Satisfy all conditions listed in the approved development permit to obtain a CO.
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As the builder, developer or their agent you should have a copy of the development permit. You should become familiar with all of the various conditions because a Certificate of Occupancy will not be issued until all conditions are met.
The new Florida State Building code mandates that a blower door test is conducted, prior to the final inspection in order to remove the blower door condition.
Another condition to look for is a duct leakage test which would show up in the list of conditions. An easy way to find out if the county will require this additional ducts test is to look at the Energy Calculations for the building in question. Under the heading "DUCTS" you will find the leakage type. If it is marked as "Default" then no duct test will be required. If the information is listed as proposed leakage - then a duct leakage test will be required to remove that condition as well.
Builders often asked, “what do I need to have done before we test?”
Having everything completely done is ideal. However it is not always possible, here is a checklist of what should be done before testing to ensure test results are not significantly degraded:
1. Doors and windows installed
2. Door and window hardware and weather-stripping installed
3. Door thresholds installed
4. Hatches to unconditioned attics installed insulated/gasketed
5. Dampers in place
6. Fireplace doors installed
7. Plumbing traps filled
8. Conduits leading outside sealed
9. Air handlers and ductwork complete
10. Light fixtures installed
11. Plate covers installed
12. Any thermal envelope gap, crack or hole between inside and outside covered
On Test day setting up the Building:
When we test a building for air infiltration, the building must be set up in a prescribed fashion. The IECC has section (2009 IECC R402.4.2.1 or 2009 IRC N1184.108.40.206) that describes how to setup a house. RESNET has their official protocol as well, the document ANSI/RESNET/ICC 380-2016.
1. Exterior windows and doors, fireplace and stove doors shall be closed, but not sealed with tape;
2. Dampers shall be closed, but not sealed; including exhaust, intake, makeup air, back draft, and flue dampers;
3. Interior doors shall be open;
4. Exterior openings for continuous ventilation systems and heat/cooling recovery ventilators closed and sealed;
5. Cooling and heating system(s) shall be turned off;
6. HVAC supply and return registers shall not be sealed.
Running the test:
It usually takes about 20-30 minutes to set up the blower door equipment and check that the house is prepared as required. An exterior door is needed to set up (usually front door), power nearby and a space to work in. If the house is more than 5,000 square feet, a double fan blower door will be needed. We make sure the air handler and exhaust fans are off. We are then ready to proceed, the doors only need to be closed for five minutes to get an accurate reading, anyone opening a door during that time would void the test.
Prior to starting any infiltration test, the most important information needed, are the square footage under air and the correct cubic feet volume of the house. This information can be found on the HVAC calculations documents. Otherwise we will need the plans to calculate the volume (Ft3) of air inside the house and this will add to the time duration of the test.
Once the test is completed, the results are immediate, resulting in a “Pass or Fail” document. The results are software driven and submitted on the same day to the building official team. Once they receive the results they will certify and remove the condition on building permit, so you can obtain the final CO.
Give us a call if you need additional information at 239 249 0453. Blower Door Energy Experts is Resnet Certified, as well as a registered third party with the county and approved to conduct blower door and duct blast tests, we are also certified by ITC to conduct IR camera inspections.