Dr. Bailes speaks regularly at conferences, training classes, and special events.
Book Dr. Bailes
Yesterday I read a short interview with Rick Fedrizzi,* the CEO of the US Green Building Council (USGBC), and it got me to thinking about that organization. They're probably the largest, most well known green building organization in the world. Their flagship program, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), is likewise probably the largest, most well known green building program in the world. Many in the building science and green building community, however, think the organization and the program are off-track.
Windows. The bane of the building scientist's existence. As we try to control the flow of moisture, air, and heat, a lot of our problems occur at windows. If the flashing's not done properly, they leak water. If they're not sealed around the edges, they leak air. And because they're windows, they leak heat.
Remember those old metal playground slides? Yeah, I realize I'm dating myself here, but I'm not embarrassed to have been in utero when the first episode of Mad Men was set. In fact, if you look at this photo of my dad with me and my sister from 1962, you may find a bit of a resemblance to Don Draper. (Not me - my dad!) At the time, my dad worked for a sheet metal company in Houston rather than an ad agency in New York, though.
We went through a record-setting heat wave recently in the US. Here in Atlanta, we set an all-time record of 106° F. Homes with properly-sized air conditioners—yeah, yeah, I know they're few and far between—are sized for our design temperature of 92° F and probably didn't stay so cool. I'm sure quite a few homes with air conditioners that appear to be significantly oversized didn't stay cool enough either. How'd your home do?
It kills me when I see homes getting their windows replaced. No, I'm not referring to the FTC's recent slamming of the window industry for their overblown claims of energy savings. I'm talking about how a large number of window replacements miss a big opportunity that would help ensure they reduce energy usage as much as they can.
New houses certified in the LEED for Homes program will be required to have 100% windows in all above-grade walls once the new 2012 update is approved by US Green Building Council (USGBC) members this summer. The LEED certification program has grown tremendously over the past decade, and in the process, thousands of LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED APs) have learned what it takes to make a building sustainable.
On Monday, I wrote about the new Concept Home Program offered through ENERGY STAR for Homes. I learned about it at the 2011 RESNET Building Performance Conference last week.
I like the Sun! It's what got me interested in building science, actually. Growing up in the '70s, I heard a lot of talk about the environment, our energy problems, and solar energy. I didn't really do much with that interest until the '90s, though, when I bought a book called Heaven's Flame by Joseph Radabaugh and built a solar cooker out of cardboard and duct tape (shown at left, with the late Calli, the best dog ever, in 1995).
© 2013 Energy Vanguard. All Rights Reserved.