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Special Green Inspector


Jim Baird
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Our state has adopted 08's National Green Building Standard 700 with amendments.

Included is the following:

104.2 Special Green Inspector.

104.2.1 General. Where construction is proposed under this Standard, a Special Green Inspector shall provide inspections and verify work performed in compliance with this Standard. The owner shall be responsible for any costs incurred by the Special Green Inspector. The inspector shall be an independent third party.

Anyone here so designated/certified?

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Our state has adopted 08's National Green Building Standard 700 with amendments.

Included is the following:

104.2 Special Green Inspector.

104.2.1 General. Where construction is proposed under this Standard, a Special Green Inspector shall provide inspections and verify work performed in compliance with this Standard. The owner shall be responsible for any costs incurred by the Special Green Inspector. The inspector shall be an independent third party.

Anyone here so designated/certified?

I'm sure the membership has at least couple irish inspectors. [;)]

Marc

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Our state has adopted 08's National Green Building Standard 700 with amendments.

Included is the following:

104.2 Special Green Inspector.

104.2.1 General. Where construction is proposed under this Standard, a Special Green Inspector shall provide inspections and verify work performed in compliance with this Standard. The owner shall be responsible for any costs incurred by the Special Green Inspector. The inspector shall be an independent third party.

Anyone here so designated/certified?

California has a green building code that becomes mandatory on January 1. One of the difficulties for local building jurisidictions is that the inspections and verifications do not coincide with the other field inspections. Some (not all) of our jurisdictions are taking the same approach that you seem to have - requiring the permit applicant to hire 3rd party special inspectors.

We have a fairly large pool of such folks, most of whom went through a certification program with "Build It Green" - also known as BIG. Their system is based on the number of "points" that a project achieves. That might sound similar to a LEED system except that the primary application is residential not commercial. Our code is not a point-based system, and I doubt yours is either. Therefore, these points-based systems, ratings, and certifications do not directly translate to the green codes.

Folks who have certifications from an organization such as BIG have the inside track to becoming 3rd party special inspectors for CALGreen. I suggest you look at the existing energy raters and other green building programs in Georgia and see how their members plan to handle the transition to a mandatory code. It gets political pretty quick (not that it didn't start out that way).

When does your code go into effect? I thought ICC's model wasn't really ready for prime time yet.

Thanks

Douglas Hansen

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GA state has "adopted" National Green Building Standard 2008 with amendments. Sorry to say don't have my copy yet.

I have downloaded last draft of IgCC, which appears to be an animal of much the same color, which includes the same cafeteria approach to local adoption (noticing how the "buck" is being sloughed off to local officialdom) while legislators get to claim "credit" for going green.

Points awards appear to be involved as well, as mentioned in the following quote:

"(3) The Adopting Entity’s building official, building inspector or designee shall allow new products and practices to be added where deemed to meet the intent of this Standard. Points assigned for any new product or practice shall be determined by the Adopting Entity’s building official, building inspector or designee."

I find it ironic that this state, which could hardly be any more "red", and is currently hearing some of the loudest of the "big, bad government" choir practice, is at the same time engendering new jungles of bureaucratic growth by telling localities to pick, choose, mix, and match more or less onerous standards to which they must hold a residential building industry still kneewalking after the big bubble-bust knockdown.

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Here is an illustrative story from another forum by a contractor in a state where new green regs are coming to fruition.

"...I recently did a leeds project as a subcontractor. I was to install the windows and exterior doors. I didn't get the sale of the product but was recommended by the manufacturer so I ended up with the awarded contract to do the installation.

First hurdle after signing the contract: I'm supposed to deliver all materials to the jobsite without any packaging. Some of these aluminum clad wood windows are 131" by 96". How am I to deliver without damage? I protested and was told no problem just document how you dispose of the packaging in an environmentally friendly manner.

The bid's done already, Right?

We corral all the packaging which includes wood shipping blocks, plastic shrink sheeting and plastic extrusions that are snapped onto the window frames to protect against handling damage. We weighed every bit of this trash and documented it!

Time comes to dispose of and document the process. I send a carpenter to the dump and guess what, they don't recycle plastic at our dump. I calls the chicklet in charge of the leeds effort and am told I was supposed to know that I was expected to haul 24 pounds of plastic to Portland, Oregon where they do accept pvc extrusions as recycable. That'd be three hours over the mountains ( one way ) for five bucks worth of trash. Yep We're saving the environment here!

Next comment:

All the finish materials in this building are bamboo! Let me tell you if bamboo is acceptable as a finish material, I've got a corner on the FOOLS market. Bamboo is dimensionally unstable to a degree that George Washington would have said Get the fikk outta here were you to fill my shoes two hundred years ago!

Actually, I didn't have the contract for the finish work but as I've cut my teeth doing finish work, I look at every joint I walk by, on my first walk through every thing looked fine. However two months later, every joint was 1.8"+ open. The flippin architect, rather than acknowledge that he'd specified the wrong material wrote a correction notice that required the subcontractor to eat the work. Can you say bankrupt subcontractor?..."

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That's good.

The green/sustainable stuff is here to stay,though. The tide has started and ain't no stoppin' it.

I'm for all the stuff that makes sense, but not the hype. I'd love to build a home someday that spins my electrical meter backwards, and produces 100% of it's own heating/cooling.

BTW, LEED is a huge buzz word and for many, it seems to be the holy grail of sustainable construction. Trouble is, they don't have strict requirements on how much energy the building consumes. One can build another McMansion which can suck the power plants dry, but as long as all the materials in the home are sustainable/recyclable/durable, they get high LEED marks.

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LEED is a work in progress. Certainly not perfect. Unfortunately like many things today everyone is trying to figure out how to make money off it or anything sustainable. It will take some time but I think we will get there. I was at a Residential Green Building meeting last night and the people involved truly want to make a difference. The group consisted of builders, modelers, Architects, bankers, and Realtors, all working at the local level to improve the system. Many feel hindered because those involved with USGBC, NAR and others have to tow the policy line even if they disagree with it.

What was sad is that I was the only home inspector there. Sooner or later we will need to be involved as an industry because the movement is here to stay. We need to be heard because we are the ones who will have to deal with it down the line.

As for green building codes, see if there are any classes offered in your area by your state. In Illinois there were several all day classes offered for free, code books and all. It was part of federal money given to the state. The classes were offered to designers and inspectors. The biggest takeaway I got was that many communities would likely farm out green inspections rather that pay to have their inspectors trained. Illinois adopted the energy code state wide(except Chicago).

For now I am trying to navigate the green waters. Like the 70's there is a lot of crap out there, however there are some good products, materials and systems that are sustainable. Sustainability is here to stay.

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I'm with Raymond; LEED is a seriously flawed bunch of rules that doesn't provide much other than the opportunity for folks with dough to put another logo on their eco-mansion.

Even a Silver cert costs around $5000; wouldn't it be better to put the 5K into building it better instead of getting a 3rd party cert? And, a silver cert is just about minimum building code anyway. Why bother? Just build a decent house.

I'm hopelessly fatalistic about this stuff. "Sustainability is here to stay", sort of, but it's going to be barely a crawl. Energy is still ridiculously cheap in America, and ExxonMobil will continue to play the game like the virtuosos they are. Who's going to ante up the extra dough to do it the "right" way

One (maybe the) reason I'm in the HI biz is my alt-energy building enterprise tanked when Reagan took away the tax credits. Energy is still so cheap, alternatives aren't going to catch without tax credits. Who's going to pay the extra dough for building it the right way, when doing it half assed costs maybe another $100 a month in heating?

And, Americans are still hopelessly fascinated with square footage. It still tops the list of features wanted by homebuyers by a huge margin. Folks that build the 8000sf "green" eco-mansion are unclear on the concept.

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Illinois adopted the energy code state wide(except Chicago).

I still see new homes in Chicago insulated to 1970 standards. They build new solid masonry homes with 1" of fiberglass slammed between furring on CMU's.

That's how the build the split faced block debacles. 8" CMU's, no flashing, furring attached with powder actuated nailers, that yellow semi-rigid yellow fiberglass crawlspace insulation between the furring, then drywall to the furring.

I wouldn't build a steenkin' deer hunting shack in the north woods that way. Here, they call it a "Luxury Condominum".

(What's that yellow semi-rigid stuff called? Me and my buds call it phlegm, but I know there's gotta be a right name......anyone know?)

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