Infrared cameras boost construction analysis

Infrared cameras can detect leaks that the eyes can't see. (Photo courtesy

Nina Winham

Infrared light or thermography is the use of an infrared imaging and measurement camera to "see" and "measure" thermal energy that’s emitted from an object. Infrared allows us to see what our eyes cannot.

In a construction setting, builders and their crews can use infrared images to locate the places where heat is leaking from a building, and identify ways to improve their installation of windows, door, insulation and airsealing.

Power Smart worked recently with Certified Energy Advisors and select builders to test the usefulness of infrared technology. The results were immediate. As soon as the builder saw the accompanying photo from their project, they identified that a quick fix of caulking the sill plate/floor intersections would improve comfort and reduce energy costs for the eventual homebuyer. Other opportunities were found around windows and doors and by top plates in exterior corners.

“Most builders are aiming for good quality construction,” says Doug Overholt, Power Smart New Home program representative. “If you just tell them [about heat loss], they might doubt you. But if they can see where the heat is going, they react immediately, ‘That’s the last time we’ll see that.’ Fixing air leaks can lead to fewer callbacks and other such issues.” 

If you’re looking for inexpensive ways to improve the energy efficiency of your next build, consider utilizing infrared imaging at the pre-drywall stage of your model home or first build. The discoveries you make can be communicated to your crews and implemented throughout the project. 

For more information on building analysis through the Power Smart New Home Program, contact Doug Overholt at 604 929 7408 or by email.