Energy Vanguard Blog

Nest Thermostat Data Unveiled at ACI Conference

Posted by Allison Bailes on Tue, May 12, 2015

The Nest thermostat has been around since October 2011, quietly collecting data on how your home — and the homes of hundreds of thousands of your neighbors — operates. It gathers information about indoor temperature, relative humidity, air conditioner runtime, auxiliary heat operation for heat pumps, and much more. Unlike the Ecobee thermostat, however, Nest doesn't let its owners see all those data (which is a problem only for energy geeks really). Enter Michael Blasnik.

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Tags: conferences, heating & cooling

Why Did the Chicken Go to the ACI Conference?

Posted by Allison Bailes on Mon, May 11, 2015

I love the ACI National Home Performance Conference! This year's conference was spectacular. It was in New Orleans, which is always fun. The stars of home performance were there. The Californians came back. (That's one of them in the chicken costume below. ACI after dark, which even has its own Twitter handle, @ACIafterdark, is fun no matter where the conference is, but wild things can happen in NOLA.) And perhaps best of all, Michael Blasnik revealed data from the Nest thermostat for the first time.

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Tags: conferences

An Interview with Terry Brennan — a Building Science Pioneer

Posted by Allison Bailes on Wed, Apr 15, 2015

Last week I got a chance to sit down and talk with Terry Brennan in Dallas at the Air Barrier Association of America’s annual conference. He may not be as famous as Joe Lstiburek, but he’s every bit the building science pioneer. Armed with a physics degree, the ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals, and a desire to reduce the environmental impact of buildings, he built houses and wrote energy modeling computer programs back in the 1970s and ‘80s. When he finally met Lstiburek in the early ‘80s, he learned not to bet against Joe’s ability to do ridiculous things. Read the transcript of our conversation and find out what that bet was and more.

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Tags: conferences, insulation, air leakage, environment & sustainability

7 Reasons to Go to the ACI National Home Performance Conference

Posted by Allison Bailes on Fri, Apr 3, 2015

The ACI National Home Performance Conference is only a month away. Even more important, the deadline to get the Early Bird rate on the registration fee is Monday, 6 April. If you work on homes, this conference is for you. Here are 7 reasons why.

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Tags: fun, education, conferences

A Year Full of Building Science Conferences

Posted by Allison Bailes on Fri, Jan 23, 2015

I love going to conferences. Since I changed my career in 2004, I've gone to building science, green building, and home performance conferences nearly every year. (I think I missed 2006, but I had a lot going on then.) Last year I went to eleven of them, but then I'm a bit unusual.1 You certainly don't have to go to that many, but if you're a home builder, home performance contractor, or home energy pro, I do recommend going to one a year so you can keep up with the latest trends, talk to your peers, and maybe add some arrows to your quiver.

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Tags: conferences

On the Edge: The North American Passive House Conference

Posted by Allison Bailes on Wed, Sep 24, 2014

The 9th annual North American Passive House Conference happened two weeks ago in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. The Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) has been holding this conference every year since 2006, and it just keeps getting better. I've been to the last three now, and it's one of my favorite events of the year, right up there with Building Science Summer Camp (Dr. Joe Lstiburek's conference) and Possum Drop (the New Year's Eve party I go to each year in Georgia). This year's conference seemed especially good because of the direction PHIUS is taking the passive house movement in North America.

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Tags: conferences, energy efficiency programs, big picture, peak oil

5 Reasons to Attend the Passive House Conference in California

Posted by Allison Bailes on Wed, Aug 20, 2014

The 9th annual North American Passive House Conference is less than a month away. You knew it's going to be in California, right? It's unfortunate that the other passive house group has chosen to use the same name PHIUS has been using since 2006, but I've already discussed that confusion. All you need to know is that the main passive house conference is in California, not in Maine. And here's why you ought to get yourself registered for it ASAP.

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Tags: conferences, energy efficiency programs

Matt Risinger's Building Science Summer Camp Interviews

Posted by Allison Bailes on Tue, Aug 12, 2014

August for me is dominated by Building Science Summer Camp. It's a great event with lots of learning, great discussions, and meeting friends, old and new. I'll be writing about Dr. Chris Timusk's presentation on his OSB research later and possibly one or two other topics. Hal Levin spoke most of Tuesday, and, after his rambling, two-hour introduction, his talk on indoor air pollution was full of useful information. Today, though, let me just give you this nice little video that Matt Risinger put together from interviews he did with me, Joe Lstiburek, and Mark Laliberte.

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Tags: education, conferences

The Great Ventilation Debate - Live at Affordable Comfort!

Posted by Allison Bailes on Tue, May 6, 2014

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.

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Tags: conferences, indoor air quality, moisture problems, ventilation

12 Resources for Learning & Teaching Building Science

Posted by Allison Bailes on Fri, May 2, 2014

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!)

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Tags: education, conferences