Listed below are the available resources from each session presented at Home Efficiency Forum 2018.
Disrupting the Model Home
Workforce housing, attainable housing, affordable housing — a variety of terms are used to describe housing that is in short supply and causing a crisis in every county in this country. indieDwell set out to build a quality home at an affordable price, and in doing so discovered solutions to many rampant housing issues. In this session, you’ll hear about indieDwell’s model for building homes that are affordable but keep sight of their primary objectives, such as durability, sustainability, occupant health and energy efficiency.
HVAC Technologies for Today’s New Homes and Tomorrow
HVAC technologies for efficient new homes have changed over the last decade and will continue to change into the future. This interactive session focuses on the design and impact of current HVAC technologies and examines forward-thinking ideas to heat and cool the efficient homes of tomorrow.
A Breath of Fresh Air: Talking About IAQ in Homes, Beyond Ventilation
Dilution is the solution to indoor air pollution. NOT! While an important part of establishing and maintaining high levels of indoor air quality, dilution rate is only one component of IAQ. This session will focus on strategies to incorporate the four horsemen of IAQ: filtration, dilution, source control and distribution. Learn how to establish and maintain high levels of IAQ and not just check a box.
What’s in Your Toolkit? Creating and Adopting Green Building Incentives
Green building incentives offered by utilities and municipalities have the power to shape the market – but only if the carrot in question meets the context at hand. What works in Seattle may not work in Sedro-Woolley, but energy-efficient building everywhere should be rewarded, compensated with its positive impacts. After researching the efficacy of incentives that have been implemented regionally and nationally, Shift Zero, a zero net carbon building alliance, created a toolkit that clearly outlines what types of incentives work based on location and building type. To truly have an impact, after completing the toolkit, team members embarked on an outreach effort to encourage local municipalities and utilities to adopt new incentives or update existing ones. Learn more about proven, impactful incentives and current adoption efforts in Washington—efforts that can be replicated around the entire Pacific Northwest and have real potential to transform our built environment.
A New Load-Based Testing Procedure for HVAC Systems
Over the last four years, a CSA task group developed a new test and rating procedure for heat pump and air conditioning systems that tests a system under load, managed by its own controls, and under a wide range of outdoor conditions. It then uses the data to provide seasonal COP ratings for heating and cooling. Testing and rating of a few dozen systems of interest is now underway in multiple test labs. This session will provide an overview of the procedures, the reasons for their development, and how these procedures can be used going forward.
A Sea Change
In this session, Sandy Lawrence will share his personal experience going from a retired academic physician to an energy and resilience educator and enthusiast. He and his family are finishing the construction of the first two PHIUS-certified structures in Whatcom County, Washington, and Sandy will discuss why thoughtful concern for factors such as siting, fire resistance, intense precipitation events, high risk of drought, and potential temporary islanding from the grid is important in the design and development of high-performance homes. He’ll do so against a background of broader resilience topics that may shape how we build in the future, including overpopulation, king tides, storm surges, acidification, deoxygenation, coral bleaching, plastification and overfishing.
The Building Science of Efficient Envelopes
In an industry where cost-effectiveness is dwindling and construction costs are rising, residential energy efficiency professionals often struggle to prove the value of new approaches. However, as demonstrated recently in both new construction and existing renovation projects, Thermal Break Shear (TBS) wall has the potential to cost-effectively increase the efficiency of a home, as well as provide seismic resilience. In this session, presenters will discuss the building science of efficient envelopes using examples such as TBS wall to demonstrate how advanced construction practices can improve the baseline efficiency of new residential construction. Presenters will also discuss how additional non-energy benefits such as health, comfort, and seismic resiliency could be included in packages of energy efficiency measures in programs.
The Consumer View – Finding Common Ground with Prospective Home Buyers
To remain competitive, builders must incorporate a range of emerging products and practices, as well as understand how to effectively convey the value of these components. We’ll use findings from the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s (NEEA) Market Research and builder/buyer focus groups as a backdrop for communicating the value of energy-efficient construction practices. What matters to consumers, and how do we accommodate these sensibilities for mutual benefit? How do we educate the market on energy choices when purchasing a home? This interactive session will propose and workshop ideas for connecting societal needs with consumer priorities and builder sales messaging.
Indoor Air Quality and HVAC Strategies for High Performance Homes
Airtight energy-efficient homes present special challenges for indoor air quality, ventilation and distribution of heating and cooling. This session will discuss new HVAC strategies for the modern built environment to improve indoor air quality, comfort and energy efficiency, including basic duct design principles, high-performance ventilation strategies, using ducted mini-split systems and transfer fans to get optimal heating and cooling distribution, the integration of air handlers with HRVs, and balanced ventilation systems.
Take Off Your Mittens! How Communication Can Make or Break a Field Professional’s Ability to Effect Change in the Market
Effective communication is essential to a verifier or consultant’s ability to effect change in building practices. From responding to pushback when an assembly fails to meet a standard or employ best-practices, to translating a misused term, the way we speak and respond on site has as much impact on our effectiveness as the depth of our knowledge. Presenters will draw from years of fieldwork in a variety of markets for examples of how effective communication can drive performance in projects and how QA obstacles can be faced in a way that leads to changes in practice without compromising key ally relationships.
Homes of the Immediate Future – Sensible Approaches in Use Today
This session will communicate the need for more energy-efficient housing as populations continue to increase, as well as explore the simplest and most cost-conscious ways of affecting energy use in residential structures. We’ll look at low-impact housing approaches and proven methods for decreasing energy use and demand in homes against the backdrop of cost and energy use data from the Next Step Homes pilots and other initiatives in the region.
Go Big and Go Home: Advanced Building Science and Sales Strategies for an Ultra-Efficient Sustainable Neighborhood in Central Washington
Washington has one of the strictest residential codes in the country, but that isn’t stopping Steve Weise and his team at the Leading Force Energy & Design Center of Yakima from building homes that exceed Washington energy code requirements by more than 40 percent. In this session, Steve will present his vision for Selah Vista, a community of incredibly high-performance homes with distributed generation and an array of sustainable features, as well as the building science techniques that help these homes reach Zero Energy Ready status. Real Estate Agent Brenda Nunes will explain the process of selling such high-performance homes, including the comfort, control and health benefits that appeal to typical homebuyers.
Where the Air Goes In and Where the Air Comes Out
The house is tight, the ducts don’t leak, it has plenty of insulation, but the occupants complain about comfort. Selecting the best GRD is made more complicated with variable speed equipment. This session will focus on the selection and placement of grilles registers and diffusers to produce comfort and efficiency.