Recap: 2018 EEBA High Performance Home Summit in San Diego

Recap: 2018 EEBA High Performance Home Summit in San Diego

The EEBA High Performance Home Summit is now a full week behind us, but there were many highlights from the conference we’ll recap in this blog to get you excited for 2019!

The conference opened up with an ode to the past as Harold Orr spoke at the Breakfast Plenary giving us a nostalgic look at the history of what we now call “Building Science” and showing us just how far things have come. It’s easy to become frustrated with slow-moving change in the industry, but his presentation really nailed down the importance of celebrating the wins we’ve had.

Day 2 began with a lively conversation led by an expert panel on California’s Title 24 Standard. Ron Jones of Green Builder Media led the discussion on Day 3 and challenged everyone to stay optimistic about the future of the building industry. And we can’t forget to mention there were a ton of great sessions during all three days. We’d love to hear from you as to which were your favorites (maybe through that survey we emailed you - hint hint)!

We also welcomed in the new Board President, Geoff Ferrell of Mandalay Homes, thanked Gene Myers for being an amazing outgoing President, and crowned the winners of the DOE’s Housing Innovation Awards and the EPA Indoor airPLUS Leader Award winners. Yes, there was a LOT of celebrating!


Exhibitors showed us what’s new in product innovation during breaks and networking opportunities - always one of the most important parts of the conference. And if you didn’t create a few new contacts at this year’s Summit, you may have been sleeping. Whether it was during those long breaks, on the party boat Wednesday night (with the creepy whisper ceiling), after hours at the bar, or during the beach jam session, there were plenty opportunities for attendees to mingle, reconnect, and get to know new acquaintances.


We were also honored to have some of the Department of Energy Race to Zero students attending and presenting under the Bring a Student to EEBA initiative. A huge shout out to the sponsors who supported this - probably the best thing to happen at any conference I’ve been to in years. The overall feedback from attendees and students has been overwhelmingly positive. Attendees have voiced how impressed they were with the passion, drive, and eagerness of the students to learn more about the industry. The students I had the opportunity to meet were overflowing with expectation for the future, sponges for knowledge, and incredibly grateful for the opportunity to attend the Summit and make new industry connections.

“I didn't know what to expect when signing up to come to the EEBA Summit but my expectations were exceeded greatly,” says Danny Nolan of Miami University. “The planning and coordination between all the events, speakers, and other impromptu social events ran smoothly, I am so happy I was fortunate enough to attend. I have brought back to Miami University my increased interest for sustainable building science and a new love for California.”

“We were blown away by how welcoming EEBA members were,” says Sara Turner of the University of Waterloo. “We had such a positive experience learning more about building science through the seminars and activities.”

Rachel Romero of the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) was on hand to organize the student presentations and to let attendees know that the upcoming Solar Decathlon will offer two tracks that build on the strengths of previous DOE student competitions: (1) an annual “Design Challenge” – former Race to Zero Student Design Competition, and (2) a “Build Challenge” – an expansion on the original Solar Decathlon. The winning teams will best blend architectural and engineering excellence with innovation, market potential, building efficiency, and smart energy production.

“Race to Zero allowed me to work with passionate people in my school community to design a realistic Net-Zero Energy home in partnership with Habitat for Humanity,” says Sharon Emmanuel of the University of Waterloo. “I got the chance to apply my knowledge from class and in turn learn crucial building science concepts in order to help design the home. Competing in the final presentation round at NREL was an experience of a lifetime. I was able to nurture my communication skills, gain knowledge from other teams and guest speakers and build strong connections with fellow like-minded students and industry members.”

The deadline for this year’s entries is in less than two weeks (Tuesday November 6, 2018 at 5pm EST). Each team must submit an application and required fee by the due date. Additionally, teams interested in the Build Challenge must also submit a Build Challenge Proposal and supporting materials. See the Solar Decathlon Competition Guide for more info.

The 2019 High Performance Home Summit will be held in downtown Denver, October 1-3. Put it on your calendar for next year and make sure your industry friends attend with you.




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