Energy Vanguard Blog

17 Reasons I Love Working with Buildings

Posted by Allison Bailes on Mon, Jun 29, 2015

Yesterday I had lunch with Robert Bean and Eric Griffin at the ASHRAE conference here in Atlanta. As we talked about how we got into the field of building science, I began thinking of the reasons I love doing what I do. My background is physics, and I really enjoyed teaching it when I was in academia, but I didn't really fit in there. When I discovered building science (and later blogging), I finally found my niche. Here's why:

Read More

Tags: fun, design, education, business, comfort, indoor air quality, environment & sustainability, big picture, creativity, health & safety, blogging

The Energy Vanguard Blog Turns 5

Posted by Allison Bailes on Mon, Mar 9, 2015

On Saturday, the Energy Vanguard Blog turned 5 years old. It's been an interesting and rewarding journey, and I'm really glad I sat down and started doing it in early March 2010.

Read More

Tags: fun, education, creativity

Insulation to Go - Creativity in the Attic

Posted by Allison Bailes on Tue, Oct 7, 2014

Someone got creative with their attic insulation!

Read More

Tags: fun, insulation, attic, creativity

Curiosity Is the Door to Passion

Posted by Allison Bailes on Mon, May 19, 2014

I've been wrong all these years. Even 20+ years ago when I was teaching high school, I was giving out bad advice. Like so many others, I've been telling people to follow their passion. The problem is, that's like telling someone to build a house but giving them only a photo of the front elevation.

Read More

Tags: creativity

A Great Success: Classic 1970s Passive Solar Home Turned Net Zero

Posted by Allison Bailes on Thu, Mar 27, 2014

I've been in Lexington, Kentucky this week at the Midwest Residential Energy Conference. It was great! (And I played nice - I didn't mention in any of my talks that I'm a Florida Gator.) One of the many highlights for me was getting to visit Richard "Dick" Levine's 1970s passive solar house. It's not like any other house I've seen, and I've seen other passive solar houses.

Read More

Tags: design, water, environment & sustainability, creativity, solar energy, heating & cooling

Look for Me by the Question Mark

Posted by Allison Bailes on Tue, Feb 11, 2014

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.

Read More

Tags: education, conferences, big picture, creativity

A First Sentence to Rival Gabriel García Márquez's Firing Squad

Posted by Allison Bailes on Fri, Nov 8, 2013

"Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice." Thus opens Gabriel García Márquez's classic work of literature, One Hundred Years of Solitude. It's the most memorable first sentence of any book I've ever read.

Read More

Tags: fun, education, creativity

Steve Jobs — An Icon for Change

Posted by Allison Bailes on Wed, Oct 5, 2011

The wave is spreading outward from Silicon Valley. Naturally, those of us mainlining Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn were the first to hear the news: Steve Jobs has died.

Read More

Tags: business, creativity

Energy Efficient Design: A Golden Opportunity for Architects

Posted by EV Staff on Fri, Nov 19, 2010

As we approach Christmas, I am reminded of the days when my siblings and I would, one by one, make our way down to the Family Room on Christmas morning to count the number of gifts for each of us. Some years, that was at 4 am, and we'd realize it was way to early to get up. Our parents wouldn't be getting up for at least 3 more hours, so we'd go back to our rooms and try to get back to sleep. Needless to say, we couldn't!

Read More

Tags: ENERGY STAR, design, creativity

The 'Not So Big House' and Energy Efficient Design

Posted by EV Staff on Thu, Jul 1, 2010

"Making something beautiful is one of the most sustainable things you can do." - Sarah Susanka, Author of The Not So Big House.

Read More

Tags: ENERGY STAR, energy efficient mortgage, design, comfort, creativity