04 December, 2020

Online Training: Building with Ducts in Conditioned Spaces

Ducts Inside FINAL

Access this and other free on-demand courses on the BetterBuiltNW online training portal by logging into your existing account or creating a new account below:

To view this training directly, use this link.

Join BetterBuiltNW and Earth Advantage for this no-cost 2-hour online training designed to help NW builders, architects, designers and HVAC contractors learn how to design and build with ducts located inside a home's conditioned envelope.

Designing and building homes where HVAC ducts and air handlers are located inside conditioned spaces can reduce energy use by 15 to 20%, compared to typical HVAC installations. Building with ducts inside also improves occupant comfort and can reduce construction costs when skillfully implemented.

Participants of this online training will analyze and be able to apply six different strategies for building with ducts inside:

  • Open web floor trusses
  • Insulated attic trusses
  • Conditioned attics
  • Inverted soffits
  • Dropped soffits
  • Conditioned basements
  • PLUS: Deeply buried ducts and micro-ducting

The training provides the opportunity to earn 2 CEs and hear from builders about their specific strategies and approaches to bringing ducts inside, and includes access to resources such as CAD drawings, case studies, trade guidelines, implementation strategies, a training manual, and more.

Benefits for Builders
Besides creating desirable homes that save energy and allow market differentiation, builders can use smaller heating systems and simpler, shorter duct systems that can be faster and less expensive to install. Additionally, these practices offer systems that are easier to inspect and that provide an attractive pathway to various certification standards and to meeting increasing code requirements. The builder may also qualify for higher utility incentives and tax credits.

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Attendees will:

  • Describe the benefits of building homes with ducts inside
  • Identify which members of the design and construction team need to be involved
  • Evaluate six different design approaches to building ducts inside + deeply buried ducts
  • Explain general principles and best practices for each approach
  • Access additional resources to help contractors, subcontractors, architects and designers implement ducts inside

On-demand course

This 2-hour, self-paced online training format consists of a series of 3-5 minute videos divided into sections. Users can start or stop their viewing at their own pace and easily resume the course at another time. Short quiz questions and activities will help you incorporate content covered in the videos.


  • AIA: 2 LU/HSW
  • OR CCB: 2 CEs
  • BPI: 1 unit
  • ICC: 0.2 CEs

No cost (Regularly $49)

This training is brought to you by BetterBuiltNW and Earth Advantage

Building industry professionals (builders, raters/verifiers, architects, HVAC, subcontractors, utility representatives, and code officials)

INSTRUCTOR: Bruce Sullivan
Bruce operates Base Zero LLC to promote greater sustainability in residential construction through training, consulting and direct service to contractors. He has been involved in energy efficient construction since 1983. He has been a training content developer for Earth Advantage, BetterBuiltNW, EEBA and Energy Trust of Oregon. In 2006, Bruce’s personal high-performance residence was honored with the NAHB Research Center’s EnergyValue Housing Award and the NAHB Green Building Award. Construction on his most recent project, a small zero energy home was completed in September 2015.

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