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

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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:

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Tags: education, conferences

Our First Hybrid HERS Rater Training - How Did We Do?

Posted by Allison Bailes on Sat, Jun 7, 2014

We just completed our first combined online and in-person home energy rater training class. I've been wanting to do this for a while now because I've suspected that our attempt to buck the industry preference for a 5-day class by doing ours in 8 days was keeping our registration numbers low. At the request of one of the students who signed up for our just-completed class, I made the leap. Wanna know how we did?

Read More

Tags: RESNET/BPI, education

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!)

Read More

Tags: education, conferences

My First Affordable Comfort Conference

Posted by Allison Bailes on Wed, Apr 23, 2014

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.

Read More

Tags: education, conferences, business