Educational Sessions Overview

Houses that WorkHouses That Work™

Based on years of field research from the US Department of Energy's Building America Program, Houses That Work™ delivers education based on that experience for improved building performance and increased profitability. The climate-specific content includes measurement tools, design concepts, application demonstrations and case studies. A mini-expo and SmartTools Bookstore are part of each classroom experience.

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The HERS Associate & Taking the Performance Path 


This full day session reviews Building Science principles as they relate to the Performance Path option in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).  The course explores the ERI/HERS as a tool to successfully design and build houses that comply using the Performance Path option, while meeting the minimum prescriptive code requirements of the 2015 IECC. Participants will spend the last part of the session reviewing energy rating software and manipulating construction assemblies to see the effect of energy scores.

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​High Performance Mechanicals for Houses That Work

EEBA Mechanicals Logo

High Performance Mechanical Systems for Houses That Work is a mid-level, full day seminar geared towards Builders, Designers, Code Officials, and Trade Allies that focuses on HVAC, Ventilation, Hot Water, Indoor Air Quality and Electronic Home Controls in high performance housing.  In the past several years, residential mechanical systems have grown in complexity and scope as energy codes have mandated higher insulation levels, better windows and tighter construction. There is now a great opportunity to rethink and redesign HVAC, hot water heating and electronic home control systems as they are major contributors to energy efficiency goals. This course will first review the key building science concepts that have changed the way houses are built and identify the relevant changes to mechanical systems. The remainder of the course will focus on the proper sizing and selection of appropriate mechanical equipment for high performance ever lower load homes. Compelling opportunities to simultaneously optimize comfort, durability, safety and health, efficiency and cost will be identified.  Instructor will use lectures, case studies and group exercises to convey the information to attendees.

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Selling High Performance Homes

This is a full day course focused specifically on the needs of builders and new home sales specialists/agents.  The session will also be of interest to general full service real estate agents, manufacturers’ representatives and housing program or utility personnel.  This presentation applies proven sales techniques to the task of helping sales agents educate home buyers on the technical features of High Performance Homes. This will empower home buyers to make better decisions with respect to energy efficiency and other technical advancements.  This workshop includes examples, case studies and role plays relevant to both custom and large volume builders and draws on the successes of many builders who have already realized the benefits of selling High Performance Homes.  The workshop is applicable to all regions of the country and is readily adaptable to local housing programs and national programs such as ENERGY STAR, LEED for Homes, or Zero Energy Ready Homes.

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Water Efficiency for Builders & Designers

EEBA Water Efficiency LogoWater has become a major issue in building new homes – from managing stormwater for the development and on individual home sites, to landscaping and irrigation choices, to plumbing fixtures and appliances, to the potential of using greywater and rainwater – water is an increasingly important part of the new construction process.  In addition, as we build more thermally efficient dwellings and install more energy efficient appliances, hot water use has grown to become the 1st or 2nd largest energy use in the home.  People’s expectations of the performance of their water systems has increased, not to mention that many areas of the country are experiencing stresses on their water supply and quality.

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Zero Energy Homes

Many energy codes and home energy rating standards today are based on the goal of creating homes that use minimal energy and homes that are Net Zero Energy (NZE) Ready.  For a home to achieve NZE cost-effectively, the project needs to be approached with complete integration of disciplines and systems, as opposed to a product-based list of solutions. Students in this class will learn how to employ resource-efficient design principles, technologies, products and performance metrics integrated throughout the building process.  The curricula will focus on all sources of energy use in the home, and concentrate on judiciously employing renewables only after the benefits of the most cost-effective energy-saving products and best construction practices have been utilized.

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