EEBA's High Performance Home Blog

Tech Companies Continue Investments in Renewable Energy

The trend of large technology companies investing in renewables continues as Google makes a $2bn investment.
Tech Companies Continue Investments in Renewable Energy

Most of us can agree that technology has the potential to create both positive change as well as negative fallout. We take the good with the bad. One thing is undeniable though...the influence tech companies hold provides them the ability to create massive waves of change. And this is a good thing where clean energy is concerned.

As reported earlier this year, Facebook has pledged to power its operations using 100% renewable energy by the end of 2020 and is currently building one of the largest solar farms in the United States. And just last month, Google committed to the biggest renewable energy deal in corporate history with a $2 billion wind and solar investment. In 2017 and 2018 they matched 100% of their electricity use with renewable sources and expect to do the same in 2019.

While almost half of their renewable energy investments were made in Europe, the remaining investments were spread out through the United States - new solar farms will be built in Texas and North Carolina where Google has huge data centers, as well as South Carolina. South America will also benefit from the investment as a new project in Chile will combine wind and solar power.

Google is just one of many tech companies that say they are committed to reducing their environmental impact.

Amazon announced its plans to go carbon neutral by 2040, partly with the use of electric delivery trucks. And Apple, with over 70% of its corporate carbon footprint coming from the supply chain, is finding ways to invest in renewable energy that will benefit its suppliers. In 2018 Apple met its goal for 100% renewable energy operations.

While great PR is essential for any company, and meeting publicized sustainability goals is important, the bottom line is that investments in renewable energy is just good business.

According to Greenbiz, corporate renewable energy procurements set a new record in Q2 of 2019. Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, T-Mobile, and AT&T account for more than half of the renewable energy purchases.

Last Chance to Submit Your Project for Best Green Home and Sustainability Awards

There’s less than one week left to submit your entry for Green Builder’s Green Home of the Year and Sustainability Awards
Last Chance to Submit Your Project for Best Green Home and Sustainability Awards

Green Builder Media is on the hunt for the best green homes that include sustainable features, innovative design, and whole home performance. Categories for the Green Home of the Year Awards are: General, Mainstream Green, Alternative Building Technology, Off-site Construction, Small Footprint Living, and Sustainable Community.

2019 projects were located all around the country - the Pacific Northwest, New York, Colorado, Hawaii, and Texas.

This will also be the second year of their Sustainability Awards offering recognition for Green Innovation of the Year, Best Municipal Program, and Sustainability Superhero - last year, Nathan Good of Nathan Good Architects in Salem, Oregon, was awarded this recognition.

Winners will receive coverage in the January/February 2020 issue of Green Builder magazine. A qualified panel of builders and design professionals will review entries and winners will be notified in December. Entries must be received no later than October 11, 2019 at 11:59pm ET. Enter your project today!

Get Ready for Day 2 and 3 at the EEBA Summit

After an incredible Day 1 at the EEBA Summit, get ready for what’s in store for Days 2 and 3.
Get Ready for Day 2 and 3 at the EEBA Summit

Day 1 of the High Performance Home Summit was phenomenal! Beginning with the opening session with former Governor of Colorado Bill Ritter, to the winners of the DOE’s Housing Innovation Awards, there was a lot to celebrate.

While some attendees participated in the HERS Associate class, others did deep dives into subjects surrounding codes, high performance homes and neighborhoods, disaster resilience, healthy homes, and building science.

We closed out the day with our exhibitors and a fun-filled networking reception with great food and drinks. What was your highlight from Day 1?

Day 2 offers both the Path to Zero Energy Homes, as well as the Houses That Work course. At the completion of both all-day classes, participants will have the option of taking a test to receive the specific EEBA Designation. Bruce Sullivan will teach the Path to Zero class while Gord Cooke will lead the Houses That Work class.

During lunch don’t miss out on congratulating the winners of the EPA’s Indoor airPLUS Leader Awards.

The agenda during Day 2 of the Summit will also be offering a RESNET track, multiple sessions on IAQ, some great presenters who will provide tips on selling high performance homes, and even a class on energy efficiency in offsite construction. You can’t go wrong with any of these sessions. Learn more surrounding certain topics or learn something completely new.

We’ll close out Day 2 with a special event: The Mile High Night Out party, taking place at the historic Opera House. Grab your tickets at the registration counter while they last!

Day 3 will offer sessions on multifamily, water efficiency, innovation, and a building science case study. Stick around for the closing plenary featuring Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, as well as Sam Rashkin.

See you tomorrow!

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!


2019 Housing Innovation Awards

The winners of The Department of Energy Housing Innovation Awards were recently announced with Grand Winners set to be announced at this year’s High Performance Home Summit.
2019 Housing Innovation Awards

EEBA’s High Performance Home Summit is a little over a month away. The Grand Winners of The Department of Energy’s Housing Innovation Awards will be announced the first day of the conference on Tuesday, October 1.

Many of the entrants are winners from previous years, but this year’s group of entries also features a handful of new participants.

The winners in each of the following categories represents outstanding innovation around the country:

  • Innovation in Affordable Homes
    • Habitat for Humanity of Catawba Valley: Hickory, NC
    • United Way of Long Island: East Patchogue, NY
  • Innovation in Custom Homes (for buyer)
    • Amaris Homes: Eden Prairie, MN
    • Bellingham Bay Builders: Seattle, WA
    • Clifton View Homes: Anacortes, WA
    • Deltec Homes: Mills River, NC
    • Ferrier Custom Homes: Mineral Wells, TX
    • Greenhill Contracting: Newburgh, NY
    • Health E Community Enterprises of Virginia: Hampton, VA
    • High Performance Homes: Easton, MD
    • Imery Group: Monroe, GA
    • Module Housing: Pittsburgh, PA
    • MantellHecathorn Builders: Durango, CO
    • S.D. Jessup Construction: Pinnacle, NC
    • TC Legend Homes: Bellingham, WA
    • Tim O’Brien Homes: New Berlin, WI
  • Innovation in Custom Homes (spec)
    • C&B Custom Homes: Clarkdale, AZ
    • Charis Homes: North Canton, OH
    • CVF Homes: San Antonio, TX
    • Gardner Custom Homes: Prescott Valley, AZ
    • Sareth Builders: Lorain, OH
  • Innovation in Multifamily Homes
    • Garbett Homes: South Jordan, UT
    • Revive Properties and Philgreen Construction: Fort Collins, CO
  • Innovation in Production Homes
    • Garbett Homes: South Salt Lake, UT
    • Insight Homes: Millsboro, DE
    • Mandalay Homes: Prescott, AZ
    • Thrive Home Builders: Denver, CO

We’ll see you in Denver!

Meet the New EEBA Board Members

Help us welcome the newest EEBA Board members and learn a little more about who they are.
Meet the New EEBA Board Members

For over 35 years EEBA has been a trusted resource for building science information and education in the construction industry. As a board-led organization, we rely on the expertise and commitment of these highly knowledgeable individuals. We are proud to introduce our newest board members - Tim O'Brien, Dennis Webb, and Adam Weinstein.

Tim O’Brien, Tim O’Brien Homes 


Prior to joining the EEBA Board, the lead building science team member at Tim O’Brien Homes had been asked to get more involved in their mission to learn, share, and contribute to the best practices in building a high-performance, value-based, home. When that person advanced to another position within the company, it made sense for Tim to continue along that path. When he’s not helping to improve homes he is spending time on the lake with his family.


Get to know Tim:

  1. If you were banned from the construction industry, what industry would you work in and why? “I would join an organization like TEC/Vistage, where I could help support and develop young business leaders by being a chairperson for a number of young entrepreneurial groups. I enjoy helping others grow and accomplish their goals.”
  2. Favorite quote: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives.  It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” -Charles Darwin.
  3. If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be and what 3 questions would you ask them? “Vince Lombardi. What did you find was the key ingredient(s) in getting ordinary athletes to be extraordinary? In a sport where there can be large egos and a mindset of individualism, how were you able to construct a vision that removed those obstacles to create one of the most legendary teams in NFL history? How did you stay so focused on the fundamentals of running a play, without constantly trying to take the playbook to the next level?”

Dennis Webb, Fulton Homes 


Dennis was inspired to join the EEBA Board after witnessing the infectious passion current board members expressed for building great homes. As the VP of Operations for Fulton Homes, he oversees Sales, Marketing, Operations, and the Fulton Homes Design Center. When he’s not helping to improve homes he is trying to help others improve themselves. Dennis is a graduate of Chapman University and currently resides with his wife, Janis, in Tempe, AZ.


Get to know Dennis:

  1. If you were banned from the construction industry, what industry would you work in and why?  “Retail, because I already know it. I spent my first 20 years in that industry.”
  2. Favorite quote: “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” -Steven Covey
  3. If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be and what 3 questions would you ask them? “Abraham Lincoln. What was your vision for the United States? What was the most challenging aspect of your Presidency? What was your greatest accomplishment?”

Adam Weinstein, sonnen, Inc. 


As the Senior Sales Manager at sonnen, Inc., Adam chose to join the EEBA Board to expand awareness of the organization, help recruit high quality sponsors, and get involved with the education surrounding sustainable building practices and emerging technology in the building space. It was also important to him to align with those that share a similar mindset and passion for the industry and emerging technology. When he’s not helping to improve homes you can find him on the slopes snowboarding, hiking, traveling, and attending concerts.


Get to know Adam:

  1. If you were banned from the construction industry, what industry would you work in and why? “Technology in some capacity. Because technology is constantly evolving and helping to solve problems and improve lives.”
  2. Favorite quote: “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” -Abraham Lincoln
  3. If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be and what 3 questions would you ask them? “John Lennon. What inspired you to write the songs you did? What are your favorite hobbies? What did you try to achieve with your music?


Acclimate Now to Get the Most Out of the Summit

In two months we’ll be traveling to the mile high city for the High Performance Home Summit so it’s time to start getting acclimated.
Acclimate Now to Get the Most Out of the Summit

Acclimatization: to adapt to a new temperature, altitude, climate, environment, or situation, allowing one to maintain performance across a range of environmental conditions.

We are just two months away from the High Performance Home Summit so it’s time to begin acclimating and preparing for everything the conference has to offer. Professional athletes often arrive days or weeks early to an event to adapt to a new temperature, altitude, climate or situation. It allows them to perform at their highest level and give everything they have when they compete. Most climbers who summit Everest spend 60 to 70 days doing so, in order to acclimatize themselves to the atmosphere at high altitudes.

As industry professionals, we can do the same kind of preparation. Whether you’re a seasoned high performance builder or you’re still deciding if it’s your thing, it’s time to begin thinking about what you want to get out of the conference.

Take a look at the Summit session descriptions and make note of presentations you don’t want to miss. Check out the presenters and see if there’s anyone on the list you’ve been meaning to network with. We can’t wait to see you at the top!

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