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This Must Be The Place, Season 3: Another 18 Episodes of BS*

Shawna HendersonJuly 06, 2022

Hard to believe, but 7 July is the launch of Season Three of This Must Be the Place: The Building Science podcast! With 36 great episodes under our belt, we decided to change things up a bit for this season. Our next 18 episodes will be broken into three themes,...

Valuing the role of the appraiser in home performance

Shawna HendersonJanuary 12, 20158 comments

Here's something near and dear to the heart of anyone involved in the home performance industry: how to make energy efficiency sexy, appealing, and properly valued. When you're up to your eyebrows in insulation and you know that you are adding significant value to a house, it's sometimes hard to...

Feedback is Good

Shawna HendersonNovember 27, 2014

It's always gratifying to hear that you're doing good things --  Jon Eakes did an article on web-based learning for trades in the November issue of the Canadian Home Builder Magazine that talks about the long-recognized need for more trades training in building science and energy efficiency measures that relates...

A deeper discussion of deeper energy efficiency measures

Shawna HendersonSeptember 25, 20142 comments

    Here's a good read from Nate Adams from Energy Smart Ohio, on problems associated with energy efficiency programs, single-action bias and low-hanging fruit. It comes with the above GREAT graph showing the fallacy of diminishing returns on energy efficiency measures. The red line indicates what we think happens...

Hiss and Poop -- Abnormal Phenomenon!

Shawna HendersonApril 01, 2014

Beware! Heat pumps sound a heckuva lot like Canada Geese when they are unhappy. There's a lot of hissing and pooping. I had no idea. Anyone been in a house with a heat pump where pieces of the wall, carpet, furniture, cloth, cigarette, and cosmetics adhere to the unit? Sure...

Why we need good training in building science

Shawna HendersonMarch 18, 2014

There are lots of horror stories out there about mold, rot, stink, decay, health problems and even death associated with energy efficiency measures and airtight houses. Most of them come from the early days of 'live' experiments where good things were done, with all the right intentions but only half of the concept was in place...house-as-a-system was not the by-word of the late 70s/early 80s homebuilding/renovating world. And in many instances where new horror stories appear, it's pretty obvious to those who are conversant in building science that 'house-as-a-system' is ***still*** not the by-word of the homebuilding/renovating world.X

Just in Time Training...what does that mean?

Shawna HendersonMarch 13, 20142 comments

Just in Time Training = giving people the training they need when and where they need it. The people who are actually carrying out the building and renovating, labourers, framers, insulators, those folks don't often (never) get invited to sit through days of in-class training to improve their understanding of building science and how to apply that understanding to what they are being asked to do on site. Why? Because they are so very valuable on site. If they are in class, the site shuts down. Or someone needs to step into their role for the days they are in class.  X

Value Chain and Core Competencies

Shawna HendersonMarch 05, 20141 comment

Training in building science and energy efficiency is essential to moving the house building industry forward into Net Zero Energy, successfully. As BHE COO, Hal Richman has observed, many people in our industry do not see the entire value chain. It’s a complicated one – easy to see in this diagram how the home building industry is a hot, fragmented mess of experts and expertise, completely at odds with itself sometimes.

Fragments and knowledge gaps

Shawna HendersonFebruary 21, 2014

BHE is based on translating the knowledge we have about building science and energy efficiency in housing into a format that is accessible to those already working in the home building industry. Labourers, tradespeople, renovators and contractors, as well as those who are less hands-on but still involved in the industry: office managers, internal sales teams etc. As a set of crafts and trades that really grew into a commodity-based industry only after World War II, housing is still finding its feet as a cohesive industry. The many trades and interests that come together to build a house all have their own silos of expertise. As energy prices and environmental concerns have created the need for energy efficiency measures and green building issues, the fragmentation of the industry has continued. Now not only do we have builders, tradespeople, contractors and inspectors, appraisers and mortgage lenders, but a whole layer of techno-weenie evaluators, assessors, trainers, designers, and consultants (yes, I am wearing my appropriate hats). X