Bringing it all Together

With a passion for the outdoors and vast experience in sustainability in the building industry, EEBA’s new CEO is ready to drive collaboration to a greater level.
Bringing it all Together
If you're looking for EEBA's new CEO, Aaron Smith, you'll likely find him in Minneapolis working on a remodeling project or playing outdoors with his family. Whether he's gardening, hiking, nordic skiing, downhill skiing, or playing hockey, his love of being outside is evident through the activities he and his wife, Jennifer, engage in with their three boys. Aaron's extensive resume includes over 20 years in construction, building products, sustainability and non-profit board leadership. He also has considerable experience in sales and business development and believes his current position with EEBA is a culmination of all of the subject matter he's been passionate about during his life. His grandfather was a builder in Minneapolis and played a pivotal role in his love for the building industry. “There's such a pride in building something,” says Smith. “My grandfather taught me early on that when you build something, it could be there forever. That stuck with me. There's... read more
 

A New Level of Enlightenment

At this year's EEBA Summit you’ll experience the Ultimate Z.E.N Home.
A New Level of Enlightenment
EEBA is proud to announce a partnership with Pro Builder and Thrive Home Builders to bring The Ultimate Z.E.N. (Zero Energy Now) Home to this year’s High Performance Home Summit. The 2400-2600 sq ft “eco-luxury” model will be built on a 53’x80’ lot and will aim for LEED Gold certification, EPA ENERGY STAR and Indoor airPLUS and healthy home standards. The project will be completely electrified and decarbonized. This model will be used for an additional 33 homes in the development. “We hope that this home, being a model for a community with the same base specifications, shows that homes like these do not need to be one-off demonstration homes but that they can be a successful home series delivered in a competitive marketplace,” says Bill Rectanus, VP of Homebuilding Operations at Thrive Home Builders. As a leader in the home building industry, Thrive Home Builders has been providing the Colorado single family home market with energy efficient homes for over 25 years. Year after... read more
 

Building Faster and More Resilient After Wildfires

While bushfires in Australia continue to burn an area larger than Denmark, wildfires are not far from our minds here in the U.S.
Building Faster and More Resilient After Wildfires
The Insurance Information Institute reports that between 2017 and 2019 there were over 176,000 wildfires across the U.S. - mostly in California. In the 2017 Tubbs Fire in Napa and Sonoma counties over 5,800 structures were destroyed. In 2018 almost 19,000 structures were consumed in a 4 hour period in Paradise, California. And just last year, the Kincade Fire in Northern California destroyed 374 buildings - 174 of those were residential structures. According to Forest Service data, wildfires in the U.S. are now lasting 78 days longer than they did in the 70’s and are also burning twice as much area. Currently, 42 U.S. states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Island, and the District of Columbia, use or have adopted the International Fire Code (or an edition of the specific code), although almost a dozen of these do not use the particular code as a standard for all buildings. Many who lost their homes in these wildfires are finding it difficult to rebuild. While some homeowners ... read more
 

Hey Google, Show Me What’s Possible this Decade

We’re predicting the next 10 years will produce some of the most exciting changes in the building industry - and we get to be part of it.
Hey Google, Show Me What’s Possible this Decade
Saturday morning you wake up and realize you’re out of coffee and your fridge is empty. You’re hungry. You need coffee. But you really don’t want to get dressed and go to the coffee shop. So you grab your iPad and you order some food from the breakfast joint down the road and a giant coffee from your favorite coffee shop - scheduled to be delivered directly to your doorstep by Uber Eats. You then say, “Hey Google”, and proceed to state various commands to set your NEST thermostat to 72 degrees, set the lights in the living room to your “Relax” mode, and turn on the television so you can watch SpaceX launch reusable rockets. Then your Ring doorbell alerts you that someone is at your door - it’s your coffee and breakfast. This scenario is complete bliss to some, and a living nightmare to others. Most notably, however, is that this was an impossible chain of events just 10 years ago - because none of these technologies existed. This new decade marks limitless possibilities for... read more
 

New Year, New CEO

Welcome, Aaron Smith, EEBA's new Chief Executive Officer
New Year, New CEO
We are excited to announce that effective today, January 8th, Aaron Smith will be joining EEBA as CEO. Aaron comes to us with over 20 years experience in construction, building products, sustainability and non-profit board leadership. He has worked for companies including Kohler, Uponor, ASSA ABLOY and Williams as well as startups in Silicon Valley and his own building and remodeling company. Aaron previously served on non-profit Boards for Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, was Board Treasurer of the Health Product Declaration Collaborative (HPDC); co-founded the CT Collaborative – Living Building Challenge; was a member of the International Living Future Institute – East Coast Congress and served on the Board of the CT Sustainable Business Council (CTSBC). Aaron completed his undergraduate studies at West Point and St. Cloud State University and is a 2016 graduate of the Yale University MBA program with a focus in Sustainability. He loves hockey, hiking, skiing,... read more
 

What Will 2020 Bring?

It’s hard to believe but we’ve reached the end of 2019. It’s been an incredible year filled with some great accomplishments and exciting potential.
What Will 2020 Bring?
We started the year off recognizing Mandalay Homes as they offered rooftop solar as a standard product on their homes and Health E Community Enterprises’ Zero Energy Ready Home communities. We also took a look at a Utah-based project where Sonnen EcoLinx batteries will be used to manage peak energy use and provide emergency power. Material advancements were also in the news throughout the year. We took a look at key solar developments like floating PV, molecular solar thermal liquid, and a water flow glazing technology that captures solar radiation for heating, preheating, domestic hot water, and the storage or expenditure of excess energy. In addition to these materials, keep an eye on other products like translucent wood, self-healing concrete, and 3D printed houses that will continue to advance and make news in 2020. Data and AI will also contribute to advancements in the construction industry. It’s clear data is already important in determining optimal design for the... read more
 

Energy Efficient Buildings of the Future

A team in Bulgaria recently opened a project to exhibit and test water flow glazing technology.
Energy Efficient Buildings of the Future
A demonstration project in Sofia, Bulgaria, is showcasing a water flow glazing (WFG) technology that utilizes water as a transparent insulator. Referred to as InDeWaG (Industrial Development of Water Flow Glazing Systems) and developed in Madrid, the project will demonstrate and test the efficiency of the system and its ability to maximize solar in varying temperatures during both winter and summer, as well as in very different climates. [Photo courtesy InDeWaG] The project consists of a pavilion with three walls with panes that use the WFG. The remaining wall and the floors are insulated to help achieve nearly zero energy building standards (in accordance with Bulgarian legislation). As explained in a Bulgarian article: “Each pane has a continuous flow of distilled water and glycol. Inside each window, there is a constant flow of 70 litres of distilled water and 30 litres of ethylene glycol, which serves as antifreeze. Each transparent panel acts as an individual solar... read more
 

Water Water Everywhere

71 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered in water. That’s a lot of water.
Water Water Everywhere
Floating houses are not a new concept and can be found all over the world. Growing up surrounded by water I knew a family (of SIX!) that lived in a houseboat. It was normal. We have them all over Lake Union in Seattle. But what I haven’t seen a lot of in the U.S. is floating PV (FPV). In 2008 an FPV array was installed in Napa but as of 2017, the U.S. only had seven “operational” floating solar arrays. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory believes there are “more than 24,000 human-made bodies of water throughout the country with the potential of generating 10% of the nation’s electricity using FPV.” Other reports state that the demand for this product will grow steadily by an average of 22 percent from now through 2024. By the end of this year (2019) there will be about 340 floating solar installations completed globally in 35 countries (mostly in Asia). The market is primarily driven by countries with “high land costs, limited land availability, or ambitious renewable... read more
 

Improving Air Sealing Efficiency in Off-site Construction

Government funding and collaboration will help to improve energy efficiency in off-site construction.
Improving Air Sealing Efficiency in Off-site Construction
Earlier this year, AeroBarrier headed out to North Carolina to begin a pilot program at Volumetric Building Companies’ factory located in Hamlet. As part of a 3-year project headed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the pilot project is focused on both advancing energy efficiency in permanent modular construction, as well as discovering pathways for faster, more advanced manufacturing capabilities. AeroBarrier was applied to a sample group of modular units to create initial baseline data. This particular pilot project aims to prove the advanced air sealing techniques can be completed inside the factory both quickly and efficiently, and without substantial leakage losses during shipping and placement of the units on-site. Once the units are installed on-site, the boxes will be re-tested to verify how the in-factory air sealing held up during transportation and setting on-site. The units were tested before and after the application of the AeroBarrier product... read more
 

What Are You Thankful For?

It’s the week for giving thanks and there’s a lot to be grateful for at EEBA!
What Are You Thankful For?
2019 has been an incredibly successful year that has brought many new partners to EEBA, as well as new board members, and a bigger and better High Performance Home Summit where we had the privilege of rubbing shoulders with some of the most passionate and driven people in the industry. We’ve seen new opportunities presented through our strengthened partnerships with RESNET, The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, Professional Builder and Green Builder Media. We also continue our commitment to helping attract youth to the industry with our NextGen Scholarship Initiative. We are also excited for a new national partnership program that offers both inclusivity and exclusivity - all while lowering the cost across the board and delivering more value and benefits to all of our partners. And then there’s all that anticipation surrounding the idea of having a new CEO! EEBA staff, Nancy Bakeman and Cristen Burrell, are thankful for the incredible brain power and entertainment... read more