ENERGY EFFICIENCY CONSULTING

Bernhardt Contracting can advise on energy improvements to your construction project, or help design a low energy building from project inception. With all the products and techniques available in today’s industry, it is sometimes difficult for owners to determine which building components will provide the most efficiency.

Using a best in class building energy modelling software, Bernhardt Contracting has the capability and expertise to determine the energy demands and performance of any building, from component specifications and detail drawings. This model then allows us to build different scenarios to help inform the owner and design team of the most economical and effective design changes.


We can help you determine any or all of the following:

• The energy demands of your current design
• The energy savings of improving one or more components of your design
• Which building component(s) is/are most economical to your design
• Which components are essential to reach a targeted energy goal
• How to attain the Passive House Certification Standard for your design and what alterations might be necessary to meet the standard

Examples of building components that improve energy performance:

• Higher quality or triple pane windows
• Installing a high quality HRV unit (heat recovery ventilation)
• Reduction in air leakage with improved air barrier
• Increased wall insulation
• Under slab insulation
• Exterior wall insulation

COMPARING ENERGY IMPROVEMENTS

The modelling software in many cases clearly identifies the most efficient energy changes on a given design. For example, the graph* below outlines the scenarios of a new residential building Bernhardt Contracting recently modelled: The greatest difference was between Scenario 2 and 3; therefore the greatest improvement for this building would be better windows:


Scenario 1 = As designed
Scenario 2 = Better HRV
Scenario 3 = Better HRV & windows
Scenario 4 = Better HRV, windows & insulation
Scenario 5 = Better HRV, windows, insulation & air barrier

*This graph shows results for this specific building, and cannot be used as a generalization for all buildings

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: My house is already built. Can you tell how energy efficient my home is and how to improve it?

A: Yes, the modeling software can be used on existing buildings. Detailed information can be gathered from your existing home to build a very accurate model and we can then use that model to try different options for improvements.

Q: What is the easiest improvement I can make to my house?

A: Improving the air sealing is often the easiest and cost effective improvement homeowners can make. Stopping drafts and replacing weather seals around windows is very inexpensive and can be completed by the average homeowner.

Q: Better windows will obviously increase the efficiency of my home. Why would I need a consultation to tell me that?

A: Because windows generally cover a significant portion of the walls in homes, they have a very dramatic effect on the performance. While the decision to improve windows may be obvious, the model will show the quality of window needed to achieve the best balance between cost and performance.

Q: We are interested in increasing the energy efficiency of our home, but we are early in our project and have not designed our building yet. Should we wait until we have building drawings?

A: No, definitely not. You are in the best phase of your project to start talking about energy improvements, and we are happy to provide advice or even sit on your design team meetings to discuss desired energy targets. Planning for a low energy home from the very beginning will ensure you have the most energy efficient and economic design possible.

Q: How much do you charge for consultations?

A: Every project is different and every client has different needs. The cost depends on the complexity and duration of the project. Please send us an email (theoffice[at]bernhardtcontracting[dot]com) with your project details and we will provide a proposal for your review.