The Glass House

By
Home Inspector with JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC HOI 394

The nice thing about being a home inspector is its rarely boring. I get to go to a different location every day, meet many new people and in general it's a feel good job. The other great thing about inspecting is it's a diverse field. The knowledge and expertise of inspecting homes can translate nicely to other types of buildings and inspections.

One area I have become diversified into is energy auditing. I have done in the last three or so years audits on some smaller commercial buildings. So when I received a call to audit a green house I did not immediately dismiss the potential job as out of my sphere of capability.

As I spoke with the gentleman on the phone who was the maintenance manager of this facility I was curious about his idea to make a glass house more energy efficient. Glass can not in any way be considered an insulator. An entire house made of glass with openings all around, what on earth can be done to improve the efficiency of this building?

In truth there was something and he needed an auditor to help him quantify the data to get grant money to install a set of thermal shades.

The shades will be installed at the bottom of the domes you see in the pictures. What this does is reduces the ceiling area and volume of the building. Less area means less heat required to warm the house. The shades are able to be moved in and out to allow sun to penetrate in the day and put in place at night when heat is most needed.

Quite a simple but ingenious idea. The estimated savings for installing these shades, about 13%.  That's pretty significant especially when a green house burns through a lot of heating oil when the temperature drops.

This was one of my most unique inspections and as always I learned something in the process. I do love this job!

James Quarello
NRSB #8SS0022
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

To find out more about our other high tech services click on the links below:

Learn more about our Infrared Thermal Imaging & Diagnostics services. Learn more about our energy audits, the Home Energy Tune uP®.

Posted by

James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
Former SNEC-ASHI President
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

 ASHI Certified Inspector

To find out more about our other high tech services we offer in Connecticut click on the links below:

Learn more about our Infrared Thermal Imaging & Diagnostics services.

Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.

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Rainmaker
635,314
Rick Cordisco
Pocono Mountain Lakes Realty - Lake Harmony, PA
Pocono Real Estate Professional

see now I would have never known they exist. Thanks for sharing

 

Jul 23, 2009 11:21 PM #1
Rainer
128,855
Dan Quinn
The Eric Steart Group of Long & Foster Real Estate - Silver Spring, MD
Dan Quinn

Very cool and thought provoking.  A simple idea, reducing the volume makes the space more energy efficient. 

This is exactly what Ryan Homes was doing in the early eighties.  They lowered the ceilings to 7 1/2 ft, stippled them to distract your eye from the lowered height, and then advertised that their homes were more energy efficient than their competitors.  In fact it was true!  A little disingenuous - but true!

Jul 23, 2009 11:38 PM #2
Rainmaker
684,559
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Pocono, They sure do.

Dan, In general less volume means less to heat and cool.

Jul 24, 2009 03:33 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,244,530
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Mr James,

I often nap in green houses that have shades. If they do not have shades, I sweat too much.

Nutsy

Jul 24, 2009 06:44 AM #4
Rainmaker
684,559
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Nutsy, Trying taking off the parka.

Jul 24, 2009 10:44 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,843,815
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Great insight!  You mean, if I have a coat with a hood it is more efficient?

Jul 24, 2009 12:32 PM #6
Rainmaker
684,559
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Jay, It is a such an amazingly simple idea, but very efective.

Jul 24, 2009 10:30 PM #7
Ambassador
807,548
. 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC
REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK - Asheville, NC
What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779

VERY interesting...and thanks for the post!

Jul 25, 2009 02:08 AM #8
Rainmaker
684,559
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Jane Anne, Your welcome, I thought it was too.

Jul 25, 2009 04:27 AM #9
Rainmaker
6,596
Bob Bloom
Keller Williams Realty - Vancouver, WA

Hmmmm, boring is good, eh?  I guess it beats dangerous or dorty.

Jul 25, 2009 06:48 PM #10
Rainmaker
684,559
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Bob, What exactly would be boring?

Jul 26, 2009 12:06 AM #11
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Rainmaker
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James Quarello

Connecticut Home Inspector
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