House as a System
Home Performance is the belief that buildings can and should be made safe, comfortable, durable, and energy-efficient. Putting building performance into practice requires a whole-house perspective. Having a certified BPI contractor measure, calculate, and analyze a building, allows them to better understand the way your specific structure works and operates in order to recommend the best way to improve it without off-setting the balance of how it effects you.
Ask an insulation contractor, plumber, and a window salesperson the best way to warm up a cold room, and you may get three different answers. But we use a whole-house perspective to assess the problem's causes and propose the most effective solution. Understanding the "house as a system" allows us to solve problems like chimney back-drafting that arise from interactions between the building's shell and mechanical systems.
As building scientists we use a diagnostic approach to problem solving. Experience and observation, coupled with pressure diagnostics, infrared imaging, and combustion analysis, allow us to diagnose and correct the most challenging building performance problems.
The difference between an average house and a high-performance house often comes down to a contractor's willingness to "sweat the small stuff" that the customer never sees like air sealing, insulation, and ductwork. The core concept is an emphasis on measurable results from performance testing. Performance testing assures that you the customer have a safe, comfortable, durable, and efficient home when the work is completed.
"If you don't test, you don't know"