2 Modules - 4.00 hours of teaching times

Module 1 (approx. 2 hours)

Segment Timing

Introduction to EEBA and its Sponsors

  • What EEBA does
  • Relevance of the Houses that Work Program
  • EEBA Resources and Education
  • Introduction of speaker and sponsors
5 min.

The Relevance of Mechanical Systems in High Performance Homes

This segment will review the basics of high-performance homes outlined in the Houses That Work course and how they are presenting challenges for mechanical designs and systems. These will include code changes, expectation changes by consumers and technical changes in the design and construction of new homes.

10 min.

Defining Comfort

In this segment, participants will be given information on standards that help define the parameters for occupants in homes. Participants will review how these parameters differ from various experiences and expectations of the range of customers they serve.

10 min.

Heating and Cooling Systems- Sizing

In this segment, participants will learn how proper heat loss and heat gain calculations are done as the basis for proper system design and equipment selection. The discussion will be based on the ACCA Manual J calculation method. Participants will learn how to apply design day data and be asked to complete an example of a room-by-room heat loss and gain calculation.

20 min.

Sizing Calculations Exercise

Participants will be encouraged to ensure on future projects they ask for thorough calculations from their HVAC partners. The critical data that every HVAC contractor needs - window data, air tightness, and insulation levels - will be identified so participants are prepared to give this information to their HVAC partners.

15 min.

Heating and Cooling Systems - Equipment

This segment will cover the applicable standards that help HVAC contractors and their builders choose appropriately sized equipment with technical features that optimize performance for specific housing types. Discussion will include: heat system options such as gas furnaces, air and ground source heat pumps, cooling options, fan motor technologies and how to recognize and read equipment performance data to ensure systems are selected that match housing needs.

20 min.

Heating and Cooling Systems - Duct Designs

This segment provides participants with the basics of duct system design for forced air heating and cooling systems in high performance homes. Topics include:

  • An understanding of air movement and resistance of duct systems
  • The importance of duct sealing
  • Strategies to ensure all ducts are in conditioned space
  • The basics of distribution of air through rooms to ensure proper mixing and comfort, pressure balancing of return air systems and designing for acceptable noise levels.
30 min.

End of Module 1

Assignment of online quiz.

5 min.


Module 2 (approx. 2 hours)

Segment Timing

Introduction to Module 2 and Review of Module 1

  • What EEBA does
  • Relevance of Houses That Work Program
  • The EEBA Designation Program
5 min.

Hydronic Heating Systems

This segment will outline the advantages and design considerations for various types of hydronic (hot water-based) heating systems including:

  • design standards
  • comfort considerations
  • flooring choices
  • combination systems that use hot water air handlers
10 min.

Control System Opportunities

This segment will outline the compelling new opportunities related to new control strategies available for mechanical systems. The discussion will include:

  • How new readily available control systems can be used to monitor performance of demonstration homes to assist in evaluating new mechanical technologies.
  • Demonstration of control options for heating, cooling, and ventilation that can be used to optimize energy usage while increasing customer comfort and indoor air quality.
5 min.

Verification and Commissioning

This segment will outline the compelling reasons for why builders should insist their HVAC partners complete a thorough verification of performance and commissioning for mechanical systems in high performance homes.

The segment will identify the 5 important HVAC system measurements that builders should request from their HVAC contractors.

10 min.

Domestic Hot Water Heating Systems

This segment will cover the strategies and equipment options for safe, effective, efficient domestic hot water heating systems. Equipment options discussed include:

  • tankless water heaters
  • condensing boilers
  • high efficiency, condensing gas-fired tan water heaters
  • heat pump water heaters

The design considerations for each technology will be identified so participants can better plan for these technologies.

10 min.

The Relevance of Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation in High Performance Homes

This segment will review why IAQ and ventilation have become such an important expectation of high performance homes. Topics include moisture control, pollutant control, and health benefits, as well as code and applicable standards.

  • Outline of the ASHRAE 62.2 Ventilation Standard.
10 min.

Proper Sizing and Selection of Ventilation Systems

In this segment, participants will be given exercises to learn how to properly size ventilation systems using the ASHRAE 62.2 Ventilation Standard for various types and sizes of homes. The differences between the need for continuous whole house ventilation and intermittent spot ventilation for specific rooms will be highlighted.

  1. Sizing for whole house continuous ventilation
  2. Ventilation strategies and equipment options - exhaust, supply and balance systems
  3. Design considerations for each type of ventilation strategy
  4. Requirements for intermittent, specific room purpose ventilation
10 min.

Integrating Ventilation into High Performance Homes


This segment provides participants with important information about how the ventilation systems could affect or interact with other elements of high performance homes. Participants will learn how ventilation impacts heating and cooling loads and how ventilation systems can be integrated with typical HVAC systems. The issue of building pressures and combustion safety will also be outlined, and participants will be shown how to evaluate and test for the impact of ventilation systems on building pressures.

  1. The impact of ventilation on heating and cooling loads
  2. The impact of ventilation on building pressures and combustion safety; testing houses for depressurization and backdrafting; strategies for managing house pressures
10 min.

Building Science and Moisture Control

In this segment participants will learn why indoor moisture control is more important than ever given the change in the sensible to latent heat ratio in high performance homes. Participants will work through mini-case studies of moisture problems in houses and use a psychrometric chart to determine appropriate strategies.

10 min.

Moisture Control Options

The role of whole house dehumidifiers will be discussed and how they can be used to rationalize air conditioning loads.

10 min.

Filtration Systems

This segment will cover the different types of filtration strategies available for high performance homes and their relative benefits and design considerations.

The discussion will include filtration effectiveness of media filters, electronic filters, HEPA filters and their effects on forced air heating and cooling systems.

10 min.

Solar Opportunities

In this segment the basics of both hot water solar and photovoltaic solar systems will be outlined. The discussion will include:

  • The typical sizing needed in near Zero and Zero Energy homes.
  • The technologies, design, installation and maintenance requirements.
  • The limitations of solar and how to evaluate the “sweet spot” between investments in energy conservation - enclosures and mechanical systems vs. investments in solar
10 min.

Summary and End of Workshop

A summary of the workshop will include access to a Planning or “To Do List” Guide to help reinforce the learning and direct next steps.

Participants are given a link to the final online quiz to complete on their own time.

5 min.