There are a number of easy ways for builders to go wrong with these LEED credits: missed insulation in tricky areas, differing R-values, batts compressed at the corners, and missed bays that are hidden by other batts are all common problems.
With spray foam insulation, look for even installation with no valleys in the middle. Measure the depth of the insulation while the truck is on site so subs don’t have to come back to correct any problems. Leave enough time before hanging the drywall to make corrections.
9. Project Team Communication. A common problem builders face, Foss said, is not updating project team members on any changes. On LEED homes, in particular, you need bottom-up understanding of what’s happening with the project. A change in one part of the house might affect the mechanical equipment selection, for example.
Write the LEED requirements into your specifications and follow them, Foss suggested. Assign responsibilities down to the last half point. Also decide upfront who will pay for fixes or re-inspections to avoid being left on the hook for the cost of a contractor’s error.
10. Documents and Submittals. Some LEED points require documents and records, such as product details and waste. Include documentation requirements in subcontractors’ scope of work or contract. Tying those requirements to payment can be an effective way to ensure the requirements are met, Foss said.
Jeffrey Lee is Managing Editor of EcoHome.