"We broke out the work activities into the sections of the house. For instance, if you are going to seal an attic, we want to make sure that as you come down the ladder, you know what the outcome should be. These standards don't tell you how to do the work; industry has its own standards and best practices."
NREL Project Manager Chuck Kurnik also noted: "We solicited all of industry for comments on the SWS, including industry associations and trade groups. We feel that all the industry feedback helped to make it a stronger document. Every time we would do a public comment period, the document would become stronger."
Over a three-year period, NREL had more than 300 industry professionals involved in the development of the SWS.
Shortly after the creation of the SWS, a new online SWS tool was in the works and launched in the last few months.
"One of the functionalities of the tool is that as a crew leader approaches a house, they will have a scope of work so they can hand out checklists to their crews," Beckley said. "The tool has a 'Favorites' functionality that allows you to identify and store details associated with any part of the house you are going to touch on that given day. Then you can go ahead and send those details via email to a mobile device, so workers have in their hands clear expectations for the expected outcome. And with the checklist, they can make sure before they walk away that they accomplished the task at hand."
NREL also developed an application programming interface (API) that is publicly available. Companies can take the API and integrate it into the tools that they develop for their employees which could be handy for the industry partners integrating SWS guides into their training.
Industry Immediately Puts the SWS to Use
Photo of a man working in protective clothing in a home. Enlarge image
|Contact: David Glickson|
DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory