I recently had the opportunity to attend a briefing by the New Mexico Construction Industries Division (CID) at the Las Cruces Homebuilders Association. They covered a new system for submitting plans, processes and clarified energy code requirements. Two items specifically caught my attention because they drastically effect energy efficiency and as far as I know are not being done locally. One Air Sealing can be complied with by having 17 key areas inspected during construction or blower door testing. Two Duct sealing which requires testing if any part of the air handler or ducts are located outside of conditioned space (i.e. attic, garage, crawlspace)

There seems to be some disconnect between what is required in the 2009 New Mexico Energy Conservation Code (NMECC) and what many believe is required. When questioned the officials assured me that these items are required. It appears to stem from the fact that specific documentation for these tests are not required to be turned in to CID. CID requires the builder to sign a document that confirms they have complied with the NMECC and it is up to the builders to maintain any documentation proving they had complied with requirements. If I was in the market for a new construction home I would ask the builder for proof of these tests to ensure I was getting what I was paying for.

By Rod Sims| No Comment | Observations

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