SOLAR DECATHLON DESIGN CHALLENGE FINALISTS ANNOUNCED

This weekend, students from 47 teams from around the world will compete in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Design Challenge.
SOLAR DECATHLON DESIGN CHALLENGE FINALISTS ANNOUNCED
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory will be abuzz this weekend, April 12-14, 2019, as hundreds of students descend upon Golden, Colorado for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon Design Challenge. 38 colleges will be represented from around the world including Saudi Arabia, India, Germany, Panamá, England, and Brazil will join teams from the U.S. in this highly competitive event. Competing teams will have spent 1-2 academic semesters creating solutions for real-world issues in the building industry. Teams will present their designs to a panel of industry experts in one of six building type categories: Suburban Single-Family, Urban Single-Family, Attached Housing, Mixed-Use Multifamily, Elementary School, or Office Building. Innovation, cost-effectiveness, time to build, quality, resilience, grid-interactivity, efficiency, and local responsiveness are all areas in which each team will be judged. A winner will be chosen in each category, in addition to an... read more
 

The Future of Energy Efficiency in Off-site Construction

As we look forward on housing demand, how can we use what we’ve learned in energy efficiency over the years and apply it to the future of the building industry?
The Future of Energy Efficiency in Off-site Construction
When I take a look around the construction industry today, I admit I’m pretty surprised if a builder has not implemented some kind of energy efficiency standards into their building practices. Of course, this was not always the case. The emergence of many of the energy efficiency programs in the 80’s and 90’s were a direct result of the energy crisis in the 70’s. Policymakers in Washington were motivated by a new level of environmentalism as efforts were made to reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels. A specific challenge drove the industry to work on solutions. And even with the strides that have been made in the energy efficiency sector, it still remains far from perfect. But that’s what progress is all about, right? It’s solid, incremental changes, and constantly pushing the bar higher. The most dire challenge currently facing the U.S. (and other countries around the world) is housing affordability. Both in our inability to create it fast enough, and the inability... read more
 

The Need for Energy Automation

The Need for Energy Automation
As various states around the country amp up the use of renewable energy sources, the structure of the electricity grid will continue to morph into a system that sustains more and more automation. Blake Richetta and Olaf Lohr of sonnen Inc. wrote: “The challenges posed by the intermittent and unpredictable nature of renewable energy on the electricity grid are well documented and include the monumental task of connecting renewable generation, at the specific time that it is generated, with energy demand. Additionally, renewables put considerable strain on the electrical grid from a voltage and frequency regulation perspective.” Distribution automation (DA) technologies surrounding smart grids have been around for a while and are continuing to advance as energy systems are increasingly being inundated with distributed resources. The increase in natural disasters creates a greater need for grids that are resilient in extreme weather events, making the need for distribution... read more
 

The Flashing Yellow Arrow

Ongoing education is essential for keeping up with what's going on in your industry, and not getting stuck at that blinking light.
The Flashing Yellow Arrow
Back in 2013 I was working on a project in Tucson, Arizona. One day as I was driving around town, I got into a left turn lane on a green light and waited for an opening. To my surprise, the light went from green to a flashing yellow arrow - something I had never seen before. Cars were honking behind me and I just sat there while the light turned red. If you’re judging me right now, go ahead. To my defense, I grew up on an island that had ZERO stop lights and only a handful of stop signs. I later discovered that the Federal Highway Administration had passed some type of ordinance in 2009 “authorizing the use of flashing yellow arrows nationwide.” And just so you know, there are areas in SW Louisiana that JUST made the switch in late 2018. Later that same day while reflecting on that incident, I knew I should have instinctively known what to do on that flashing yellow light. But it also made me think...driving is something I did almost every single day but I hadn’t studied or read ... read more
 

It’s All About People

It’s All About People
Back in the early 2000’s I was working as a Limited Practice Officer in Washington State. The real estate market was on fire and we couldn’t close deals fast enough. Realtors were pulling in huge commissions and lenders were having a hay-day. As we crept closer to 2008, home and land prices were becoming ridiculously high and I remember wondering why, and how, people were obtaining so many 2nd and 3rd mortgages. I recall a few instances when buyers were signing documents and would say something like, “Well, I sure hope I can afford my utility bill after this.” They were joking at the time, but upon receipt of that first bill, many may have quickly realized they actually couldn’t afford the house they had just purchased, in addition to the utility bill that went along with it. By law, as a neutral third-party we were not allowed to advise buyers and sellers on anything except to tell them if they had concerns they should talk to their realtor or lender. After leaving that side of ... read more
 

Mandalay Homes is Spot “iON” With Their New Series of Homes

Mandalay Homes has decided to do what no other production builder has done - provide rooftop solar as a standard product on every home they build in their new iON Series.
Mandalay Homes is Spot “iON” With Their New Series of Homes
A 10-time winner of the DOE’s award for innovation, and an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year for two years in a row, Mandalay Homes has proven their passion for building homes that promote safety, health, comfort, style, reduced energy costs, and less environmental impact. “We always strive to build homes that create a healthier environment for our homeowners while saving them money and contributing to the bigger picture, which is sustainable building practices and a reduced carbon footprint,” says Dave Everson, Founder and CEO of Mandalay Homes. Available in the Prescott, Clarkdale, and Wickenburg, Arizona areas, the iON Series has a carbon footprint nearly 65% lower than a code-built competitor home and utilizes intelligent technology to increase water conservation efforts and reduce the amount of building materials used during the construction process. Built to the EPA’s Indoor airPLUS certification, the iON boasts high standards for indoor air quality. Carefully selected... read more
 

2019 EEBA Sponsorship Opportunities

Support high-performance home education and connect with valuable decision-makers with an EEBA sponsorship.
2019 EEBA Sponsorship Opportunities
As we head into 2019, we reflect on the privilege of being a part of educating a diverse, talented group of high-performance building decision-makers who populate the EEBA community. It’s the analysts, architects, engineers, energy raters, and building trade professionals whose combined knowledge and hunger to collaborate and learn that help to shape legislation, codes, and energy efficiency standards. “EEBA has introduced new, innovative solutions to keep our homes on the cutting edge of energy efficiency, sustainability and technology in an intimate and informative setting that far surpasses that of other builder events,” says Craig North of Tim O’Brien Homes. A recent survey showed that 98% of professionals who attended an EEBA educational event, planned to implement lessons learned from a particular session. EEBA is proud to promote the advanced education of individuals in the following fields and is offering a few different sponsorship categories for 2019. ... read more
 

Giving Thanks in 2018

With about 6 weeks left in 2018, the EEBA staff reflects on the year and expresses thanks and gratitude.
Giving Thanks in 2018
What a year it has been! I think most of us can agree that 2018 has had its share of industry ups and downs, but there are many things for which to be grateful. In this week of Thanksgiving, the EEBA staff takes a moment to convey what they are most thankful for. “Reflecting back on this year, I am truly thankful for the inspiring leadership of our President Gene Myers, whose time and dedication to EEBA have been invaluable, and for our incoming President, Geoff Ferrell, for stepping up and taking on this important role. I'm grateful for a very good year for EEBA, including a highly successful Summit, the many training events we've held across the country, and the partners, presenters, sponsors and board members who make it all possible,” says EEBA Executive Director, Nancy Bakeman, who has both professional and personal topics for which to be thankful. “I am also grateful for my small but mighty team, as well as all the new people we've worked with this year, whose... read more
 

Energy Efficiency Affordability in Cold Climates

A Canadian design-build team proves that energy efficiency is attainable, even in cold climates.
Energy Efficiency Affordability in Cold Climates
When Emmanuel Cosgrove and Mike Reynolds, co-founders of Ecohome, designed and built The Edelweiss House, they were simply trying to exhibit that affordable, energy efficient homes are achievable. “We undertook this project to show builders and homeowners that it isn’t that hard or expensive to build better-performing homes and that your true monthly overhead can actually be lower, right from the moment you move in.” Building a hyper-efficient cold-climate house 40 minutes outside of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, in Gatineau Hills, had its own challenges because of the climate and the nature of the location. Add in the standards required for Canada Green Building Council’s LEED v4 certification, and the challenge is amplified. The resulting 1,552 sq. ft. passive solar home, where a visitor to Gatineau can rent a room and stay in, costs less than $250,000 to build, and energy bills were estimated to be less than $1.40/day, compared to a new home of comparable size that uses around 10... read more
 

High Performance Builder and Site Supervisor Designations Earned at this Year’s EEBA Summit

Many took advantage of new designation opportunities and proved their knowledge in building science and high performance construction methods.
High Performance Builder and Site Supervisor Designations Earned at this Year’s EEBA Summit
In addition to some great sessions at this year’s High Performance Home Summit, we also offered the opportunity for attendees to earn the High Performance Builder and Site Supervisor Designations. 6 individuals joined Gord Cooke, Andy Oding and Mike Barcik to earn their EEBA High Performance Builder Designation after successfully completing Houses That Work, High Performance Mechanicals, and the HERS Associate. Each attendee took and passed the required test for each of the three courses. Congratulations to the following people who earned their High Performance Builder Designation: Roy Birney - Thrive Home Builders Matt Bohannon – R.E.S. Contracting Richard Fayad – QC Manufacturing Jason Hoyle - Thrive Home Builders Jacie Jeffrey - Thrive Home Builders Andy Llora – QC Manufacturing Adrion Marti - Thrive Home Builders Ricardo Schobert – QC Manufacturing Dane Stevenson – QC Manufacturing Greg Van Dam – Dwell Well “Thrive Home Builders is excited about ... read more