EEBA's High Performance Home Blog

Posts From September, 2019

The Value of a Golden Ribbon

Find out what the golden ribbons are about and why you should seek them out at the EEBA Summit next week.
The Value of a Golden Ribbon

When you finally arrive at the EEBA High Performance Home Summit in just less than a week, keep a lookout for attendees who have a golden ribbon attached to their badge. These distinct ribbons will either say “NEXTGEN SCHOLAR” or “NEXTGEN SPONSOR” and represent students and sponsors who are part of EEBA’s NextGen Scholarship Initiative.



The goal of the NextGen Initiative is to bring students, recent graduates, and young professionals from around the U.S. to the High Performance Home Summit, as well as other regional trainings, where they can connect with potential mentors and employers.

The goal of the NextGen Initiative is to bring students, recent graduates, and young professionals from around the U.S. to the High Performance Home Summit, as well as other regional trainings, where they can connect with potential mentors and employers.

Last year, prior to the official launch of the Initiative, EEBA brought 16 participants of the Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Design Challenge to San Diego for the 2018 Summit. They were each provided complimentary transportation, meals, accommodations, and a full Summit registration.

University of Waterloo student Sara Turner, one of the 2018 “Bring a Student to EEBA” scholarship recipients says, “We were blown away by how welcoming EEBA members were. We had such a positive experience learning more about building science through the seminars and activities.”

When you get to Denver, go find the NextGen Scholars, get to know them, and see why EEBA is so invested in this Initiative. And at the same time, make sure to give a big thanks to the NextGen Sponsors that you meet. If you’re inspired to donate towards the Initiative you can do so online or by talking to one of the EEBA Staff Members. See you in the mile-high city!

EEBA Small Talk

Next week you’ll be at the High Performance Home Summit in Denver, sitting at a table with some people you may not know. If you’re not the best at small talk, don’t worry, we’ve prepared a list of 5 Things to Know Before You Get to EEBA.
EEBA Small Talk


The Soleil Lofts will demonstrate a virtual solar power plant with all 600 homes in the Herriman, Utah community generating and storing energy. The project will utilize Sonnen EcoLinx batteries and local utility company Rocky Mountain Power will use the batteries to provide emergency power and manage peak energy use. Read more about Soleil Lofts.


Whether it’s the DOE’s Housing Innovation Awards or the EPA’s Indoor airPLUS Leader Awards, it’s likely you’ll find yourself sitting next to a winner at some point during the Summit. C&B Custom Homes, Charis Homes, Fulton Homes, Mandalay Homes, Maracay Homes, Thrive Home Builders, E3 Energy, Energy Inspectors, JKP Energy Inspections, Steven Winter Associates all received recognition for Indoor airPLUS awards. Companies receiving awards for the Housing Innovation Awards can be found here. Don’t miss the awards ceremonies on Days 1 and 2 during lunch.



The NextGen Scholarship Initiative will give you the opportunity to meet some phenomenal students at the Summit. Don’t miss the chance to sit down and chat with one or all of them. The students will be guests from three of the Solar Decathlon winning teams.  We promise you’ll be inspired, encouraged, and challenged!



Still controversial, Denver is supposedly the birthplace of the cheeseburger (Louis Ballast, 1935). And although I think the best cheeseburger can be found in Charleston at Little Jack’s Tavern on King Street, it might be worth a late-night adventure to see what Denver has to offer. Besides cheeseburgers, Denver will please the pickiest foodie and is also home to some great craft beer - so grab a new friend and go explore!


On the second night of the EEBA Summit you’ll have the opportunity to party inside the historic Opera House from 7pm to 10:30pm. There will be music, dancing, comedy, games, and plenty of networking opportunities. Don’t miss this event! Tickets will be on sale at the Registration Desk.


Building a Plan

For cities to reach their sustainability goals they will need to begin looking at innovative ways to speed up approvals and inspection processes.
Building a Plan

I’ve recently had dealings with the building department in a local jurisdiction. I’ve met with some of the officials. I like the people who work in the departments, but the antiquated processes holding up approvals is cringeworthy. I think it’s pretty rare to find a truly progressive building department anywhere in America (but please share if you know one and feel free to brag on them), and if nothing in the world ever changed, maybe that would be fine.

We all understand the challenges. They’re diverse and complex. Entrenched deep into our systems. The politics can be exhausting.

Many areas around the country are struggling with affordability issues - whether it’s the cost of land and building permits, the rising price of materials, the lack of labor, or all of the above. At the same time, cities and states are moving towards higher energy efficiency standards - many times creating higher building costs. California has obviously led the way with their own energy goals, with many states following behind.

With Phoenix’s 2050 Sustainability Goals, all new buildings will be required to be net positive by 2050. There were over 19,500 building starts in Phoenix in 2018. Although 30 years seems like a long way off, if nothing is being done to change the current systems, there will be no pathway to successfully reach a goal like that.

In 2017 Phoenix held a contest for architects asking them to design an affordable, “near net zero house” that would have the potential for widespread adoption. The plans are now available on the website. Take a look and provide some feedback. After the original building plans were uploaded, the winner was asked to put in another three months of work to reflect changes in the city’s building code. The winning plans required 600 hours for developing construction documents and getting permits approved - which seems like a ridiculously long time.

There are a few off-site construction companies also working towards creating pre-approved plans that will allow them to build faster and more affordably in multiple cities. This model seems to be one of the ways we can create more speed while taking out unnecessary processes.

What other innovative ideas have you seen at work in your local building departments? And if you haven’t signed up for the High Performance Home Summit, it’s not too late! We hope to see you in Denver next month.

Reaching the Summit

After all the work over the last few months, the High Performance Home Summit is just around the corner.
Reaching the Summit

It seems as though we were just in San Diego, sitting on a beach, listening to some fellow industry friends during a jam session. And now, in just one month, we’ll be in the mile high city taking in all that Denver has to offer.

If you’re attending the High Performance Home Summit, you’ve been preparing for the Trek In by committing to defining and building high performance homes. You’ve surpassed Base Camp and know exactly where you stand and what your goals are. And in the following weeks as you continue to Acclimatize and understand the methodologies, materials and strategies to achieve success, The Summit will be awaiting you - the place where you’ll find verifiable performance and measured success.

The 37th High Performance Home Summit will feature sessions on the latest and greatest in building science, combined with real-world application and problem solving. Network with others who have experienced success and learn more on these topics:

Healthy homes

How to build high performance and zero energy homes

How to succeed in the high-performance home building business

Designing high performance homes and neighborhoods

Building science research and innovation

Water efficiency and sustainability

Building codes, programs and policies

Disaster resistance, resilience, and restoration


There’s still time to register. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to celebrate The Summit with us!