How to avoid costly mistakes early

Early Design Assistance meetings (EDAs), also known as design charrettes, are to help ensure coordination and communication among trades to explore overlap of duties, discuss specifications and project goals, define and assign responsibility, for the purpose of creating an energy efficiency execution plan for construction. EDAs help construction begin with a deliberate plan and clear communication between contributing parties, reducing the potential for costly errors down the road.

A part of Energy Trust of Oregon’s EPS™ New Construction offering, EDAs may include the builder, architect, subcontractors and solar expert, along with an energy consultant and an EPS representative. This affords the opportunity for each stakeholder to provide insights on how to best achieve overarching goals. For builders new to Energy Trust’s EPS offering, this is an ideal introduction to the general requirements and for the project’s energy consultant to weigh in on how to maximize a home’s score. As an extra bonus, there is a $500 incentive available to eligible EPS builders who conduct an EDA.

EDAs help facilitate decision making and coordination early on to reduce conflicts throughout construction. For example, an energy consultant may suggest bringing the ductwork inside the building envelope to minimize heating loss into the unconditioned space. If the architect and framing contractor have not designed for this, the change might not be possible or aesthetically pleasing to incorporate after framing.

Similarly, if a home is to be built for immediate or future solar installation, a solar expert needs to be engaged early in design to advise on the physical orientation of the home and where vents protrude through the roof. Taking these considerations into account will ensure the building will meet expectations and perform as planned. Plus, changes made early in the design process are less costly and easier to coordinate than those made later.

Homes of builders who host an EDA are noticeably more efficient, durable and comfortable, while also being more cost effective to build. Plan ahead by hosting an Early Design Assistance meeting.

For more information, email or call the trade ally hotline at 1.877.283.0698.