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... read more
 

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... read more
 

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:... read more
 

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: If you were banned from the construction industry, what industry would you work in and why? “I would join an... read more
 

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... read more
 

Nominate a Juror for Solar Decathlon Build Challenge

The 2020 Solar Decathlon Build Challenge needs your expertise.
Nominate a Juror for Solar Decathlon Build Challenge
Next summer, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Build Challenge will take place in Washington, D.C. as part of the 2020 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Participants in the Challenge will demonstrate various solutions for a number of building types, focusing on efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy. The teams will compete and exhibit their solutions before a panel of industry expert jurors and will be working on their designs and build outs for two years - culminating in Washington, D.C. June 25 - July 5, 2020. 5 countries will be represented from around the world including the U.S., Netherlands, Chile, South Africa, and Canada. The teams who will be participating are: Hogeschool Utrecht University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Missouri Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María, Valparaíso, Chile University of... read more
 

Next Step Towards the High Performance Home Summit

Now that you’ve trekked in, it’s time to take a moment at base camp and evaluate where you are headed.
Next Step Towards the High Performance Home Summit
Base Camp: “a main encampment providing supplies, shelter, and communications for persons engaged in wide-ranging activities: as exploring, reconnaissance, hunting, or mountain climbing.” When trekking into high altitudes, climbers sometimes spend weeks at base camp while acclimating their bodies. It’s a great place to identify upcoming goals and re-evaluate where you are, and where you’re headed. In just a few months the EEBA High Performance Home Summit will be taking place in the mile high city of Denver, Colorado. The theme of the conference is “Reach for the Summit: A Future Where Every Home is High Performing, Healthy and Resilient” and will be a great place to prepare for the next step of your journey towards high performing homes. The Summit is focused on providing the tools and networking that builders, raters, analysts, and architects need to take high performance, healthy, resilient homes to new heights. Whether you’re just beginning or have “ascended” multiple... read more
 

Zero Energy Ready Home Communities

A Virginia builder takes his long-time passion for energy efficient homes to Zero Energy Ready Home communities.
Zero Energy Ready Home Communities
Builder/Developer, Jay Epstein, owner of Health E Community Enterprises first began creating efficient homes in the 70’s. He won the very first Energy Value Housing Award for affordable homes in 1997 - the first year the program was offered. And after hearing about the U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home program in 2015, he built a home that eventually received a 2016 Housing Innovation Award. Epstein’s first Zero Energy Ready Home community, Rocketts Landing, in Richmond, VA, consisted of 28 homes that all had solar panels installed. He was so convinced his customers would see energy savings that his company guaranteed to pay buyers’ energy bills if they exceeded $1.50/day averaged over the course of a year. To achieve the Zero Energy Ready Home label, homes are required to have the following (as of May 1, 2019): ENERGY STAR for Homes Baseline Envelope - Fenestration shall meet or exceed ENERGY STAR requirements Duct System - Duct distribution systems... read more
 

Energy Updates

If you subscribe to various newsletters you probably find your inbox overflowing with emails every week. Here’s a quick update of some interesting energy happenings.
Energy Updates
Finding the time to read everything you’ve subscribed to can be stressful (because you want to read it all, but rarely have time). This week we’re going to do a quick recap and look at who is making interesting moves in the energy realm. Tech Giants No matter how you feel about Facebook as a company, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a goal for all their data centers and offices to utilize 100% renewable energy by 2020. They’ve already signed deals to buy wind and solar power near their other data centers around the world. This latest move will be to build a solar farm on land in West Texas, named Prospero Solar, which will be about five times the size of Central Park with a capacity of 379 megawatts. The project has a financing package alone of $416 million. Partnerships ASHRAE president, Sheila Hayter, and Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), recently signed an agreement to collaborate, “in the... read more
 

Trek In to High Performance Homes

The first step is sometimes the most difficult. Are you ready for the Trek In to High Performance Homes?
Trek In to High Performance Homes
It’s hard to believe but we’re just 4 short months away from the next EEBA High Performance Home Summit, October 1-3 in Denver. This year’s theme, Reach for the Summit, focuses on looking towards a future where every home is high performing, healthy, and resilient. Getting to that goal though can sometimes feel like you’re literally climbing a mountain! In the next months leading up to the Summit, we’ll look at the different levels of climbing that High Performance Home mountain and how you can prepare for each part of the journey. We’ll be your sherpas and offer guidance, support, and teamwork as you prepare to ascend the mountain. The first step is the Trek In. It seems easy enough but the Trek In is often identified as “a long and difficult journey, especially in the mountains, as an adventure.” You may not like the word “difficult” in there, but what’s great about the Trek In is that it doesn’t have to be alone! And if you’re reading this and ready to commit to defining... read more