At Team Engineering, we provide both energy and environmental assessments. Our Energy Efficiency Evaluations (EEE’s) are offered to residential customers to save Energy and the Earth. Our Environmental Site Assessments (ESA’s) are for our commercial clients, and are typically performed in conjunction with a Property Condition Assessment (PCA) to determine potential liability related to environmental pollution.
Energy Efficiency Evaluations (for homeowners) can help reduce the home’s carbon footprint. It gives homeowners an action plan on how to lower their heating and cooling bills.
Since the energy efficiency of a residential dwelling is connected to other building components and systems, we evaluate the whole building and not just individual components. We analyze the home or building’s structural elements to determine the causative effects of ice dams, moisture problems, heating and cooling by-products, mold, water intrusion and more. At Team Engineering, our knowledgeable team can help to improve the energy efficiency of a building’s envelope while also making it a healthier and safer place for people to live.
Environmental Site Assessments (for commercial properties) are usually done as part of the pre-purchase evaluation process for commercial, retail and industrial properties. In a Phase I ESA, Team Engineering can determine if there are recognized environmental conditions, as defined by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. A Phase I ESA addresses the “All-Appropriate Inquiry” aspect of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERLA- a.k.a. Superfund) In plain language, these are rules & guidelines that are put in place to protect persons or businesses seeking to purchase commercial real estate. Even if a commercial property is purchased without knowledge of existing environmental hazards, the new owner is still liable for remedying the environmental hazards that exist on that property and/or down-gradient properties unless they have satisfied “All Appropriate Inquiry,” which includes a Phase I ESA at a minimum. Applying due diligence through an all-appropriate inquiry, that new business owner can receive protections under CERLA.
Engineers dig deeper. While it may be possible for people to find another firm that will offer an energy audit for less, the report may not reveal a serious and inherent issue with the building. For example, if a homeowner wants his home to be warmer during the winter, an energy audit might suggest adding more insulation to the attic. However, in some cases the resulting increase of accumulation of snow on the roof may cause the framing of the roof to give way. At Team Engineering, we can make suggestions about insulation and air sealing in combination with proper reinforcement of the roof and improvements to the ventilation. This will help improve the energy efficiency of the home without putting the structure and its occupants at risk.
Are all these acronyms making your head spin? Give us a call! We can explain the steps involved in making sure you are aware of any environmental hazard that may exist in your home or business.