Today, we will look at the second part of how the EarthCraft Multifamily (ECMF) process works. The EarthCraft program manual calls for 17 steps for the Project Process. As discussed in the previous section, I added my own step to create an 18th (which was added at the beginning). This second part of the ECMF process will cover actual steps 6-11. Again, portions of this description are pulled directly from the latest EarthCraft Multifamily Manual.Step 6 - EarthCraft Design Review Report Submittal
In Part 1
, we ended with the EarthCraft Design Review. Once the Design Review is completed, the Technical Advisor has to spend some time at the computer. The TA prepares the documents from the meeting.
- Meeting Minutes: This is the first document completed and should include a summary of the discussions of the meeting. These discussions include any suggested plan modifications that may need to be incorporated to assure certification. This should also include a summary of information on construction specifications that would affect the energy model or the prescriptive compliance path. Any additional clarification concerning load calculation or ventilation requirements will also be in this report.
- Updated EarthCraft Worksheet: Sometimes, as a result of the meeting, the EarthCraft Worksheet is revised during this meeting.
- Sign-In Sheet: Each meeting attendee is asked to sign in as present at the meeting. When necessary, some attendees, are contacted via conference call. They are added to the Sign In Sheet by the TA.
Upon completion of the documents, they are filed with EarthCraft. A copy of these documents will also be submitted to the person designated by the owner to receive and distribute to the appropriate persons on the development and construction teams. Each recipient should review the documents and feel free to ask any questions if additional clarification is necessary.Step 7 - Kick-Off Meeting
This meeting is vital to the life of the EarthCraft Project. We use this time to review the project objectives one more time. Like I stated about the Design Review in Part 1
, I will be writing a complete description of this meeting in a future installment to the Learning University.
In short, this meeting is led by the TA during the early framing stage of the project’s construction. The timing is important that this be held BEFORE
the MEP’s begin their rough-in. This meeting is held on site with a quick review of the ECMF requirements and guidelines. We look at details inside one or two units to assure each team clearly understands the expectations.
The appropriate attendees for this meeting are: Owner Representative, Project Manager, Superintendent, and Project Foreman for the following trades: Mechanical, Electrical, Insulation, Air Sealing, Framing, and Plumbing.Step 8 - Kickoff Meeting Report Submittal
Again, now that this work is completed, the TA has to spend some more time at the computer. The documents for the meeting are to be prepared.
Deja Vu Moment Here:
- Meeting Minutes: This is the first document completed and should include a summary of the discussions of the meeting. One of the main emphases of this meeting is how the inspection scheduling works. We do not want to get these out of order.
- Trade Forms: One representative of General Contractor, and Each Trade is to fill out a portion of the ECMF Trade Form. This form provides documentation of presence at this meeting as well as info the TA will need for future contact as necessary.
- Acknowledgement Forms: If they have not been submitted, by this point, the mechanical engineer for the project should have submitted the Fresh Air and Load Calculation Acknowledgement Forms. They are filled out online and go directly to EarthCraft and the TA.
Upon completion of the documents, they are filed with EarthCraft. A copy of these documents will also be submitted to the person designated by the owner to receive and distribute to the appropriate persons on the development and construction teams. Each recipient should review the documents and feel free to ask any questions if additional clarification is necessary.
As we move forward to Steps 9-11, we start dealing with the major inspections for ECMF. Like the Design Review and Construction-Kickoff, future articles at the Learning University will more completely describe the major inspections. For now, we will just hit the high-lites.Step 9 - Air Sealing Inspections
This is the first of the Pre-Drywall (PDW) Inspections. Each individual unit MUST
pass an Air Sealing Inspection conducted by an ECMF-TA. (From the Manual) “This inspection occurs before insulation is installed to inspect for required air sealing measures including plumbing and electrical penetrations, window and door rough openings, chases, band area and exterior sheathing penetrations, etc.” Photos will be taken during this time.
When performing this inspection, I like to have a team walking the inspection that is prepared to make any air sealing corrections as we go. This allow us to complete and pass a unit so the project can keep moving forward. Later follow-up on punch lists only creates unnecessary delays to the project. This inspection MUST
be completed before insulation is installed.
At the end of the inspection, a verbal review will given and followed by a written report within a few business days.Step 10 - HVAC Initial Diagnostics/Inspection
This is the second PDW Inspection. Each ECMF project must pass HVAC Initial Diagnostics/Inspections that are performed by an ECMF-TA. The duct work and connections for each unit will be inspected for proper size, energy code compliance, and mastic details.
A minimum of 10% of total units (to include at least one of each type per section) will be tested. Test results will be evaluated. As necessary, weak points and leaks will be identified. Like the Air Sealing Inspection, a verbal review will be given and followed by a written report within a few business days.This inspection is usually paired with Air Sealing Inspections. However, sometimes, it is necessary to pair this with the Insulation Inspection. This inspection MUST
be competed before sheetrock is installed.Step 11 - Insulation Inspections
In the third (and final) PDW Inspection, comes the Insulation Inspection. Like the previous inspections, this Insulation Inspection must be completed (and passed) on all units by an ECMF-TA. Each inspection will visually inspect for the following: Grading of the insulation, completeness of the insulation, and R-Factor of the Insulation.
Like the other PDW Inspections, a verbal review will be given and followed by a written report within a few business days. Also, this inspection MUST
be competed before sheetrock is installed.
Thank you for your time today. Part three of this summary will be released soon.