Standard Work Specifications Maintenance

The Standard Work Specifications (SWS) are maintained through the submission of comments by industry experts throughout the year. To learn how to submit a comment, please visit the Help section.

Standard Work Specifications Maintenance Committees

The entity that evaluates and approves updates to the SWS is composed of an executive committee and four subcommittees. The subcommittees include subject matter experts for individual sections of the SWS.

The subcommittees are the working groups that adjudicate comments received in the comment review period prior to an SWS maintenance event. Subcommittee members discuss and determine a response to each comment received. The subcommittees are responsible for revising the technical content of each section of the SWS and relevant addenda. To learn about the specific procedures of the maintenance committees, please refer to the Guidelines for Home Energy Professionals: Standard Work Specifications (SWS) Maintenance Procedures.

Interim Updates to the Standard Work Specifications 

While most comments to the SWS will be addressed at regular SWS Maintenance Committee meetings, comments meeting specific criteria may be addressed on an interim basis. To qualify for an interim update, the comment must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Comment represents a major life-safety or health issue; or
  • Comment is submitted on behalf of a major industry organization.

To ensure industry collaboration and consensus, interim comments meeting the above criteria will be addressed by a U.S. Department of Energy Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) representative, a National Renewable Energy Laboratory technical expert, and at least one subject matter expert from the previous SWS Maintenance Committee.

2017 Maintenance Update

The SWS have been updated to SWS Version 2017 (SWS v.2017). SWS v.2017 is the first major update to the SWS and reflects all adjudication efforts since the launch of the SWS Online Tool in 2014. In March 2017, the SWS subcommittees reviewed and adjudicated 141 comments that were received prior to January 25, 2017. (This in-person meeting was held in conjunction with the 2017 HPC National Home Performance Conference in Nashville, TN and was open to the public.) These updates, along with previous redline updates in 2016 and 2015 were incorporated into the SWS v.2017. A total of 288 comments have been adjudicated through the committee process since its inception.

Additionally, the SWS executive committee and the NREL technical team performed a crosswalk of all housing types in the entire Health and Safety section, accounting for 308 specifications. This task was undertaken to address inconsistencies within the different housing types in this section. The updated SWS v.2017 reflects all prior adjudications and crosswalk changes, which includes language and numbering changes.

Please note: The SWS v.2017 may have altered your existing weatherization field guide. WAP grantees should review and update field guides accordingly, prior to submitting to DOE.

The 2017 SWS Maintenance documents track all changes made to the SWS, leading to the SWS v.2017. The 2017 Master Key document lists all specifications that have been altered (either with a number change and/or a language change) and will be useful for updating field guides. The 2017 SWS Comment Spreadsheet shows all adjudication comments and proposed language from the 2017 in-person meeting in Nashville, TN. The 2017 SWS Health and Safety Crosswalk shows all number and language changes to the Health and Safety section. The 2014 SWS archives provide a reference of each housing type, prior to the 2017 updates.

The 2017 SWS Maintenance documents can be found below:

2016 Maintenance Update

A total of 94 comments received prior to October 31, 2015 were reviewed and adjudicated by the following committees: Health & Safety Committee, HVAC & Baseload, and Air Sealing & Infiltration. The resulting updates are displayed in the 2016 SWS Redline documents below, which also contain all updates made during the 2015 Combustion Safety Maintenance Update. The 2016 SWS Comment Spreadsheet details the specific comments and adjudication responses. 

The changes represented in the redline versions and comment spreadsheet are intended to be integrated into the SWS Online Tool by October 2017. Redline documents can be used as a reference by users who are looking for the most up-to-date industry standards.

Please note: At this time, WAP grantees are NOT required to revise their field guides in accordance with the redline documents.

The 2016 SWS Redline documents and comment spreadsheet can be found below.

2015 Combustion Safety Maintenance Update

Comments received on Section 2.02: Combustion Safety of the SWS prior to July 12015 were reviewed by the Health & Safety Committee on August 8, 2015 to reach consensus and align the SWS with industry standards, such as the ANSI/BPI-1200-S-2015 Standard Practice for Basic Analysis of Buildings, recently released by the Building Performance Institute, Inc. (BPI). The committee reviewed 44 comments and performed a crosswalk of the entire 2.02: Combustion Safety section to make updates and align the standards. Updates were also made to Details 5.3003.14 & 15: Heating & Cooling – Forced Air, to align these Details with BPI-1200.  The comments were adjudicated and the committee provided feedback for their actions. A redline version of this section was created for future integration into the SWS Online Tool.

Redline documents can be used as reference by users who are looking for the most up-to-date industry standards. Please note: At this time, WAP grantees are not required to revise their field guides in accordance with the redline documents.

The 2015 Combustion Safety comment spreadsheet can be found below. In order to facilitate a better user experience, the 2015 SWS Combustion Safety Redline documents were combined with the 2016 SWS Redline documents above.

2014 Maintenance Update

The first-ever SWS Maintenance Committee meetings were held on Monday, April 28, 2014 in Detroit, MI, which preceded the 2014 ACI National Home Performance Conference. 22 subject matter experts, split amongst 4 technical sub-committees, reviewed 185 comments that were submitted prior to the event. On Friday, May 2, 2014, an Executive Committee meeting was held with all committee chairs to resolve any crosscutting issues and all comments flagged for further discussion.

The resulting documents from this event can be found below.

For a more in-depth look at the 2014 SWS maintenance process, please refer to the Guidelines for Home Energy Professionals: Standard Work Specifications (SWS) Maintenance Charter.