Innovative solutions that brings comfort, better IAQ and saves your monthly energy bills.

About Us

Impact Energy Consulting, LLC, Inc., known to many of our clients as simply IEC, is a consulting firm headquartered in Berkeley, CA. Our firm specializes in these services, including but not limited to:

Passive House Residential and Multi-Family Design building:  Passive House buildings use 80%-90% less energy than conventional buildings. It comprises of a set of design principles used to attain a quantifiable and rigorous level of energy efficiency principles and specific quantifiable comfort level. Its the only internationally recognized, performance-based energy standard in construction. It optimizes the gains and losses of the building based on your climate zone. Passive house is designed and built in accordance with these five building-science principles:

  • Employs continuous insulation throughout the entire envelope without any thermal bridging.
  • The building envelope is extremely airtight to prevent infiltration from unconditioned spaces. The idea is to “Build Tight, Ventilate Right.”
  • Includes high performance windows (double or triple-paned windows, depending on climate and building type) and doors. Solar gain is managed to exploit the sun’s energy during winter for heating and to minimize overheating during summer season.
  • Uses a balanced heat and moisture recovery ventilation systems.
  • Uses a minimal space conditioning system
Passive House principles can be applied to all building types e.g., single family, multifamily, offices and skyscrapers. We offer Passive House certification services in the design phase as well as the performance and verification phases.

LEED: Stands for Leadership In Energy & Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. You can virtually certify any building type with LEED. It provides a framework for a healthy, highly energy efficient, as well as cost-saving green buildings. We offer LEED certification services in the design phase as well as the performance and verification phases.

IEC has consulting arrangements with a substantial number of expert specialists, providing immediate access to a wide spectrum of energy-related disciplines. Feel free to contact us and we would be happy to further assist you.

HERS: HERS stands for Home Energy Rating System, and is a program developed to address poor
construction quality and equipment installation. It includes HVAC systems, ductwork, ventilation, and insulation for residential projects, and ductwork for nonresidential projects. We perform onsite inspections and tests,
to ensure proper installation and code compliance.
Type of projects requiring HERS verification:

  • Residential, multifamily, and nonresidential (newly constructed buildings, and additions and alterations)
  • New Solar Homes Partnership Program (newly constructed residential buildings)
  • Those pursing a California Whole-House Home Energy Rating

BPI: stands for Building Performance Institute. BPI is the cornerstone for the residential building science and performance industry, making all residential and multi family buildings energy efficient, comfortable with a much better indoor air quality (IAQ) as well as durable. We offer testing to BPI standards.

Highly Energy Efficient Buildings

Building & designing affordable Zero Net Energy building involves 12 integrated steps that utilize commonly available building materials and equipment along with easy to learn building strategies. 

If you follow these steps, you can build a new building that uses 80%-90% less energy than a conventional building.

1. Start with Smart Design

Cost-effective zero net energy Buildings begin with smart design. Most designers and architects, as well as builders, are now familiar with all the steps involved in energy efficiency and building a net-zero Building, and should design the building so that builders and subcontractors can implement these steps as cost-effectively as possible.

There are several design parameters to which builders should ask designers to pay special attention. Detailed communication between the builder and the designer will ensure that these critical details don’t fall through the cracks. 

2. Use Energy Modeling

During the design phase, the energy use should be estimated using energy modeling software, such as WUFI, EnergyPro, eQUEST, and many others, to ensure that the goal of net-zero energy can be achieved while keeping costs down and under control. Based on the results, design choices can be made or modified to balance building performance and construction costs.
3. Super-Seal the Building Envelope
 Super-sealing the building envelope is the single most cost-effective measure builders can take to improve the energy efficiency of a zero-energy building. Several proven air-sealing approaches are available. Choose an approach that matches your climate, skills, and budget.
 
4. Super-Insulate the Building Envelope
After making the house airtight, super-insulating the house may be the second most cost-effective strategy for creating a zero-energy building. Energy modeling can help you optimize the insulation levels for the ceiling, walls, and floors. Select framing strategies that make it easier to insulate the building envelope and minimize thermal bridging. 
 
5. Select Water heater Wisely
Water heating is often the largest energy expense in a zero-energy building after heating and cooling. It is important for designers and builders to select and locate efficient hot water heating technology, along with other measures, to minimize hot water use.
 
6. Use Highly Insulated Windows and Doors

Windows and doors are like big energy holes in a well-insulated, airtight building envelope and are the third most cost-effective strategy for making a Building energy efficient.

Control window and door heat loss and gain by selecting appropriate window and door products, carefully locating them, and optimizing their size and orientation. U-factor, SGHC, climate zone, and many other metrics are very important factors for your windows selection criteria. 

7. Use the Sun for Solar Tempering

Using the sun for heating through south facing windows during the winter lowers heating costs. Shading those same windows in summer lowers cooling costs. Solar tempering aims to optimize this passive use of the sun’s heat, without incurring the added cost of thermal mass needed to achieve maximum passive solar heating.
 
8. Create Energy-Efficient, Fresh Air Supply i.e., HRV or ERV
Since zero-energy buildings are so airtight, a continuous source of fresh filtered air and moisture control are critical to its success and operation. This need for ventilation has a silver lining: zero-energy buildings are healthier and more comfortable than standard buildings. 
 
9. Select Energy Efficient Heating and Cooling System
Highly-efficient, cost-effective, heating and cooling systems are essential to meeting the net-zero-energy goal. One good choice is an air source ductless or ducted heat pump, also called a mini-split heat pump. These systems are highly energy-efficient and don’t have the shortcomings of central, forced-air systems or the high costs of thermal heat pumps.
 
10. Install Energy Efficient Lighting
 Minimizing energy use for lighting, while optimizing light for residents, is an important feature of zero energy Buildings. LED lights are the perfect match for these tasks. They are more energy-efficient than CFLs, last many years longer, and contain no mercury.
 

for residents, is an important feature of zero energy Buildings. LED lights are the perfect match for these tasks. They are more energy-efficient than CFLs, last many years longer, and contain no mercury.

In addition, they can meet a variety of lighting needs from very bright white light to soft, warm light. Selecting the right LED lights for the task, locating lights strategically, and utilizing natural light as effectively as possible can drastically reduce a Building’s energy use.

11. Select Energy Efficient Appliances and Electronics

In a typical zero-energy building just over 40% of the building’s energy use is accounted for by heating, cooling and hot water, while appliances and plugloads may account for up to 60% of the load. Thus, selecting energy-efficient appliances and managing “phantom” plug loads for electronics is essential. “Phantom” loads are hard to find and continue to draw energy unseen, day and night whether or not the devices are being used.

Several buildings that were modeled and built to zero-energy standards have ended up not meeting zero energy requirements in practice because of the unanticipated energy waste caused by “phantom” plug loads on electronics.

12. Use the Sun for Renewable Energy

Grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) panels currently provide the most cost-effective form of renewable energy for a zero-energy Building. They can power all the energy needs of a building including lighting, heating and cooling systems, appliances and hot water.

However, they are the most expensive component of a zero-energy building and strategies for reducing or mitigating those costs are important to consider.

Guidelines for Warmer Climates

While thick layers of insulation get most of the attention in cold climates, insulation needs less emphasis in warm climates. There are several other issues that would be treated differently in warm climates.