energy efficiency

Ep.110: Providing Energy Audits with Larry Mayer

Energy, and more specifically energy efficiency, has been a critical issue for building and remodeling since the late 80’s and 90’s when the attention seemed focused on window size and glazing. Fast-forward to today where the discussion has advanced to green energy, solar and thousands of products focused on energy conservation and efficiency.

An important step in the process is to analyze the current situation with an Energy Audit, performed by a trained professional and perhaps build that into your service offering as a builder or remodeler. Some lenders are requiring it and in many municipalities, it is required for the resale of a residence.

Tim and Steve welcome Larry Mayer to the show to discuss the topic further. Larry is the Owner of Comfort Choice Homes in Fargo, ND, which he founded in 2001 after a successful career with Honeywell. In addition to home building and remodeling, Larry’s company provides Energy Audits to both the residential and commercial markets.

In this episode, Tim, Steve and Larry cover:

  • What an energy audit is and some background on the need for them
  • What is involved and what the tests are
  • Who is qualified to provide an energy audit
  • Why Builders and Remodelers should pay to have this done
  • The need for energy audits in different climates

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Ep.36: Creating Comfortable Buildings Through Energy Efficiency with John Viner

Remodeling solutions that make people more comfortable in their homes, while saving energy, are becoming more important to remodelers and homeowners. Researchers and specialists are diving into this, and manufacturers are creating new products that will achieve those goals.

But it’s still not simple. You have to look at the building itself — not just the addition you’re building or the rooms you’re remodeling — as its own unique system, says John Viner.

In this week’s episode, John talks with Tim and Steve about working toward zero-energy buildings, and what that takes.

John’s a Senior Project Manager at Seventhwave in Madison, WI, a non-profit dedicated to solving technical problems when transitioning to clean energy, and working with state, government and local utilities to save energy. He develops and manages education programs for residential, commercial, and industrial building professionals. His specialty is working with energy-efficiency programs, working with customers and trade partners to identify knowledge gaps, and creating content that empowers utilities, builders, and consumers to change their energy use. As a technical expert, John keeps his skills sharp with in-the-field projects as part of Seventhwave’s research and program evaluation program.

Also, much like Consumer Reports, Seventhwave test products to make sure manufacturer’s claims about energy-efficiency actually work in the real world.

So many factors combine to make a building energy-efficient, comfortable, structurally sound, and healthy. Making buildings tight has consequences if it’s not done right — affecting indoor air quality especially. The right solution for one house may not be same for the next one you work on. John talks about how to find what works for you, including:

  • Refining rules of thumb
  • Vetting new products
  • Why newer homes are more complicated
  • Tailoring the system for your climate region
  • How remodelers can stay in the know about best practices for energy efficiency
  • Why local codes aren’t always the last word on efficiency
  • Gauging you team’s capabilities and learning curve
  • Perfecting your system
  • And more…

John recommends two easy-to-understand websites for remodelers to check out to learn more about energy efficient building systems, Buildingscience.com and GreenBuildingAdvisor.

Seventhwave is holding the Better Buildings Better Business Conference devoted to helping builders and remodelers build-in energy efficiencies specifically in cold climates  — and Tim will be speaking — Feb. 13-15, 2019, in the Wisconsin Dells. Tim also reports the hosting resort has an awesome indoor water park. Just FYI.

 

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