City program ensures energy efficiency
Irvine, Calif. – More energy efficiency is being designed into new homes in Irvine thanks to the voluntary efforts of builders participating in the Irvine Quality Plus (IQ+) program. After a year of testing and refining IQ+, the city is encouraging other forward-thinking developers to join the project.
As part of IQ+, builders provide mechanical drawings showing the layout of a project’s heating/cooling duct system for review. A third-party certified inspector verifies that materials and installation meet the energy-efficiency standards set by the IQ+ program. During construction, the inspector walks through each home to ensure that the walls, ceiling openings and attic spaces are properly insulated.
When the homes are completed, the inspector selects some at random and tests the ducts for proper air flow and searches for air leaks. Homeowners then receive notification and a certificate from the city stating that their home builder met the requirements to ensure that their homes are energy-efficient.
The model IQ+ program was recognized by the California Energy Commission with an ACES award in 1997 to honor the city for compliance with energy standards. Since energy-efficient building regulations went intoeffect 20 years ago, the Energy Commission estimates that Californians have reduced their utility bills by at least $11.4 billion. Builders interested in the IQ+ energy efficiency program may contact Shawn Thompson at the city of Irvine, (714) 724-6358.