Intertek Sustainability Services
Intertek supports our clients in meeting their sustainable, high-performance building aspirations, with a focus on durable, resilient, and low-maintenance building enclosures, energy-efficient operations, and healthy, comfortable, and productive indoor environments.
Our expertise includes energy efficiency, zero net energy/zero net carbon, sustainable materials, and occupant wellness, and we support frameworks and ratings systems like LEED, WELL Building, Living Building Challenge and Passive House. Intertek’s services address sustainability directly and indirectly in the following ways:
- Health and wellness assessment and testing for indoor environments, supporting COVID-19 safety, indoor air quality, ventilation and filtration assessment and optimization, and WELL Building and FitWel certification.
- Energy efficiency and carbon emission reduction in new building design and existing building operations, including energy modeling, energy code compliance, energy audits, and deep energy retrofits.
- High-performance building consulting and certification, including LEED certification and other sustainability frameworks.
- Climate risk and resilience assessment and consulting, including property condition assessments, guideline development and consulting for new construction and renovations, and inspection, analysis and guidance for retrofits and repairs.
- Building enclosure design review, consulting, inspection and testing to ensure air and water tightness in new buildings, major renovations, and existing building maintenance and repair.
- Acoustic assessment, testing and consulting to ensure acoustic comfort and address noise concerns.
- Environmental testing and assessment for air and water quality and hazardous materials.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a growing trend focused on building design and operation to enhance the health and wellness of occupants. In addition to reducing disease transmission risks, healthy building strategies can improve cognitive function, reduce stress, and support wellbeing. Numerous studies, including several conducted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, have quantified human performance benefits such as improved test scores and reading comprehension, increased speed and accuracy in problem solving activities, and reduced absenteeism. Intertek helps clients achieve healthier buildings in the following ways:
- Good Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is a key indicator of healthy indoor environments, and an elevated concentration of pollutants reveals opportunities for improvement. IAQ testing can be used to diagnose problems, guide solutions, and validate the efficacy of interventions. Intertek’s experts develop and implement customized IAQ investigations to address the specific needs of our clients.
- Optimized ventilation and filtration are central to maintaining healthy indoor air, while maintaining energy efficiency. As a compliment to IAQ testing services, Intertek performs assessment and guides improvement of mechanical systems to optimize IAQ, occupant comfort, and energy performance.
- The WELL Building standard provides a comprehensive certification of building design and operation to support occupant health and wellness. The WELL Health and Safety Rating gives building owners and occupants assurance that pathogen risk reduction best practices are in place. Intertek has a team of WELL Performance Testing Agents approved to perform WELL performance verification testing and inspection, and WELL Accredited Professionals, Industrial Hygienists and other experts who conduct air quality, water quality, lighting, acoustic and other performance testing in support of WELL certifications.
- Similar to WELL, the FitWel certification system gives building owners and managers a complete framework for healthy building design and operation. Intertek assists clients with FitWel certification, including performing the required air quality and water quality testing.
- Intertek performs the post-construction air quality testing required to earn the LEED Air Quality Assessment credit.
Learn more about our Indoor Air Quality and Wellness Services.
Rising energy costs, more stringent energy codes, carbon emission reduction commitments, energy reporting ordinances, and other drivers are making energy efficiency a critical consideration in the design, renovation, and operation of buildings. Project and building management teams need analysis and guidance to optimize their approach and focus on the most cost-effective strategies to cut energy costs and reduce carbon emissions. Intertek helps clients meet their energy and carbon goals as follows:
- Energy simulations allow for the evaluation and comparison of potential energy efficiency measures to optimize the performance of the design within budget constraints. Intertek provides design phase energy modeling for high-performance buildings, including those seeking certification under frameworks such as LEED and the Living Building Challenge.
- Energy codes are becoming progressively more stringent, but also adding performance-based compliance paths that provide design flexibility. Intertek is well versed in current and pending energy codes across the United States. We can guide the selection of the most advantageous energy code compliance path and provide energy modeling and other assistance to demonstrate code compliance of project.
- Existing buildings present significant opportunities for improved energy performance. Intertek performs energy audits to identify energy efficiency improvements, analyzes the potential savings and assists you to prioritize and implement the most effective measures. Our audits also look for opportunities to improve indoor air quality and occupant comfort.
- When a property is ready for HVAC system replacement, façade improvements, or other repurposing/repositioning modifications, this is a perfect time to execute a deep energy retrofit. These deep retrofits achieve more substantial energy savings that are also more cost effective than incremental or piecemeal energy upgrades. Intertek’s team of energy and building enclosure experts can guide you in planning and executing deep energy retrofits.
A comprehensive and integrated approach is required to create high-performance buildings with lower operating costs, reduced energy use and climate impact, limited environmental impact, and enhanced indoor environmental quality for occupant health, wellness, and performance. Sustainable building frameworks, such as LEED, guide the design, construction, and operation of high-performance buildings and provide important validation of achievement. Intertek’s sustainable building specialists provide assessment, consulting, and certification management for all sustainable building frameworks, including:
- Intertek’s accredited professionals assist with all forms of LEED certification, including LEED Building Design and Construction (BD+C), Core and Shell (CS), Interior Design and Construction (ID+C), and Operation and Maintenance (O+M).
- The Living Building Challenge sets a high bar for sustainable building, including zero net energy and zero net water. Intertek can guide your project to attain this exemplary achievement.
- Passive House certification requires high-performance building enclosures to achieve super-efficient buildings with superior indoor air quality. The standard applies to all buildings from single-family homes to high-rise commercial buildings. Intertek’s energy and building enclosure experts lead project teams to achieve Passive House certifications.
The increased frequency and intensity of severe and costly weather events due to climate change threatens the safety, integrity, and value of properties. Resilient buildings support public safety, preservation of property value, emergency preparedness, and continuity of operations in the face of these increasing risks. In response, climate risk and resilience assessments are becoming a standard part of real estate transaction due diligence, and a consideration when updating or repositioning assets. With our deep expertise in building science, Intertek helps clients assess and increase building resilience in the following ways:
- Property condition assessments, for commercial real estate transaction due diligence, and for public and corporate facilities capital planning, can include resilience, climate risk, and energy considerations. Intertek’s multi-disciplinary team supports clients with comprehensive property condition assessments with resilience and risk reduction in mind.
- Whether for a campus, portfolio of buildings, or a single critical facility, resilient building guidelines and standards are an important guide for new construction and capital improvement planning. Intertek develops high-performance, resilient building guidelines, standards, and owner project requirements (OPR) documents, and provides consultation for their implementation.
- Intertek’s building science experts provide inspection, analysis, and guidance to increase resilience in capital improvements, retrofits, and repairs.
Intertek’s Building Science Solutions group is focused on building enclosure commissioning, consulting, analysis, and performance verification testing of building enclosures systems on new construction projects and existing buildings. Our team includes experienced building enclosure industry including architects, engineers, consultants, manufacturers, and installers. Additionally, our experience with self-performance of functional performance testing (mock-up and field) gives us deeper experience with solutions to problems encountered with building enclosure components and systems. Intertek’s building science team ensures high-performance building enclosures with:
- Design review of drawings and specifications to apply our expertise gained from field inspection and testing to avoid building enclosure issues prior to construction.
- The trained eyes of Intertek’s building scientists can spot installation issues and ensure correction of waterproofing and other enclosure components with construction observation and inspection.
- Intertek experienced field-testing crew performs field and mock-up performance verification testing including window and curtainwall water testing and whole building air barrier testing.
- For both routine maintenance and urgent repairs, Intertek performs existing building enclosure inspections and guides repair and replacement projects.
Learn more about our Building Enclosure Commissioning (BECx) Solutions.
Acoustic quality has a significant impact on the performance, stress level, and wellness of building occupants. Quality acoustic environments increase productivity and improve health. Interior and exterior noise and vibration sources undermine acoustic quality when they are not identified and managed. Intertek has a team of acoustic experts that helps clients enhance acoustic environments in new and existing buildings:
- Pre-design acoustic assessment identifies the sources of airborne noise and ground-borne vibration that could negatively impact indoor environments in proposed buildings. In existing buildings, assessments identify the sources of noise pollution prior to implementing mitigations.
- Intertek provides acoustic consulting to guide the design of acoustic and vibration isolation in new buildings and noise mitigations in existing buildings.
- Intertek conducts acoustic performance testing to validate successful acoustic designs and to support certifications, including WELL Building performance requirements.
Learn more about our Noise, Acoustics and Vibration Services.