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Cool Product Introduced at The Passive House Conference, Blackbox IAQ

Just getting back from the North American Passive House Conference, held in Denver last week, we were all energized by our fellow building geeks.  One of the most standout products was Blackbox IAQ.

What does it do?

The BLACK BOX measures many properties of indoor air. Coupled with specialized computer algorithms developed at Equinox Built Environment Engineering, the air exchange rate and quality of the air can be assessed.  Good indoor air quality is a balance of the rate that pollutants are released into one’s living space with the rate of air flow through the living space.  Our assessment determines both the release rate of pollutants and the air exchange rate in the indoor living space.

How does it work?

When a BLACK BOX is shipped to you, you simply plug it in and let it sit for the prescribed test length while living or working normally in the building. There are no buttons to push nor switches to set.  Just plug it in and leave it alone.  When the test period is complete, ship the Black Box back to us in the original box with prepaid shipping label.  Our indoor air quality assessment report will be sent to you shortly after our data analyses have been completed.

What will the test tell me?

The report generated from the data collected contains information on the building’s air exchange rate and levels of indoor air pollutants (carbon dioxide, VOCs, and radon). Links on the right give more detailed information on the different air measurements and how they are important in assessing and maintaining superior air quality in a building. View some sample air quality assessment reports below.

Who should order a test?

  • Homeowners – Best for those thinking of doing a retrofit, interested reducing your energy consumption, or worried about your air quality.
  • Home Builders – Ensure that the homes you are constructing are indeed well sealed, but properly ventilated, and are performing properly.
  • Home Energy Auditors – Our tests can provide information that can predict air quality based on various levels of sealing and ventilation, going hand in hand with recommendations you may make to clients.
  • Home Inspectors and Realtors – Poor air quality is a health hazard and can pose significant issues to the homeowner or potential home buyers.
  • Commercial Building Owners – It has been proven numerous times that employee productivity can be linked very strongly to indoor air quality levels.

Steps after assessment

Results from the assessment report can be used for many purposes.  Guidance for weatherizing and sealing a home and adjustment of the operation of a fresh air ventilation system are two examples.  Overall, our results will help you to understand what changes can be made in order to provide the most comfortable and healthiest indoor air environment possible in an energy efficient manner.

Use the BLACK BOX IAQ Assessment Test results with our ZEROs (Zero Energy Residence Optimization software) design software. Data from your IAQ test along with construction parameters for your building can be used with ZEROs to examine the effects of sealing and ventilation on building energy and air quality.

To order a BLACK BOX to assess the air in your building, click here, or click “Order a Test” above.

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Costs of Custom Homes

The first thing most people want to know is: What does it costs to build a 3000 sqft custom home in the Atlanta, GA. market?  The first thing you have to calculate is the square footage you want.  Once you have that, the numbers below give you a good starting point.

Adjusted Square Foot Calculation:

New Construction: