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Coryne Rich
Chapter 19 Flood Design Standards

Summer is over, and it is time to get back to serious work.  So, let’s hit our first speed bump.  
 
The new Chapter 19 Flood Design Standards go into effect September 1.  The city is giving lots of talks and resources on the matter.  I wanted to share other consideration that they don't speak about this month.
  
If you have home in design and these points concern you, please remember that we cover all to them in our standard Energy and Sustainability meeting.
 
Good Stuff – Toner
 
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TONER Point of Consideration
Chapter 19 New Flood Design Standards
 
After attending yet another talk from city officials on this matter I feel I need to add my two cents with some points of consideration for those I support.
When applying the new Chapter 19 Standards….
·        Adjusting up at the foundation does not mean you are OK to adjust up at the roof.
a.      We are expecting some legal precedent to come forward in Q1-2 2019 on this but it is up to the HOA to adjust from standards they set with old historical data.
·        Flood venting is not air flow design.
a.      They can be the same, but air flow needs more square inches and actual design.
·        Dropping a garage onto a crawl space is choking the home.
a.      Think about 1920’s-70’s crawlspace homes.  The Garage is detached and away from the crawlspace.  We also had 2 opposite and completely open sides of the home.
·        Your drainage plan should include under the home.  You can flow out or in.
·        Landscape should be 24” away from finished cladding at mature size.  So, you will be planting most plants 3-4’ away from the home.
I know this may sound obtrusive to quality design, but we are a creatively minded organization and I am happy to help find options and solutions anytime.   Please let me know if you have any questions.
 
Good Stuff –Toner
TONER Home Matters
Info@TONERHomeMatters.com

Coryne Rich
The TONER Home Matters Brand Story

Our brand is a reflection of who we are, the stories we tell, and the emotional connection that resonates with our employees and our customers. As we embarked on a journey to renew our organization’s brand, we spent a great deal of time really working to understand how our customers feel about us and how we want to be perceived in the future. We are incredibly proud of the outcomes we’ve achieved and you can see the evidence of our exploration throughout this new website. 

To begin our journey, we engaged Houston-based consultancy, Deutser, to help us walk through the three core elements that make up our organizational identity: characteristics, purpose and values. From these conversations, and through a creative deep dive, we emerged on the other side with several themes from which to explore. These themes ranged from the literal (using building elements found in architecture and structural drawings) to the scientific (using hexagons as a key design element, as this is the most efficient shape found in nature). Ultimately, we settled on a brand identity that purposefully represents the essence of Toner Home Matters in a distinctive and enduring manner.

The color blue and all caps use of TONER symbolize strength and professionalism. The three misshaped circles in the “O” represent the states of matter present in every home: solid, liquid and gas. We must balance the forces within these states of matter and create a symbiotic relationship between them.

Finally, the positioning line “Home Matters” is a subtle call-out to the work we do and the things we value. We view ourselves as subject matter experts on all things related to homes and the home ecosystem. But most of all, we view homes as a physical manifestation of the emotional connection a home provides such as feeling rooted in a community, security in our daily lives, and a depository of memories that we continue to build with each passing year.

Reflective of the types of homes with which we work, our brand’s personality is traditional in some ways and thoroughly modern in others. Every home is different, and this diversity of cases requires experience and a level of professionalism that only the Toner team is capable of delivering. Therefore, our new brand personality can be summarized with three key associations: smart, sophisticated and professional. This is who we are and who we will continually strive to be.

We are incredibly proud of our brand story and we look forward to sharing more details with you in person.

−Toner Kersting

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Jill Unrau
New TONER Home Matters Site and Social Media

Tools abound, both physically and digitally, that help us design and build great homes.  This month’s point of consideration below focuses on some new tools we have prepared for your use.
  
If you have some new projects we should be on, or referred to, please let me or the team know, and we will make sure we make sure we have the right tool for the job.
 
Good Stuff – Toner
 
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TONER Point of Consideration
New TONER Home Matters Site and Social Media
 
Many of our clients were asking for a way to explain our part of the process to their homeowners.  We are happy to say that our new site, www.TONERHomeMatters.com, is up and running.  This is the perfect resource to answer that question.  This along with our Social Media feeds are perfect ways to stay up to date on the Building Science, Energy, Sustainability and Forensic trends in Houston.

·        Follow us on Twitter: @TONERhm
·        Like us on Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/TONERhomematters/
·        Follow us on Instagram: @TONERhomematters
·        Follow us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/toner-home-matters
·        Keep up with our posts on the Community page on our site    https://www.tonerhomematters.com/blog

We will also be reaching out to each of you to make sure we are paying it forward and connecting to all your social media feeds.  Please look for a note from our social media manager Coryne.  We look forward to the mutual support.

Toner Kersting
TONER Home Matters
info@TonerHomeMatters.com

Coryne Rich
West University move to 2018 Code as of NOW

Summer is the busiest season for all us without any surprises.  So let's mess this up now. 

West U moved to the 2018 Code yesterday for all projects starting now.  For my side the rules for Energy Code have changed again.  We should expect Houston, Bellaire and other city's to follow suit soon.  

If you have West U projects that are not permitted please get with us ASAP.

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TONER Point of Consideration

West University move to 2018 Code as of NOW

 

The purpose of this is make my clients aware that the City of West University has moved to the 2018 Code as of NOW.  I am assuming this means projects without permit numbers issued.  This also includes the new energy code, 2018 IECC version.  A sample of the changes you should expect are…

·        Movement to Continuous Insulation as a standard.

·        Commercial Energy standards with envelope testing.

·        Shifts in Lighting.

·        Accelerated wall assembly changes to reduce gaps in the thermal envelope.

·        Tons of changes outside of energy

We are hoping to sponsor a class with the city to address my side of this code.  I suggest you purchase your new code book today.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Good Stuff - Toner 

Toner Kersting
Solar Ready Design Requirement (GenRed) 


 TONER Point of Consideration

Solar Ready Design Requirement (GenRed) 

The Energy Code requires a fully designed, installed and verified solar ready design on all new homes, remodels and historic homes. 

1. Required by code, GenRed (TM) solar design provides professionally specified and verified install of solar raceway. 

2. Must meet the following provisions:

a. Designated solar-ready zone. (See page 1 of attached design) 

b. Designed interconnected pathway with specific installation instructions. (see page 2 of attached design) 

c. Electrical service space reserved. 

d. Construction document posted on site. (physically page 2 of attachment) 

e. Permanently affixed certificate (physically page 1 of attachment). 

f. Transfer of solar design data to city inspection sticker is required. (see below) 

3. The install must be verified by the energy certifier of record and rough and final stages. Data from the design must be transferred to the final Energy sticker and posted on site. 

Any questions about this please contact Toner for further implementation and assistance. 

Thanks –Toner 

TONER Home Matters 

Info@TONERHomeMatters.com 

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Coryne Rich
Sealed Electrical Boxes 

 TONER Point of Consideration

Sealed Electrical Boxes 

We all need to note that the Energy Code has requirements that cross almost all aspects of the homes design and construction. Many times they place these requirements on trades that would normally only operate within their licensed field. Some of these trades don’t realize that they have responsibilities within the energy code too. TONER is constantly meeting with those trades to educate them on what their obligation is and how to manage it. 

A great example is the now required Sealed Electrical Boxes on all Exterior walls and T-walls. 

These boxes are quite different from the normal blue rectangles we are familiar with. They are sealed entirely and allow wires to pass in and out without compromising their integrity. They are normally black in color and the cost is well over $1.00 per unit as opposed to the < $00.25. Please see the photos attached for an example. Please see an example of a letter of acknowledgement that TONER requests from all electricians prior to starting a project. 

The sealed boxes serve two purposes. One, they preserve the grade 1 air barrier consistency of the exterior wall. Two, they help prevent a forensic issue called “Soggy Switch”. 

“Soggy Switch” is when we have a void in the air barrier close to an electrical box. This is true since voids normally occur at stacked framing and the boxes are nailed to this framing near the leak. Then the outside air enters the box and meets the cool inside air and condenses. The sealed unit helps prevent this issue. 

In Design, we should ensure we make a note on the proper sheet or point them back to the included TONER Specs since they energy certifier is responsible for this code. 

In New Homes, we need to make sure we don’t miss the proper pricing and install. Missing them could lead to wire corrosion, unit failure and fire risk. 

In Remodels, especially Add On’s, missing this item can lead to physical water damage, unit failure, fire risk and electrocution of your homeowners. 

Thanks –Toner 

TONER Home Matters 

Info@TONERHomeMatters.com 

Coryne Rich
Make up air and who is responsible 


 TONER Point of Consideration

Make Up Air and Who is Responsible 

All Hood Vents with over a 400 CFM rating are now required to have a Make Up Air system. We need a 1 for 1 ratio above the 400 CFM mark. An average 48" cook top will require a 1400 CFM hood. Therefore, we will need a 1000 CFM Make Up Air system. 

That system will include: 

1. At least (1) if not (2) Make Up Air dampers. 

2. The damper will either be in the attic or, most likely, in the ceiling. 

3. An access door will be needed for the damper. 

4. The outlet for the damper will be a 12x12 stamp face grill located within 10' of the cook top. Normally, in the kitchen ceiling. 

5. The intake will be another 12" louver (per system) on the outside. This must be terminated sidewall not off the roof. 

Recently we asked 6 appliance providers why they are selling commercial appliances in residential homes and if they planned to manufacture residential look alike with less CFM need. They said that they are not liable for the CFM need and that the HVAC Contractor is responsible. They have no plans to help with this issue. 

Most HVAC Contractors do not understand the rule or how to apply the Make Up Air system. 

Neither wants to touch each other’s product to wire it up out of fear of liability. 

The person who suffers the most are Builders, Architects and Homeowners. Lack of Make Up Air or the misapplication is a leading cause of some very violent and destructive Forensic issues. They range from mechanically driven humidity and water damage to major mold infestation and destruction of building materials. 

Please make a point to involve us earlier than later and educate your clients on these issues. It is our responsibility to educate them as to what their options are. 

Thanks –Toner 

TONER Home Matters 

Info@TONERHomeMatters.com 

Coryne Rich
Why you need a Forensic and Energy Walk on a Remodel 


 TONER Point of Consideration

Why you need a Forensic and Energy Walk on a Remodel 

We get asked why we need to walk a remodel all the time. Especially when it is just an interior finish out or work that will run under a repair permit. Here is why. 

• All remodels are required to meet energy code. You have to apply 100% of the code until otherwise noted. When the home is walked we can document what parts are actually required and how they will be verified. This will save time and money and is the proper and responsible process to follow. 

• In consideration to forensics, we judge the new against the old. We look at what part of the home is left and balance that against what new elements will be applied.

EX. You must balance the air barrier, drainage plane and insulation type so you don’t create a pressure boundary and pull moisture into the home. 

• When a remodel is almost like a new build. If we are going down to the studs we need to insure we still only apply what meets the remaining bones.

EX. If we have a gutted home and we are adding space into an attic you will also have to reconfigure the ventilation plan or suffer. If a home operated with a gable to gable attic it will always want to operate that way until we redesign it properly. 

• When a remodel is a new build. Remodeling a home but adding a garage apartment or pool house means we will treat the new portions just like a new home and have a separate certification. 

The easiest process is to have the home walked at design stage. We can clarify the standards, find forensic issues and prepare the project for success. Just let us know. 

Thanks –Toner 

TONER Home Matters 

Info@TONERHomeMatters.com 

Coryne Rich