The following are the session descriptions for the 2015 Excellence in Building Conference & EXPO:


Achieving High Performance Housing Affordably

Day 2 - 9:15 AM-10:15 AM

Presenter: Tiffani Irwin 

According to the Department of Energy, low-income households spend more than 17 percent of their income on residential energy compared to 4% in other households. Costs associated with rising energy prices and maintenance, coupled with burdens from hazards in homes and poor indoor air quality disproportionately impact low-income households. This makes a clear case for the need for healthy, safe, durable, accessible, and energy efficient housing homes for this part of the population. Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates continually push the envelope to demonstrate that high performance homebuilding is a necessity not a luxury and that it can be built affordably.

In this session, we will investigate case studies emphasizing Habitat affiliates' success in building projects certified under programs including ENERGY STAR, Indoor airPLUS, WaterSense, Passive House, and LEED for Homes. We will also showcase highlights from Habitat for Humanity's 2015 Shelter Report about policy efforts and initiatives to advance the industry and make energy efficient, sustainable housing accessible to all.

Learning Objectives:

1. Participants will gain an understanding of the cost implications of homeownership (particularly utility and maintenance costs) on the low-income community, and the empowerment gained through management of those costs. 

2. Participants will engage in a review of the role of health, safety, durability, resource efficiency and accessibility in creating homes that meet the needs of occupants today and in the future. 

3. Participants will evaluate their current definition of affordable housing in relation to their definition of sustainable housing for possible amendments. 

4. Participants will explore the need for and role of advocacy in keeping affordable housing opportunities part of the housing landscape. 

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Air Sealing on the Cheap: How to Get to .20 CFM50 per Square Foot of Envelope Area

Day 1 - 3:30 PM-4:30 PM

Presenter: David Treleven 

Are you attempting to build to 2015 IECC tightness levels?  Do you want to meet building tightness targets without proprietary sealing products?  If so, then come learn about our new applied building science research.  Advanced Energy looked at construction techniques and sealing priorities of 60 different builders in over 800 homes in order to learn how to get our North Carolina affordable housing builders from 0.30 cfm50 to 0.20 cfm50.  Using the data from these homes, we have compiled a list of best practices to build tight homes using non-proprietary sealing products.  

Learning Objectives:

1. Identify the difference between ACH50 and CFM50. 

2. Understand the how and why of the research. 

3. Learn the key sealing points that were identified in Advanced Energy's research. 

4. Reocgnize which architectural features were linked to increased envelope leakage. 

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Breaking Down the Barriers Panel

Day 1 - 2:15 PM-3:15 PM

Presenter: Glenn Cottrell 

Join technical experts from major manufacturers of weatherization barriers in a discussion of how barriers work (and don’t work); the differences between water and vapor barriers, how to choose the right barrier for the job, and the importance of proper installation techniques for maximum efficiency and durability.

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Building America Roadmap: Indoor Air Quality

Day 2 - 10:30 AM-11:30 AM

Presenter: Iain Walker 

As homes continue to get tighter and tighter, an effective strategy for controlling sources of contaminants, diluting residual contaminants, and effectively filtering air flow becomes increasingly vital to ensuring healthy living. Welcome to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) technology-to-market roadmap for indoor air quality (IAQ). In addition to research activities led by Building America, the roadmap recognizes that involvement by the building industry will be essential to successfully achieving the objective of this roadmap. Research and deployment, standards development, and collaboration with industry will lead to high-performance homes with good IAQ and minimized energy use. Learn about planned activities to help solve problems and partnership opportunities to meet the needs identified in the roadmap.

Learning Objectives:

• Attendees will learn about ventilation issues in high performance homes.

• Learn about specific guidance for recommended ventilation systems

• Learn about DOE’s key research, standards development, and collaboration with industry.

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Building America Roadmap: Moisture Managed High-R Assemblies

Day 2 - 8:00 AM-9:00 AM

Presenter: Roderick Jackson 

Even new code homes are much better insulated and more air tight than in the recent past. So much so, they have less tolerance to getting wet due to substantially less drying potential. As a result, future progress to higher performing, zero energy ready homes depends on a comprehensive moisture control strategy. Welcome to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) technology-to-market roadmap for high performance, moisture managed envelope solutions. It was developed by the DOE Building Technologies Office with input from a wide array of internal and external experts. Learn what factors are driving moisture risk in new and existing homes, and what key research, market deployment, and code milestones can help mitigate this risk and provide a pathway to zero energy ready new homes and whole-house energy retrofits.

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Building America Roadmap: Optimized Comfort Systems for Low-Load Homes

Day 2 - 9:15 AM-10:15 AM

Presenter: Jon Winkler 

As we increasingly embrace better insulated and air sealed high-performance construction, heating and cooling loads continue to decrease dramatically. So much so, the reduced air flow to meet heating and cooling requirements and longer swing seasons with no sensible space conditioning loads provide critical new challenges to ensuring year-round comfort. Welcome to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) technology-to-market roadmap for comfort systems in low-load homes developed by the DOE Building Technologies Office with input from a wide array of internal and external experts. The roadmap recognizes that involvement by the building and HVAC industries will be essential in successfully achieving proven comfort solutions for homes with high-performance enclosures. Learn what factors are driving this important comfort risk in new and existing homes, and what key research, standards development, and collaboration with industry will lead to ensured comfort along with minimized energy use.

Learning Objectives:

• Learn what factors are driving this important comfort risk in new and existing homes.

• Learn about DOE’s key research, standards development, and collaboration with industry.

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Building America: Analysis and Tools for Better Results

Day 2 - 2:15 PM-3:15 PM

Presenters: Craig Christensen  Scott Horowitz  Eric Wilson 

Researchers from DOE national labs will present the latest analysis and tools needed to cost-effectively research, develop, and deploy solutions for zero energy ready new construction and existing homes. This session will cover two different tools focused on multifamily residential buildings: Weatherization Assistant MulTEA, an audit tool for weatherization programs; and BEopt-Multifamily, a research and design tool for identifying least-cost high performance multifamily building designs. The session will also include a presentation of NREL’s energy efficiency potential analysis for the U.S. single-family residential building stock.

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Building America: Putting Research Into Action

Day 2 - 1:00 PM-2:00 PM

Presenters: Chrissi Antonopoulos  Michael Baechler 

Builders will learn how to use the latest research and tools developed by the U.S. Department of Energy Building America program. A review of the Building America Solution Center will show attendees how to gain full and simple access to the wealth of building science and energy efficiency research generated by the program, along with other resources to help specify features, train crews, and complete quality installations.   Those interested in selling homes and educating consumers will be pleased to learn about the Building Science to Sales Translator, which gives builders and sales professionals a source of jargon-free descriptions and sales messages for building technologies that resonate with consumer values and interests.  Attendees will also learn about Building America’s efforts to improve building science education.  Building America is recommending proficiency skills across all major building workforce classifications as guidance for text books, curriculum, continuing education, credentials, and testing. In 2015, DOE and PNNL are launching a multi-year campaign engaging a diverse set of building industry stakeholders and educators to embrace these guidelines. The session will also cover how to find and use Code Compliance Briefs, content on the Solution Center that specifically provided information for code officials and builders working with code officials.

Learning Objectives:

1.  Attendees will learn about the value propositions of energy efficiency measures and the tools to help sell these features and create custom point-of-sale materials and strategies.

2.  Attendees will learn how to access the latest building science research to help them immediately apply it to their specifications, training, and field installations. 

3.  Builders and Designers will learn how to overcome code barriers to innovation energy efficiency measures.                            

4.  Participants will learn about proficiency skills across all major building workforce classifications.

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Case Study in Long-term Performance of Zero Energy Homes

Day 2 - 10:30 AM-11:30 AM

Presenter: Paul Kriescher 

In 2005 the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver teamed-up to design and build an affordable zero energy home. The home was the first design application of NREL's Building Energy Optimization (BEopt) simulation program. The home was designed to be simple, using off-the-shelf technologies with easily maintained mechanical systems and volunteer-friendly construction techniques. The home was presented at ASES and ASHRAE conferences, was visited by the U.S. Secretary of Energy, was reported on extensively in both the Internet and print press and was covered on Fox News. CRES presented an Exemplary Building Award to the home in 2006. A data acquisition system was installed in the completed home to monitor its performance. During the first year of measurements the home produced 24% more energy than it consumed. These results triggered another flurry of reporting including an Energy Design Update article that claimed the NREL/Habitat home was the first in the U.S. with confirmed zero energy performance.

NREL has continually monitored the performance of this early ZEH for over eight years. This paper explores the performance history of the NREL/Habitat ZEH over that time. The home remained a net energy producer for three years after construction but the net energy performance then dropped each year. For the year from April 2013 to March 2014 the home produced only 64% of consumption. The causes for this are explored through detailed data on the home's systems, weather, and occupant effects. Systems examined include photovoltaics, solar water heater, back-up water heater, ventilation, and lighting. Occupant effects examined include indoor temperature, hot water use, and miscellaneous electric loads. The annual variation in outdoor temperature and solar radiation is also considered.

In recent years there has been increasing attention given to actual building energy performance compared to design expectations and modeling results. This paper extends measured performance beyond the standard first year timeframe and sheds light on how and why building energy performance may change over longer time periods.

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand the definition of Zero Energy Home and how it was applied for the NREL/Habitat Home.

2. Understand the Building Energy Optimization (Beopt) approach to designing Zero Energy Homes. 

3. Understand how the occupants and the home meet or miss the Zero Energy goal together.

4. Understand the factors that contributed to the NREL/Habitat house evolution in performance from exceeded the Zero Energy goal to missing the goal over 8 years. 

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Case Study: New Ventilation Solution for Humid Climates

Day 2 - 1:00 PM-2:00 PM

Presenters: Greg Cobb  Scott Grefsheim  CR Herro 

Delivering ASHRAE 62.2 compliant fresh air ventilation systems in hot humid climates is challenging. It becomes even more challenging with modern, low infiltration construction practices. Until recently, builders had to make a compromise: (a) reduce ventilation levels during periods of high humidity and risk poor indoor air quality and potential health risks, (b) provide proper levels of ventilation without humidity control and suffer comfort/durability issues from excessive indoor humidity during shoulder seasons (spring & fall), or (c) provide proper levels of ventilation with a whole house dehumidifer and suffer an energy consumption penalty from the waste heat generated by this device that the HVAC system must remove. 

A new product category was invented to address this problem: a dehumifying ventilator. This device removes the moisture from the in-bound fresh air before it enters the home. It uses an intelligent controller to avoid ventilating during peak cooling hours, and uses the latent capacity of the HVAC system for much of the dehumidifying to minimize waste heat.

This session will provide three perspectives:

1) Builder: CR Herro from Meritage Homes will describe the challenges faced by a builder in providing fresh air ventilation in the Orlando, FL market and the experience of rolling out a new product to address the challenges. 

2) Engineer: Greg Cobb from iEngineer will describe the design criteria for a solution to this challenge and the methodology of sourcing a solution in the market. 

3) Manufacturer: Scott Grefsheim from Aprilaire will describe the product created to address this challenge as well as the results of a full year test of the new product in four Meritage model homes again four control model homes in Orlando. 

The session will end with a lenghty question and answer period for the audience. 

Learning Objectives:

1. Learn about one national builder's quest to overcome ventilation challenges in warm, humid climates: deliver ASHRAE 62.2 ventilation every 24 hour period, maintain reasonable indoor humidity levels during all seasons, keep installation costs affordable and keep operating costs minimal to not undermine the energy efficiency features of the home.

2. Learn how an HVAC designer and equipment manufacturer partnered to create a new product category to deliver on this quest: dehumidifying ventilator. 

3. Learn the details of how this new product functions to meet the objectives set out by the builder. 

4. Learn about the results from dehumidifying ventilators installed in model homes and monitored for a full year as compared to similar model homes with conventional ventilation systems. 

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Characterization of Air-Leakage in Unvented Attics

Day 1 - 8:00 AM-9:00 AM

Presenter: James Rinne, PhD 

A growing trend in new construction is to insulate and air-seal the underside of a roof-deck, creating an unvented attic (UVA).  This trend is being fueled by a growing need to address the energy losses associated with locating ducts/air-handlers in unconditioned attics (especially in areas where the prevalence of slab construction precludes locating the HVAC in a basement).  The success of this approach relies on effectively limiting air-leakage from the attic to the outside.  To this end Owens Corning has extended upon recent work to characterize air-leakage through walls/ceilings, to also include leakage paths unique to UVAs.  This presentation will revisit previous work, describe the most the recent findings related to air-leakage of UVA-specific joints, and discuss strategies for cost-effectively air-sealing these joints.

Learning Objectives:

Attendees will learn about....

1. the importance of air-sealing, particularly in unvented attics

2. different potential air-leakage paths, particularly in unvented attics

3. strategies for air-sealing, particularly in unvented attics

4. how air-sealing can differ in homes with unvented attics

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Choosing an Insulation Strategy for High Performance Homes

Day 1 - 9:15 AM-10:15 AM

Presenter: Theresa Weston, PhD 

Upgrading a home's energy efficiency will likely include increasing insulation and air sealing of the
building envelope. Many materials and systems are currently available improve to insulation and air sealing, and deciding which systems to use or even which parts of the building to upgrade can be a tough decision. This presentation will discuss the factors that need to be considered when choosing an insulation and air sealing strategy for homes. Case studies and simulation studies will be used to illustrate the energy efficiency upgrade decisions.

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand how the material properties affect the thermal and moisture performance of building assemblies.

2. Understand the interaction between wall R-value, thermal bridging and air leakage in building assemblies. 

3. Understand factors which should be considered in the choosing an insulation strategy. 

4. Understand Energy and Building Code requirements affecting insulation materials. 

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Closing Keynote Luncheon

Day 3 - 12:00 PM-2:30 PM

Presenters: Ann Edminster  Ron Jones 

Mariposa Meadows, Ron Jones

Jones will offer his insights into the state of the green building market, and he will discuss his latest building achievement, Mariposa Meadows—a completely off-grid sustainability center located on a stunning 122 acre in-holding in the mountains of Colorado. Mariposa Meadows unites extraordinary design, extreme performance, innovative products, and intelligent technology, displaying solutions that can be applied in rural, suburban, and urban areas across the nation. The project will serve as a ‘living laboratory’ to study, test and monitor the performance of products, systems, and structures on a long-term basis.

“State of Zero”, Ann Edminster

As sci-fi author William Gibson quipped back in 1993, ““The future is already here – it's just not evenly distributed.” And so it is with zero energy homes. In her closing keynote, Ann Edminster will describe the “State of Zero” internationally and in the North American home building industry: how many ZE homes are there, where are they, who’s building them, and what do we know about the buyers? What does it really take to achieve zero energy? Why is ZE here today for some, and how will the rest of industry catch up?

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DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes- Is it doable?

Day 2 - 8:00 AM-9:00 AM

Presenters: Bill Rectanus  Robby Schwartz 

The DOE Challenge home program has become the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home Program.  How challenging is this new program?  This case study will explore the ins and outs of building and verifying the ZERH program.  NewTown Builders has embarked on moving their entire product line to ZER.  Is it easier for single family homes to get certified or multifamily?  We will boil down the specification and dig into what is easy and difficult to do from the Builders perspective and the Raters perspective. 

Learning Objectives:

1. Is there a business opportunity for adopting the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home Program? 

2. Discover the unique differences in utilizing the DOE ZERH program for single family homes vs. Multifamily homes. 

3. From a Builders and Raters perspective what are the obstacles to building to the DOE ZERH program? 

4. What is the relationship between the DOE ZERH program, Energy Star, and the IECC and is it really a stretch or a small incremental step? 

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Dollars and Sense: The Impact of Green Affordable Housing

Day 1 - 8:00 AM-9:00 AM

Presenter: Alex Trachtenberg, MPP 

In the past decade, there has been a signifficant increase in affordable housing incentives for green building and sustainable development across the United States.  However, some in the development community contend that the costs of green building outweigh the benefits.  This push back has come as states are looking at cost containment for all aspects of affordable housing.

This cost containment argument is often used to undermine policies supportive of green building and sustainable development.  In an effort to support the existing green affordable housing incentives and advocate for more states to adopt similar policies, The Impact of Green Affordable Housing reserach project collects and analyzes cost data to make the case that green building certification is a worthy investment for the affordable housing community.  Selecting projects across both green-certified, such as LEED for Homes and EarthCraft, and conventional affordable housing developments, the research assesses the actual cost of green in an effort to support policies and financing opportunities that incentivize green certification. 

The Impact of Green Affordable Housing reserach project engaged affordable housing stakeholders (developers, property managers, Housing FInance Agencies (HFA) and residents) to quantify costs related to green building and define key issues around cost containment in order to increase the adoption of green building and sustainable development practices.  The project collected data on actual development/construction costs, energy and water utility usage from a sampling of affordable housing developments in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina to answer the following questions:

  • What are the secondary costs for residents and managers (O&M) of green affordable housing versus comparable conventional housing? 
  • What, if any, are the administrative impacts on HFAs and developers when relying on third-party green building certification programs? 
  • Are green-certified homes more affordable and/or healthier for residents? 
  • What are the economic benefits (i.e. payback periods, return on investment (ROI)) for any cost premiums associated with green affordable developments versus comparable conventional housing?
  • This twelve-month research project compares the construction and operational costs of both green and non-green developments, providing stakeholders with much needed data on the short and long-term performance of green affordable housing.  By partnering with HFAs that include varying levels of sustainability measures within their affordable housing guidelines and soliciting support from developers who have built multiple developments across the Southeast, the research evaluates a breadth of state policies, building types and certification programs to champion the value of going green. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Summarize the policies and funding mechanisms that incentivize green building program certifications for affordable housing development. 
  • Quantify the cost to build and operate green certified affordable housing as compared to conventional construction practices. 
  • Evalute the long and short term benefits of constructing green affordable housing for stakeholders. 
  • Assess the financial and health impacts green certifications have on affordable housing development. 

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EEBA "Shark Tank"

Day 2 - 8:00 PM-9:00 PM

Presenters: Gord Cooke  CR Herro  Sam Rashkin 

Do you or your company have a new product about to debut? Do you have a brilliant idea to increase energy efficiency and home performance? Get it out in front of the EEBA sharks with a 3-5 minute pitch to receive instant feedback and the chance to win some great prizes!

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EEBA-RESNET Collaboration for Industry Training on the IECC 2015 ERI and RESNET HERS Index

Day 2 - 2:45 PM-4:15 PM

Presenters: Susan Buchan  Laura Dwyer  Brad Turner  Daran Wastchak 

In October 2013, the International Code Council (ICC) voted to incorporate an optional Energy Rating Index (ERI) compliance path into the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).  This means that a builder can use a HERS Rating (RESNET’s “ERI”) to comply with the 2015 IECC.  To educate the industry on the new ERI and how HERS Ratings are used to comply with this new performance path option, EEBA is working closely with RESNET, EEBA Industry Partners, and RESNET Training Providers to create a new curriculum and course to be delivered to home builders, home energy raters, architects, code officials and other trade industry professionals.  This new course will enhance the attendee’s understanding of the underlying building science concepts that form the basis of the current energy code; address the specific considerations resulting from the adoption of the IECC, including practical changes from previous local energy codes, prevailing market conditions, as well as common regional construction practices and materials; and provide training in the use of the ERI as a performance path option in the IECC, and the structure and value of the HERS Score as a tool for measuring the energy performance of a building.

Learning Objectives:

1. Learn some background information on how the ERI became a part of the IECC 2015. 

2. Learn about the development of EEBA’s new ERI/HERS Index course from the experts that are helping to create the curriculum

3. Learn how the new ERI/HERS Index course can be used to facilitate acceptance and adoption of the ERI by your state or local area government

4. Receive an update on when the new course will be offered and how to request that a course be taught in your area

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Effective Use of Water and the Energy Used to Heat it for Builders...The Next Frontier

Day 2 - 2:15 PM-3:15 PM

Presenters: Rod Buchalter  Darrell Hensley 

The effective use of water and the energy used to heat it in homes is the next conservation strategy builders need to pay attention to. Many energy efficient production builders have done a great job improving their envelope, heating and air conditioning to increase the energy efficiency of their homes. Now it's time to address water and the associated energy used in the home as it becomes a more costly resource in many building jurisdictions.

One innovative national RESNET Energy Smart builder that has begun addressing this issue is KB Home. In this session, 4 different water / energy conservation solutions in different locations across the country will be presented by KB Home. KB will show how drain/grey water heat recovery (DWHR) and it's related HERS benefit has helped lower their HERS scores along with the implementation of grey water recovery in their ZeroHouse offering to complement their solar offering to their customers.

Learning Objectives:

1. Grey water recovery system incorporation in different low rise building designs and use of recovered water. 

2. Building policies/requirements for using grey water recovery in different jurisdictions. 

3. Incorporating drain water heating recovery (DWHR) with grey water recovery system design. 

4. Potential HERS point reduction by incorporating DWHR as a water heating savings measure. 

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Electric Water Heating Options for High Performance Homes

Day 2 - 10:30 AM-11:30 AM

Presenter: Lois Arena, PE 

With the drop in envelope loads and the rise in efficient heat pumps (even in cold climates), quite a few homes are moving away from fossil fueld towards electric HVAC.  One recurring question is: what to do about water heating?  This session covers various options- simple electric tanks, tankless electric heaters, solar thermal, heat pump water heaters, etc.- and presents real cost and energy data from several reserach & evaluation projects.

Learning Objectives:

After attending this session, participants will:

  • Appreciate various options available for non-fossil fuel water heating.
  • Understand how new heat pump water heating systems work and where they can (and where they can't) be applied. 
  • Better appreciate potential benefits and challenges of solar water heating in various applications.
  • Be better able to select water heating systems as part of a whole-building strategy. 

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Energy Code Compliance and HERS Index Scores

Day 1 - 2:15 PM-3:15 PM

Presenters: Steve Byers  Robby Schwartz 

What business opportunities have you been missing out on? Well Code Compliance. What does
Energy Code compliance mean? What are the different pathways through the code? How does
the HERS Index interact with the Energy Code, and what value do you get from your partnership
with your Energy Rater. Let's figure it out so that our business will be sustainable and profitable.

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand the different pathways through the IECC.

2. What is the business opportunity embedded in the IECC?

3. How is the HERS Index impacting code compliance and will it be utilized? 

4. Sustainable profitable business. 

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Energy Retrofit Strategies & Case Studies for Historic Homes

Day 3 - 9:45 AM-10:45 AM

Presenter: Laura Blau AIA 

Strategies to achieve serious energy efficiency differ for historic buildings. We will explore realizable design and construction approaches for a variety of historic projects with differing budgets and goals using four case studies;
• an affordable housing renovation project for a non-profit neighborhood organization in Philadelphia,
• a colonial townhome renovation a in Philadelphia's Society Hill neighborhood,
• an historic townhome in Cleveland Park, Washington DC, and
• a University of Pennsylvania historic campus building.

Renovating historic properties to achieve serious energy reductions presents limited opportunities and accumulated constraints. Using case studies we will explore energy retrofit strategies for four types of projects with different goals. The first project, an affordable home ownership program for Tioga United, a non-profit neighborhood organization in North Philadelphia, employs weatherization strategies within a constrained budget and a challenged neighborhood. The Todd Residence, a renovation of an historically registered colonial row home in Philadelphia's Society Hill neighborhood, employs enhanced insulation, high performance mechanical systems, and boasts the first solar PV array approved by the Philadelphia Historical Commission in the area. A deep energy retrofit renovation and addition to an historic townhome in Cleveland Park district of Washington DC. And a University of Pennsylvania campus building feasibility study comparing weatherization to Passive House retrofit.

The program will explore strategies and obstacles to success and lessons learned for each of these projects. Actual construction cost information and post construction energy usage date will be provided with some analysis. With the Todd and Cleveland Park residence we will discuss the issues that emerged during the approval and construction process, as well as creative ways to improve envelope performance in historically sensitive interiors. We will review modeling programs for analyzing hydrothermal conditions in masonry wall types when enhanced with insulation and the related issues, risks and tactics for addressing those construction details. We will explore options to achieve Passive House Standard when solar gain is limited with the UPenn project. Finally we will discuss a phased approach to Historic retrofits addressing pitfalls and sequencing issues to be aware of to avoid building science problems regarding moisture, condensation and indoor air quality.

We seek to raise the bar and elevate expectations for what are feasible energy efficiency goals for historic structures. Although none of these projects sought LEED certification they were designed with the LEED guidelines as a touchstone. We will explore LEED's Energy and Atmosphere and Indoor Environmental Quality standards and strategies that comply and align with LEED's comprehensive goals. The program will help to clarify selection of appropriate strategies for residential building types, based on goals, climate and budget. In this way we promote the preserving our historic building stock for generations to come.

Learning Objectives:

1. Learn how passive technologies and the 'whole-building' approach can be implemented to achieve high performance energy efficiency, durability and health benefits in Historic buildings. 

2. Apply both passive conservation strategies and active mechanical reduction strategies appropriately for historical buildings. 

3. Apply case study examples of best practices and lessons learned, including hydrothermal issues particular to masonry walls in both custom historic residences and budget constrained affordable housing retrofit projects. 

4. Understand possible administrative, design and construction challenges of renovating historic properties in both economically depressed and well-to-do neighborhoods. 

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ENERGY STAR for Homes: Clearing the Air- Ventilation

Day 1 - 8:00 AM-9:00 AM

Presenters: Greg Cobb  Dean Gamble  James Jackson 

Every ENERGY STAR certified home is required to have a complete ventilation system. Gain an understanding of the value that this system adds and its key components. Next, learn strategies that one leading designer has used to design ventilation systems that balance indoor air quality with comfort and efficiency.

Finally, watch an interactive live demo of how to measure airflow using a passive flow hood, a powered flow hood, an exhaust fan flow meter, a bag inflation device, and an airflow measurement station. These five approaches align with RESNET’s draft new standard and will help Raters successfully complete this most important commissioning task.

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ENERGY STAR for Homes: Stepping up from HERS to ENERGY STAR

Day 1 - 9:15 AM-10:15 AM

Presenters: Dean Gamble  Charlie Haack 

Home Energy Ratings are on the rise. This is a great new trend, but high-performance homes are more than just a score. Learn how an ENERGY STAR Certified Home builds upon a standard HERS rating to ensure that efficiency is achieved without compromising comfort, quality, or durability.

Next, hear how changes made this year, such as reducing paperwork collection to a single document, have significantly reduced the effort to certify a home and better aligned the process with a standard HERS rating.

Finally, come away understanding what key components go above and beyond a HERS rating, their relative cost and value, and why stepping up to ENERGY STAR may be easier than you think.

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Day 1 - 8:00 AM-9:00 AM

Presenter: Mark Taylor 

This presentation draws on data collected from two homes that were built to compete in the US Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon Competition. The Gable Home, was built to Passive House standards, and was the top US finisher in the 2009 Decathlon. The Re_home was the 2011 entry in the Decathlon and was designed in response to the challenge of rebuilding following a natural disaster. Drawing on research carried out during the construction of the Gable Home, the Re_home applied many Passive House principles, but sort methods of construction that were more affordable.

After competing in the nation’s capital both houses returned to the University of Illinois where they have been monitored for thermal performance and energy consumption. Since being established on permanent foundations some modifications have been made to the air conditioning systems employed in both homes. However, as the buildings were improved, the original design goals remained the same. Investing in the design and construction of a well-insulated airtight envelope enables the heating and cooling demands to be met with minimal energy consumption.

Both houses employ a Conditioning Energy Recovery Ventilator (CERV) to address the bulk heating and cooling loads in addition to providing sufficient fresh air when required. A 1,500 W fan heater provides additional heat in The Gable Home during the winter months, while a min-split AC unit addresses the peak heating and cooling demands in the Re_home. Both houses are equipped with photovoltaic arrays that produce significantly more power than the homes

The data presented in this paper will draw attention to the relationship between the floor to surface ratio of the building envelope and the impact that has on creating an interior climate that is stable within desired comfort levels. An analysis of the cost per square foot to construct and condition each house will also be made.

As the demand for highly insulated, super airtight buildings grows this paper presents examples of how indoor air quality can be maintained while keeping energy use to a minimum.

Learning Objectives:

1. Gain insight on two super insulated wall assemblies that were built in a factory environment.
2. Understand the role a Conditioning Energy Recovery Ventilator can have in providing thermal comfort and good air quality.
3. Gain insight on how the floor to wall ratio, and the balance between an insulated wall and fenestration can impact interior thermal comfort in a Mid-Western climate.
4. Become informed about options for point source heating in a certified Passive House.

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Getting Past the Ya..BUT's

Day 3 - 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Presenter: Gord Cooke 

Gord Cooke will talk about the process and the next steps of moving along the high performance path. Participants will be given a guide showing how they can empower changes to their building practices. In other words, how do you cost effectively implement all of the great ideas you just learned at the conference?

It will start with:

- prioritizing the ideas, technologies and products into which ones you should do/use now, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years from now
- Benchmarking where you are now and setting up metrics to measure your progress
- Overcoming trades barriers
- Overcoming supply chain barriers
- Overcoming building code barriers
- Overcoming sales barriers

Strategies and ideas to empower the changes you want to make. Getting past all the “YA…BUTs"

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Has the Prescriptive Path seen its last days?

Day 1 - 8:00 AM-9:00 AM

Presenter: Jim Meyers 

Approximately 1.5 years ago the 2015 IECC was released and the new energy code incorporates a different compliance path that takes into consideration appliance loads, renewable generation and mechanical trade-offs.  With this new compliance path will the homebuilder gravitate to this new path or stay with the prescriptive path, which includes REScheck?

Working in the southwestern U.S. the presenter will show the benefits and obstacles to an energy code of the future with no prescriptive path.  With jargon such as better than code, and low HERS scores infiltrating the building industry can a performance path be the chosen compliance path within the IECC?  By looking at energy code adoption trends, state policies supporting the newer energy codes, witnessing the changes in the commercial energy code, and watching the clean tech industry, the picture of the future code is all around.

Through an interactive session the participant will gain a picture of the 2015 IECC and its compliance paths (prescriptive, rating index, and so-forth) and learn of newer local, regional, and national policies that can shape the code of the future to be even more efficient than present day energy codes. 

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand the multiple compliance paths of the residential energy code (IECC)

2. How the compliance paths interrelate to show code compliance

3. How the builder and energy efficiency trades operate under the new code

4. What are some of the possible versions of the energy code six years from now and how does the building industry prepare? 

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Health, Comfort and Ventilation: How they are Related, Why they Matter, and How to Get to the Optimum Levels of all Three

Day 2 - 8:00 AM-9:00 AM

Presenter: Barry Stephens 

With buildings becoming tighter and tighter, and codes requiring this transition, IAQ is taking a front seat in discussions of building science across North America. This presentation first looks at health issues that are arising in today's society, and how these are influenced by IAQ. This call to action has been slow to come, and now the focus is on:

1. Studying IAQ and ventilation in buildings

2. Analyzing what works and what does not

3. Determining best practices to achieve good outcomes for Health, Comfort and Energy Efficiency

Learning Objectives:

What you will learn:

1. Some of the health related issues being tied to IAQ in buildings. 

2. What the latest studies and testing have shown us with regards to ventilation effectiveness.

3. What best practices work to optimize IAQ, health and comfort. 

4. How energy efficient systems can play a part in the affordability of achieving these goals. 

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High Performance Concrete Homes Case Study

Day 3 - 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Presenters: Scott Palmer, LEED AP BD+C  Donn Thompson AIA, CGP, LEED AP BD+C 

This presentation will describe in detail the design and construction of two high performance homes built with concrete exterior wall assemblies.  The design and construction details of each project will be outlined.  Step-by-step construction photos will showcase the building process required to achieve the high level of performance of each concrete home. 

Project one is the first house in the Chicago area certified to meet the stringent US performance requirements of the Passive House Institute.  The 3,600 square foot home, built in River Forest, IL, features insulating concrete forms, supplemented with additional insulation to achieve the required high insulation values mandated by the program.   The monolithic exterior concrete wall assembly also contributes to measured air tightness 35% better than required while enhancing the overall durability of the home.

Requirements of Passive House are based on construction standards first developed in Germany.  The River Forest design follows recommendations by capturing sunlight in winter, shading its impact in summer, and maintaining an extremely tight exterior envelope to limit loss of conditioned interior air.  Two small ductless heat pumps replace a traditional furnace or air conditioner to provide heating and cooling for the entire home.  Passive house designs typically reduce energy consumption for space conditioning by approximately 90% compared to conventional construction.

The second project is the first ever Habitat for Humanity home built in Sedona, AZ.  The envelope of the home was designed holistically combining above-grade concrete walls with conditioned attic space using spray foam in under the roof deck, and energy-efficient windows and HVAC equipment.  It has the essential elements to reach the coveted “Net Zero” energy designation.  Exceeding Energy Star® certification, the project’s full complement of “green” products will contribute to an overall LEED® for Homes Platinum certification.  This will result in a high performance, low maintenance home providing greatly reduced operating costs for the Habitat recipient family.

Learning Objectives:

1. Attendees will learn about the sustainable and energy saving impacts of various cement based residential technologies for the home as well as its site. 

2. Builders will learn how the benefits of concrete systems can reduce assembly steps and details, to simplify and speed up green construction techniques. 

3. Construction materials that provide an envelope with the dual benefits of resilience and energy efficiency will also be demonstrated. 

4. Each required frame detail will be contrasted to the reduced steps, simplified coordination, and practical value to be realized when incorporating concrete wall systems into energy efficient and resilient construction. 

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High R-value Walls- R-30 and beyond

Day 3 - 8:30 AM-9:30 AM

Presenter: Justin Wilson 

This session will outline the ever increasing challenges presented to the industry from increased air tightness and R-values of wall assemblies, to making a connection to material and design choices to creating high performance walls that lead to improved water and airflow performance. We will examine key connection points- foundation to wall and wall to attic. We will also look at new and existing insulation techniques to safely increase the thermal effectiveness of wall assemblies. 

Learning Objectives:

1. Weather barrier and air barrier placement. 

2. Understand the total thermal effectiveness of wall systems and how/where to safely increase it. 

3. Review cladding connection objectives and applications. 

4. Identify connection issues at the top and bottom of walls and the integration of windows. 

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Hindsight is 20/20, Foresight is Priceless

Day 3 - 9:45 AM-10:45 AM

Presenter: Claudette Hanks Reichel, Ed. D. 

The presentation offers insight on the housing issues and challenges we faced after Katrina, lessons learned, and includes highlights of features of 2 Building America - BSC prototype houses built in New Orleans (which we helped with locally) as well as key resiliency features of LaHouse Resource Center, a demo of high-performance, resilient building systems. 

Learning Objectives:

Attendees will:

1. Gain insights into post-disaster obstacles and opportunities for high-performance housing;

2. Learn methods to integrate wind-, flood-, mold and termite-resistance with various energy-efficient building systems;

3. Discover resilient building resources;

4. Be motivated to adopt and educate others to achieve the benefits of truly "sustainable" homes (energy-efficient + healthy + resilient). 

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How Did Building Energy Efficiency Become So Political and How Does A Building Energy Efficiency Expert Operate In This New Frontier?

Day 1 - 1:00 PM-2:00 PM

Presenter: Jim Meyers 

Whether it be the international Energy Conservation Code, ENERGY STAR New Homes, or utility efficiency programs the landscape has changed for the residentiai energy efficiency professional. With the latest IECC including a HERS path the energy assessment community is finding itself inserted into the discussions for the adoption and enforcement of the energy code and maintenance of utility demand side management programs.

Come learn what areas of residential EE are the hot button for the building industry
Learn how you can participate in this environment
Learn who the players are
Where you should start and how to participate.

The presenter started with commercial energy audits 25 years ago and through job opportunities found himself in a position where he was testifying before state legislatures and city and county governments. Some people thrive on policy and regulatory issues while others run from this experience, in either case the energy assessor's background and knowledge is needed to support continued advancing of energy efficiency in housing.

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand the development process of the energy code to support changes to the new policy or codes.

2. Recognize state, local, and national policies and how they affect buildings. 

3. How the builder and energy efficiency trade can participate in the energy efficiency policy environment. 

4. Who the builder or trade should approach in their region to participate in the new frontier. 

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How to get Women Home Buyers asking for more...Green

Day 1 - 9:15 AM-10:15 AM

Presenter: Marla Esser 

You know building/remodeling green matters, yet there is even more opportunity to sell green and energy-efficient homes and projects.  When talking with potential home buyers, do you mainly find yourself talking to "the guys"?  Over 90% of the time, there is a woman involved in the sale- as sole buyer, wife, partner or behind the scenes somewhere. 

Explore how you and your sales staff can learn to speak the language of "green," especially to your women home buyers and have them asking for more green in their new homes.  This new language with "her" lingo and key phrases will help you sell more houses AND green elements.  Talk the language to sell the emotional value (a.k.a. the benefits) of energy-efficient and green features in home. 


Learning Objectives:

  • Learn why your message is key in talking with potential home buyers and how to share it. 
  • Learn the basics of a new language to talk to potential home buyers about your green and energy-efficient homes. 
  • Learn how to speak the new language in "her" lingo.
  • Learn how to use the key phrases of this new language that will help you sell more houses faster. 

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HVAC Myths- Overcoming Entrenched Rules of Thumb and Other Inaccuracies

Day 1 - 9:15 AM-10:15 AM

Presenters: Greg Cobb  Ted Konechne 

We have all heard them, HVAC myths that stand in the way of proper system design and commissioning for high performance homes. Modern construction practices have made age-old HVAC rules of thumb invalid. However, HVAC designers and contractors are generally resistant to change. Learn why these critical members of the home building process are reluctant to adopt well established design and installation methodologies. Hear from a panel of experienced HVAC designers and contractors how to identify, correct and overcome common HVAC myths, like the following:

• 400 sq.ft. per ton is the minimum for equipment sizing.
• Manual J design temps are insufficient in my area, it gets hotter/colder than that here.
• Manual S is unnecessary when AHRI publishes the equipment capacity.
• Manual D? I'll just figure it out in the field.
• When I used Manual J, it created more comfort problems so it doesn't work.
• Lot specific design is too costly and complex for production homes, worst case is fine.
• Expired AHRls equals bad equipment selection.
• Fresh air ventilation increases utility bills and creates comfort problems.
• My HVAC equipment runs too long in the summer, so it must be under-sized.
• If you are under an inch of static pressure, you are good, right?

The session will be highly interactive throughout to discuss overcoming HVAC myths members of the audience have experienced, moderated by Dean Gamble from Energy Star who has heard more myths than anyone!

Learning Objectives:

1. Learn about common myths in the HVAC industry.

2. Learn how these myths and rules of thumb came to be. 

3. Learn why these rules of thumb are no longer valid in the context of energy efficient construction techniques and modern HVAC design tools. 

4. Learn methods to overcome entrenched rules of thumb to get more energy efficient, comfortable and cost-effective HVAC systems. 

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Industry Panel- Pushing the Envelope on Healthier Homes with EPA's Indoor airPLUS Label

Day 2 - 9:15 AM-10:15 AM

Presenters: Nick Hurst  Paul Kriescher  Bill Rectanus  Robby Schwartz 

Builders around the country have been stepping up to the Indoor airPLUS Program, the EPA's flagship label for improved indoor air quality in residential new construction. As a companion program to ENERGY STAR Certified Homes, Indoor airPLUS offers a platform to create additional value and a marketing edge with comprehensive indoor air quality protections for the homebuyer. 

By incorporating the tried-and-true construction specifications provided by Indoor airPLUS, builders and Raters can offer an additional package of moisture management and IAQ protections that are becoming increasingly important in the market- helping the builder manage risk and providing the homebuyer with increased comfort and peace-of-mind. Indoor airPLUS carries valued-added messaging around enhanced indoor air quality. This label can help builders and Raters: 

1. Expand their market;

2. Broaden their messaging about building green; and

3. Help their consumers make informed and environmentally friendly home buying decisions. 

Join this panel discussion to hear how regional builders and Home Energy Raters have successfully implemented strategies to incorporate Indoor airPLUS into their construction and rating practices, improving overall indoor air quality in tight, energy-efficient homes. 

Learning Objectives:

1. What are the sticking points for builders and how can you move through them?

2. See first-hand examples from builders and Home Energy Raters about their successful implementation of the Indoor airPLUS Construction Specifications for new homes. 

3. Learn about the most important strategies to create a durable home that manages moisture, provides enhanced ventilation and filtration, and prevents opportunities for mold growth and deterioration. 

4. Discover ways to promote indoor air quality as an integral part of your business by partnering with the Indoor airPLUS Program as a home builder or Home Energy Rater. 

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Invent, Imitate, Innovate: A PechaKucha Event

Day 1 - 2:15 PM-4:30 PM

Presenter: Alex Glenn 

What's that you say? Well, PechaKucha (pronounced roughly: pe-chak-acha) is the Japanese word for chit-chat or the sound of conversation. PechaKucha was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham Architecture as an event for young designers to meet, network and show their work in public. It is a way of sharing powerful ideas in a fast-paced, high-energy manner: 20 slides for 20 seconds each (6 minutes and 40 seconds) to get your point across. It's a format that makes presentations concise, keeps things moving at a rapid pace, and keeps the audience engaged and learning. PechaKucha has proven to be a creative, challenging and effective way for presenters to share their message with a diverse audience of professionals. It has turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in hundreds of cities, inspiring creativity worldwide.

In this fun, innovative and informative session, we will have five distinct speakers share their building performance experience. It could be a lesson learned, a new way of looking at the work we do, a thought-provoking and inspiring project, or one person's vision for the future. Participants will be petitioned and selected by Alex in advance of the start of the conference. The presentations will be filmed and uploaded to YouTube after the conference. All participants are encouraged to engage technology and post, tweet or blog live during the session.

Learning Objectives:

1. Facilitate multiple speakers to share ideas in a fast-paced, high-energy format.

2. Challenge presenters to share a message with the audience in under 7 minutes.

3. Engage the audience in learning creative ideas and out-of-the-box thinking.

4. Utilized technology and social media throughout the event for promotion. 

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Is Energy Efficiency Killing Building Science?

Day 1 - 9:15 AM-10:15 AM

Presenters: Gavin Hastings  David Treleven 

Is our drive to design programs that produce energy savings and meet utilities' cost effectiveness targets leading us down the road to sacrifice building science principles?  During this session, we will look at building energy codes, utility programs and other influencers of new home construction to determine if building science principles that promote health and safety are left behind and what unintentional consequences could result.  Gavin Hastings will also explore how some programs were able to incorporate non energy saving building science elements into a program and still pass the cost effectiveness tests. 

Learning Objectives:

1. Recognize differences between building science and energy efficiency. 

2. Become aware of the challenges in the cost effectiveness of health and safety measures that face energy efficiency program implementers. 

3. Review exisitng energy efficiency programs for good and bad building science practices.

4. Learn how energy efficiency program implementers can incorporate non energy saving building science elements into a program and pass the cost effectiveness test. 

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Job site visits with Steve & Captain "Apparently It's Not So Obvious"...The good, the bad, and the just plain stupid

Day 3 - 9:45 AM-10:45 AM

Presenter: Steve Easley 

What makes you successful, as a builder is not how many homes a year you build or even how much money you make. What makes you successful is how much money you get to keep and how much you get to keep depends on how well you control your call-back costs.  This class focuses on the top ten mistakes that designers, builders and the trades make that lead to expensive call-backs and poor performing homes. Steve uses pictures from his job site walks to illustrate both problems and solutions and the building science fundamental’s behind them. This class will concentrate on building enclosures, water and moisture issues as well as mistakes that lead to poor energy performance, comfort and IAQ issues.

Learning Objectives:

1. Identify the top design and construction mistakes designers and contractors make that lead to moisture problems.
2. Understand how to improve energy efficiency without sacrificing building durability or occupant environment and maintaining cost effectiveness.
3. Recognize proper installation and common construction and air sealing mistakes that lead to thermal and moisture related defects and how air leakage leads to moisture problems.
4. Understand the relationships between air barriers, moisture vapor transmission, condensation, material permeability, and insulation selection.
5. Identify practical solutions for continuous insulation assemblies for optimum thermal performance and water management.

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Just the Tests and Nothing But the Tests: Training and Credentialing to Meet IECC Residential Codes

Day 2 - 10:30 AM-11:30 AM

Presenters: Mathew Anderson  Joe Medosch  Brad Turner 

Across the United States, 12 states now require new home builders to conform with 2012 IECC codes for residential construction, and another 25 conform with 2009 codes.  To meet demand for the diagnostic tests required under the codes, the Building Performance Institute (BPI) launched its nationwide Infiltration and Duct Leakage (IDL) Certification in October 2014, to verify candidates can successfully conduct duct leakage and blower door tests to the ASTM E1554-07 standard. Meanwhile several states now recognize Duct and Envelope Tightness (DET) Verification training, strong in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and elsewhere.

This provides code officials with critical quality assurance, verifying that the home and duct system have been tested by trained and certified professionals.  The training and credential covers only skills specific to conducting the two diagnostic tests, providing new home builders with an affordable alternative to traditional high-cost verification testing services associated with comprehensive whole house credentials.

Learning Objectives:

During this presentation, attendees will:

• Gain an overview of the IECC 2009/2012 code requirements for air infiltration and duct leakage
• Learn which version of the IECC impacts your state
• Understand the core elements of DET training and the IDL certification scheme, and how the IDL and DET may help your jurisdiction comply with the code
• Hear firsthand experiences from SouthFace Energy Institute in Georgia, where a DET training and certificate system is in place
• See how applying the IDL approach makes sense for the home construction industry whether or not the IECC codes currently affect your state

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Long-term Durability of Polymeric Water-Resistive Barriers

Day 1 - 3:30 PM-4:30 PM

Presenter: Marcus Jablonka 

In order to provide adequate performance and protection for wall assemblies, water resistive barriers and air barriers must maintain their performance characteristics over the entire design life of the structure. While designers usually lean on manufacturers' data sheets to select suitable products, current product specifications often avoid any reference to durability and long-term performance properties of polymeric membranes. Manufacturers often allow UV exposure for several months during the construction phase; no information is provided on how this exposure affects the performance characteristics of the membranes.

The paper describes essential functions of water-resistive barriers and possible concerns associated with polyolefin-based WRBs. Common test methods that characterize the performance and durability of these membranes are provided, and degradation mechanisms are briefly described. Then the paper presents laboratory investigations on UV exposure conducted on different commercially available water-resistive barriers. Results regarding the loss of physical properties of water-resistive membranes due to temporary exposure to UV light over time are provided. Furthermore, product specifications are suggested that are needed to confine the aging properties of polymeric water-resistive barriers and to design wall assemblies that perform adequately throughout the entire lifetime of the structure.

Learning Objectives:

1. Common claims by manufacturers of water-resistive barriers regarding UV exposure.

2. What does extended UV exposure (i.e. several months to one year) do to the WRB?

3. How to evaluate the effects of UV exposure on the performance of WRBs, and what does it mean for the lifetime of the building.

4. Product specification to confine degradation of WRB properties to ensure adequate performance of wall assembly. 

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MAD-AIR 2015: Mechanical Air Distribution and Interacting Relationships

Day 2 - 3:30 PM-4:30 PM

Presenter: John Tooley 

In the pursuit of the high quality, tight, super insulated, and energy efficient home, we might have built in problems that can be so elusive and hidden that the best of contractors only come away with stress-related illness rather than the answer that spells RELIEF. These are words I wrote in 1986 in a paper titled MAD-AIR. Our code has changed air tightness and insulation levels with better installation. These changes may have exposed us to a much madder MAD-AIR. We will compare 1986-1992 to today and discover the changes and their effect on the house system. If you design, build, work on, rate, or assess new construction needs this is a must see presentation.

Learning Objectives:

1. You will learn where doing the right thing right can be the wrong thing to do. Receive the 1986 MAD-AIR paper.

2. You will learn how to measure and predict MAD-AIR.

3. You will learn how to remediate MAD-AIR. 

4. You will learn how to design to reduce the effects of MAD-AIR. 

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Multiple Benefits of Liquid-Applied Water-Resistive Barriers

Day 1 - 10:30 AM-11:30 AM

Presenter: Ryan Newth 

In residential and other light frame construction, moisture and energy control are critically important in order to achieve the desired energy efficiency, integrity, and durability of the structure, as well as occupant health and comfort. Further, since controlling the infiltration and exfiltration of air through the exterior walls has such a significant impact on both the moisture and energy performance of the wall systems, properly understanding the dynamics of moisture movement, considering both diffusion and infiltration/exfiltration is essential in order to minimize moisture issues through proper design and construction. The water-resistive barrier required on the homes exterior is a critical element in controlling both. This presentation covers the history, technology, testing and approval, application and details, as well as the performance and benefits of liquid-applied and other types of water-resistive barriers.

To better understand the moisture control aspects of water-resistive barriers, understanding the fundamental aspects of moisture dynamics is essential. To aid in this understanding, the basics of how moisture is transported, why and how much, and under what conditions are covered. To aid the audience understanding of what governs the speed and direction of moisture diffusion, how the amount of moisture movement via diffusion compares to the amount of moisture moving via air infiltration, the basic science controlling moisture dynamics in frame construction is also presented, including the role of sorption/desorption of framing materials and the quality and applicability of the performance model in determining the moisture tolerance of the wall structure. During the presentation, the audience will participate in an exercise, using appropriate tools and techniques, allowing them to understand both the direction and amount of moisture vapor flow at specific conditions and how it relates to the overall vapor drive and vapor retarder properties.

To better understand the energy control aspects of water-resistive barriers, understanding the relationship between uncontrolled airflow and energy use is essential. The use of liquid-applied water-resistive barriers also provides a very effective alternative means of air sealing than has been used traditionally to reduce the level of infiltration. Specific examples of how lowering air infiltration compares to other alternatives for lowering energy use are given, including increased insulation values and reduced window U-values. Understanding how favorably the reduction of air infiltration compares to the alternative of increasing insulation to even higher levels explains how many builders have been able to meet the more advanced energy code requirements at little additional or even reduced construction cost by using the code-permitted performance path and the beneficial trade-off between air-infiltration and energy levels.

Learning Objectives:

1. Learn the history, function, requirements and technology of water-resistive barriers

2. Learn the science behind water vapor dynamics, including what governs the rate and direction of vapor flow

3. Learn specifically about the moisture performance of frame walls and moisture control priorities

4. Learn how liquid-applied water-resistive barriers provide improved moisture control and reliabillity

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NZEC1: ZNE Case Study Sampler

Day 3 - 8:30 AM-9:30 AM

Presenters: Karla Butterfield  Eric Doub  Steve Kawell 

The Net Zero Energy Coalition’s case study inventory has found more than 4,000 residential units to date in the US and Canada with energy performance at or near ZNE, or zero-energy-ready. Hear from just a handful of Western builders about their experience creating these innovative projects. Speakers represent a spectrum of home types, including single- and multifamily, custom and production, affordable and market-rate, across a range of climates. They will address their successes and challenges and answer some critical questions, including: What will you do differently with your next ZNE project, and why? How did your design approach change as a result of targeting a zero-energy goal? And what is the relative importance of efficiency versus renewable energy in your project(s)? 

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand similarities and differences among zero-energy homes created by different teams in different places, meeting different needs.
2. Identify key efficiency strategies utilized on different ZE projects.
3. Learn how an ambitious energy performance goal drives design.
4. Find out how the size of the renewable energy system varies from builder to builder.

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NZEC2: Z-tech: the role of products in achieving ZNE

Day 3 - 9:45 AM-10:45 AM

Presenters: Brad Begin  Ann Edminster  Brian Fuentes  Alea German  Lance Wright 

Do building products make or break a ZNE project? If so, which ones are critical? Are these new products, or tried-and-true? What advances would ZNE builders and designers like to see to make getting to zero easier than it is already? We will hear perspectives from individuals and organizations engaged in promoting, designing and building ZNE homes speak about the role of products – plus and minus – in achieving the energy performance goals for their projects. 

Learning Objectives:

1. Identify the key products needed to achieve ZNE.
2. Understand the critical specifications for key ZNE products.
3. Appreciate the integral relationship between product specifications and installation specifications.
4. Understand technology advances that will benefit ZNE projects.

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NZEC3: The FortZED Experience

Day 3 - 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Presenters: G.J. Pierman  Julie Sieving 

Zero net energy isn't just a single-building phenomenon. Some communities are tackling ZE at scale. Fort Collins, Colorado is in the process of developing an entire zero-energy district, FortZED. Some of the key players will talk about the technical as well as policy challenges they've faced and how they were overcome, inclduing: factors that are contributing to the project's success, such as the DOE funded Renewable and Distributed Systems Integration project; the benefits and opportunies inherent in undertaking such an audaciously ambitious project, and lessons that can be applied to other ZE community-scale projects.



Learning Objectives:

1. Identify key factors for succeeding with a community-scale ZE project, inlcuding the critical role of inter-organizational collaboration.

2. Learn core strategies in demand management and demand response that are being implemented to support FortZed's ZE goals.

3. Learn lessons from FortZED that can be applied to other zero-energy and zero-water challenges.

4. Understand the benefits of developing ZE communites.

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Panel Discussion: Energy Policy Matters

Day 1 - 3:30 PM-4:30 PM

Presenter: Bill Fay 

Listen as regional and national leaders in energy policy discuss how policy affects the residential construction practice, and how code implementation drives efficiency standards for the industry. The Regional Energy Efficiency Organizations (REEOs) are a national network of regional energy efficiency organizations that provide technical assistance to states and municipalities to support efficiency policy development and adoption, along with program design and implementation. The Building Codes Assistance Project is a nonprofit advocacy organization that promotes the adoption, implementation and advancement of building energy codes on the state, local, and international levels.

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Panel Discussion: Water We Gonna Build? How Water Availability Impacts Development

Day 1 - 3:30 PM-4:30 PM

Presenters: Becky Fedak  Greg Fisher  Gary Klein 

Panelists will discuss the significance of water availability when planning housing developments, and how the recent drought and increasing water demands in the West may affect codes, standards, and planning practice in the future.

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Performance-Based Water Conservation with WERS

Day 2 - 1:00 PM-2:00 PM

Presenters: Lauren Blissard  Mike Collignon  Amanda Hatherly 

This session will provide a general overview of the Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS) program; a whole house, performance-based approach to water efficiency. WERS is applicable to both new and existing homes, and can incorporate EPA's WaterSense program and other water budgeting tools into the final results. Through the use of audience interaction and visual aids, attendees will gain an understanding of the elements of field data capture needed to derive a WERS and how homes can be compared using this tool. They will also be able to explain the benefit of WERS to their state and local communities, and/or elected officials in adopting water conservation measures.

The panelists have all been integrally involved in the development of this new and much-needed efficiency program. They will explain the varied facets of the program, from technical to implementation to training. They will also answer any and all questions from the audience, as this is intended to be an interactive demonstration.

Learning Objectives:

1. Identify the general scope of the WERS program, including how it applies to both new and existing homes.

2. Embrace the importance of water conservation, even in "water rich" states. 

3. Gain an understanding of the elements of field data capture needed to derive a WERS.

4. Convey the benefit of WERS to state and/or local jurisdictions/communities, and/or elected officials, in adopting water conservation measures. 

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Pick Your Poison and How to Get There

Day 1 - 10:30 AM-11:30 AM

Presenter: Robby Schwartz 

3 ACH50 or 5 ACH50, depending on your climate, is the poison pill of the 2012 and 2015 IECC.  However this level of house tightness is more than achievable for a single family home.  In fact the IECC tells you exactly how to do it.  Attached housing is a different story and one that we will look at as well so see how innovative approached to the fire wall assemblies can lead to the house tightness we want.  Follow the bread crumbs and achieve not only a code compliant house but a house that performs well. 

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand the structure of the IECC.

2. Understand the mandatory requirements of the IECC.

3. Where in the code does it tell you how to achieve the air change requirements of the code? 

4. What are the specific air sealing details required by the IECC that make it possible to achieve the air leakage requirements? 

5. What are the additional challenges of attached housing? 

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Quantifying Comfort to Assist in the Window Selection Process

Day 1 - 1:00 PM-2:00 PM

Presenter: Jim Larsen 

“Generally, windows are not the key element affecting the comfort of a building’s occupants.  However under more extreme conditions, where a window is hot or cold and/or the occupant is very close to the window, they become most influential.” (Lyons, 1999)

ASHRAE Standard 55 “Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy” can be used to make a statistical prediction on the level of dissatisfaction for a group of occupants exposed to a given set of temperatures, humidity, draft, etc.  We’ll explain the basics of comfort analysis and use this procedure to establish limits on exposure to cold window surfaces in the winter and the discomfort associated with direct solar gain during the summer.

These exposure limits will be evaluated against full year weather data files to get an appreciation on window discomfort as a function of climate versus insulating value (U-Factor) and solar gain (SHGC).  If a window exceeds the exposure limit for a given hour of the year, that hour is counted as “discomfort”.  Hours are totaled for the year and can be used to compare between window products.  Qualitative rankings of Cold – Cool – Neutral were established for winter weather and Hot – Warm – Neutral used for the summer conditions.  This methodology should apply to most any conditioned space, whether residential of commercial.

A web based application to visualize these results will be demonstrated.  The “app” also adds in the effects of window size.  Used in conjunction with standard energy analysis programs this will help designers to build in an energy efficient manner and deliver spaces that satisfy the occupant’s desire for views that don’t compromise thermal comfort.

Learning Objectives:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the thermal response of windows to the extremes of weather conditions and how those conditions vary by climate zone. 

2. Learn what the key components are in thermal comfort evaluations and how the science quantifies an occupant's comfort reponse to indoor conditions.

3. Evaluate cold weather comfort as a function of U-Factor and learn that solar heat gain is the driver for the summer day response. 

4. Identify which windows rank the best (and worst) in winter and summer comfort as presented in the EWC's Window Selection Tool. 

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Quench Your Thirst! Water Efficiency Solutions for New Construction with EPA's WaterSense

Day 2 - 8:00 AM-9:00 AM

Presenters: CR Herro  Nick Hurst 

Water efficiency in the new construction industry is a rapidly changing landscape that builders and energy professionals should be monitoring closely. In many parts of the country, the increasing frequency of extreme drought coupled with rising water and sewer rates necessitates a more efficient and equitable use of our limited water resources. In addition, community water connection fees are rising. The good news is that home builders and energy professionals alike can turn these challenges into opportunities through EPA’s WaterSense New Homes Program.

WaterSense, a partnership program by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, seeks to protect the future of our nation's water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, new homes, and services.  Homebuilders can construct new homes in accordance with the most current version of the WaterSense New Home Specification and help consumers make smart water choices that save money and maintain high environmental standards without compromising performance. Products that have earned the WaterSense label have been certified to be at least 20 percent more efficient, but builders can also capitalize on WaterSense certification for the entire home which comes with these key benefits for the homeowner:

• Greater efficiency in hot water distribution
• Improved performance and convenience
• Resilient and sustainable landscapes with lower maintenance
• Additional long-term value

Attend this session to learn how recent developments in the industry, including RESNET’s recent work to establish a water efficiency rating system, are changing the water efficiency landscape. Building professionals will also learn how they can leverage the WaterSense New Home label to incorporate the most important water efficiency strategies into their projects and reduce the strain on our water resources and infrastructure. Discover how you can utilize this government-backed label and capitalize on value-added messaging for consumers, showcasing your commitment to conservation and water efficiency.

Learning Objectives:

1. Create value for consumers with included water efficiency through a US EPA validated program. 

2. Differentiate from conventional homes in the market with higher performance homes. 

3. Explore EPA's tools and criteria for creating sustainable, water-efficient landscapes. 

4. Proactively address water management requirements and water rating indices. 

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Radiant Heating-Cooling with Ground Source Heat Pumps

Day 1 - 10:30 AM-11:30 AM

Presenter: Albert Wallace 

Radiant Floor Cooling and Heating with Ground Source Heat Pumps
High performance building envelopes create special challenges for meeting comfort and indoor air quality requirements with conventional HVAC equipment. Excessive energy use is often the
consequence of sizing equipment for peak loads, when in practice 97% of peak building loads are much lower. For forced air systems, large duct sizing to meet peak load air flow requirements is usually undesirable for constrained space or for aesthetic reasons.

These challenges create unique opportunities to implement ultra-high efficiency heating and
cooling solutions incorporating ground source heat pumps with in-floor hydronic heating and
cooling distribution. Ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) provide hot or chilled air or water at three to four times the efficiency of conventional HVAC equipment. By simply reversing refrigerant flow, a typical GSHP can switch from heating to cooling and vice-versa. For radiant floor heating applications where a conventional boiler may be used, a separate forced air system with duct work is installed when cooling is required. This adds expense and complexity to the home, while substantially reducing comfort, indoor air quality, and energy efficiency.

Using a GSHP or the ground heat exchanger fluids directly, the radiant floor heating infrastructure can be used for cooling without a chiller. Radiant floor heating (RFH) provides substantial energy savings and comfort by utilizing the high mass of water instead of air distribution. These systems are easily and cost effectively zoned, with precise temperature control anywhere in the house anywhere in a room. Radiant floor cooling (RFC) uses the inherent ability of GSHPs to provide chilled water cooling without the negative aesthetics or energy loss of large ducts. Passive RFC-using cool water from the ground heat exchanger directly through the radiant floor system- provides system efficiencies 100x those of conventional air conditioning coils using outside condensers. However, the specifications for these systems must have precise functionality and controls to insure latent heat removal and to prevent catastrophic results from condensation.

Using ten years of historical data, the best practices to implement radiant floor cooling and heating systems using GSHPs will be addressed for residential and commercial applications. After discussing the unique constraints and benefits for high performance buildings, specific system design requirements will be covered based on climate zone and space orientation. Cost effective controls and the requirement for dew point tracking when cooling will be delineated. Example projects will include a platinum LEED home (3,300 SF) near Denver, medium to large custom homes (7,000 to 8,000 SF) throughout Colorado, a commercial bed and breakfast (10,000 SF) in Woodland Park, the Special Operations Forces Net Zero Energy Barracks (1,000 units) at Fort Carson, Colorado, and a residential complex (35,000 SF) in Kerrville, Texas.

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand the benefits of radiant floor cooling and heating with GSHPs.
2. Use the lessons learned from past RFC applications to apply to new projects.
3. Learn the specific implementation requirements for RFC/RFH with GSHPs.
4. Interpret technical design manual charts to understand heating and cooling capacity.

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RESNET Home Energy Raters are a Key to Builder Success

Day 2 - 9:45 AM-11:15 AM

Presenters: David Bell  Steve Byers 

Many home builders are using the RESNET HERS Index as a central element of their energy efficiency marketing and promotions.  If they are building ENERGY STAR homes, they use the HERS Index to differentiate themselves from other ENERGY STAR builders.  This reliance on HERS ratings means that a builder’s partnership with RESNET HERS Raters is likewise a critical element of their success.  HERS Raters are skilled in building science, i.e. how buildings go together to maximize energy efficiency as well as health, durability, and comfort.  HERS Raters utilize their special skill in energy modeling with RESNET accredited software tools to create a customized HERS Index for each floor plan and home.  This session is designed to help builders, and trade contractors that work with builders, learn about some of the important ways that HERS Raters can help to maximize their success building energy efficient homes with HERS Scores that make those homes more competitive in the marketplace.

Learning Objectives:

1. Learn from a panel of RESNET HERS Raters how they each work with home builders and trade contractors to bring value to the home building process

2. Hear what some of the challenges are that HERS Raters deal with on a regular basis and how they overcome those challenges

3. Ask questions of the panel about challenges you may have working with HERS Raters if you are a builder, or builders if you are a HERS Rater

4. Share some of your experiences working with HERS Raters

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RESNET Update: What's RESNET Been Up To and Where is it Headed?

Day 2 - 8:00 AM-9:30 AM

Presenters: Peter Rusin  Daran Wastchak 

RESNET has been busy the past year with a number of initiatives that are important to the home building industry and the Home Energy Raters that work closely with home builders.  This session will provide an overview of these initiatives including the development and release of new marketing tools for the HERS Index, FACT Sheets that help to support adoption of the new Energy Rating Index (ERI) in the IECC 2015, and the launch of a new initiative to create a RESNET Water Efficiency Rating Index (WER Index) and another initiative to update and enhance how RESNET conducts quality assurance of the rating industry.

Learning Objectives:

1. Update home builders and Raters on the latest information about RESNET initiatives

2. Know where to find additional information about the HERS Index, the ERI in the IECC 2015, and the new WER Index

3. Know how to take advantage of opportunities created by RESNET’s initiatives

4. Provide input on RESNET initiatives presented and potential other initiatives for the future

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Right-Sizing the HVAC system in the environment of high performance or low load homes.

Day 1 - 2:15 PM-3:15 PM

Presenter: Jacinthe Nichols 

With the new building codes coupled with the growth of the multifamily market, the well
insulated high performance homes as well as the Net Zero homes movement, the HVAC systems will have to be designed under different operation principals. In this session, the impacts of the new codes will be outlined and ways to overcome the issues associated with will be explored. Also we will see how the right-sized system approach allows the use of small ducts for air distribution, its benefits and performances in a low to medium static pressure environment.

Typically in the market, the lowest capacity gas furnace is 45,000 BTU/hr, until now. Dettson
developed small capacity furnaces with inputs as low as 15,000 BTU/hr. An oversized system
will result in short cycling. This behaviour brings poor thermal comfort to the homeowner. The
combination of short cycling and leaky ducts system leads to unconditioned rooms in the house
and moisture problems. Modulation and a right sized equipment gives continuous operation at
lower airflow. It provides comfort everywhere in the living space without the annoying noise
usually heard with traditional high airflow systems. Lower airflow and continuous operation are
the solutions to moisture problems coming with the new tighter homes.

Dettson also provides cooling into the right sized system. This fully modulating system is paired
with the gas furnace giving the same benefits all year long. This high performance cooling
system range from 0.75 to 3 tons. The outdoor condenser is side discharge for its compactness
and its quietness.

The airflow rates of this system are low (as low as 100 CFM) and this is an opportunity to change our mentalities when thinking of air distribution. Bringing smaller duct system is now a real possibility. Those systems offers less leakage and this makes it easier to give the required load per room. Also, from a builder point of view, it means less labour, lower installation cost, less call backs and greatly reduces the risk of mold. Furthermore, from the home owner point of
view, it brings comfort into the entire home because of good de-stratification. With the small
ducts the builder now satisfies the requirement of the new building code, asking to bring the
ducts system into the conditioned space.

Dettson associate itself to IBACOS and an Ontario builder to monitor the right sized system. In
Ontario, Dettson installed a 30,000 BTU/hr furnace and a 2 tons cooling system in a 2,400 ft2
home with traditional ducts system. The monitoring of the home took place for a year in 2014.
In Pittsburgh, Dettson installed a 15,000 BTU/hr unit and 1 ton cooling system in a 2,800 ft2
home with small ducts system. This installation was monitored with 300 sensors throughout the
house from October 2013 to October 2014. Those studies confirmed the performance of the
right sized system in high performance homes.

Learning Objectives:

1. For the builder; offering a healthy and quiet home to your buyers with a solution that also helps reduce call-backs and warranty issues. 

2. For the builder; integrate the "HVAC in a Box" concept through a company that developed a central HVAC solution considering overall cost, new building codes and volunteer programs challenges while offering thermal comfort for the occupant both in cooling and heating mode. 

3. For Building Science, Engineers and contractors; reviewing a central HVAC system for single and multi-family homes which runs at low airflow, thus a more continuous operation through its balanced Smart Duct System. 

4. For all; a Right-Sized System which can be applied to different climate zones due to its controls, offering an overall cost that is attractive, whilc providing flexibility on floorplans to designers and builders. 

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Selling High Performance- It's All About the Benefits

Day 1 - 1:00 PM-2:00 PM

Presenter: Todd Gamboa 

In this session, energy professionals and builders will be given useful sales tools and resources that will increase sales leveraging the benefits of energy efficient building.  Performance contractors, sales reps, HERS raters, and energy auditors will learn how to capture new builder accounts by educating their sales teams. Many energy contractors focus on selling their services to the purchasing agent, when they should be focused on converting the people who sell the homes!  Builders will leverage the “benefits” to differentiate themselves in a competitive market as you help them improve the customer experiences, generate new leads, educate Realtors, and increase sales contracts leveraging HERS ratings.

Now is the time to act! Implement effective new strategies that will help you grow your builder business in 2015.

Learning Objectives:

This presentation will help attendees demonstrate the value and benefits of providing energy efficient products and services.  Learn to leverage high performance through the following:

    •   Demonstrating the benefits of high performance building
   •   Leveraging consumer trends and data
   •   Promoting the value of HERS ratings and 3rd Party verifications
   •   Utilizing national and local programs and savings that benefit consumers
   •   Developing strategies for branding and differentiation
   •   Improving customer satisfaction and communication
   •   Leveraging referrals and testimonials

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Sim-Building: An Innovative Approach to Learning About Building Science

Day 3 - 8:30 AM-9:30 AM

Presenter: Amanda Hatherly 

Sim-Building is a National Science Foundation funded project to develop a game-based simulation to learn building science. Underlying the simulation is powerful software with the critical innovation of the use of advanced multi­ scale building simulation methods to generate realistic hygrothermal data, to support the game mechanics, and to produce compelling visualizations (e.g., virtual infrared thermograms) and allow students to explore concepts in heat, moisture and air-flow in buildings in a game-environment. This session will introduce participants to the free software that is being developed and explain how they can use it. Amanda Hatherly is a Principle Investigator on the grant and runs the EnergySmart Academy at Santa Fe Community College.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the session participants will be able to: 

1. Explain how simulations and games engage learning

2. Explain how Simbuilding allows greater understanding of micro and macro building science and building design concepts

3. Describe the Simbuilding games

4. Sign up to use Simbuilding

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Stop pushing energy efficient homes. Start pushing BETTER homes.

Day 1 - 10:30 AM-11:30 AM

Presenter: Suzanne Shelton 

Shelton Group's research shows that Americans want all the stuff we mean when we talk about sustainability- they just don't call it that.  Further, Americans want better. And better homes simply "should be" energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, in the minds of Americans.  To them, a better home is a home that looks beautiful, feels comfortable, is built to last and gives them a sense of control over their universe ("I can control all the systems from my phone, and my utility bills are predictable and manageable!").  They don't want sacrificing aesthetics for efficiency, no sacrificing aesthetics for comfort.  They want this all baked into a home when they buy it.  They don't want to have to make a bunch of upgrades after the fact- they want builders and others to essentially "do it for them."

Interestingly, the building industry defines "better" differently.  Builders define it as granite countertops and more crown molding.  Energy auditors and home performance contractors define "better" as more air sealing and insulation.  But what if we start defining "better" like the people living in the homes define it? 

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand the market perception realities that must be addressed to sell more energy efficient homes and home improvements. 

2. Understand how's and why's of applying compelling messaging and tactics in your marketing efforts. 

3. Learn the market potential for various energy efficiency upgrades. 

4. Hear examples of how to market home performance in a way that creates positive reaction. 

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Strategies to comply with EStar Rev 08 HVAC Design

Day 1 - 1:00 PM-2:00 PM

Presenters: Greg Cobb  Aaron Holden 

Energy Star v3.0/3.1 Rev. 08 includes many changes to the HVAC requirements from Rev. 07. Minimum Manual J. S & D design methods for multi-configuration "production" homes are more specific now in Rev.08. A single "worst-case" design is no longer allowed. HVAC designers must now provide lot-specific designs or follow a new group design methodology.

This session will provide strategies and best practices for production home builders to implement either (a) lot-specific HVAC designs (recommended) or (b) Rev. 08 HVAC group designs (allowed).

Attendees will learn the following:

• Overview of the Rev. 08 HVAC design requirements

• How to specify the new design requirements to HVAC designers/contractors

• Summary of lot-specific and group design methods

• Best practices to manage this new process:

  • Engineering: Documentation/Plans
  • Architecture: Plans
  • Municipal Officials: Code Compliance/Plan Review/Field Inspection
  • Purchasing: Bidding
  • Trade Contractors: Take-offs/Bidding
  • Sales and Service: Homeowner Communication

The session will end with a lengthy question and answer period for the audience.

Learning Objectives:

1. Learn about the revised HVAC design requirements in the recently released Rev 08 of the Energy Star for new homes program, including the new HVAC Design Report. 

2. Learn about the two approved HVAC design methods in Rev 08: group design and lot-specific design.

3. Learn about the challenges production home builders face in complying with these requirements for multi-configuration plans and the benefits delivered through successful implementation. 

4. Learn about the tools and techniques one national HVAC designer has developed to meet the new requirements and deliver HVAC designs that are: comfortable, energy efficient, cost effective, easy to bid and easy to install. 

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Sustainably Simulating Natural Daylight for Interior Spaces

Day 3 - 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Presenter: Sean Gaydos 

It is generally agreed upon that natural daylight is the best light source. But how do we provide that in the built environment? The ideal method is to provide access to that natural light. Health care facilities are finding that patients heal faster and have shorter hospital stays when the recovering patients have access to sunlight, south facing windows, treetops and/or outdoor patios. Homeowners and developers are all looking for ways to increase property values and quality of life by increasing window quantities and sizes. The message is clear: daylight is valued. However, many interior spaces do not have access to high quality natural daylight: with ever-increasing population levels, high-rises are being built side by side, making access to daylighting difficult if not completely absent from most businesses. Meanwhile, public schools are experiencing limited budgets and increasing costs, making renovators for additional windows and clerestories out of reach for most communities. Increasingly designers and architects find they must improvise and supplement with artificial light sources where daylight is not available. So what is the best way to do that? This presentation explores opportunities that are available to us through implementation of new LED lighting technologies that have never before been possible with traditional lighting sources- from static white high color temperature lighting, to tunable white light products, to full spectrum WRGB-type solutions. All of these new technology options have different advantages and disadvantages, from the standpoints of costs, energy savings, controls, and versatility, and we will discuss them all from a sustainability platform. We will show specific examples of how to apply these cutting-edge technologies in healthcare, commercial, educational, and residential environments, and discuss the project applications with an analysis of how these technologies are changing the way we build. 

Learning Objectives:

1. Become aware of the intrinsically photoreceptive retinal ganglion cell (ipRGC)

2. Understand the importance of the human circadian system and how it works

3. Gain an understanding of light's impact on human health

4. Perceive the characteristics of daylight, as a variable white light and understand how it can be recreated with LED light sources. 

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The Cost of Recovery: Cost Effective Improvements for Affordable Resiliency

Day 3 - 8:30 AM-9:30 AM

Presenter: Tiffani Irwin 

Over 40% of Americans live in communities prone to hurricane catastrophes and many of the rest live in areas subject to tornadoes, floods, wildfires, and earthquakes.  With an increase in natural disasters in recent years, the safety and security of families living in these areas have been put in jeopardy. Insurance costs have risen substantially in many markets, putting additional financial hardships on low-income families. Investing in disaster mitigation up front provides substantial savings in recovery costs. Habitat for Humanity has turned to more resilient building techniques in order to not only reduce these operational costs for families, but to build the best house we can possibly build and better protect our families.

This session will take a look at efforts by Habitat affiliates in disaster-prone areas to build to IBHS FORTIFIED standards and introduce the Habitat Strong program. In doing so, we’ll discuss crucial building methods to improve durability; build resilience to hurricanes, high winds and storms; and reduce safety risks in these areas. In addition to construction techniques, we’ll discuss key policy, advocacy, and partnership strategies to better incorporate resiliency into affordable housing and our definition of sustainability.

Learning Objectives:

1. Participants will explore the correlation between climate change and the increase and severity of weather events and natural disasters, and homeowner insurance and housing costs. 

2. Participants will identify the impact of disaster damage on indivdiual households and communities, particularly for those with limited resources. 

3. Participants will evaluate existing programs and innovative building strategies for increased durability in the built environment. 

4. Participants will review strategies and programs and construct best building practices for resiliency within their service area. 

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The Money Is In the Pipes: The Whole Story About Saving Water in Homes

Day 2 - 9:15 AM-10:15 AM

Presenter: John Tooley 

“We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.” – Thomas Fuller, 1732

A key to rating the water efficiency of a home is to understand how a home uses water. This session’s goal is to change our water consciousness. It will clearly help us understand why water saving is critical in our changing marketplace, and explain how our water value proposition helps to increase our bottom line and helps others make the much needed step towards reducing water use. This session will provide an overview of our nation’s water need, explain the importance of monitoring water used in a home, and introduce strategies to reduce water consumption.

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand why water saving is critical.

2. Look at the value proposition.

3. How you can reduce water use in your home.

4. Learn strategies for reducing water use. 

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Tri-Generation: Power-Heat-Cooling for Homes, Independent of the Grid

Day 2 - 1:00 PM-2:00 PM

Presenter: Randy Erwin 

MCHP, or micro combined heat and power, is a technology that has been widely utilized in Europe, Japan and other cold climates as an uninterruptable source of power and heat for homes and small commercial buildings. Because of the inability to handle cooling demand, this technology has been largely ignored in the United States. However, recent developments in this technology have created a new classification, micro combined cooling, heating and power (MCCHP) that has overcome the obstacles of heat and humidity found in warmer climates like the United States and other countries.

Powered by natural gas or propane, this technology provides homes and small buildings with
uninterruptable power, air conditioning, and heat energy for space, water, and recreation (pools, hot tubs, etc.) with efficiencies ranging from 85-100% (depending on the utilization of the waste heat). MCCHP can be compatible with renewable energy sources such as PV or Wind Turbines and functions with or without connection to the grid.

MCCHP, because of its energy management system, can manage multiple power delivery sources to optimize usage by prioritizing the power source for lowest cost impact. Excess power delivered by the tri-generation system can be sold to the grid to help offset natural gas costs (or propane), sometimes yielding a net-zero energy cost for the home.

The addressability of the MCCHP unit allows it to communicate not only with the consumer and/or electrical provider, but also on a peer-to-peer basis with other tri-generation units which allows for the aggregation of power into a virtual mini-grid. It can also provide extensive valuable information regarding occupant behavior, the effectiveness of renewable energy sources, power generation efficiencies, and it can provide performance alerts for maintenance.

Electric utility companies, natural gas and propane providers are investing in MCCHP because they see it is a critical element needed to initiate the movement away from centralized power plants and towards a distributive grid. A national distributive grid would not require the billions of dollars of investment to build new power plants or the replacement of current infrastructure. In addition, a distributive network would inherently involve less vulnerability to national security issues. The distributive grid is a necessary and inevitable evolution in energy production that will resemble the conversion of both the telecommunication and computer industries from a centralized to a peer-to-peer network.

By virtue of its efficiency, compared to conventional power plant production, and it use of low emission fuels, MCCHP represents a giant step forward in efforts to achieve a more sustainable power providing technology. It also offers a realistic transitional step towards a non-fossil fuel based energy market by establishing a mechanism for the distributive grid and a platform to utilize renewable power sources that are not dependent on the current electric grid.


Learning Objectives:

1. What MCCHP is and how it works.

2. How MCCHP is installed in a home or small building. 

3. How heat energy can be utilized to achieve 100% energy efficiency.

4. Data specific performance characteristics of MCCHP.

5. How MCCHP works in a high performance home environment.

6. Overview of how MCCHP would work in a distributive grid. 

7. Housing development applications for MCCHP. 

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Utilizing the New Hot Water Module in HERS

Day 2 - 3:30 PM-4:30 PM

Presenter: Gary Klein 

2015 can be called RESNET’s Year of Water.  Early in the year, RESNET adopted a new procedures to account for hot water use efficiency in calculating a HERS score and it announced the formation of a committee to develop a Water Efficiency Rating Index. This session will focus on the hot water module, which is scheduled to be incorporated into the computer algorithms shortly before EEBA.

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand the components of the hot water module and learn how the module ranks changes to each component
2. Understand the impacts of these changes to a HERS score in different climate zones
3. Provide feedback on how you and others are utilizing the module
4. Understand how the work done for hot water use efficiency can be used in the development of the Water Efficiency Rating Index

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Value-Driven Passive Design Strategies for Multi-Family Buildings

Day 2 - 2:15 PM-3:15 PM

Presenter: Laura Blau AIA 

Near-zero performance is now cost-effective and feasible for new and retrofit multi-family residential buildings. Examples of the growing body projects in the US is proving that near-zero is affordable. They demonstrate that passive techniques lower risk and operational costs. These off-the-radar projects are implemented by pioneering small firms with deep convictions, modest budgets. Passive House Standard offers the best setoff science based strategies and tools for accomplishing these goals. The standard is defined and the slight variation between the protocols of Passive House International and Passive House US are illuminated.

The program provides guidance for selecting appropriate strategies for multi-family building types, based on demographics, budget, climate and goals. The program explores strategies and obstacles to success and lessons learned. Actual construction cost information is offered with some financial analysis tools. Reminders are given to planners that the easiest low or no-cost initiatives are decisions made in initial planning stages. The issues that emerged during the approval and design process are reviewed. Basic concepts for improving envelope performance, optimize efficiencies in domestic hot water piping design, and HVAC strategies are enumerated. Determining when and which modeling programs are needed for analyzing hydrothermal conditions in masonry wall types when enhanced with insulation are discussed. Additional related issues, risks and tactics for addressing those construction details will be raised. Options for achieving Passive House Standard when solar gain is not optimal are given. Finally construction management pitfalls and sequencing issues will be brought to light.

The program seeks to raise the bar and elevate expectations for what are feasible energy efficiency goals multi-family buildings. Certification paths including Passive House Standard are explored as well as using the Standard coupled with other certification programs such as Enterprise Green Communities, Green Globes and LEED. Overcoming challenges and understanding variances that are triggered within certification programs and with building code compliance, and financial auditing issues are reviewed. The program mission is to promote the 'Passive' evolution of our residential building design and construction practices for generations to come.

Learning Objectives:

1. Discover the financial advantages of conservation-driven design over traditional efficiency approaches particularly for fixed income constituents.

2. List alternative passive technologies and the "whole-building" approach can be implemented to achieve high performance in multi-family buildings.

3. Understand the advantages of Passive House Certification when applied independently and how Passive House Standard can be combined with LEED, Green Globes, Living Building Challenge or Enterprice Green Communities. 

4. Appreciate the health, acoustic and comfort advantages of Passive House designed projects. 

5. Recognize the implications of near-zero energy buildings on our energy infrastructure. 

5. Recognize the implications of near-zero energy buildings on our energy infrastructure. 

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Ventilation in Net Zero Homes

Day 2 - 2:15 PM-3:15 PM

Presenter: Lois Arena, PE 

Most energy efficiency programs require some form of mechanical ventilation. Even codes have standards that must be met. The general belief is that a tight home with mechanically induced ventilation results in better indoor air quality, fewer mold and moisture issues, and increased durability of the home. However, were you aware that, not only do these standards require different levels of ventilation, but they can drastically contradict one another? This becomes painfully obvious when trying to incorporate multiple certifications on the same building. This session compares and contrasts the ventilation requirements of several high efficiency programs and codes and discusses the pros and cons of the various requirements. We will cover Passive House, Living Building Challenge, ENERGY STAR, LEED, and 2009 and 2012 IECC. 

Learning Objectives:

Participants will walk away with:
• a general knowledge of how to calculate the necessary ventilation levels to meet program requirements,
• an understanding of the risks of too much or too little ventilation
• guidance on when to increase or decrease levels, and
• a list of issues particular to multi-family buildings and very small dwelling units.

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Who Are RESNET Energy Smart Builders and Why You Should Become One

Day 2 - 1:00 PM-2:30 PM

Presenters: Lenka Martin  Jeff McGovern  Bill Rectanus  Daran Wastchak 

RESNET Energy Smart Builders are committed to increasing the energy performance of the homes they build.  These energy efficient homes are more affordable to maintain, more comfortable, and have a higher value compared to regular homes.  Energy Smart Builders are committed to having all of their homes energy rated following RESNET's stringent standards, and marketing their homes' HERS Index Score.  Over 200 state, regional and national home builders have signed up to be RESNET Energy Smart Builders since 2011.  Hear from several of these specially recognized home builders, including why they chose to become an Energy Smart Builder, what it takes to become an Energy Smart Builder, the benefits of participation, and why other builders should join this exclusive group.

Learning Objectives:

1. Hear the experiences from a panel of RESNET Energy Smart Builders

2. Learn how to become an Energy Smart Builder

3. Understand the benefits of being an Energy Smart Builder

4. Get answers to specific questions about the RESNET Energy Smart Builder program

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WOWW- When Off the Wall Works

Day 2 - 3:30 PM-4:30 PM

Presenter: Steven Baczek 

Today's residential building industry spectrum is ever increasing. Energy Programs and Standards continue to expand and provide various benchmarks of opportunity. Leed, Passive House, Zero Energy, and Pretty Good House, among others provide homeowners, builders, and architects opportunities and challenges in high performance design. As an architect that specializes in high performance design, I have designed numerous Zero Energy Homes, Passive Homes, Passive Home Remodels, Deep Energy Retrofits, and Pretty Good Houses. Many of these homes have reached air tightness levels below the .60 Ach 50 Passive House requirement and have achieved Passive Home status. The design challenges of these homes are a daily experience for me as an architect. In this session I will share my recent years of experience developing these "attention grabbing" details and provide case study examples of how I met these challenges. Topics of discussion will be Superinsulated Building Assemblies, Air Leakage Detailing, Detailing for Durability to include Vapor Transmission and Water
Management, Construction Planning of High performance, Performance Testing of High
Performance Homes, etc.

Learning Objectives:

1. Attendees will gain an understanding of developing "Advanced" High performance details.

2. Attendees will understand how to develop High performance details for long term durability.

3. Attendees will gain an understanding of "Proportional" performance metrics. 

4. Attendees will be able to develop planning approaches to the development of High performance Home Design. 

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Wrapping it Up: Air Barrier Detailing of Mechanically Attached Air Barrier Materials

Day 1 - 2:15 PM-3:15 PM

Presenters: Dana Perry  Theresa Weston, PhD 

Whether it is verification of energy code compliance, green building certification, or enhanced quality assurance programs, the visual inspection of air barrier details is becoming a more frequent occurrence.  Using building wraps as an example air barrier material, this presentation will present critical air barrier details, how variation from prescribed details can reduce air barrier performance, and key items to look for when doing a visual air barrier inspection.

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand industry visual inspection requirements for air barriers. 

2. Understand air barrier details currently prescribed for building wraps used as air barriers.

3. Understand how installed air barrier performance is reduced by inadequate detailing. 

4. Understand residential energy code requirements for air leakage control. 

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Zero Energy Ready Home Builder Panel

Day 2 - 3:30 PM-4:30 PM

Presenter: Sam Rashkin 

Why can some builders so readily achieve Zero Energy Ready performance while so many others remain on the sidelines? Clearly some builders are figuring out how to take their product to the next level and have learned a lot in the process. In this session you’ll meet a special group of award-winning Zero Energy Ready Home builders who will present their experiences and discuss challenges, opportunities, and lessons-learned constructing, verifying, and selling Zero Energy Ready Homes. Specific concerns that will be addressed as time allows include construction costs, value recognition in the appraisal process, consumer willingness to pay a higher first cost, verification requirements, marketing and sales techniques that work, and unforeseen surprises both good and bad. This is a great opportunity to learn from industry leaders.

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Zero Energy Ready Home: Why '0' in Three

Day 1 - 10:30 AM-11:30 AM

Presenter: Sam Rashkin 

We are at the dawn of a major transition in housing. Over the next three years zero energy ready homes will be available throughout the nation. It has to happen because the business case for builders is too compelling not to. First, there is a growing innovation imperative that profoundly impacts the advantage of zero energy ready performance. It’s taken up to 25 years for new technologies to penetrate the housing industry. Builders can no longer afford to sit on the sidelines ignoring proven innovations. Second, the housing industry is confronting significantly greater performance risks, even with code minimum homes. The comprehensive performance measures included in zero energy ready homes helps mitigate that risk. Lastly, engaging the next generation of Gen-Y homebuyers is a huge challenge.  Everything we know about this population suggests they need a compelling reason to buy anything. Zero energy ready homes are perfectly positioned to get them out of their parents’ homes and rental apartments. Learn about these three great reasons for ‘0’ in 3 and how to join the movement.

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand the business case for constructing zero energy ready homes.

2. Understand the risk mitigation advantages of building zero energy ready homes.

3. Recognize the home buyer value propositions for purchasing zero net-energy homes.

4. Review recognition tools and opportunities for Zero Energy Ready Home builders

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Zero Energy Ready Home: Zero Made Easy- Technical Specifications

Day 1 - 1:00 PM-2:00 PM

Presenters: Jamie Lyons  Sam Rashkin 

When it comes to home performance, the HERS Index Score is the most widely recognized metric similar to a “MPG” for homes.   But a car’s performance doesn’t end with its energy rating…and neither does a home’s. For example, comfort, health, safety, and durability come to mind. DOE has established a label for Zero Energy Ready Homes that recognizes it’s critical to ensure both energy efficiency and high-performance.  This is because energy efficient homes with low HERS Index Scores bring new challenges delivering comfort with ultra-low heating and cooling loads, providing reliable moisture management with advanced enclosures, and controlling indoor air quality with air-tight construction.  Efficiency is not nearly enough. And then once these challenges are addressed, there is a special opportunity to make an ultra-efficient home zero energy ready with simple no-cost or low-cost details that allow a solar electric system to be installed in the future with no or tiny cost penalty. Energy efficiency and high-performance plus solar ready is the home of the future. In this session you’ll learn how the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home specifications provide a systems-based path to deliver this home today.

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand the DOE technical specifications associated with zero energy ready performance.

2. Review examples of technologies and design strategies to meet DOE Zero Energy Ready thresholds for efficiency and performance

3. Review modeling examples of Zero Energy Ready Home designs

4. Understand how the DOE technical specifications are aligned with the key value propositions for Zero Energy Ready Homes

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Full Conference
$625 (through July 31)
$675 (through Sept. 29)
$725 (onsite)

$250 (through July 31)
$295 (through Sept. 29)
$315 (onsite)



Early (through April 30)
Standard $1250 | Premium $1500

Advance (through July 31)
Standard $1500 | Premium $1750

Regular (through Oct. 7)
Standard $1750 | Premium $2000