Energy Efficiency assessments can be a time consuming and complicated process. What sort of things can delay your result, and what can you do to get your report sooner?
1. Incomplete Building Information
To get us started on the Energy Efficiency Assessment for your project, our assessors need to know certain details about the building. This information is best given to us by completing our Energy Efficiency Check List. Generally, we can’t proceed with a job until we have a completed Energy Efficiency Check List.
If the Check List or the provided drawings/specifications are incomplete, the project may be put on hold until we receive this information.
Whilst some special arrangements can be made for urgent jobs to commence without a Check List (or with a partially completed Check List), we would have to assume some temporary “default” settings on all building elements until we receive more information. As you’d expect, because every building is different these defaults are unlikely to be a perfect match for your project. This results a delay as we’ll have to enter some data twice, and we can only issue a Report once all the data is entered correctly.
2. Missing Drawings
In the early stages of a project we may use Development Approval (DA) drawings to calculate a fee proposal, however DA drawings are usually not detailed enough to be used for Assessments. For example; sections are needed to calculate ceiling heights – if no sections are available then a default worst-case of “no ceiling” may have to be selected.
If a major plan or drawing revision occurs, the Assessment result could also be affected. Frequent revision changes that can impact an Energy Efficiency Assessment include: roof form, building height, location & size of glazing, and the location of fire access-ways & plant rooms (non-conditioned spaces). In some cases an assessment calculation may need repeating, causing a delay. Redoing calculations for a major design revision may also incur additional costs not included in the original fee proposal.
Further delays can also be caused if the lighting plan or wattage schedules are not provided. While we can “skip” this section in our Report, Artificial Lighting is part of the Energy Efficiency assessment process. If lighting details are not included then the lighting will need to be assessed separately by an illumination consultant or electrical engineer.
3. Changing Building Specifications
As the project develops, the specifications of external colours, insulation or glazing can change for various reasons. Unless this is communicated to the assessor, the building being assessed may not have the correct specifications.
If the change involves lots of manual corrections, a re-calculation for changed specifications may take a few days. Having the latest information before the assessment is started is very important so that the building gets the correct assessment result the first time. It may be better to place a hold on your project, pending release of updated information, rather than have the assessor do unnecessary calculations.
4. Difficulty in Contacting Client for Feedback
In the course of the Energy Efficiency Assessment, we may have questions about your project and need to contact you. For example, the original building specifications may need to be changed to achieve a Building Solution.
These changes must be approved by you before the Energy Efficiency Report is printed. Delay in obtaining this approval could set back your assessment result. Naturally, we will do our best to contact you via phone and/or email ASAP. However if you are unavailable or out of the office for a few days, do not return our call, or your contact details have changed, then your Energy Efficiency Assessment could be paused until any questions we have are clarified.
So there you have it folks! Providing our assessors with a full set of the most up-to-date drawings, a completed Energy Efficiency Check List, keeping us informed of any design changes, and getting back to us promptly are the best ways to get your Energy Efficiency Assessment progressing sooner.