"Our environmental policy, combined with sound science, represents leadership in the rapid evolution of building science and building performance. Our role has become defined as we participate in local and regional efforts to mitigate global warming and climate change."
Before recommending or doing any work, we can perform a comprehensive analysis of your building to identify which repairs and improvements will save you the most money.
Using an infrared camera we can not only pin point where heat escapes and the cold air penetrates, but we can also use this non-invasive nondestructive process to analyze anything from a leaky roof to flood or fire damage. Our Blower Door Test forces air through the structure, making energy leaks and air flow problems easier to detect.
Upon completion of the diagnostic survey, Thermal House will generate a report detailing what we found. Included in the report will be recommendations for what sort of work is required to get your property up to efficiency standards.
In addition to being at the top in energy efficiency analysis, we are also at the top in efficiency remediation. And that means more than just doing improvements well - we do them in the most environmentally friendly way. With products like soy insulation, you can be green while you save green.
Thermal House is a partner in the Home Performance with Energy Star Program with Efficiency Vermont, and is certified by the Building Performance Institute as Building Analysts and Shell Specialists. We are also a Certified Bio-Based Systems Dealer and work with national leaders in the industry.
Thermal House found its genesis in 2003 during a restoration job in Northampton MA. Founder Keith Abbott faced numerous challenges in a turn of the century mid-size residential Victorian. The heat loss of the building was frightening. Intuitively Keith knew that there must be some way to identify where heat was escaping. The concept of infra-red imaging seemed pretty high tech at the time and few people offered the service. The search was on and since Keith has a passion for building science a mission was conceived.
Being a pioneer in an increasingly demanding industry has not been easy. Keith has always emphasized the importance of education and certification in addition to hands on experience when it came to shaping Thermal House. As a result we have assembled a team of professionals that can address your needs and questions as well as perform the necessary work.
Thermal House has been built around a core set of values that is shared by all of our employees. Working in harmony with the environment is central to our guiding philosophy. We endeavor to apply all practical science in intelligent and efficient ways to make your life better. With each completed project we not only have a satisfied customer, but we also have succeeded in contributing to ongoing efforts to mitigate carbon emissions that harm the environment.
The Putney School, a private high school in Putney, Vermont initially hired Thermal House in 2005 to analyze a dozen buildings with specific attention placed on energy consumption. We found out that a majority of the buildings were not energy efficient and we undertook a targeted remediation plan with a precise schedule that was designed over two years to not disrupt the school's operations.
In many of the school's historic buildings Thermal House planned and executed careful air sealing, foam caulking, and insulated foundation perimeters with foamboard. We added cellulose to numerous attics. For the library, we sealed the forced-air distribution system to increase efficiency.
Thermal House's remediation plan and execution resulted in an overall 30% reduction of energy consumption. The Reynolds science building alone, pictured above, cut its yearly fuel consumption in half from 15,000 gallons a year to just 7,500 gallons - a savings of almost $30,000 in this one building alone!
Grand Summit staff are excited about the changes. Last winter, ice dams on the Grand Summit’s roof caused damage to the interior of the hotel when snow melt seeped through the roof. Heat retention was poor and energy bills were high. John Lowell, director of lodging, said Grand Summit staff had been wanting to make the changes. Saving money was one reason; saving energy was another; and preventing leaks was another. More important, the Grand Summit wanted to do its part in reducing its carbon footprint. “It’s the right thing to do in today’s world,” said Lowell.
Thermal House, of Jamaica, is a green builder hired by the Grand Summit to install the new insulation. Keith Abbott, of Thermal House, said his crew worked primarily on the roof’s upper thermal boundary (attic floor). He said the insulation was well above the air barrier, which allowed heat to escape. Abbott increased the hotel’s insulation capabilities by pulling out all the existing insulation, putting new insulation in direct contact with the air barrier, sealing it, then adding more insulation. “There are a lot of steps involved,” said Abbott. “We’re going to air seal it with a soy-based closed cell spray foam, put existing fiberglass back down, and the cellulose insulation on top of that.”
Abbott said the Grand Summit Hotel is going to make significant improvements in the way the building performs. Not only is the Grand Summit reducing the amount of carbon sent into the atmosphere, but they may reduce their overall heat load by 30%. “When you talk about a building that size, that’s pretty tremendous,” said Abbott.
The renovations will cost the Grand Summit $281,515. Abbott was unsure how much money the Grand Summit will save in the long term. However, he did say it will save the hotel money in terms of shoveling and having to fix future damages. Over time, energy savings accumulate and the Grand Summit will continue saving. “It will pay for itself and they recognize that,” said Abbott. “Their clients aren’t going to hear people climbing on the roof; people will be more comfortable and it’s going to be less drafty.”
In addition to fixing the attic, the Grand Summit is taking extra steps to lessen its impact on the environment. Lowell said the Grand Summit has been working on green initiatives with the Vermont Small Business Development Association. The Grand Summit hopes to become a state-certified green hotel. Green hotels must adopt an environmental mission statement; employ a prevention strategy to eliminate or reduce hazardous or solid waste, wastewater discharge, etc.; implement measures to increase energy efficiency; employ a reuse or recycling option for solid or hazardous wastes generated; and conduct regular employee training or create employee incentives to promote waste prevention. Lowell said efforts also may include the use of biodegrable packaging and post consumer recycled paper. The Grand Summit also installed 1,000 compact florescent bulbs and switched from a chlorine to a saline pool system. “It’s a commitment we are making to do everything we can to be as green as we can,” said Lowell.
Abbott credits the Grand Summit Hotel with taking the initiative in green renovations. He hopes what they have accomplished will inspire other resorts to follow in their footsteps and move in a greener and more efficient direction. “Mount Snow deserves a lot of credit. They’ve been proactive and they are committed to doing it,” said Abbott. “It’s a major project and what they’re doing is impressive.”