You Do NOT Talk About Building Science Fight Club

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building science fight club energy vanguard

Rule #1: You do not talk about Building Science Fight Club.

Building science is not an objective subject to be discussed in a rational, calm way, always coming to the same conclusions. Yes, it's based on principles of physics that were settled long ago, but buildings are complex. They intermingle structure, HVAC, plumbing, an electrical system, materials for controlling heat, air, and moisture, and more.

Does heat rise? Or should we never say that because the second law of thermodynamics says that heat responds only to temperature differences, moving from warmer to cooler?

Does setting your thermostat back help lower your bills? Or should you just leave the thermostat alone?

Should we insulate old buildings? Surely, no one who understands building science could say no to that, right? Wrong.

Rule #2: You DO NOT talk about Building Science Fight Club.

I hope you'll excuse me now. I've got someone standing out on my porch waiting for our HERS rater class to start. It won't be long before we're going mano a mano (short for manometer a manometer).


Photo of boxers by The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas from, used under a Creative Commons license.


Matthew Cooper

You say psycho-metrics, I say psychrometrics! Ding-Ding!

Tom "Doc"Brudzinski

Congratulations! You are the first person that *I* have seen put "building science" & "fight club" together, on public display. Are you going to get in trouble for letting the cat outa the bag?

John Poole

Hey, there's no need for violence here. Any dispute can be settled by a game of psycho-metric Twister! :-P

Robert J Susz

Allison, I didn't see a "TM" or "used with permission" verbage next to "Fight Club." 

I believe you may be setting yourself up for another nastygram from an attorney. 

Matthew Cooper

With all the LEED for Homes houses Brad helped build in NOLA, he should be ok with it!

Steve Byers

Is this how you start classes? 
"Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else."  
-Tyler Durden

Green Curmudgeon

So exactly how many personalities do you have these days?

Christopher Cadwell

Heat doesnt rise - but hot air does, have a tendancy to rise. 
I see you: Do you see me beaming you with heated dirty looks, and I know you think I am full of hot air. Your coldness only elevates my words, but you cant escape my beaming.

Sam Young

I'm glad to know someone else knows there are ways to cut residential electrical use without building science. I know how to save 7-25% for about $600-$1300 in 30 minutes. I tell people expect 8% and consider the rest as a blessing. Unfortunately, it's not windows, insulation, air sealing, duct sealing, or better heating & cooling performance, so know one takes me up on it. What does an electrical engineer anyway?

Jon LaMonte

Allison, I always enjoy your articles, but I often do get a bigger kick out of the comment section. Between here and Home Energy Pros, you would almost expect there is some secret ring somewhere that energy nerds get into to duke it out. Now THAT is a Fight Club I would pay to see.

David Butler

Jon wrote: 
> you would almost expect there is some secret ring somewhere that energy nerds get into to duke it out. 
There indeed is, but I'm not tellin'

Walter Stachowicz

"His name is Robert Paulsen"

Matthew Cooper

I suggest we select the Top 10 Fight Club topics, and then battle it down to the top 2 and put them out for Fast and Furious comment followed by a poll to pick the winner.

Ted Kidd

Like this Matt? 
10. I was going to stuff that hole with fiberglass... 
9. They told me I needed 2 tons, so I went with 3 just to be on the "safe" side. 
8. I set my thermostat to 62 degrees and live with terrible discomfort because I think I can't afford the energy bill otherwise. 
7. I know I save a lot of money by not heating my house while I'm at work.  
6. I know my house could be more energy efficient, but I don't think I can afford to fix it.  
5. I bought a Prius because that's my biggest opportunity to save energy, help the environment, and be a good citizen. How many miles do I drive? About 7000 a year, why? 
Anybody wanna do 4, 3, 2, and 1?

Ever'buddy's Gran'ma

Haven't enjoyed sich good cackles in weeks. Betcha I'm readin' this here foolishness from only th' tip of the iceberg--or mebbe it's th' teakettle spout.  
Just know that y'all's sparrin' has, fur a few minutes, delightfully distracted this converted-Yankee octogenarian perched in front of her computer screen in a 40-year-old basement.  
Ah'm just waitin’ heah for heat t' rise outta th' Gulf after that there jet stream pushes th' outside temp down t' 19 degrees Fahrenheit t'nite.  
You boys be nice, now.  
Ever'buddy's Gran'ma 

Ken Riead

Ted, I'd like to finish your list for you: 
#4 - This ICF foundation has an effective "R" value of 50+ 
#3 - This ceramic paint has an equivalent "R" value of (100..500?) and you can find proof on the NASA website 
#2 - Vapor barriers always go on the inside wall BY CODE 
#1 - My favorite: Solar energy doesn't really work because the sun only shines 8 hours a day... (Actual statement from an energy "expert" at a seminar. Ahh, WHAT?)