step 14 - Confirmed Energy Models or Prescriptive Path Compliance
Each ECMF project will follow one of two paths for certification: The Performance Path to Certification or the Prescriptive Path to Certification. Both are viable options but require slightly different measurement standards.

Performance Path: This path requires that a RESNET HERS energy model be developed and used as part of the certification. Certain scores must be met that will vary from unit type to unit type and project to project. An initial energy model will have been developed so the goal is known prior to the beginning of the project.

Prescriptive Path: The EarthCraft worksheet has a tab for the Prescriptive Path. To qualify under this path for certification, every item that applies to the project must be met. Generally, my experience is that approximately 70% of the projects I work with take this path.

This step is completely covered by the TA.

Step 15 - Final Inspection Report Submittal
This step is pretty simple. After the first final inspections and diagnostic tests are completed, the TA is to report the results within the five business days.

This step is completely covered by the TA.

Step 16 - Certification Submittal
After all inspections are completed and all documentation is collected, it is time to make the submittal to EarthCraft for the final certification. This should be done within 30 business days after the last final inspections and diagnostic tests are completed.

This submittal includes (but is not limited to):
  1. Final EarthCraft Worksheet
  2. EarthCraft Worksheet cover signed by the appropriate persons
  3. Appropriate documents for Prescriptive or Performance Path compliance
Unless the TA needs to gather any missing documentation, this process completely belongs to the TA.

Step 17 - Certification
This is the step that we will have all spent quite a large amount of time to reach. At this point, all of the teamwork has paid off. Some will have spent large amounts of money. Others will have spent quite large amounts of effort. We will all be able to look around at the completed project and take a little pride knowing that we were all part of it coming together.

Once the certification is completed, the TA will deliver the certification to the owner/developer.

Thank you for your time reading through these steps of EarthCraft Multifamily Certification. Feel free to ask any questions or make any comments below.

Categories: EarthCraftMultifamily

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