The Building Inspection in ACT and Canberra has it mandatory that the inspection package include the Energy Efficiency Rating of the home when it is sold. This is another building inspection. For this we simply measure the efficiency of the home to stay warm in winter or cool in summer.
The rating is worked out on a computer using software that originated in Melbourne, known as First Rate, many years ago. There is First Rate 4 and First Rate 5 that are permitted in Canberra today. The picture above is of First Rate 4.
How It Works
The algorithm of the computer program takes into consideration the wall types, and if they retain insulation or allow it to pass. This will include what insulation is in the wall cavity. There may be – for example, aluminium backed blankets. There may also be 75 mm batts in the ceiling, or the ceiling may have blown-in insulation that has reduced in thickness over the years.
The batts may have been thrown about by trades people, leaving the bare ceiling exposed up there in the roof. The insulation under the tiles may be torn. These all have to be checked and put into the computer. There maybe insulation under the floor.
For example, the windows will be taken into account. Are they single glazed? Are they treated, or double glazed?
How wide is the overhang of the roof? What size vegetation blocks the windows?
This blown-in insulation has shrunk over time.
Are there curtains, and if so, what type? Does the curtain have a lining? Or are there blinds, and again, what type. Are there pelmets? Is there an overshadow of the building next door? Does the existing building overshadow itself.
All this counts to stop warm air leaving the house. It should also be noted that the same EER report is needed for apartments and townhouses.
Are there shutters outside. Is the sun obstructed in the winter but exposed in the summer. What is the floor area compared to the wall area? The ratio makes a difference.
The Building Accessor, who puts in the program, does not have a choice, or a way to evaluate what he sees. Simply, what is there goes into the program and your figure comes out at the end.
The purpose of all this is relevant. It leads to a bettering of building standards and a higher awareness of the need to be aware of wasted energy. And out inspector, Nick, is very happy to explain how a person can change their energy rating. It does not have to cost a lot. When it is below zero outside, yes, you can be warm inside, without extravagant cost and environmental damage. The report also shows how.
Sample copy of an EER report style: Written by Nick Broadhurst, our inspector. For more information on Nick, his background and experience: SEE HERE
Garbage bags of beer cans. A new insulation?
Call us today for your next Building Inspection package in ACT.