Green Building Technical Services

With over 40 years of experience, Southface Institute’s team of building science experts, architects, engineers, and researchers employ innovative, front-line strategies to solve new and existing building design and performance problems.

Residential and Commercial Building Assessments

Our team of experts can help you understand your home or building’s indoor air quality, energy and water consumption and the most effective ways to improve them.

Workplace and Home Assessments

Workplace and Home Assessments

Building assessments reveal the source or sources of performance problems, so that Southface can then work with you on the best solutions. Using cutting-edge tools, our team will assess your home or workplace’s systems for air, energy and water performance and savings potential.
A Southface workplace or home assessment can provide you with:
  • A detailed breakdown of energy and water use and a comparison to other buildings of similar size and occupancy
  • An on-site inspection of the building’s envelope, energy and water systems and operations
  • Recommendations for cost-effective operational and capital improvements
  • Consultation regarding available tax incentives and rebates

Get an Energy Audit (per ASHRAE Std. 211)

An energy audit takes on a whole-building approach by assessing the building’s envelope, systems, energy bills, operations and maintenance procedures. ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers) defines three levels of energy audits, with level one being the simplest and level three being the most thorough. As the levels get more intensive, so does the breadth and depth of analyses. After the audit, Southface will provide your team with a final report that includes recommendations for improving your building’s energy performance.
Energy Audit Levels:
  • Level One: Walk-Through Analysis
  • Level Two: Energy Survey and Analysis
  • Level Three: Detailed Analysis of Capital-Intensive Modifications
  • Need a Home Energy Score?

    Hire a HERS Rater.
    A HERS rater provides a home energy rating score for both new and existing homes, which can be applied to numerous energy and green building certification programs, including ENERGY STAR, EarthCraft House, LEED for Homes and National Green Building Standard, as well as many utility rebate programs and energy code-compliance efforts. To generate the performance score for any green certification you are pursuing, a HERS rater will evaluate your home’s energy consumption and provide solutions for lowering usage.

    Indoor Air Quality Building Assessment:

    Improving indoor air quality can enhance the well-being of building occupants and reduce the incidence of building-related illnesses. Southface indoor air quality (IAQ) experts will inspect, monitor and collect real-time data on several indoor environmental variables, including but not limited to, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and more. The generated report will confirm any air quality issues and list the next steps for possible remediation.

    Building Design Review

    A building design review can reduce the projected operating costs and improve the durability of your project. In the conceptual and design phases of a construction project, a design review provides building owners and stakeholders an opportunity to identify modifications that can lead to a more sustainably constructed building. Using a holistic approach, Southface’s design reviews promote collaboration to identify potential opportunities and problems early in the process. A Southface design review can also reduce the need for change orders during the construction process.

    Applied Research

    Southface Institute’s research informs and supports numerous green building technology and sustainable development initiatives. Our applied research initiatives focus on the three most urgent issues within the built environment; materials, building science and building health.

    Material Applied Research

    Southface seeks to identify materials for high-performance buildings, by field testing and piloting materials in real world settings, evaluating materials at various life cycle stages and accessing their capabilities, features and performance. This information can then be used to improve the manufacturing process of materials, inform building and health codes, green building requirements and guide designers and builders in regenerative design theories.

    Building Science Applied Research

    Southface works with strategic partners to research, identify, and solve building performance and operation issues. Our team of researchers can design and manage any research relating to your building’s mechanical, lighting, IAQ, envelope and overall health and performance. We promote regenerative designs in buildings to generate water and energy, and eliminate the waste created by construction, operation and decommissioning.

    Building Health Applied Research

    Because we spend most of our lives indoors and approximately 40% of the energy we consume can be attributed to HVAC and lighting systems; their design, construction, and management have significant implications for our health and wellbeing. Building Health research at Southface employs a system approach that links healthy buildings and occupants' health issues. The health research outcomes from these queries will be implemented into Southface’s work and programs and shared with stakeholders to improve products and policies.

    Resources

    Guide

    Water Fixture Efficiency

    The commercial building sector accounts for 17 percent of public water use (excluding irrigation), and the cost of water varies greatly by location.

    Read More
    Guide

    Ventilation – Strategies for Small Commercial Buildings

    Creating a tight building envelope is critically important to reducing air leakage and cutting energy consumption in a commercial building.

    Read More
    Case Study
    Report

    Measuring Campus Performance

    Many college campuses are billed for utilities based on a small number of meters shared by multiple buildings. As a result, utility tracking systems provide aggregate usage measurements, instead of providing building-level data.

    Read More
    Report

    Recreation Center Efficiency Solutions Package

    The Recreation Center Efficiency Solutions Package aims to support municipalities nationwide with selecting efficiency improvements to reduce energy and water use at existing recreation centers by at least 20%.

    Read More