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The Great Ventilation Debate - Live at Affordable Comfort!

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Last week at the Affordable Comfort Conference (also known as ACI), I co-moderated a panel called The Great Ventilation Standard Debate.1 Duncan Prahl of Ibacos proposed the session and rounded up a collection of some of best building science folks in North America to be on the panel. And if you’ve been paying attention to this blog, you know who one of them was.

12 Resources for Learning & Teaching Building Science

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This week at the ACI conference in Detroit, I was part of a session called Speed Dating: Educational Training Tools. It was really fun, with groups of people going to different stations every half hour and getting the scoop on training resources available to them. My job was to show the groups who came to my table web resources. That made it even more fun for me because it meant, unlike J. West, I didn't have to do any preparation! (I also co-moderated a panel on ventilation, with Lstiburek, Francisco, Walker, and other 62.2 members. Look for an article on that next week!)

My First Affordable Comfort Conference

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In 2005 I went to my first Affordable Comfort conference, now usually called the ACI national conference or just ACI. The year before I'd gone to the RESNET conference but by 2005, my first business in this industry (ab3 energy) was moving into home performance contracting. I'd just taken a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR class and was trying to learn as much as I could about air sealing, duct sealing, insulation, and running a business in a niche that went against the grain of what most contractors do in homes.

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

PHIUS North American Passive House Conference

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...


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.

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