Energy Vanguard Blog

The Timeless Nature of Building Science Principles

Posted by Allison Bailes on Thu, May 5, 2016

Can an article be out of date just because it's from 1989? That's not only three decades old, but it's also from the last century. Heck, it's even from the last millennium! What about more recent stuff? Is it better because it's newer? Well, maybe. But someone recently questioned the suitability of articles I had given as a reading assignment. Some were from 2010, they said. 

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Tags: education

What's the WERS?

Posted by Allison Bailes on Wed, Feb 17, 2016

Now's your chance. The inaugural train-the-trainer session on the Water Efficiency Rating Score, WERS, is happening in Santa Fe, New Mexico in just three weeks. Mike Collignon from the Green Builder Coalition has been doing an amazing job getting this new program off the ground. Last year I wrote about the pilot they ran in Santa Fe. Now it's going mainstream, and you can be a part of it.

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Tags: education, water

A Canadian Building Science Treat for Your Weekend!

Posted by Allison Bailes on Fri, Aug 28, 2015

I have to apologize. I've been holding onto a secret for three weeks now, and I've just got to tell you about it. One of the best things that came out of Building Science Summer Camp this year was an announcement. The photo here holds the clue to that momentous revelation. No, it's not the campaign button for a Trump/Lstiburek ticket in the US presidential election. But it was made by the guy wearing that button: Stephen Collette.

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Tags: education

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:

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

My Passion for Building Science Education and Bad Contractors

Posted by Allison Bailes on Mon, Apr 27, 2015

When asked to name our passions at the conference I went to in Portland, Oregon last week, I had to think about it a little bit. I had just been discussing what it is we aim to do at a company strategy session a few days before, so that discussion came to mind. At the strategy session, I said we provide building science information to help people who want to do things the right way or who want to hire contractors who do things the right way. I knew there had to be a better way to say it, though.

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Tags: education, business, big picture

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

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.

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Tags: fun, education, creativity

Solar Electricity: "The Final Source of Energy"

Posted by Allison Bailes on Tue, Jan 27, 2015

Back in 1982, I was an undergraduate studying physics and listening to the Talking Heads, Laurie Anderson, and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. I loved my OMD album and was captivated by the song Electricity. Towards the end of the song, they sing:

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Tags: education, solar energy

Are You Being Responsible with Numbers?

Posted by Allison Bailes on Fri, Oct 3, 2014

Numbers. We deal with them all the time. They come at us from all directions. We believe them. Or we don't. We throw them out and expect others to believe us. Those of us who work in the field of building science have a responsibility to understand them, to use them wisely, to share them appropriately. But there's one word that describes the irresponsible way that numbers are used much of the time.

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Tags: education, big picture

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