Educational Sessions for California Net Zero Mandate

Whether or not you’re ready for it, California is mandating it net zero directive in 2020.
Educational Sessions for California Net Zero Mandate
On May 9, the California Energy Commission voted to mandate advanced efficiency measures and rooftop solar for all new houses, condos and apartment buildings (up to three stories tall), obtaining building permits after January 1, 2020. If a building isn’t suitable for a rooftop array, it will be required to have access to community solar or offset energy usage through alternative efficiency gains. Builders can also take advantage of “compliance credits” by installing batteries like the Tesla Powerwall or sonnenBatterie - and further reduce the size of the solar array. As California builders, raters, analysts, and architects seek methods and solutions to meet this aggressive state policy, part of this year’s High Performance Home Summit will be aimed at putting all the information California builders need in one place, to help you reach the goal of compliance in time. Various classes will be offered revolving around the impact of policy, code, and Title 24 on design and... read more
 

New Educational Program at High Performance Home Summit

The one-day Site Supervisor Designation will be available to registered attendees at this year’s conference.
New Educational Program at High Performance Home Summit
EEBA will be rolling out a new one-day course designed for project managers and site supervisors at this year’s High Performance Home Summit. The Site Supervisor Designation course will provide knowledge, processes, and best practices gained from building science and will demonstrate how it all applies to residential construction projects. For participants to successfully obtain the designation they will need to attend the required classes during the Summit, and pass a quiz at the end of the course. The curriculum is based off guidelines developed by the U.S. Department of Energy and topics will include: Building science fundamentals Whole building integration Building testing Quality Management Applying experience from the job-site to integrated design At the end of the class, attendees should be able to understand how building science applies to processes such as integrated design and how site supervisors can contribute to, and gain from, these processes. ... read more
 

Growing a High Performance Home Network

Three decades later, EEBA’s network of knowledgeable building professionals is helping move the needle on energy efficiency.
Growing a High Performance Home Network
In 1982, the average sales price of a new home in the U.S. was $83,817 (U.S. Census Bureau), gas was $1.22/gallon, the Commodore 64 was released, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller made its debut. In the same year, the Energy Efficient Building Association was formed an hour outside of Minneapolis in the little-known city of Pine Island, Minnesota. The founding members of EEBA consisted of a small group of building professionals representing the U.S., Canada, and Sweden who all held similar ideals for developing higher standards for energy efficient buildings. Through the years, as environmental initiatives grew in the U.S., so did EEBA’s goals. Taking into consideration the strong partnerships they had formed, as well as a commitment to sustainable building practices, the Energy Efficient Building Association updated their name to the Energy & Environmental Building Alliance in 2008. Now, over 35 years later, EEBA has built a network of educational and technical partners... read more
 

Serving Energy Efficiency Education to Those Who Have Served

EEBA offers eligible Veterans a scholarship to attend any of their energy efficiency educational trainings.
Serving Energy Efficiency Education to Those Who Have Served
More than 200,000 U.S. service members return to civilian life each year.1 EEBA is a supporter of our Veterans and encourages their participation in moving the home performance sector forward. If you are a Veteran working in the construction industry, EEBA may be able to offer a scholarship for one of our upcoming energy efficiency education sessions. The Houses That Work educational program is based on Department of Energy Building America research and consists of seven different modules ranging from Indoor Air Quality to Water Management and High Performance Mechanical Systems. In addition, our new course, “The HERS Associate & Taking the Performance Path,” provides an introduction to RESNET and the HERS Index and relates the principles of building science as they apply to HERS. “The many training opportunities we provide across the country each year offer a variety of curriculum, and the training is always customized for the climate and building practices of each... read more
 

EEBA Named a Leading Industry Association

EEBA was recently recognized as a leading Industry Association for their commitment to high performance home education.
EEBA Named a Leading Industry Association
Green Builder Media, the leading media company in the North American residential building industry focused exclusively on green building and responsible growth, recently included EEBA as one of the nation’s leading Industry Associations. Featured in the May/June 2018 issue, EEBA is lauded for its “comprehensive and practical programs” offered at both their annual High Performance Home Summit, and various educational training held throughout the year around the country. One of those programs is the HERS Associate training course which has already been well-attended in Atlanta, Raleigh, and Denver earlier in the year. The next HERS Associate training courses will be held in Dallas on August 7th, Boston on September 25th, and Baltimore, MD on September 26, 2018. For more information on the time and location, or to sign-up, email info@eeba.org. In the article, Gene Myers, CEO of Thrive Home Builders in Denver, explains how his company has “benefitted from EEBA regional training... read more
 

Paving the Way for Resource Efficiency

A California builder goes beyond the basics to create a residence where home performance and resource conservation are essential.
Paving the Way for Resource Efficiency
Casa Aguila, a 4-bedroom home in Ramona, CA, was custom-built for homeowners looking to be grid-independent in the future. Designed and constructed by Alliance Green Builders to stringent California Title 24 Standards, the project includes numerous resource-saving highlights. In a state where water is a scarce resource, Casa Aguila was built with water conservation in mind. One of their biggest hurdles was obtaining a blackwater permit in a County not known to be open to new ideas. While these systems typically use very complex machinery, the Casa Aguila design was much simpler and was created with a built-in backup system that utilized the existing septic tank and leach field. With the help of the project consultant, Bill Wilson, they were able to categorize the system as an “advanced wastewater treatment system”, allowing the home to become the first residential project in San Diego to obtain a blackwater treatment permit. “If we had been going for a greywater permit alone, it ... read more
 

A New York-based Home Builder’s Journey Toward Zero Energy Ready Homes

An aspiration to create durable homes leads this builder to higher home performance and a zero energy goal.
A New York-based Home Builder’s Journey Toward Zero Energy Ready Homes
After building his own home, Greenhill Contracting president, Anthony Aebi, reflected on the way homes are built in the U.S., as well as the lack of higher code standards. His background in Swiss homebuilding, and a desire to build more durably, eventually led him to the use of Insulated Concrete Forms ("ICF") in all exterior walls of the homes he built. The noticeable improvement in home performance set in motion a quest towards zero-energy homes. "[Since 2007 our] team has worked tirelessly to reduce the construction costs associated with high-performance homes, including developing continuous improvements...with the use of ICFs, spray foam thermal, and air-control strategies," says Aebi. Photos: Amy Dooley While there are no actual building code standards directed towards disaster resilience in the Esopus, New York area, homeowners automatically receive the benefits of durability because of the reinforcements ICFs provide. In addition, this type of construction allows ... read more
 

Selling Energy Efficient Homes

You've built an energy efficient, high performance home...but now how do you sell it?
Selling Energy Efficient Homes
Over thirty years ago, builders began approaching Gord Cooke about utilizing building science in their construction processes. Many expressed interest in incorporating energy strategies into their homes, but they also went back to their offices wondering how to actually sell it. "The mistake is assuming that if it has to do with energy efficiency, to sell it as energy efficiency," says Cooke. With over a decade of energy and marketing research studies, data from the Shelton Group shows that while many buyers are interested in energy efficiency, they are rarely motivated to buy a home simply because it will save them energy. Most buyers get caught up in other aspects of the home building process - the location, the paint colors, the countertops and cabinets - energy efficiency tends to get lost in the conversation. But where does it fit it? While Shelton’s group collects data through surveys and research, Cooke enjoys physically visiting sales centers for proof that people... read more
 

Leading From the Ground Up

The Innovation Summit at EEBA’s High Performance Home Summit offered attendees a greater opportunity for meaningful discussion.
Leading From the Ground Up
Industry events can, at times, be predictable. Same speakers, same topics, same format. And while presenters are grasping for an opportunity to create an atmosphere of authenticity in their presentation, there’s rarely enough time left for a good discussion afterwards. Last year’s conference in Atlanta not only offered PechaKucha, but also the first EEBA Innovation Summit. Assembling a panel packed with diverse backgrounds and expertise, Colby Swanson and Calvin Trumbo of Momentum Innovation Group, joined forces with Mike Hess of Panasonic CityNow, and Aaron Holm of Blokable to give attendees a taste of project and product innovation happening within the industry. Hess explained how Panasonic is utilizing technology to build the smart city of tomorrow. Holm, an ex-Amazon exec, described the housing issues they are trying to help solve at Blokable, and Swanson and Trumbo went into detail about areas inside and outside the industry that are pushing the boundaries of... read more
 

Upcoming HERS Associate Courses

The HERS Associate course will provide attendees with a greater understanding of what it takes to design a high performance, energy efficient home.
Upcoming HERS Associate Courses
EEBA will be offering the new HERS Associate course ("An Introduction to the HERS Index & IECC Compliance") in Atlanta and Raleigh during the month of May, and in June in Denver. The class is geared towards (but not limited to) builders, realtors, designers, architects, new home salespeople, manufacturing representatives, and sustainability students who are not certified HERS Raters. Mike Barcik, Technical Principal at Southface Institute, will lead the day-long, 3-part course introducing attendees to the HERS Index and exploring how it’s used to comply with the building code. "I really enjoy teaching this class. It covers the basic content of the energy code and demonstrates methods of compliance," says Barcik. "It also demonstrates how the HERS index is determined and how the Rating industry can help builders achieve code compliance and receive credit for beyond-code measures." Each class will begin with basic Building Science principles and how they relate to the... read more