The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

Flex duct presentation intro, 2017 Buildng Science Summer Camp
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 8, 2017
One week ago I spoke at the Westford Symposium on Building Science. You may know it better as Building Science Summer Camp, since that's what everyone calls it. I wrote up a little summary of the whole conference last week but didn't say a lot about my presentation. Today I'll fill you in on what...
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Things we should ban to improve home building in America
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 10, 2017
Let's face it. The state of home building isn't good. Yes, we have building science and energy codes and green building programs out the wazoo. We have cool new products and home energy raters and even Joe Lstiburek. Despite all this, we still have wild ductopuses, holey air barriers, and insipid...
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passive-house-conference-2016-great-people.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 26, 2016
Yesterday I returned home from the North American Passive House Conference. It was great, as it always is. Wait. No, this was the best one yet. On the 10th anniversary of the first conference, PHIUS put on an amazing conference. It was the biggest one ever, I believe. As I flew home I pondered some...
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passive-house-rift-debate-fight.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 29, 2016
In the beginning, there was passivhaus. That was way back in the 1990s. Then the Passive House Institute US, having been thrown out of the party for blasphemy, said, no, passive house started in North America in the 1970s and '80s. But wait, others said, a polar exploration ship from the 19th...
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blower-door-test-master-bathroom.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 18, 2016
I've got a record of 14 blower door tests on my condo. Many of them were during home energy rater classes, as we'd bring them here for the confirmed rating they needed to complete. The early ones were horrible! But I had a good reason. Our laundry room ceiling was half gone because of a water leak...
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flex-duct-downspout-retrofit-stephen-morrison.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 24, 2016
When Stephen Morrison of MoreSun Custom Woodworking sent me the photo below, my reaction was, Wow! Just wow! This duct retrofit is absolutely stunning. It's an elegant display of creativity unhindered by knowledge. Can you see what they've done?
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fire-heat-btu-british-thermal-unit.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 8, 2016
Every year on New Year's Eve, I head over to some friends' house here in the Atlanta area. They have the best party around—Possum Drop—and I've been going for nearly a decade now. As midnight approaches, the newly-crowned Possum Queen leads the countdown. The possum is lowered slowly onto the fire...
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package-unit-flex-duct-outdoors-hvac-hacks.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 3, 2016
I love me some good bad photos. You know, good photos of bad stuff. If you've been here a while, you've seen some of the doozies I've posted in the Energy Vanguard Blog. Take Stumpy, the duct amputee or Release the Kraken or the ice chest in the duct system or any of a number of building enclosure...
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aci-affordable-comfort-conference-trade-show.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 18, 2016
I love the ACI National Home Performance Conference and Trade Show. It's one of my favorite events of the year. From the first time I attended in 2005, I knew this conference was special. It's a great place to learn what your peers are doing in other parts of the country. It's a great place to meet...
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