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Building America - Quality Control Checklist

October 2008     

The Building America Quality Control Checklist has been developed by Building Science Corporation as both a guide to assist in the transition to high performance home building, and as a simplified tool to be used as part of any builder's on-site quality control procedures. There are two parts to this document: the checklist and the resource appendix.

The Checklist

The checklist contains the most critical points that should be verified during the construction of a high performance house. The checklist is not a substitute for good design and good workmanship but can be a common point of reference and part of a minimum standard of quality for high-performance construction.

The overall checklist is divided into a pre-drywall inspection and a final inspection. These two points correspond to the verification steps in many common energy efficiency programs. Each of the checklist divisions is further subdivided to more closely correspond to typical phases of the construction process.

The Resource Appendix

In the attached appendix, some of the checklist items are explained in more detail. While it is not possible to address every conceivable construction detail, common situations and the applicable building science principles are explained with helpful graphics, photographs, references to common building codes, and our suggestions for other electronic and printed resources that can be used for further research.

The appendix is divided into a series of short information sheets, each addressing one of the checklist items, which allows you to assemble packages of information for specific trades or construction phases.


The Building America Quality Control Checklist should be used at five key parts of the construction process.

Design

At the house design stage, the checklist can be used to assess the readiness of drawings prior to contract negotiations. The checklist and appendix also serves as a resouce for designers during detailing and material selection.

Contract Negotiation

During contract negotiation, the Checklist provides a clear, concise means of outlining the what work needs to be done to achieve performance targets like the BSC BA Minimum Performance Specification. The Checklist can be used as a short form of the BA High Performance Scopes of Work. The Checklist list should be discussed during negotiations and included in contract and scope of work documents.

Training

Conduct trade group meetings as recommended by the "BSC 7-Steps to High Performance Housing" document (www.buildingscience.com/QA). The QC Checklist is an important part of this meeting - use it to facilitate discussion between site supervision and all trades and crews with overlapping work by walking through construction steps and checklist verification points. The Checklist can be divided into sections. Use each Checklist section and the referenced Information Sheets in the Resource Appendix as handout information to each trade crew.

On-site Verification

Give the checklist to both site supervision and trades. Everyone should have access to the same information about what is expected. During construction, the checklist is to be completed by the site supervisor. BSC recommends that digital photographs be taken to document checklist items as construction proceeds. The site supervisor should work to integrate the recommended verifications into their daily routine.

Buyer Assurance

The completed checklist is a confirmed record of the high quality of your construction. This record can be offered to the homebuyer as an important assurance of quality. Include the completed checklist in a homeowner manual that contains other important documents about the house and its systems.

Building Science Corporation will update this checklist from time-to-time. To make sure that you have the most up-to-date version, please check the quality assurance page on our website: www.buildingscience.com/QA.