Remind on Modeling Attics in WA
(This article originally appeared in the February 2013 WAP Wire. It is repeated here due to monitoring visits indicating there are still uncertainties about the requirements and incorrect modeling WA.)
Each section of the home must still be modeled separately in the WA software. This includes four exterior walls and attics. Finished attics must have each section modeled individually including: collar beam, knee walls, slants, and outer ceiling joists.
When an attic has uneven insulation present at the audit there are two ways to model the attic in order to achieve the SIR:
The attic should be modeled as two separate attics with two different levels of insulation. Example: a 200 square foot attic has 100 square feet with five inches of existing fiberglass and 100 square feet with nine inches of existing fiberglass insulation. Two separate attics are modeled, each being 100 square feet in area and one with 5 inches of insulation and the other with nine inches of insulation. You may only achieve an SIR of 1.0 to insulate the attic with five inches of insulation existing, and that is all the work you should do. Remember that you must model the existing conditions of the home and let the software run the SIR calculation to determine the work.
The second option is to model the same attic above as having an average level of insulation in the attic. In this case, you would model an attic with 200 square feet of area that has seven inches of existing fiberglass insulation. Again, keep in mind that you may not achieve an SIR when modeling the attic this way because the insulation levels are too high to achieve any savings.
In each of the instances described above, auditors must use the comment section in the WA Software to thoroughly document why the attic is modeled this way. If you have questions, please contact your monitor before completing work on the dwelling.
Please remember that pictures must be taken of the existing areas where work is proposed to document the existing conditions. Auditors should take a picture of their tape measure in the insulation to show the depth of the existing insulation. Auditors may not model the entire attic at the lowest level of insulation present. All work must be evaluated using the conditions present at the time of the audit.
Signatures on Blank Forms
This is a reminder that clients should never be asked to sign a blank form. Forms should only be signed by the client when there is a need to verify a specific and identified reason to do so. Clients should never be asked to “sign forward.”
During monitoring visits, state monitors have noticed several heating appliance PVC pipes that are not properly joined, leaving a high risk of exposure to combustion by-products for occupants. Because a contrasting primer is not required by code, final inspectors should verify that all joints are properly sealed. If service providers wish to see a primer of a contrasting color on PVC venting for HVAC equipment, then this requirement should be included in the work order.
Cantilevers are by definition within the thermal boundary and must be air sealed and insulated as such. This may sometimes be a challenge but leaving a cantilever without air sealing is a significant risk for moisture issues and air infiltration.
Cost Changes and Rerunning of Audits for Crew-based Subgrantees.
Commerce has developed a process that allows Service Providers using crews to rerun audits when there is a change in the cost of a measure. Service Providers with crews should contact Commerce to schedule a time for training on this process.
Quarterly Budget Reports Now Due
This is a reminder that the first quarter budget reports are now due. I know it seems like you are just getting responses from fiscal monitors on the new budget forms—and you are correct. However, the first quarter has ended and reports are due. This a great time to test the new budget forms.
Please contact your fiscal monitor with questions.