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Energy Vanguard Blog

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4 Smart Building Science Learning Opportunities for You

 
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If you work in the fields of home building, home improvement, or HVAC and want to do the best work you can, you know that you've got to keep learning. Not only is there a tremendous amount to know, but things are always changing. Here are four great opportunities for you to continue your building science education.

The North American Passive House Conference Is in San Francisco

 
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The 9th annual North American Passive House Conference will be in San Francisco, California on 10-14 September 2014. Confused? Maybe you heard that the North American Passive House Conference will be in Portland, Maine on 22-23 September. What's going on here?

Will You Be at BE? NESEA's Building Energy Conference, That Is

 
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Michael Blasnik. Joe Lstiburek. Katrin Klingenberg. Jigar Shah. Linda Wigington. Alex Wilson. The Building Energy conference in Boston next week has some big names. A lot of smart people doing great work will be there, and the list of topics covered hits all the big issues: deep energy retrofits, net zero energy homes, Passivhaus, mini-split heat pumps, ventilation...

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Look for Me by the Question Mark

 
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I'm in California this week at the Dry Climate Forum, hanging out with some of my favorite people in the home performance business. Gavin Healy, Dan Perunko, Mike MacFarland, and Rick Chitwood are the ringleaders, but all 6 dozen of us here belong to the same tribe: the tribe of questioners.

A December Building Science Bonanza

 
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Let me drop a few names on you: John Straube, Peter Yost, Scott Pigg, Keith Williams. Impressed? If you know who those folks are, you probably realize how much you could learn from them. If you don't recognize the names, that's an even better reason for you to come to the Better Buildings: Better Business conference in Chicago. Those four guys are some of the top repositories—and creators—of building science knowledge in North America.

The Importance of Mentoring, in Building Science and in Life

 
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Learning building science—or anything really—takes determination. My friend Jay always tells people when he's teaching them to juggle that picking up that skill takes only two things: wanting to do it and spending time practicing.

Structural Insulated Panels — An Easier Way to Build an Airtight Home

 
Structural insulated panel (SIP) homes can be very airtight.

I buillt a house out of structural insulated panels (SIPs) before I'd ever done—or even watched—a blower door test. It turned out to be pretty dang airtight, too, despite my lack of air sealing experience at the time. If I'd stick-built the same house, I'll bet my air leakage measurement would have been at least twice what I got with SIPs. How airtight was it? Keep reading.

The Tail-Wagging Labradors of RESNET

 
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Labradors? James Brown? What do either of those have to do with the RESNET conference?! Be patient, my friend. All will be revealed shortly. The 2013 RESNET conference just ended, and it was fantastic. It and Building Science Summer Camp are my two favorite events of the year, and this year it was better than ever.

The Best New Blower Door Device You're Gonna Love!

 
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Last night I was at the Energy Avenger...er, the Energy Logic hospitality suite at the end of a great first day of the RESNET conference. I got a chance to talk with many of the wonderful people in the HERS rating industry, but I was also fortunate to be able to sit and talk to Gary Nelson, owner of The Energy Conservatory, for a while. We spoke of many things, but at one point I asked him what's the latest and greatest in the world of blower doors.

Are You a Conference Commando? — Advice for RESNET and Beyond

 
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A couple of years ago, my friend Steve Byers of Energy Logic wrote an article about how to get the most out of your conference experience. In it, he included a link to a paper titled 15 Tips from Keith Ferrazzi: Conference Commando (pdf), which I believe every conference goer should read. With the RESNET conference coming up next week and many more following throughout the year (Building Energy, Greenprints, ACI, SIPA, Building Science Summer Camp, EEBA, GreenBuild...), you need to be as prepared as the Energy Avenger (see video below).

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