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Operational vs Embodied Carbon

What is the difference between operational carbon and embodied carbon? What it is and why you should care: Carbon vs… Carbon?  In the field of green building and the sustainable built environment, the term “carbon” is commonly used as shorthand terminology for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, measured in units of CO2e or equivalent CO2 emissions.…

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2021 IECC Climate Zones and Implications for ENERGY STAR Updates

Are you working in a new Climate Zone? Last month, the EPA finalized the new program requirements for Single Family Version 3.2 and Multifamily Version 1.2, and formal release is anticipated this coming fall. These program updates align with the 2021 IECC codes and thus will be implemented in states that adopt the 2021 IECC or…

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Modeling Air Source Heat Pumps

Air source heat pumps behind a multi-unit dwelling.

BER realizes that there has been some confusion around modeling air source heat pumps (ASHP). In a recent webinar, MassSave made clarifications as to the correct method of modeling this equipment. In this article, we recap those clarifications. Why isn’t COP a Supported Method? A common mistake made when modeling ASHP is converting heating seasonal…

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Let’s Talk Insurance for HERS Raters

Photo showing the hands of two people working on a contract with one hand pointing out details.

Incorrect insurance classification may be costing your HERS Rating business money. Checking your SIC Code with your insurance agent could potentially save your business a lot of money. Insurance agents use Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes to classify a business into a specific industry and risk category. SIC Codes are used for ALL categories of…

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Insulation Grading: Grade 1, Grade 2, or Somewhere In Between?

An article by Rural Builder, shared in a recent RESNET’s newsletter, offered advice to builders on how to achieve a Grade I insulation. The article used the second picture below as an example of Grade I. However, while it’s not that hard to find a couple square feet of insulation to exemplify Grade I out…

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HERS H2O and WaterSense 2.0

HERS H2O: A National Program for Rating the Water Efficiency of New Homes   What is WaterSense? The US EPA launched the WaterSense Homes program in 2009. The goal of the program is to encourage the construction and purchase of water-efficient, high-performing homes that reduce indoor and outdoor water use and encourage community infrastructure savings.…

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Update on ACCA 310

Update on ACCA 310: HVAC Grading and What You Need to Know You may have heard a lot of news lately about ANSI/RESNET/ACCA Standard 310. BER would like to give you the latest news on this new standard and what to expect in the near future.

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The Future of HVAC is Available Now

A row of heating and air conditioning units behind a multi-family dwelling.

Pop-quiz, BER Raters: Why is 12,000 btu/hr of cooling capacity referred to as a “ton” of cooling? Answer: Prior to the age of forced-air, refrigerant/compressor air conditioning technology, buildings were cooled with fans blowing over blocks of ice. Engineers determined that 12kbtu/hr was the expected evaporative cooling over one ton of ice harvested from cold…

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The Importance of Right-Sizing HVAC Equipment

Imagine spending your first summer in a newly built, super-efficient, lakeside dream-house and found out that it was unable to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. That is exactly what happened with one house in the northern Midwest that BER happened to be performing a field quality assurance review on!  The owners spared no expense on…

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