BSC Building America Quality Control Checklist

BSC Building America Quality Control Checklist
BSC Building America Quality Control Checklist
version 1.0 - October 3, 2008
- How to use the the BSC Building America QC Checklist
- Checklist Part 1: Pre-drywall Inspection
- Checklist Part 2: Finish Inspection
- Resource Appendix with BSC Information Sheets
How to use the BSC-Building America QC Checklist
The Building America Quality Control Checklist has been developed by Building Science Corporation as both a guide to assist in the
transition to high performance home building, and as a simplified tool to be used as part of any builder's on-site quality control
procedures.There are two parts to this document: the checklist and the resource appendix.
The Checklist
The checklist contains the most critical points that should be verified during the construction of a high performance house. The
checklist is not a substitute for good design and good workmanship but can be a common point of reference and part of a minimum
standard of quality for high-performance construction.
The overall checklist is divided into a pre-drywall inspection and a final inspection. These two points correspond to the verification
steps in many common energy efficiency programs. The each of the checklist divisions is further subdivided to more closely
correspond to typical phases of the construction process.
The Resource Appendix
In the attached appendix, some of the checklist items are explained in more detail. While it is not possible to address every
conceivable construction detail, common situations and the applicable building science principles are explained with helpful
graphics, photographs, references to common building codes, and our suggestions for other electronic and printed resources that
can be used for further research.
The appendix is divided into a series of short information sheets, each addressing one of the checklist items, which allows you to
assemble packages of information for specific trades or construction phases.
The Building America Quality Control Checklist should be used at five key parts of the construction process.
At the house design stage, the checklist can be used to assess the readiness of drawings prior to contract negotiations. The
checklist and appendix also serves as a resouce for designers during detailing and material selection.
Contract Negotiation
During contract negotiation, the Checklist provides a clear, concise means of outlining the what work needs to be done to
achieve performance targets like the BSC BA Minimum Performance Specification. The Checklist can be used as a short form of
the BA High Performance Scopes of Work. The Checklist list should be discussed during negotiations and included in contract
and scope of work documents.
Conduct trade group meetings as recommended by the "BSC 7-Steps to High Performance Housing" document
( The QC Checklist is an important part of this meeting - use it to facilitate discussion between
site supervision and all trades and crews with overlapping work by walking through construction steps and checklist verification
points. The Checklist can be divided into sections. Use each Checklist section and the referenced Information Sheets in the
Resource Appendix as handout information to each trade crew.
On-site Verification
Give the checklist to both site supervision and trades. Everyone should have access to the same information about what is
expected. During construction, the checklist is to be completed by the site supervisor. BSC recommends that digital
photographs be taken to document checklist items as construction proceeds. The site supervisor should work to integrate the
recommended verifications into their daily routine.
Buyer Assurance
The completed checklist is a confirmed record of the high quality of your construction. This record can be offered to the
homebuyer as an important assurance of quality. Include the completed checklist in a homeowner manual that contains other
important documents about the house and its systems.
Building Science Corporation will update this checklist from time-to-time. To make sure that you have the most up-to-date version,
please check the quality assurance page on our website:
Builder Name:
BSC Building America Quality Control Checklist
Lot Number:
Part 1 - Pre-drywall Inspection
A drainage plane must be provided with sub-grade drainage for below grade spaces
Exterior or interior perimeter footing drainage system is installed
Drainage membrane or draining insulation is installed around below grade walls
Free-draining backfill is installed over perimeter drainage
Sub-slab gravel bed is connected to perimeter drainage
Perimeter drainage is connected to storm water drain or sloped to daylight
A capillary break separating the entire foundation from the soil must be provided
A below-slab capillary break has been installed
A capillary break has been installed on the foundation wall and footings (horizontal and vertical surfaces)
Use soil gas resistant construction techniques
Floor openings, concrete joints, and foundation checks have been sealed against gas entry
Floor drains and sumps have been sealed against gas entry
Passive vent stack with "T" in sub-slab gravel bed has been installed
ref: BSC Information Sheet 101
ref: BSC Information Sheet 101
ref: BSC Information Sheet 110
Protect construction materials from moisture before installation
ref: n/a
Keep all building materials dry during storage on-site
ref: n/a
Separate wood from concrete or masonry with appropriate capillary break
Sill plates separated from foundation wall with capillary break
ref: BSC Information Sheets 300, 302
A drainage plane must be provided that is integrated with flashings
Drainage plane has been installed in a continuous manner
Sheet material has been properly lapped to drain water
All flashing elements specified have been correctly installed
Drainage plane overlaps flashing or connected by a transition membrane
Drainage holes and through-wall flashing have been provided at brick seat
ref: BSC Information Sheet 300
A drainage plane must be accompanied by a drainage space
Materials to create drainage gap have been installed as specified
Intentional drainage spaces are clear of construction debris
ref: BSC Information Sheet 301
Subsill flashing: windows and doors must be “pan-flashed”
All windows and door openings are "pan-flashed"
Pan-flashing installed with end dams and positive slope towards the exterior
Flashing materials are correctly lapped
ref: BSC Information Sheet 304
Reservoir claddings must be “uncoupled” from wall assemblies
Reservoir claddings (such as brick, stucco and fiber cement) are back-ventilated with min. 1/4" ventilation space
(1" for brick) or are installed over a moisture-tolerant and vapor impermeable material
ref: BSC Information Sheets 403, 404, 405, 406
A continuous air barrier must be provided
Air sealing provided between bottom plates and floor deck
Rim joists areas are caulked or sealed with sprayed foam
Carrying beams running to outside walls and beam pockets are sealed
Perimeter of windows and doors are sealed on the interior side with low-expansion foam or sealant
Bathtubs on exterior walls have draftstopping materials installed behind tub
Fireplace enclosures have draftstopping material installed to line enclosure
Cantilevered floors (including floors over attached garages) are sealed with spray-foam or sealant as appropriate
Bay and Bow Windows are sealed
Walls and ceilings separating attached garages from living space are properly sealed by: installing gas-proof membrane, taping gypsum board, and sealing all penetrations
Chimney chases and interior soffits running to exterior walls have been draftstopped and air sealed
Electrical wiring or outlets on exterior walls and other penetrations have been sealed
Only airtight-rated recessed lights installed in insulated ceilings
ref: BSC Information Sheet 311
Vapor control of wall, roof and foundation assemblies must be provided as specified
Materials with vapor permeability characteristics matching the products specified for each assembly in the
construction documents have been installed
ref: BSC Information Sheet 305
ref: n/a
ref: n/a
ref: BSC Information Sheet 305
Install insulation to meet HERS Insulation Installation Grade 1
Few installation defects, only very small gaps around wiring, electric outlets, etc. and incomplete fill amounts to
2% or less. Gaps running clear through the insulation amount to no more than 2% of the total surface area
covered by the insulation. Wall cavity insulation is enclosed on all six sides and in substantial contact with the
sheathing material on at least one side (interior or exterior) of the cavity.
ENERGY STAR Thermal Bypass Inspection Checklist has been completed
Wet rooms should have floor drainage
Floor drainage installed in bathrooms and showers
Floor drainage installed in laundry rooms
Floor drainage installed in mud rooms
Install floor drain and drain pan where water heater is installed over living space
Paper faced gypsum board should not be used in multi-family party walls or any part of the building
constructed before the roof is applied
Plumbing should not be located in exterior walls
Make plumbing easy to inspect and repair and insulate plumbing pipes to keep them warm (above dewpoint
Access panels for plumbing inspection have been installed where specified on plans.
Pipe insulation has been installed on exposed hot and cold runs not located in walls.
ref: BSC Information Sheet 501
Builder Name:
BSC Building America Quality Control Checklist
Lot Number:
Part 2 - Finish Inspection
Mechanical System Inspection
Sealed Combustion Equipment
Sealed combustion equipment provided as specified
Sealed combustion equipment installed as specified
Ventilation system design must have the capacity to meet the requirements of ASHRAE 62.2 and must be
commissioned at 60% of ASHRAE 62.2
Ventilation system provided and installed as specified
Ductwork to inside and outside are properly installed and connected
Ventilation system control has been installed and commissioned as specified
Air filter housings must be airtight to prevent bypass or leakage
Interior spaces must be air pressure balanced (less than 3 Pascals between all spaces). Transfer grilles or
jump ducts to be provided for any closed room without a return grille (except bathrooms, closets, pantries and
laundry rooms)
Transfer grilles have been installed where indicated on the plans
Duct systems properly sized and placed
Duct runs are placed where indicated on the drawings or layout has been revised with mechanical designer
Conditioning system design loads must be determined according to ACCA Manual J and equipment must be
sized using ACCA Manual S
Air conditioning system supplied and installed as specified
Part load dehumidification must be provided in IRC Zones 1 and 2 (“Hot-Humid Climates”) for buildings and
units less than 2000 square feet
If included in the design, part-load dehumidification system has been provided and installed as specified
Dehumidification system controls have been installed and commissioned as specified
Ducts should be located inside the enclosure air barrier.
If located outside, leakage must be limited to 5% of the total air handling system rated air flow at high speed
(nominal 400 CFM per ton) determined by pressurization testing at 25 Pa.
Building cavities not used as part of the forced air supply or return system
Supply and return ductwork sealed to be airtight
Ductwork has been air sealed at joint locations and equipment connections
Ductwork is sealed to supply and return boots
Protect ductwork during construction
Ductwork rough-in protected from construction debris
Supply and return duct boots have been covered during interior finishing
Exhaust vents and intake ducts correctly placed
Exhaust and intake ducts installed where indicated on plans
Clothes dryers vented outdoors
ref: BSC Information Sheet 601
ref: BSC Information Sheet 610
ref: BSC Information Sheets 604
ref: n/a
ref: n/a
ref: BSC Information Sheet 620
ref: BSC Information Sheet 602
ref: BSC Information Sheet 603
ref: n/a
ref: BSC Information Sheet 606
Provide strips around buildings free of planting and organic mulch
A 24" wide strip free of organic mulch and planting has been provided around buildings
Bushes and trees are at least 36" away from building
Site surface water is controlled by appropriate grading and landscape measures
Grade on all sides of building slopes away from building
Patios and decks are installed lower than the finished floor and slope away from the building
Garage floor is lower than the finished floor and slopes away from the building
Driveway is lower than garage floor and slopes away from the building
Finished grade is lower than main floor and slopes away from the building
Stoops, porches and walkways are lower than the main finished floor and slope away from the building
ref: n/a
ref: BSC Information Sheet 101
ref: n/a
ref: BSC Information Sheet 302
ref: n/a
Insect resistant materials are installed where specified on the plans
Paper faced gypsum board should not be used in “wet areas”
Paper-faced gypsum board not used in bathrooms, showers, laundry rooms and mudrooms
Raise gypsum board minimum of 1/2" above concrete slab
An environmental separation between attached garages and living space must be provided, no air handling
equipment located in garage
Walls and ceilings separating attached garages from living space are properly sealed by: installing gas-proof
membrane, taping gypsum board, and sealing all penetrations
Washers should be equipped with single throw shut off valves
Washing Machine connections are equipped with a single throw shut off valve
No carpet in areas prone to get wet: bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, and entryways
No carpet has been installed in bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, and entryways
Vapor open design of construction assemblies maintained
Vapor-permeable finish materials that do not interfere with vapor open design have been installed
Exterior Finish
Separate wood from concrete or masonry with appropriate capillary break
Deck and stair posts held off concrete with metal brackets or other non-organic spacer
Detail deck to house connection (including ledger to wall connection) to shed water away from house and to allow
natural drying of assembly
Install exterior flashing and drainage
Step flashing at all roof/wall intersections and terminated with "kickout" flashing or overhang
Gutters and downspouts or other roof drainage system has been installed
Select building materials that are insect resistant (steel framing, concrete framing, treated wood framing and
sheathing, plastic or plastic composite cladding, cement or fiber cement cladding, brick or stucco cladding)
ref: BSC Information Sheet 407
ref: BSC Information Sheet 305
ref: BSC Information Sheet 305
ref: BSC Information Sheet 305
ref: BSC Information Sheet 311
Resource Appendix
This appendix contains Building Science Information Sheets that provide more information for specific inspection points on the BSC Building America Quality
Control Checklist. Each Information Sheet is a one or two page document that can easily be printed for use on site or attached to a trade scope of work or
contract. The most current version of these document, and other building science information, can be found at
Foundations and Site Work
101 Groundwater Control
110 Soil Gas Control
Water Management and Vapor Control
301 Drainage Plane
302 Pan Flashing for Exterior Wall Openings
303 Common Flashing Details
304 Integrating Deck Ledger Board with Drainage Plane
305 Reservoir Claddings
306 Interior Water Management
311 Vapor Open Assemblies
Air Barriers
Thermal Control
Air Sealing and Framing
Air Sealing Enclosure Penetrations
Air Sealing Windows
Air Barriers - Tub, Shower and Fireplace Enclosures
Installation of Cavity Insulation
Basement Insulation
Crawlspace Insulation
Slab Edge Insulation
HVAC, Plumbing and Electrical
601 Sealed Combustion
602 Ducts in Conditioned Space
603 Duct Sealing
604 Transfer Ducts and Grills
606 Placement of Intake and Exhaust Vents
610 Ventilation System
620 Supplemental Humidity Control
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