11

Mar

Time Waits for No One

Written By: John Jeppesen

The correct phrase is actually “Time waits for no man,” but nowadays we say No One. It’s an old proverb coined by Saint Mahere somewhere around 1225. The saying has also been attributed to English poet and author Geoffrey Chaucer in the 1300s. The entire proverb is: “Time and tide wait for no man.” Tide refers to a period of time, like Eastertide. Or, with a stretch, Buildingtide.

So what does that have to do with Performance Point? Good question. Actually, time is a critical element of what we do. It’s because we know construction projects are set to strict schedules, with each step tied to the next step. You can’t skip steps. It also adds meaning to another old axiom: “Time is money.” Construction delays can torpedo project deadlines, some can include hefty late penalties. Or, homeowners are likely to have closing dates that require them to move out of a property and into a new one.

We get that. And most likely your only point of reference is your contact with our field representatives. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes that you aren’t aware of. So, we are shining a light on two parts of our team in the office.

For example, our office team makes a big deal of scheduling. We make sure that our field inspectors show up at the appointed time. They work quickly and efficiently to get their jobs done.

That means our scheduling team stays on top of every project for every customer. Josh Owens plays a key role here. He started scheduling single-family programs and has moved into a multi-family area. “I am the scheduling team leader, but I genuinely look at it as a collaboration between myself, Kathy Baisley, and Pamela King. To look at it from a “bird’s eye” perspective, Kathy handles all of our single-family energy testing scheduling, Pamela handles the multi-family scheduling, and I work with all of our QI (Quality Inspection) scheduling. That is how we generally frame it, but I have experience in all of these areas, and can certainly jump in to help either of them if they have any issues or concerns.  I try to be a help to them whenever possible, but I genuinely do view it as a team effort, and a team that I am certainly glad to lead.”

There’s a lot to consider before our field rep shows up. “For me, the first thing is to make sure that we have all of the requests that come into us, on the schedule,” Owens notes. “We may not always be able to get a job on schedule immediately, but we do make every effort to get the job on schedule for the next available time. We also prioritize getting all of the correct info from the builder, or developer. We try to get the correct street address, home heated square feet information, and any other pertinent information that will be important for our field staff to find the location and then be able to complete the task.”

Owens believes taking care of our customers is Job One. “I have always said that I view scheduling through a lens of “setting the table” for the field staff. Ideally, we have gathered all of the information that helps the inspector find the neighborhood, project, or house that they will be working in that day. We will have the correct contact information available for the builder, in case the inspector needs to contact someone about an issue on-site. We will also try to have accurate heated square foot numbers available so that the inspector can accurately interpret their testing results. The goal is certainly to make it as simple of a process as possible for the field staff, as they are certainly giving it their all on the job sites, and we want to provide as much help as we are able.”

OK, so our field staff shows up. What’s next? We know that the construction industry is very complex, with building codes that change all the time. On top of that, the industry is constantly creating new, more energy-efficient building materials and HVAC systems.

That means our field staff doesn’t waste a minute. As noted early, time is money and they know their stuff. How? We heavily invest in training and certification. Russell Brown explains his role in these programs: “Certifications for field (and office) folks all depend on their roles,” Brown says. “Multifamily energy raters/Inspectors require NGBS (National Green Building Standard) Green Verifier Designations and/or HERS Rater Designations. Some of our Multifamily Leadership Members are also Master Verifiers and QAD’s (Quality Assurance Designees), which are some of the highest attainable certifications from Home Innovation Labs and RESNET.  Most single-family Energy Raters/Inspectors have RFI (Rating Field Inspector) or HERS Rater Certifications which are required to do Energy related work.  Quality Assurance Inspectors do not have any formal certifications, but some are crossed trained in energy work and carry the energy-related certifications.

We have moved training and certification in-house. It’s the best way to ensure we are in sync with all the industry changes. In the past, training has been a group effort of a few office folks and the regional market manager, says Brown.  “However, we have recently doubled down on training by investing in a full-time Training and Quality Assurance Coordinator whose primary responsibility is coordinating Field QA and Training. This team member is tasked with heading up training for consistency, getting people certified, maintaining training (CEU’s), and keeps an eye out for publicly available enrichment opportunities like webinars, conferences  that we can utilize to broaden our team’s exposure and knowledge.”

Brown explains the payoff for you.” This (in-house training and certification) allows us to always ensure no one is put in a situation that is over their head and makes sure that someone’s growth in exposure to our customer base is in conjunction with the knowledge and expertise they can provide. With this model, we are able to provide confidence to our customers that the information coming from the individual they are working with at Performance Point is accurate and up to date.”

So, call us then next time (there’s that “time thing” again) you’re looking for a quality or code inspection. Hopefully, we’ve given you just a few reasons why choosing Performance Point will be time well spent.

704.563.1030

Info@ThePerformancePoint.com

How Performance Point Keeps Their Employees Happy

How Performance Point Keeps Their Employees Happy 

Written By:  Athena Seay

We all know that the happier your employees are, the more successful your business will be, but how exactly is this achieved?  I had the opportunity to have a one on one with some of Performance Point’s team members Russell Brown, and Scott Forsyth who shared their thoughts on why they are happy, content, and even ecstatic!

Russell has been with the company for over 5 years.  As Operations Manager, Russell’s responsibilities are ever-changing and various.  “That’s ok, that is what is most enjoyable about my job experience here, it’s not the same year after year, the endless monotony of doing the same thing day in and day out. The atmosphere here allows us to be creative, it’s like entrepreneurship without the risk!  Where one person cannot do it by themselves someone else pitches-in and together we solve issues, we’re a team.”

Scott has grown from Field Inspector to Manager of Business Development in the 3 years he has been with Performance Point.  Scott’s strong work ethic and yearning to learn more are supported by the management team.  “I feel we have a safety net, not only from the owner Sam Galphin, but from the whole team.”

And that team is growing!!!  

 This collaborative environment at Performance Point has worked well with their customers too. “We are not afraid to challenge processes or how something is being done.  We look through the lens of how we can make this better for the customer experience,” says Russell.

Russell also appreciates that everyone is recognized for their achievements. Whether it’s a personal call from the owner or a write-up in the newsletter, success is noticed.  

Communication within the organization as well as to our customers is impressive”, says Russell.  “We have a line of communication that allows all of us to talk to each other for support.  Communicating with customers reflects a friendly, warm feel too”.

Both Russell and Scott appreciate the work-life balance at Performance Point. “Yes, while we give it our all during those working hours, nothing is rigid, we are not micro-managed, and that makes life at home happy and fulfilling,” says Scott.  Russell says, he is “challenged but since things are always changing he doesn’t get burned-out”.

So, being a happy employee at Performance Point means being challenged, having the opportunity to grow within the company, having a work-life balance, being surrounded by a supportive team that treats you like family….from the words of Confucius 

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”

10

Feb

Adventures in Tennessee

Written By:  John Jeppesen

Not many people know that Tennessee is the birthplace of the tow truck…or that Performance Point is now serving new customers in The Volunteer State. We earned our stripes here in North Carolina. It has been quite successful and DR Horton thought it would be a smart move to expand our business by partnering with them in other key markets in the Southeastern states. We agreed.

Sam Galphin, the Performance Point president, likes what has happened so far. “Nashville is our first expansion of this kind.  Performance Point started in Charlotte, Greenville, and Raleigh at the same time then won and lost some battles over the years.  Outside of those three markets we have traveled to or been brought in to several other expansion markets by a customer, like Memphis, Knoxville, and Richmond.”

Galphin continues: “Nashville is the first market we have just decided to go to because of the opportunity we see there.  It is easier to get started when you have a client base already established, but it is hard just to show up in a new market with no real resources or contacts.  Either way, we enjoy the challenge and learning opportunities afforded by new markets, we always end up bringing back into our other markets new things we learn.

This growth is in our single-family division. We also serve all of the Southeast and other states across the U.S. with our Multifamily Division. Long story short, we are committed to deliberate and strategic growth in the near term. That’s remarkable given the fact that the overall economy is anemic as a consequence of the coronavirus epidemic.

Like that old song says: “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” Right now there’s a continued growth trend in the markets we are currently in, but that’s not to say we wouldn’t go into another new market if asked to by our current customers or if other markets present some unique opportunity. We are particularly interested in any that tap into energy efficiency. That’s where the growth is coming from and a technology we actively promote.

We have not opened a branch office in Tennessee, though each of our eight employees lives in the markets they work in.  We provide them with company vehicles, company phones, and the equipment they need to work remotely. All of our “office” services are centralized with our local people informing the details of how those services are executed.

We provide Quality Inspections, code and compliance services such as Performance Reports, Code Compliance Testing (Blower Door and Duct Leakage Testing), HERS Ratings, and Air Sealing in the Tennessee markets. These are the core services our customers have come to expect from us. We strive to serve our customers in any way we can. We will do whatever it takes to provide extra value for our customers. We take our reputation in the industry very seriously…and it shows.

Moving into a new market always requires learning state and local building and code requirements. Though the Tennessee rules are similar, there are subtle differences. So, our Regional Managers “get into the corners” to find them. This is critically important as we work to forge relationships with our newfound customers.

Opportunity knocked, says Galphin. “We did see an unmet demand. Before we went into the market we liked the permit data and felt like central TN was the right move.  Right now central TN is in the process of adopting some of the toughest energy codes in the country.  We were able to get there at just the right time.  Our proven capacity, integrity, and capabilities shine in TN and set us apart from our competition to be a trustworthy trade partner for code enforcement and builders alike.”

 

So if you see a green and white Performance Point vehicle rolling onto a job site, you may not hear it. That’s because it’s likely to be hybrid or even totally electric powered. We “think green” and practice what we preach.

704.563.1030

Info@ThePerformancePoint.com

27

Jan

You Got Problems? We Got Solutions!

Written By: Athena Seay

2020 was a doozy, to say the least!  Is it over yet? Covid-19, hurricanes, and wildfires caused a huge slow down in lumber production.  Key building materials, such as vinyl windows, roofing supplies, and appliances have also been affected in the supply chain.  The migration out of big cities has helped spur the real estate market to historically high prices and that has extended the lead times on new construction.  The more homes you build, the more these problems have impacted you!

Let’s take a closer look at the potential problems this has caused for you and how Performance Point can help:

 

Problems – Subcontractors and project managers are stretched thin due to high demand and Covid restrictions. Roofers, grading contractors, and landscaping companies have to complete projects in substandard conditions. 

Solution – Consider hiring a 3rd party company that inspects both the interior and exterior of a home to mark potential issues and risks involved long before the homeowner walks through. 

 

Problems – With increased productivity and labor restrictions, safety is compromised.

Solution – Consider working with a 3rd party safety company that will help keep you informed about what is happening on your sites and assist in building a safety culture.  This prevents accidents, and loss of time and money.

 

Problems – Insulation prices are on the rise, supply is short, and increasingly strict energy codes demand more insulation. 

Solution – Save money without losing time by hiring professional engineers and/or Energy Raters to avoid having to re-insulate homes to meet new codes. These professionals can leverage your energy codes performance-based alternative compliance methods for deeper savings. 

 

Problems – HVAC companies have more homes to do with less support forcing design decisions to the field impacting consistency and quality. 

Solution – A 3rd party HVAC designer can improve the workflow giving you a quicker turnaround and more consistency.  A 3rd party inspector can also perform visual inspections before sheetrock is hung to ensure designs are implemented properly and test for duct tightness after mechanical trim to be sure comfort can be delivered effectively.

 

Problems – Sewer lines back up after closings resulting in costly repairs, unnecessary additional demand on skilled labor, and of course, warranty costs months after the owner takes possession.  The same can happen with foundation drain extensions and downspout extensions.

Solution – Hire a 3rd party inspector or plumbing company to run a camera down the drain line to inspect for clogs or other issues prior to closing. This low-cost service prevents headaches before they begin. 

 

Performance Point is here to be your 3rd party-building inspections contractor!  We offer Quality Inspections, Safety Inspections, Drain Inspections, professional HERS and Energy ratings, HVAC design, Air sealing, and more!  

 

Call us BEFORE your problems begin. 

 

“Partnering with Performance Point to create a safety program under our changing budget constraints has influenced our cultural values for safety. Through their vision we have seen less injuries and increased productivity – quantity means quality!” Logan Kubik, Purchasing Manager – DR Horton Columbia, SC

“Performance Point offers a standard QI process across our city.  Having them come in as an outside party and resource to assure all homes are still being built to the same consistent quality standards during this time has been very beneficial.  It’s like having an extra set of eyes on all our homes to assure quality standards are being met prior to homeowner orientations.” Joe Walston, Director of Purchasing – DR Horton Charlotte, NC

704.563.1030

Info@ThePerformancePoint.com

 

13

Jan

Don’t Balk at Caulk

Written By: John Jeppesen

Homeowners and property managers are feeling the pinch in their wallets as the skyrocketing energy costs go up with no end in sight. Something as simple as sealing ductwork joints can really make a difference. According to the U.S. EPA, the average duct system loses around 20% to 30% of its air to holes and leaks in the ductwork. You could be blowing out big money if your ductwork is in your crawlspace, attic, or other unconditioned areas.

We found this on the Contracting Business website about duct sealing:

“One of the first places to start is to air seal around all duct shafts and flues installed through ceilings, walls, and flooring to keep conditioned air from leaking into unconditioned space.

Use silicone caulk air seal around duct boots. You can also use canned foam, or rigid air barrier material cut to fit and caulked or foamed in place around the duct shafts. It’s important to caulk the HVAC boot to the sheetrock before the HVAC trim gets installed. Believe it or not, this simple little joint is controversial and has a huge impact on the testing performance of the duct.

There are a lot of joints in this fabricated fitting as it goes into the building enclosure. The return side of the duct system gets really fun, especially if you’re using panned returns. The leakiest connections we find are where the return duct and floor joist intersect, with the top of the duct being cut out as a return pathway.”

There’s a big marketing payoff for your company if your projects meet ENERGY STAR/Zero Energy compliance.  The DOE Zero Energy Ready Home is a compelling way to recognize builders for their leadership in increasing energy efficiency, improving indoor air quality, making homes zero energy ready.

The DOE program builds upon the comprehensive building science requirements of ENERGY STAR® for Homes Version 3, along with proven Building America innovations and best practices. Other special attribute programs are incorporated to help builders reach unparalleled levels of performance with homes designed to last hundreds of years.

DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes are verified by a qualified third-party and are at least 40%-50% more energy-efficient than a typical new home. This generally corresponds to a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index Score in the low- to mid-50s, depending on the size of the home and region in which it is built.

For more information and program specifics, visit: https://www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/guidelines-participating-doe-zero-energy-ready-home-program

Use duct tape for everything except ducts:

Sealing other HVAC components such as ductwork must also be addressed. Duct tape has been called “The Handyman’s Secret Weapon” on the PBS series “The Red Green Show,” (find it on You Tube), but it belies its name. It does a lousy job sealing ductwork joints. The same is true with foil tape. It’s because the adhesive in both doesn’t stick well to dirty or oily metal surfaces. Even if they did, the adhesive gets brittle from heating and cooling cycles and delaminates.

David Richardson wrote a long article on the Contracting business website.

Richardson begins by saying: “As a general rule all ducts leak, some worse than others. The trick is to know where the different leaks are located and deal with them before they’re an issue… Installation crews do a great job with the fabrication and installation of a duct system but many times don’t fully understand the importance of a properly sealed duct system. It seems many installers just paint the ducts in an effort to please code officials instead of realizing how beneficial properly sealed ducts are. We oftentimes see ducts with only three sides sealed and mastic applied to the wrap instead of to the duct itself just to appease code requirements.”

Richardson gets more specific: ”Caulking is a much better and long-lasting solution. A high-quality silicone caulk with a UL 181 rating. UL 181 is the standard by which all duct sealants are rated. The main parts of UL 181 that apply to field fabricated ducts include UL 181A and UL 181B. One sealant that has been used by the HVAC industry for years is the one that has proven to be the most unreliable; I’m talking of course about duct tape.” So, when it comes to HVAC ductwork it is anything but a “secret weapon.”

Let’s not overlook existing homes or buildings. Although more skilled homeowners /property managers can fix some leaks, it’s best left to the professionals to get the job done right the first time because some leaks are hard to find or reach, or they lack the diagnostic tools and techniques.

They’re likely to call if:

  • They have high utility bills
  • Their home is dusty
  • Uneven heating or cooling in a room

Comfort is the homeowner’s bottom line according to the Comfort Masters website. They offer this advice: “To focus on only one variable as being more important than any of the others is making a lot of assumptions. When proper duct sealing is combined with proper design and insulation, and airflow delivery that’s been tested and verified, you have an HVAC system that will provide total comfort.” What’s more, they can save big money on their utility bills.

Performance Point strongly supports energy efficiency and its impact on the environment, but we are just as passionate about helping our customers build comfortable homes.  Call us before you start your next project and let us show you how we can help!

 

23

Dec

Merry Christmas from Performance Point!  

Written By: Athena Seay

A well-known hymn….” Westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light” talks about being guided by a certain light.  Our customers are our north star here at Performance Point and delivering outstanding customer service is what guides us. During this season we reflect on what is truly important both professionally and personally. 

Sam Galphin, President of Performance Point shares ….”What is truly important for Performance Point is that we are doing an exceptional job servicing our customers.  My desire is for our customers to look back on their year and recognize that we were a big part of their success.  When they succeed we succeed!”  

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the supply chain for home builders, and that is especially highlighted during this time of year. With material shortages and production disruptions, builders are stressed.  Performance Point strives extra hard to be a partner with our builders, to help them overcome this lack of capacity.  “We may feel a little stretched right now to get to all of the scheduled homes, but we do, while other companies are falling far behind,” says Sam.

Personally, during this time of year, Sam focuses on the importance of family time and to reflect on another year gone by.  “We try to live a financially and environmentally friendly lifestyle, values that glorify Christ”.   

Performance Point also is intentional about giving back to the community.  We tithe 10% of our profits to Habitat for Humanity.  We also support Dream On 3, a charity that provides assistance to children that are sick in the hospital but can not have visitors because of Covid.

Professionally, Sam is thankful for the success of Performance Point!  For example, the jobs completed this week compared to the same week in 2018 have increased over 230%!

Also, Sam is grateful for the employees and staff that work at Performance Point.  “They are people that I enjoy and look forward to seeing and interacting with every day.” 

And still proceeding, Performance Point is exploring ways to leverage technology to service our customers even more. “We’re going to have a year focusing on expanding our capacity to service our customers in new ways.  I look forward to growing in the markets in which we currently participate by providing additional services to our customers.”

08

Dec

What Makes Us Different? A Customer’s Perspective…

Written By: Athena Seay

A lot of factors go into building a home; the site, the size, the structure, and the specifications.  Making a home that is extraordinary, built to the highest standards, is what you can find with Linnane Homes.  

Linnane Homes, LLC has been in the home building business since 1989 in the Charlotte area.  With homes ranging from $800,000 to $3 million, Linnane’s customers expect exceptional built houses for living. These homes are not only beautiful on the outside, but are comfortable and above the standards of the average home. For example, Linnane homes are 35% more energy efficient than the standard home. They are so confident in their homes that they provide a 10  year structural, insured, and transferable warranty.

Performance Point helps this custom builder do just that…by providing the services that make homes a lasting investment. Billy Linnane, the President of Linnane Homes was impressed with the knowledge and insightfulness of Sam Galphin, the President and founder of  Performance Point, since first meeting him at an industry function in 2009. Since then, they have collaborated on close to 100 homes. 

Both Linnane and PP have the same goals: to maximize clients’ investment with quality performance homes. Performance Point consults with Linnane Homes on the following  services: 

  • Blower Door & Duct Leakage Testing 
  • HERS Ratings (Home Energy Rating System) 
  • ENERGY STAR 
  • Building Performance Reports 
  • HVAC Design  
  • Air Sealing 

This intense attention to detail requires day to day communication between the two companies. In fact, Billy says, “Performance Point’s personal attention, their schedule flexibility,  and industry knowledge has made the perfect relationship”. 

It’s this partnership that helped Linnane Homes win the best Energy Star Certified Home 2013,  2014, and 2015. Also, they have earned the highest level for client satisfaction for 5 years straight on Houzz.  

Performance Point mirrors Linnane’s winning leadership by earning NGBS Green Partner of Excellence and is the market leader for Energy Star Certified Homes. 

To be a leader in a competitive home building market, Linnane has trusted Performance Point to work seamlessly with them, from pre-construction design to finish construction inspections.  “It’s an ongoing relationship for today and tomorrow”, says Billy Linnane. 

We are ready to start a relationship with your new residential construction business!  Performance Point is in NC, SC, TN, and Richmond (VA). 

Give us a call today (704) 563-1030

01

Dec

Performance Point – The Future and What Makes Us Tick

Written By: John Jeppesen

A lot has changed since we opened our doors. We’ve grown, adding new customers and services, but those are just a few of the changes.  We’re excited about that and all the new technologies and construction techniques in the industry.

Sam Galphin looked into his crystal ball and noted: “I want to continue to grow geographically and in our scope to offer what our industry wants and needs and build the systems that allow us to provide that service effectively. I am 100% committed to helping my customers be more successful, and using those returns to provide opportunities for our people. I want to operate a business that leads by example in the area of environmental and human stewardship.”

Just as a building is only as strong as its foundation, we value integrity as our bedrock. “No one will see most of what we do or how we do it. That creates an environment ripe for cutting corners and falsifying inspection information,” says Galphin. “Many in our industry do this as part of their business practice. At least once every few weeks a homebuilder tells me he is not going to follow the code because no one enforces it or a competing rater brags about a shortcut they’ve found to beat the system. The construction industry (aka “the industry”) is kind of funny in the sense that we are here to build long-lasting structures, but tend to focus on only the shortest term gains. The industry fights against the adoption of practices that can make operating a house more affordable for the occupants and environment under the notion of affordable housing; The industry champions rebate programs that benefit utilities and raters but may actually cost the consumer more.  Commitment to fighting the shortcuts and fighting for the truth in our larger industry is what I mean by integrity in our industry. It is a distinctive of ours and our employees personally.”

We care about the environment. We want our children and grandchildren to have clean air and water in the future. One step is converting to an all-electric fleet. “The technology that allows us to get from job site to job site with minimal environmental impact has come a long way,” Galphin notes. “And we believe we are about to see a tipping point in the auto industry. A 100% electric vehicle can have a lower carbon impact than an efficient gasoline vehicle, but not in every case, it is actually quite complex. We have been running a Nissan Leaf for a while now and we are impressed with its capabilities and efficiency, but the range just isn’t enough for some people to get through the day.  The same goes for the Tesla vehicles that meet the space needs of our workers. We have found the Prius to be an outstanding vehicle in its reliability, efficiency, and range.”

While we strongly encourage Energy Star type construction, the “green” movement is a mixed bag in building construction, says Galphin. “The trend toward more energy-efficient construction falls in and out of popularity driven by, you guessed it, the consumer. As consumers demand more efficient homes builders deliver them. Right now in major markets builders can sell anything they build and the demand for new homes is huge so above-code energy efficiency is not something people have to do.  The other entity demanding more efficient construction is the government.  We do see many states adopting codes that promote efficiency, but these are hard-won battles with a lot of politics and money involved in fighting on both sides. As much as we see people complaining about energy codes they do remain some of the easiest, inexpensive, and impactful codes to adopt. There are also those builders whose values and identity are wrapped up in the quality and efficiency of their homes and they are strong right now, so that is great to see.”

Last and by no means, not the least, is the Performance Point’s soul – our culture and how it plays out.

It starts with the Performance Point culture. “We pride ourselves on providing an atmosphere where people are empowered to do their jobs,” Galphin asserts. “I view myself as working for the people who work here. I enjoy looking for ways to promote the success of those on our team. People are accountable, but they are so valued, they are not afraid to admit mistakes and areas where they need to grow. So if you came here to work you’d find a wide variety of outside interests from athletics to comics, a wide variety of experiences from a lifetime of experience in the industry to fresh out of school, a wide variety of physical characteristics shapes, sizes, and ages and a wide variety of education levels – but everyone must have integrity, humility, and the drive to be the best.”

It’s no surprise the corporate culture fuels a strong sense of corporate citizenship. We care about our neighbors, the city, and the country. “This is one of my favorite things to not talk about,” Galphin modestly says. Here are a few things from the past year as examples of Performance Points giving aside from the ways we encourage our employees to be active givers. We have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, we tithe (give 10% of our company profits), and we made hundreds of sandwiches for a local food bank and challenge others to match our contributions. We are putting together a box for a Dream On 3 kid who is stuck in a hospital without visitors because of COVID. We have donated money toward childhood cancer research and we seek to give employment opportunities to those in our community who have been passed over.  We buy everything local that we can, even though it often costs more. We provide sponsorships to a women’s conference for mothers who have lost children. Not overlooking kids, we made a significant donation for some park equipment in an underserved community.”

Even though we strive to be profitable and successful, we are holistic, more than the sum of our parts.

And if you want to get to know us better, call us at 704.563.1030.  Leave a voicemail and I’ll get right back to you.

18

Nov

The Performance Point Difference

Written By: John Jeppesen

We take great care to provide you with more than building inspection services. There are dozens In Charlotte. So what makes Performance Point different?

Quite frankly, a lot.

It has been said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. So, let’s start at the beginning of 2008. That’s when Sam Galphin hung up his shingle, so to speak. He looks back: “At the time I started Performance Point I was working at Sealing Agents.  Sealing Agents is most known for spray foam, below-grade waterproofing, and material spreading. I was running the Sealing Agents Building Performance division at the time. When the housing bubble bust impact reached Charlotte in 2007 and 2008 and the owner of Sealing Agents asked me to trim my team down to save costs. I understood where he was coming from They had to make cuts everywhere. I thought this would harm the fledgling building performance division so I suggested Sealing Agents consider allowing me to buy them out of that part of the business. I went to some banks, found one that was dumb enough to lend me the money, and off I went. I had what felt like a huge loan, a new baby on the way, an economic crash in the news, it was a scary time for me.”

It was a prime example of risk versus reward. The risk has paid huge dividends. “In 2008 I thought we’d have some home builder customers,” Galphin notes “But the majority of our work would be focused on the residential side. That means I thought we’d be working directly with homeowners on their efficiency, comfort, and IAQ problems. While that is a huge market, I found that even people with big problems didn’t want to spend what it takes to fix the problems. It is tough to convince someone to spend $5K to air seal their attic and ducts for what could be a minimal utility bill reduction. We did have a lot of traction with people who had comfort problems and IAQ issues, but because we are not an HVAC company, that line of work never generated a lot of revenue for the amount of work we had to put into selling and performing it. We actually used to do a fair number of skylights and sun tunnels for new construction and existing homes alike. That work on the roofs of existing homes led us into a brief solar career.  We decided to exit solar and all the existing home work a couple of years later as new construction work was growing again.

Performance Point has evolved since then. “Now we focus on new construction inspections and energy modeling and try to avoid existing home projects,” says Galphin. “We work directly with single and multi-family home builders on code compliance, quality inspections, safety inspections, energy ratings, air sealing, above code programs (ENERGY STAR and Green), and rebate programs.” That said, “There are a lot of things that have not changed, for example, we work for the same people we did then,” Galphin said and added, “plus a lot more and in a lot more areas.”

Every company has its share of pivotal moments. Performance Point is no exception. Galphin notes: “Yes, thousands. There are those moments in a meeting, an interview, or an idea in the middle of the night; that you look back and realize that moment was a turning point to being what you are now. I call that a turning point. To me a key moment isn’t necessarily the point where things changed, it is all those moments that led up to the turning point. A key moment is when you decide to read a leadership book instead of watch TV, pray and seek guidance rather than sleep in, actually pay attention to someone rather than nodding along while you are mentally checked out.  To me, those are the key moments because they are the moments that a turning point is built on.  That said, I know what you are asking and I have.  I would say we have pivotal moments when we’ve made key hires or promotions, expanded services, and with our tech.”

Several years ago, noted business leader Naryana Murthy famously said that “Our assets walk out of the door each evening. We have to make sure that they come back the next morning.”

Sam Galphin couldn’t agree more: “In my opinion, every hire is pivotal. Our people are what make us what we are – we are our people.  Any person we hire shapes us for accelerating toward that next turning point or avoiding it.” +We have been expanding our services and territories over the last two years in a way that we have not done in the previous 10.  The decisions required to move in that direction were absolutely pivotal and the result of many preceding key moments.”

That’s just the half of it says Galphin: “There have been several pivotal moments in our tech story that have propelled us forward.  I think we are on the precipice of another one right now that involves getting our information where it needs to be when it needs to be there.”

Stay tuned. Learn where we’re going in Part Two of our story.

02

Nov

Pushing the Envelope

Written By:  Moment Palmer

Learn about the importance — and benefits — of Performance Point’s air sealing services, effective techniques, and superior products

WHAT IS AIR SEALING AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

In this context, air leakage is the unwanted infiltration and exfiltration of air through a home’s envelope. Roughly stated, the envelope is what separates indoors and outdoors. Knowing this you can now work to pinpoint the areas of a home where leakage can happen. From the foundation to the roof every crack and crevice can be a candidate for air leakage (Think: vents, ducts, exhaust and furnace fans, crawlspaces, attics, and small openings around/between doors and windows).

Air sealing is important because a leaky or drafty house will cost more to operate, be less comfortable, and may have worse indoor air quality than a well-sealed house.  Drafty homes often have higher indoor humidity in the summertime and lower humidity in the wintertime which leads to other problems resulting from expanding and contracting wood like cracks in wood trim, cupping/crowning hardwoods, and creaky floors.

Fortunately, there are plenty of solutions for reducing air leakage. Air sealing is one major way builders deal with air leakage. Spray foam insulation, Zip Systems, SIPs, AAC block, and ICFs are other solutions but it may be outside the cost constraints or other goals of the project. With the help and expertise of the professionals at Performance Point and our access to industry-leading technology, your project will be more air-tight resulting in the most comfortable and cost-efficient home to build and live in.

“Our methods and purpose are far more valuable to a home’s performance and the occupant’s comfort than a typical insulation contractor’s attempt,” Jeremy Price, Performance Point’s Regional Field Manager explains. “A contractor, such as Performance Point, with our scientific knowledge and experience of where, how, and why, will provide an air seal that is the most effective, most attractive, and with the least amount of waste.”

 

FEATURES AND BENEFITS OF AIR SEALING SERVICES

Energy contractors generally start by performing an energy inspection to assess problem areas that need to be addressed. Most home builders have a criterion to meet (that is usually dictated by state and local building codes) regarding the amount of air leakage that is permitted.

The general consensus is that the tighter the home is, the more energy-efficient and comfortable it will be. With a well air sealed home, it is important to have a dependable ventilation system to bring in fresh air for the occupants. ACH is how we scale airtightness. We consider a home “well air sealed” under 4 ACH. A good air sealing job will get you in the 4 ACH range, better in the 3 ACH range, while best is below 2 ACH.  Simply put, ACH is the number of times all the air in the house is exchanged while running the blower door at 50 Pascals. Below 2 ACH is possible with fiberglass insulation and advanced methods of air sealing, but it is uncommon to achieve this due to the complexity of trade timing and the many interconnected systems that interact with the air sealing systems.

Performance Point goes above the typical air seal service offered by others by assessing and focusing on the whole home.

As Jeremy explains, “When we are onsite to perform an air seal assessment for a builder, not only are we there to air seal the house to limit unwanted air infiltration, we are also able to observe and inspect the framing of the structure and all of the other mechanical components. This is beneficial because the early opportunity we have to call out deficiencies in the framing or duct system to a builder prior to insulation can save everyone from trouble down the road.”

In addition to energy and cost savings, air sealing also plays a huge role in Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), which is more essential than ever since we are spending a lot more time working and learning from home. “The importance of good Indoor Air Quality has risen in the mind of the American homeowner since COVID has made us acutely aware that what we breath can make us sick, and now we are breathing more air at home than ever,” says Sam Glaphin, Performance Point’s Founder and Owner. “This making us more aware of our heating and cooling energy consumption and comfort level at home, which has created a prime situation for manufacturers to come out with new products or polish up old products to fit our new awareness of IAQ and energy efficiency.”

 

PRODUCTS AND TECHNIQUES

Once an inspection is completed, Performance Point can make recommendations to address problem areas that need the most attention or even perform the air sealing service turnkey. Effective techniques and durable quality products go hand-in-hand in creating the optimal air and moisture sealing that increase a home’s energy efficiency and building performance.

“A very specific test (Blower Door Test) is used to test the home for how ‘airtight’ it is, and the results are interpreted in a metric called Air Exchanges per Hour (ACH), and depending on what that building code dictates — a passing grade could range anywhere from 3-7 air exchanges per hour — usually depends on what part of the country the home is being built in,” explains Vinny Savelli, Regional Sales Manager (for the Southeast territory) with TYTAN Professional, one of the vendor’s Performance Point partners with.

TYTAN makes a wide variety of polyurethane-based products including adhesives and air sealing foams. “There are numerous competitors out there who produce similar products, so we differentiate ourselves by providing some of the best technology, performance, and value on the market,” Savelli explains.

One of the most popular air sealing products TYTAN offers is single component aerosol polyurethane foams. These products are extremely effective as they provide a quick and easy way to seal off points where air can move through the envelope such as exterior penetrations around windows, doors, and plumbing fixtures.

Jeremy stresses that using the correct foam sealant makes all the difference during the application, and it ensures the effectiveness of one’s effort and material. “For instance, one would not do well to choose draft-stopping foam to seal windows, as this product expands significantly, and it may interfere with raising and lowering a window sash smoothly.” And while these foams are extremely effective, the application process is also just as important.

One of the premier products TYTAN has developed is an air sealing system called the TYTAN UP! System. TYTAN UP! bundles air sealing products into a package for home builders or building performance contractors. Several benefits of using the TYTAN Up! family of products include having the right product for the specific air sealing need,  easier application than competitors’ products (which saves time and labor), and reducing overall home air leakage and blower door test results.

The products the TYTAN UP! System consists of include:

  • Tytan Window/Door Pro – Polyurethane air sealing foam with low expansion properties that will not bend windows/doors. It provides a better seal than traditional fiberglass insulation, is UL Certified, and exceeds AAMA 812 requirements.
  • Tytan Fireblock Extreme Pro – Polyurethane foam with low expansion properties that adheres to most common construction materials and classified as a Type V Residential Fireblock.
  • Tytan Gasket Foam – This polyurethane foam is used for top/bottom plate sealing made with a formula that cures with rebound and memory — helping create a better seal against drywall to help prevent air leakage. It does not require a special dispenser gun compared with competitors who also use water/latex-based foams.

 

SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED

Providing exceptional customer service and quality products is a cornerstone for any business, but exceeding expectations is the foundation of Performance Point’s philosophy.

“Creating and sustaining relationships between material suppliers and applicators is something to find value in,” Jeremy emphasizes. “Sure, it can easily be discounted as company A sells product B to installer C, but it doesn’t need to be that cut-and-dry. I think it takes an appropriate amount of communication between the two parties to make sure the materials being supplied are correct and that the materials supplied are being applied and installed correctly.”

Sam points out that, “Manufacturers are looking to installers and experts like Performance Point to help direct their efforts to fit techniques that are effective for the homeowner and cost-effective for the builder. Partnering with manufacturers helps with their product development because as inspectors we see what’s missing and as installers, we know what is possible to implement. It’s great when a product comes together with a need and we can see the effectiveness of it.”

Working with material developers, manufacturers, and trusted suppliers such as TYTAN, who care immensely about their products’ effectiveness, helps us provide top-of-the-line air seal services and procedures. Plus, we are able to demonstrate how their products are applied and how they actually work in the hands of the installer, which speaks volumes to each of our commitments to perfection and success. This close relationship to builder customers and manufacturers makes Performance Point a great choice for air sealing your project. Give Performance Point a call or email us to get a bid for air sealing on your next project.

 

 

 

 

Websites/Online resources:

https://www.theperformancepoint.com/services/air-sealing

https://www.energystar.gov/campaign/seal_insulate

https://tytan.com/

https://www.thespruce.com/air-seal-home-4174533

https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/weatherize/air-sealing-your-home