The Illinois Green Alliance has announced that its 2020 GreenBuilt Home Tour is going virtual – and we’re a part of it!
This year’s event features four unique online sessions that focus on 12 different green home projects across Illinois. Each online event has a theme: passive house design, all-electric homes, deep energy retrofits, and homeowner-driven sustainability projects.
BRINC Building Products is proud to recognize two of our building envelope materials featured in the July 15th Deep Energy Retrofit event – part of the high-performance home of Jamie Carr, Project Manager of Eco Achievers consulting firm.
“ThermalBucks were a great alternative to wood bucks. They were fast and simple to install.”
– —Jamie Carr, Project Manager, Eco Achievers & Net Zero Energy Homeowner
The Carr family loved the location of this Glen Ellyn home, but wanted to update it to be both beautiful, and highly practical. Healthy and comfortable, yet affordable to renovate.
For this all-electric, net zero energy home, Jamie chose a 10 kw solar array, energy recovery ventilator (ERV), heat pump for heating and cooling, and a split-system heat pump for hot water and radiant floor heating. For the building envelope, he installed high-performance Alpen windows in ThermalBuck, and was an early adopter of our new ThermalTight™ System, which features a Neopor ®GPS rigid insulation panel with a self-gasketing, vapor permeable WRB laminated to the exterior. For more information and photos about the Glen Ellyn (net zero) Deep Energy Retrofit, visit greenbuilthometour.org.
GreenBuilt Home Tour Sessions
All-Electric Homes – July 8th – 3:30-5pm CT
Deep Energy Retrofits – July 15th – 3:30-5pm CT
Passive House Showcase – July 22nd – 3:30 – 5pm CT
Wellness + High Performance – July 29th – 3:30 – 5pm CT
The first part of each session will be presented by experts in the high-performance homebuilding industry. The last half “happy” hour is the perfect chance to ask questions, get advice, and connect with these industry professionals.
Join any individual session for only $5, or purchase a ticket to all four tours for a discount at $15. Purchase tickets here.
We look forward to Jamie’s tour, and sharing more details (and hopefully HERS ratings) of this beautiful home on July 15th. Please consider joining any or all of these sessions, and supporting the work of Illinois Green, a USGB community.
BRINC Building Products, Inc. has expanded ThermalBuck distribution in the Northwestern U.S and Canada through a partnership with Small Planet Supply, a well-known regional high-performance building material supplier for over 10 years.
Small Planet Workshop (the original company name) emerged from a division of West Coast Associates to support the growing demand for net-zero and passive house education and training in North America. The “workshop” side of high-performance building soon developed into a burgeoning business as a trusted building material supplier, specializing in materials designed for super-insulated, airtight structures.
“Adding exterior insulation is a no-brainer for most projects, and ThermalBuck eliminates the challenge that goes into detailing critical areas – like windows and doors,” said Kieran Lavelle, Sales Manager, Small Planet Supply. “This makes it a vital piece of the puzzle towards energy-efficiency and we’re proud to offer ThermalBuck alongside our other high-performance building products,” said Lavelle.
“Adding exterior insulation is a no-brainer for most projects, and ThermalBuck eliminates the challenge that goes into detailing critical areas – like windows and doors.”
– Kieran Lavelle, Sales Manager, Small Planet Supply
While Small Planet Supply has grown the materials side of the business, they’ve maintained their reputation as an excellent resource for building science knowledge and installation expertise. Year-round training and workshops remain a priority – both in the U.S and Canada. Based in Vancouver, BC in Canada, and Tumwater, WA in the US, Small Planet Supply services customers in WA, OR, CA, ID, NV, and parts of MT, UT, and AZ.
ThermalBuck on the West Coast
The building community on the west coast has initiated the highest standards in the country for energy-efficient and sustainable design for years – California in particular, setting the bar for other regions to follow.
ThermalBuck was first introduced out West in 2016, as part of the Wise Workforce Instructions for Standards and Efficiency program (WISE), a combined effort of ConSol, the State of California Energy Commission (CEC) , and the California Homebuilding Foundation (CHF).
The WISE program was designed to advance the education and implementation of high performance building solutions for building professionals in preparation for Title 24. It allows industry experts to share best practices and real-world solutions to building code and efficiency standards with California builders. BRINC Building Products, Inc. was selected as a participating manufacturer, and ThermalBuck is referenced in the 2017 CASE Initiative High Performance Walls Report.
In 2017, BRINC Building Products President and developer of ThermalBuck, John Brooks, was invited to present in San Diego at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference, the largest homebuilding trade show on the West Coast.
By the year’s end, John Brooks was named Hive Top 50 Honoree by Builder Magazine, and honored at their annual awards celebration in Los Angeles.
Small Planet – Big Opportunity
Until now, all ThermalBuck sales were handled by long-term national distributor of ThermalBuck, Alpen HPP – shipping out of their Niwot, Colorado warehouse.
“Alpen does a fantastic job working with passive house customers all over the US, but we’ve been looking to expand out distribution network with a physical footprint on the West coast. Education and a desire to promote sustainability drives the mission of Small Planet Supply – that really matters to us when choosing distributors”, said John Brooks. “Developing the right network to service the needs of our customers is a challenge – and a priority. We’re proud the team at Small Planet has chosen ThermalBuck to complement their line of high-performance building materials,” said Brooks, President of BRINC Building Products, Inc. “We look forward to a future of exceeding the expectations of the high-performance building community.”
Alpen HPP remains a national distributor for ThermalBuck, focusing on the passive house market. Canada is now serviced by both Performance Haus, Inc., and Small Planet Supply.
“We know that education and a desire to promote sustainability drives the mission of Small Planet Supply – that really matters to us when choosing distributors.”
– John Brooks, President, BRINC Building Products, Inc.
Small Planet Supply distributes a wide range of building materials in the categories of air barriers, insulation, and mechanical systems. They also have their own building material success story – Thermacork.
This 100% natural cork insulation made from the outer bark of the Oak tree, was developed and launched by Small Planet Supply, and has a multitude of applications – including roofing, flooring, ceilings, exterior and interior walls. walls.
ThermalBuck joins a respected line of high performance building products at Small Planet Supply, which includes:
Small Planet is offering 3 workshops to demonstrate installation techniques for multiple building envelope applications. Join ThermalBuck creator John Brooks July 9th in Vancouver, BC; July 11th in Tumwater, WA; or July 12th in Portland, OR. These workshops are free, and open to any interested homeowners or members of the local building communities. For more information and to receive notice regarding future workshops, please visit smallplanetsupply.com.
For purchasing information through Small Planet Supply, please contact one of their 2 distribution centers, or contact Steve Lamburg at the sales office in Eugene, Oregon at (541) 521-6270
Tumwater, Washington 1-855-367-7442
Vancouver, BC 1-855-367-7442.
Habitat for Humanity’s vision is simple: A world where everyone has a decent place to live. It’s achieving it that’s the complex part. The team at the Central Vermont Habitat for Humanity (CVHFH) is working hard towards that goal, and an even loftier one – building one of the highest performing Habitat for Humanity homes to date, in Randolph, VT.
Energy Efficiency: an Essential Need
Building to higher energy-efficient standards is an important consideration for any building project. But the impact on personal health and well-being can be even more significant when making ends meet is a struggle.
“The fluctuating price of energy goes beyond what our families can afford”, says Bruce Landry, Affiliate Building Chair, Volunteer and Weatherization Technician, CVHFH. “The families we partner with start out with very tight budgets and every dollar counts. An energy-efficient home gives stability in heating costs and utility payments.”
“An energy-efficient home gives stability in heating costs and utility payments.”
– Bruce Landry, Affiliate Building Chair, Central VT Habitat for Humanity
Not Their First High Performance Rodeo
The home build in Randolph was designed by architect Neil Husher, of Vermont Architects Collaborative. Neil brought three original designs to the table for consideration, which he modified to suit this specific plot of land, and fine-tuned the energy-efficient features for maximum impact.
Although the CVHFH chapter had completed a passive home build in the past, it wasn’t an option for the Randolph home. For instance, there wasn’t enough southern exposure to provide sufficient solar gain. Differences in the wall construction also make this design a bit simpler – building to passive is more detailed, and takes more time. It wasn’t that the volunteer building crew couldn’t handle the technical details and complexity of a passive house, it just wasn’t the right fit for this project.
The High Performance Building Components
The two-story house features 2′ x 8′ wall construction, and an impressive list of high performance building materials including: Rockwool Safe ‘n Sound batt insulation, Partel VeraPlus smart membrane, Advantech sheathing, 2.0″ Dow Blue Board Styrofoam XPS insulation, Typar WRB, ThermalBuck high performance window bucks, Pella 350 Series windows, Stego Wrap Vapor Barrier, and an Amvic ICF Foundation.
2.5″ ThermalBuck was selected to extend the mounting point for the windows and doors, insulate the rough openings, and prevent moisture at the rough openings – traditionally a difficult detail of any building envelope. ThermalBuck helps simplify the challenge of mounting the windows with the exterior insulation, and integrating the WRB.
“ThermalBuck makes it easier to do the high performance seals.”
– Anne Walker, Project Manager, Central VT Habitat for Humanity
Employees of BRINC Building Products, Inc., manufacturer of ThermalBuck, will be volunteering to help the CVHFH chapter with their ThermalBuck installation in September, 2018. Keep informed on the next steps of this high performance home by following ThermalBuck on social media:
Energy Efficiency in Vermont: More Accessible than Ever
One of the reasons this build was possible? Because it was in Vermont. Efficiency Vermont, founded in 2000 as the nation’s first energy-efficient utility, provides Vermonters with technical and financial support to improve the energy efficiency of their homes, businesses, and communities.
For Central Vermont Habitat for Humanity, this meant not only a significant refund for achieving an established list of standards, but also personalized help in the support of a consultant, Jennifer Severidt. Jennifer was assigned to the project, and provided not just a few answers, but guidance throughout the entire project, answering specific questions like “What specific heat pump would work best?”
“We wouldn’t have been able to attempt this without Efficiency Vermont.”
– Debbie Goodwin, Executive Director, Central Vermont Habitat for Humanity
Follow this helpful link to view more information about how to work with Efficiency Vermont to receive energy consultation and eligibility for certification, rebates, and third-party testing at efficiencyvermont.com.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat’s mission Is based on the premise that affordable housing plays an integral role in building abundant, strong, and stable communities. Habitat for Humanity is one of the most recognizable efforts to support sustainable housing not only in the U.S, but internationally. To learn more about the efforts of Central Vermont Habitat for Humanity, and how to find local chapters in your area, follow these links:
Habitat for Humanity is not a giveaway program. They offer partner families a no-interest mortgage for their home. In addition to a down payment and monthly mortgage payments, the homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor (sweat equity) into building their new home. Families selected are those who need simple, decent housing, but who are unable to get a loan through any conventional means. Read more about how a family can apply and be selected here.
We’re proud ThermalBuck is an important component of the most energy-efficient house in Vermont, the Green Mountain Power Rutland Innovation Home.
It’s a one-of-a-kind project: a contest created by a utility company, giving away a brand new home to the winning entry of an essay competition. They’re looking for the right person who can contribute their talents and energy to help revitalize the beautiful town of Rutland, Vermont. And they’ll get to do it while living in a brand new, energy-efficient, mortgage free home. We call that a win-win.
The GMP Rutland Innovation Home Contest serves a dual purpose. One, to highlight the strong job market and redevelopment efforts of this beautiful region in Vermont. And two, to showcase the future of building by using the latest building material technology to build an incredibly energy-efficient house, easily replicated in other regions.
“It’s not only just a house that we’re giving away. It’s also a benchmark for what we’re hoping to strive for in the future for how we build homes.”
– Nick Stone, R.K. Miles Building Material Supplier, VT
NBF Architects designed this 1,500 sq. foot traditional New England farmhouse featuring the latest in smart-home technology. High-performance building materials were used to make the home as energy-efficient as possible. Building material supplier R.K. Miles installed their high-performance wall system, the VOAT-Wall (Vapor Open, Air Tight), featuring The Henry Company Blueskin WRB, Rockwool ComfortBoard mineral wool exterior insulation, 3.0″ ThermalBuck insulating window buck, and Marvin Windows & Doors.
Join us as we take you through training the team from Naylor & Breen Builders on the ThermalBuck installation in Rutland, and you’ll learn some tricks and tips to simplify your installation. Then get moving on that contest entry. The deadline is June 18th.
Installing Nail Flange Windows: Rockwool Exterior Insulation & Henry Blueskin -GMP Innovation House
You can take a video walk through of the house in its final stages by checking out the media coverage it’s received by news networks in Vermont. Follow ThermalBuck on your preferred social media account to follow the progress, and find out who the lucky winner is.
Green Mountain Power is described as an “energy transformation company” providing power and innovative products and services to most of Vermont. Their focus is to help customers use less energy and save money, while meeting their existing energy needs by generating clean, affordable energy. GMP was recently named a Top 10 Innovative Company in Energy. Read more here.
It’s a pleasure to work with architects to solve the challenges of retrofitting existing structures. When they specify ThermalBuck for their own personal projects, it becomes a real privilege.
Alan Benoit, Principal Architect, Sustainable Design of Vermont, chose ThermalBuck to mount his energy efficient windows for his net-zero energy office space, and we jumped at the chance to work with him personally on the installation.
A Passion for Sustainability
Alan & Nancy Benoit are an incredibly talented team. Alan is an award-winning certified Passive House Consultant & Architect, Nancy is a skillful designer of everything from footwear to furniture.
Together they focus on utilizing reclaimed and repurposed materials for their personal passion project: the inviting home, garden, workspace, and guesthouse they’ve created together on their remarkable homestead in Vermont.
“Be patient. Never settle if it’s not right.” – Nancy Benoit, as quoted in Vermont Magazine
There is a reason their work stands out, and you can see why in the philosophy that guides them. Everything is built with respect and consideration for preserving and stimulating the natural environment, promoting a harmonious lifestyle in an inspiring setting.
Vermont Magazine recently featured their beautiful spaces in their Sept/Oct 2017 issue – you’ll love seeing the details and reading in-depth about their design process.
Sustainable Design of Vermont
Sustainable design is the focus of their work, whether new construction or a simple addition to an existing structure.
In addition to running their own businesses, Alan is extremely active in the Vermont green building community, and volunteers his time and knowledge through his Sustainable Living Series.
When you work with people who live & breath sustainability, even lunch is a treasured experience, with homegrown tomato sandwiches fresh from the garden.
Net-Zero Energy Retrofit
In 2017, Alan & Nancy decided to relocate their growing business to the beautiful barn they had build a decade ago on their property.
It was time to plan a full blown net-zero energy redesign, capable of meeting their needs year round.
They planned to insulate the interior and exterior walls, insulate the roof, and install new energy efficient windows, mounted with ThermalBuck. Complete air & water sealing for a tight building envelope is essential in achieving net-zero energy.
Working in conjunction with building materials supplier RK Miles, Alan arranged a demonstration of ThermalBuck for local architects, builders, and fellow green-building enthusiasts. We couldn’t have asked for more when Alan gave us his feedback on using ThermalBuck to mount windows with exterior insulation.
“We are now specifying it on all future projects.
What a time/labor/material savings it is!” – Alan Benoit, Architect, Sustainable Design of VT
2.5″ ThermalBuck high performance window buck
2″ Roxul Comfortboard
Henry Blueskin WRB & Flashing system
5-1/2″ dense packed cellulose on interior walls
2″ foil-faced polyiso for the roof slope, 3″ for ceiling flat
1″ closed cell spray foam for the roof
9″ dense packed cellulose on the remaining roof slope & flat ceiling cavity
Marvin Integrity casement windows
Details Make the Difference
Knowledge of building science is especially important on retrofits, as installation details often require modification based on the uniqueness of the project.
Alan & Nancy wanted to reuse their vertical cedar siding, which meant running the rainscreen horizontally. Drainage would not be an issue, as Alan planned gaps every 2′ for ventilation, and has a screen at the bottom, and vented space at the top of the walls.
Roxul permits water to drain through it as well, allowing the horizontal strapping to properly dry out. The building will have a HRV system, and the Benoit’s have planned to utilize a community solar project in order to achieve net-zero energy.
The barn renovation is projected to be complete in December, 2017. It was inspiring to work with Sustainable Design of Vermont, and we look forward to following Alan & Nancy on the rest of their net-zero journey.
ThermalBuck Installation Gallery
Sustainable Design of Vermont is presenting their next Sustainable Living Series on November 16th, at 6:30 pm at the Manchester Center Vermont Public Library. Alan will explain the major elements of “Building Science”, in hopes of helping homeowners avoid common mistakes with renovations. To learn more, visit sustainabledesignofvt.com.
The Greenbuild International Conference & Expo is a powerhouse event in the building community, bringing together a diverse community of professionals from all over the world to learn about sustainable building practices, and the latest technologies for the built environment.
BRINC Building Products is proud to announce that we will be exhibiting ThermalBuck this year, joining hundreds of building material manufacturers committed to the rapid expansion of the green building community.
Together in Boston – WE ARE ALL IN
2017 Greenbuild has more to offer than ever, as it co-locates with the largest building event in the Northeastern U.S., the Architecture Boston Expo. Commonly known as ABX, and sponsored by the Boston Society of Architects, the Architecture Boston Expo has traditionally seen attendance in the 15,000 range, and Greenbuild 18,000. The two events run simultaneously under one roof at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, present an outstanding opportunity to broaden the experience to an estimated 25,000 attendees and exhibitors.
Hosted by the Boston Society of Architects (one of the oldest and largest AIA chapters), this particular event has been advancing the green building community in the Northeast for over 150 years. ABX is valued for it’s regional focus, building relationships and a local network in New England, with shared climate, economics, and politics.
ABX 2017 features traditional educational sessions, tours, and an extensive exhibit hall, but also special events like the QUAD Social Space exhibition, Design Technology Throwdown, and an Immersive Visualization demonstration. Something truly unique being offered at this year’s show, are the Marketing Collateral Audits, which provide an opportunity to have your architectural firm’s marketing reviewed by a professional in the field.
Greenbuild is THE International building event of the year. What began back in Austin, TX in 2002 as a small event with 4,000 attendees, has grown into a truly global force (and award-winning event) to promote sustainability. The schedule for Greenbuild 2017 begins on November 6th, with green building tours, workshops, and special event such as the Communities & Affordable Home Summit. The first official day of the show, November 8th, ends in the traditional ( and usually sold-out) Greenbuild Celebration, a don’t-miss event featuring locally sourced food, drinks, networking, and live entertainment by The Revivalists. One of the most anticipated events on the Greenbuild schedule will be the following day at the opening plenary, featuring former President Bill Clinton.
Not only does Greenbuild offer the highest quality of educational and collaborative opportunities for attendees, it also significantly impacts the local environment where the show is held. The conference encourages sustainable practices and behaviors from attendees and exhibitors alike, proactively pursuing goals of reducing waste and offsetting carbon emissions. To read more about sustainability at Greenbuild, click here.
Join ThermalBuck on the Exhibit Floor
Greenbuild is a special show for us. It’s where we launched ThermalBuck back in 2015 in Washington, D.C, and were recognized by Building Green as one of the “Greenest of the Green” top ten best new products at the show. Consider attending the 2017 ABX2017/Greenbuild, and see for yourself how this event provides unique opportunities for green building professionals to connect and advance the goals of sustainability for our built environment.
Get your FREE exhibit floor pass (use promotional code THER0MC711), and visit us at Booth #871 on November 8th & 9th. You’ll leave ABX2017/Greenbuild feeling inspired about the future of energy-efficient building.
View a complete schedule of events for Greenbuild, and for ABX 2017. For more about the Boston Society of Architects, visit architects.org. Not sure which show you should register for? You’re not alone. Start here, and be sure and register before the early bird discount expires October 16, 2017. The exhibit halls for both shows are open to all attendees.
As one terribly clever energy professional pointed out – a city with 446 bridges couldn’t possibly be intimidated by hundreds of pages of building codes.
“Bridges to the Future” was the theme of the 2017 National Energy Code Conference, which took place July 18th – 20th in Pittsburgh, PA. The third city to become part of the 2030 District, and commonly known as “The City of Bridges,” Pittsburgh proved a fitting venue in which to focus on the future of energy-efficiency through the impact of codes and initiatives across the U.S.
The conference kicked off with “Energy Codes Bootcamp,” a great session for professionals new to the industry. It covered code basics, compliance software training for REScheck and COMcheck, and a brief overview of what’s coming in the 2018 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2016. Overall there is a focus on improved efforts to understand the different performance paths, and proving performance measures for buildings.
Next on the agenda, “Tours of the Tower” at PNC Plaza, which was designed to exceed LEED Platinum certification, and is known as the “greenest office building in the world.” The Tower is truly the crown jewel in Pittsburgh’s green building community, and no one could be more appreciate of it than the group of energy professionals in attendance.
The final tour of the day showcased The Energy Innovation Center, a not-for-profit organization whose purpose includes community engagement, workforce education and training, and support for businesses in the clean energy market.
“If you work in building codes, it is essential to consider the future” – Ian Finlayson, Massachusetts Dept. of Energy Resources
One of the best educational sessions of day two was presented by Ian Finlayson of the Massachusetts Dept. of Energy Resources, “Developing and Promoting a Stretch Energy Code.” Massachusetts has mandatory requirements to adopt the latest ASHRAE and IECC codes every 3 years. But rapid gains in energy-efficient building are also being achieved across the state through educating and encouraging stretch codes. The keys to success include seeking expert input, keeping the message simple, and tracking adoption across municipalities.
“It’s all about ROI – how you consume and how you build must align.” – Timothy McDonald, Onion Flats, LLC
Timothy McDonald, President of Onion Flats, LLC, kicked off the final day with the impressive gains his development company is achieving in the affordable housing market in Pennsylvania. Building on that knowledge, he has focused extensive efforts on including passive house building standards in the point system used by state housing finance agencies in awarding contracts. Once again education is a key component, emphasizing the fact that net-zero and passive house standards can be met cost-effectively. He added competition to the strategy, as the motivation tool for getting more builders to utilize energy-efficient building standards.
Some of the unique features of his own multi-family developments include facades that communicate energy use of the building, and making inexpensive design strategies essential, not traditionally key considerations in affordable housing.
A final highlight of the conference was the presentation of the Jeffrey A. Johnson Award to the 2017 winner, Shaunna Mozingo, of Colorado Code Consulting. Jeffrey was remembered by his colleagues for his passionate work in energy-efficiency building. It was evident throughout the conference, and through the recognition of her colleagues, that Shaunna has embodied that same spirit throughout her career.
The conference was a great place to connect with a wide range of professionals focused on advancing the energy-efficiency initiatives at all levels – not just regulation. The architects, consultants, builders, manufacturers, and code officials in attendance all shared the same common goal: planning for the future by improving how we build today.
Considering attending an energy code conference in the future? Next up on the calendar is the 2017 International Code Council Conference, to be held September 10-13th in Columbus, OH. Take a look at the complete lineup of exhibitors and the education agenda here. Year-round, one of the best resources for both the residential and commercial building industries is the US Department of Energy website energy.gov. If you haven’t visited the site yet, take the time to look around – it has an absolute wealth of information for most any topic relating to energy-efficiency.
The largest homebuilding trade show on the West coast, the PCBC, will be held June 28th-29th in San Diego, California.
Originally known as the “Pacific Coast Builder’s Conference“, this event has grown since 1959 to attract over 10,000 attendees from all over the world.
High Performance Home Theater
One of the unique features of the PCBC is the High Performance Home Theater. Held right on the exhibit floor, it focuses on educating attendees about multiple compliance methods for changing energy codes, particularly the 2016 Title 24 Standards mandating High Performance Walls & Attics.
ThermalBuck presents “Solving the Challenge for Builders: Window Installation with Continuous Insulation” as part of theHigh Performance Home Theater on Thursday, June 29th, 2017. Mark your calendars for 11:30 am, and join us to learn more about how ThermalBuck can simplify your window installation with continuous insulation, and limit thermal bridging in the building envelope.
View a complete listing of High Performance Home Theater presentations here.
PCBC – The Art, Science + Business of Housing
Thousands of homebuilders, architects, contractors, remodelers, engineers, and manufacturers from the US, Canada, Mexico (and more than 25 other countries) will meet in California to discover the latest trends in homebuilding innovation.
Not only does the trade show floor feature over 350 exhibitors, the Parade of Products and the High Performance Home Theater, it also offers purchasing agents two different buyer events to maximize their time and focus on meetings with the manufacturers of their choice.
Unique to the PCBC, is the endorsement by the Leading Builders of America (LBA). Teams of national and regional buyers from 20 of the largest publicly and privately held homebuilders in the US meet with PCBC exhibitors, and collaborate to develop the high-level programming for members in the invitation-only, Leader-to-Leader Forum.
The show is sponsored by the California Building Industry Association (CBIA), a statewide trade association dedicated to “building California’s economy by providing quality environmentally responsible housing, creating tens of thousands of good paying jobs, and generating billions in state and local revenues”.
Join ThermalBuck on the Exhibit Floor
Consider attending the 2017 PCBC, and see for yourself how this event provides unique opportunities for homebuilders and manufacturers to connect.
Get your FREE exhibit floor pass (use promotional code HANK17), and visit us at Booth #120 June 28th & 29th. You’ll leave the PCBC feeling inspired about the future of energy-efficient building.
View a complete schedule of events, and register to attend the 2017 PCBC here. Plan your visit to the San Diego Convention Center by viewing this complete list of exhibitors on the 2017 PCBC floor plan.
Bill McKnight is no rookie when it comes to energy-efficient building. His company, Energy Conservation Specialists, is a leading New York residential and commercial energy-efficiency consulting firm, specializing in the field of historic preservation and restoration in the Hudson Valley.
Bill and his wife, Melinda Terpening McKnight, are passionate about history, their community, and energy efficient building. With over 20 years in the field of deep energy retrofits, Bill has achieved both BPI Accreditation and Energy Star Certification, teaches building science at Ulster University in NY, and has been featured in Home Energy Magazine.
Vibrant History, Energy-Efficient Future
We had the opportunity to work with Bill and Melinda on a recent net zero deep energy retrofit of a historic Port Ewen home that will soon become the new ECS company headquarters.
Originally built in 1850, the house has been in the Terpening-McKnight family for nearly 40 years, and was in danger of being torn down after a devastating fire. Bill and Melinda decided to restore it, and move their company into the space. The building will not only be energy-efficient, it will achieve net-zero certification, meaning it will consume only as much energy as it produces.
Net Zero Deep Energy Retrofit with Energy Conservation Specialists & ThermalBuck
A signature of deep energy retrofits, is both interior and exterior insulation on the walls and roof, completely eliminating the thermal bridge through the building envelope. Thorough air sealing is crucial to achieving the desired performance. Having worked for years installing windows with rigid foam, Bill knew the challenge they presented in creating a thermal break at windows and doors, as well as potential moisture damage in the building envelope.
“You wouldn’t be able to seal a wood buck like that. We can feel confident that everything on the outside is completely sealed.”
-Bill McKnight, CEO, Energy Conservation Specialists
ThermalBuck Integration with The Building Envelope
Bill chose to install his triple pane Earthwise windows with ThermalBuck because it extends and insulates the mounting point to reduce thermal bridging, and create a flush plane for cladding. It also acts as an air and water barrier, and completes the continuous insulation of the building envelope. With his background in building science, he knew it would do a better job preventing moisture than a wood buck in the building envelope.
ThermalBuck Installation with Energy Conservation Specialists, NY
The proper integration of building materials is critical to an efficient building envelope. Take a look at how simple the installation of ThermalBuck is, and how easily it integrates with the WRB. You’ll see why Bill McKnight feels a lot more confident keeping moisture out of his building envelope with ThermalBuck.
You’d have to live under a rock (completely sustainable housing) if you didn’t realize that climate change, and rapidly increasing energy prices are a hot topic in today’s world. But why is the focus on the building industry?
Buildings consume nearly half of all the energy produced in the United States.
Globally, the percentages are even higher. Which explains why much of Europe is paving the way in both commercial and residential energy-efficient building.
It’s important to understand that energy-efficient building is about more than energy-efficient materials. A great deal of planning is needed to ensure the proper integration of materials and design, to achieve the best possible outcome.
Passive Design, and Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB) are the two primary concepts for energy-efficient building. Passive Design uses a combination of climate-based passive and active design strategies to minimize the usage of energy, materials, and water.
Passive homes focus on the absolute minimal amount of energy use possible to heat and cool the building.
In 2015, the Passive House Institute of the US released the only passive building standard based upon climate-specific comfort and performance. The goal was to find the right balance between the up-front investment in a passive build, and the long-term payback, to achieve the most comfortable and cost effective building possible. Learn more at phius.org.
The basic premise of a Net Zero Energy Building is that they generate as much energy as they consume.
Designed to minimize the amount of energy they need to operate, and with renewable energy systems that meet their energy needs. Solar, wind, and geothermal are examples of renewable energy systems. Design considerations to achieve net zero energy include passive solar design, triple pane or triple glazed windows, and high performance building envelopes. The US Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home program has been working to promote Net Zero building since 2008. Learn more at energy.gov.
Both Passive Home and Net Zero Energy Home certifications are generally based on the HERS Home Energy Rating Score, and certified by third parties, such as the Living Building Challenge. To learn more about the certification process, click here.
The Deep Energy Retrofit
Most of the discussion about passive or net zero design centers around new construction. It just makes good sense to plan ahead for the future. However, considering that the majority of the building inventory in the US was built prior to 1990, there is even more opportunity for energy savings in renovating and retrofitting existing buildings.
As the experts at Green Building Advisor explain, the process usually begins with a home energy audit and building analysis. Energy usage reductions are achieved through a whole-building approach, including insulation, heating and cooling systems, lighting, appliances, and water usage. A typical simple energy retrofit focuses only on individual upgrades, like heating and cooling.
Deep Energy Retrofits are a whole-building approach to maximizing energy efficiency.
The key to success in a deep energy retrofit, is utilizing skilled building science professionals who have the experience planning the integration of these systems into existing structures. Look to organizations such as the Building Performance Institute to direct you to certified professionals in the industry. That’s how we found Bill McKnight, CEO, Energy Conservation Specialists.
With over 20 years in the field of deep energy retrofits, Bill has achieved both BPI Accreditation and Energy Star Certification, teaches building science at Ulster University in NY, and has been featured in Home Energy Magazine. To learn more about the historic renovation project we worked on with Energy Conservation Specialists, and see how ThermalBuck was used to create a thermally efficient building envelope, read the full installation story here.
The Poplar Network features a clear-cut piece by Rob Freeman that explains the difference between Passive and Net Zero. For a more detailed reference, an excellent resource is Net Zero Energy Buildings, by Steven Winters Associates, Inc., a respected authority on building science and efficiency. It was featured in 2016 in the The Whole Building Design Guide, a program of the National Institute of Building Sciences which focuses on the latest technology and “whole building” design techniques. Data was also sourced from architecture2030, whose mission is to address climate change problems with design solutions of the built environment.