The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

To understand heat, air, and moisture flows in buildings, think materials, assemblies, and enclosure.
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 17, 2017
When you approach the subject of building science, especially as it regards heat, air, and moisture flows through the building enclosure, it's easy to get confused. There's a lot to learn: blower door testing, insulation grading, R-value, permeance, radiant barriers, combustion safety, solar heat...
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Builders' Boot Camp in Christiansburg, VA, 30-31 August 2017
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 9, 2017
Now that Summer Camp is over, I'm excited about Boot Camp. That would be the Builders' Boot Camp that Community Housing Partners (CHP) puts on each year. It's being held on 30-31 August. I haven't been part of it before, but this year I'm teaching a half-day class four times over the two day affair...
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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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raised heel truss, photo by APA - The Engineered Wood Association
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 7, 2017
A comfortable, energy efficient home begins with a good building enclosure. That means control layers. You've got to control the flows of moisture, air, and heat. Today, let's talk about controlling heat and further, let's focus on heat going through the top of the house. If you've read my Flat or...
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Dr. Claudette Reichel speaking at Building Science Summer Camp 2017 (photo by Neil Randol)
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 4, 2017
Well, another Building Science Summer Camp has come and gone. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you probably know about it. You may even know that I have a special history with it. Dr. Joseph Lstiburek and Betsy Pettit, his wife and business partner, (shown below) host it each year at...
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Onboarding training for Florida's new certified rating program
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 14, 2017
Last month I told you about the new certified rating and code compliance program that's launching in Florida. I mentioned there will be a training for it at the Southeast Building Conference (SEBC) in Orlando this month. And now I have the details. If this is something you might be interested in,...
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ASHRAE commercial building engineers live in residential buildings
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 29, 2017
I've just returned home from Long Beach, California, where I've spent the past five days attending the ASHRAE conference, which focuses on heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration. One of the things I heard there was this statement:  95% of ASHRAE members work on commercial...
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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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Duct design schematic diagram showing vents and air flow
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 9, 2017
To this point in our little series on duct design, we've been calculating intermediate quantitites: available static pressure, total effective length, and friction rate. Today we use all that to find out how big the ducts need to be. We're following the Manual D protocol for duct design, a standard...
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UL and Intertek partner with home builders in new home energy rating program for Florida
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 8, 2017
In case you didn't see the announcement out of Florida, two big well-known names have entered the market for home energy ratings and energy code compliance. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and Intertek are working with the Florida Home Builders Association (FHBA) certify home energy ratings, blower...
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