A building analyst evaluates structures to assess their energy efficiency. Analysts can make recommendations to save money on energy bills, reduce waste, and make homes more comfortable in extreme climates. Some have formal training and may be certified by professional organizations. Others have experience in the building trade, but no specific industry qualifications. They can work independently or for consulting firms that provide analysis on request for clients.
When a building analyst arrives at a structure, a quick assessment can determine how it is used and identify potential problem areas. Analysts can crawl under homes, inspect roofs, and go through the interior of a structure to look for issues. They also use tools like blowers to push air through a structure in order to locate cracks, as well as voltage testers and other electrical tools to evaluate electrical systems. The goal is a comprehensive evaluation of the structure.
As the building analyst identifies issues like decaying weatherstripping that doesn’t provide a seal, single-pane windows that leak heat, or lack of insulation, these can be noted on a report. These findings are written up at the end of the job to provide the client with information about areas where there is a need for improvement to make the structure more energy efficient. The analyst may have recommendations about which improvements should be prioritized, and can provide information about approximate costs, contractors offering weatherization services, and government programs that may help with the expense.
People can consult a building analyst if they want to make a structure more energy efficient to cut costs or prepare it for certification. This can also be useful in the case of a home offered for sale; prospective buyers may want to know how much they would have to make improvements to meet current energy standards, as this could have an impact on the price they approach the buyers with. They may negotiate a deal for a discount or for a sale as long as the sellers agree to perform certain repairs to improve efficiency.
This job involves substantial travel and field work, because a building analyst needs to make site visits in order to evaluate buildings. The equipment can require a van or truck for transport, and site visits may take several hours or all day depending on the size and configuration of a structure. People interested in careers in this field may want to consider professional certification because it can increase the available jobs and potential pay.