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Inspection News from Steven Rinehart

2015 Standard Bearers Awards


Texas Energy Code Ambassador

The Energy Code Ambassadors Program (ECAP) is a program SPEER has initiated, in collaboration with the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO), Building Officials Association of Texas (BOAT), the International Code Council (ICC) and the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP).  This program incorporates direct interaction with trained and experienced code  and building professionals who understand the challenges and constraints that are often faced with energy code compliance..  Ambassadors are geographically situated to provide guidance and peer-to-peer support for the building and enforcement community.  SPEER supports these professionals with additional resources and communication.

ICC Energy Exam Development Committee [EDC] Appointment

Appointment to the ICC Energy Exam Development Committee [EDC] as a full member effective January 1, 2014 for a term of three years. Examination Development Committees shall be appointed by Board of International Professional Standards to advise the Board on all technical elements related to development, maintenance and administration of ICC Certification Examinations; and shall serve as an initial Appeals Board on candidate challenges to the ICC Certification Program.

Building Codes to Tighten Across Texas

Building Codes to Tighten Across Texas by Kate Galbraith

The international symbol for Texas’ energy-guzzling habit is a monster pickup truck — pulling another pickup truck. But homes and other buildings are also big offenders, accounting for roughly 40 percent of the state’s overall energy use.  The opportunity for savings — and to draw down some energy-related federal stimulus dollars — has spurred action by state and local officials. In January, Texas will adopt a statewide building code that should cut the energy consumption of new single-family homes by more than 15 percent, according to the Energy Systems Laboratory at the Texas A&M University System.

Video: What is a Home Energy Assessment?

Good synopsis of what to expect during a home energy assessment.

Texas State Energy Conservation Office adopts the 2009 IRC chapter 11

Single-Family Construction

In June 2010, SECO officially adopted updates to both the commercial and residential energy codes in Texas. The new code for single-family homes is based on 2009 IRC, Chapter 11 (effective January 1, 2012) and the new code for other residential, commercial, and industrial buildings is based on 2009 IECC (effective March 1, 2011). Local ordinances can continue to adopt local amendments provided that the Energy Systems Laboratory (ESL) of Texas A&M University first reviews and accepts them.

The following is extracted from the SECO website

Infrared Cameras Can Detect Thermal Bridging, Air Leaks, Wet Insulation

By Eric J. Seaverson, P.E.

Although air movement transports cold air into a building and forces warm air out, thermal bridging through the wall system also can increase the load on the mechanical system. Thermal bridging consists of temperature gradients through components, such as cold, exterior air cooling a window frame, which then cools interior air.

The wall system also can contribute to heat losses and gains from thermal bridging. Many facilities use fiberglass batts in the wall cavity between steel studs to insulate the wall. But the insulation is inserted between the steel studs, breaking the continuity of the insulation. Thermal bridging occurs because the steel studs extend from the exterior — cold — side of the wall to the interior — warm — side of the wall.

2011 ENERGY STAR Leadership in Housing Award

Dear Steven E. Rinehart:

Congratulations!  In recognition of your commitment to providing our nation’s homebuyers with ENERGY STAR qualified homes, Rinehart Real Estate Inspection Service has earned the 2011 ENERGY STAR Leadership in Housing Award. This award recognizes your organization’s work in promoting energy efficient construction and helping to protect the environment through its partnership with ENERGY STAR.

Despite ongoing concerns in the housing market, both home builders and home buyers are continuing to invest in energy efficient homes.  More than 126,000 new homes were constructed to meet ENERGY STAR guidelines in 2010, bringing the total number of ENERGY STAR qualified homes to nearly 1.2 million to date.  In 2010, more than 20 percent of all single-family homes built nationally earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR label.

229 ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes in 2010

Rinehart Real Estate Inspection Service Thank you for supporting our continued partnership with ENERGY STAR. By providing ratings for ENERGY STAR qualified homes, we are trying to do our part to help protect the environment while offering consumers new homes that are more comfortable and save money on utility bills. Our records indicate that we rated a total of: 229 ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes in 2010*

This is equivalent to:

TREC Appoints Steven Rinehart to the Inspector Committee

The Texas Real Estate Commission has approved three new Real Estate Inspector Committee members effective immediately.

Read the press release at