Our primary Blue House Energy team is dedicated to producing high-quality, interactive online learning for the building industry. Check out our in-house courses and find out how we work with clients to produce custom online learning resources. To stay flexible, and to keep our prices competitive, we work with a crackerjack roster of freelance energy efficiency specialists, editors, graphic designers, web-learning specialists, and project managers to produce our courses. We support local economic development by contracting with other businesses in our communities who offer the services and products we need to bring high-quality training and content to your screens.

Shawna Henderson
Shawna is our resident building science wonk. She’s been working in the field of energy efficiency and housing since 1992. She was an active R-2000 evaluator and inspector until 2001, and was one of the first licensed EnerGuide for Houses evaluators in Canada. Her experience with the R-2000 and EnerGuide for Houses (ecoENERGY) programs, coupled with research carried out for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Natural Resources Canada, provides the backbone of Bfreehomes design and consulting services. She is co-founder of Blue House Energy, interactive and comprehensive online education for trades, renovators, contractors, and energy efficiency professionals.

Shawna works with eight to fifteen home design clients each year, on a wide variety of projects: load-bearing straw bale homes, double-wall new construction, standard stick framing and gut rehabs of older houses. She has been a pioneer in Net Zero Energy Home research and design, and consults on Deep Energy Retrofits. In addition, she has designed integrated solar thermal, PV and wind systems for several clients. Shawna has the ability to bring cutting-edge industry knowledge to builders and homeowners in an understandable and informed manner.

In 2007, Shawna served on the Selection Committee for CMHC’s EQuilibrium House Initiative. In 2010, she served on the Information Subcommittee for the EnerGuide for Houses Rating System Upgrade. She has presented at many conferences including Nova Scotia’s EnerHouse (1999, 2007, 2009); CMHC’s first (and sadly only) national Affordable Retrofit Conference (2009); and Affordable Comfort Institute’s National Conference (2008, 2010). In 2011, she worked with NRCan and the late, great Rob Dumont to develop a transferable presentation for builders on solar thermal space and water heating systems for the Local Energy Efficiency Partnership (LEEP) Initiative.

She was co-chair of the Education Activation Team for the Net Zero Energy House Coalition (2013-2014) and sat on the Trilateral Green Building Construction Task Force (2013-2015), led by the Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC). She is also on the steering committee for BPI Canada.

In addition to being recognized as a leader in residential building science, Shawna is also a prolific writer. She is responsible for the content of Blue House Energy courses, and directed the interactive and multimedia portions of the Blue House Energy Training. She is a recognized subject matter expert, providing content and final copy for several publications geared to builders and consumers by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and Natural Resources Canada. Shawna is also a published author of books on sustainable housing, and is the erstwhile Canadian Correspondent for Home Energy Magazine.

A few online & print publications that Shawna has written and/or produced:

A few projects not in the public domain:

  • Solar Ready Literature Review. C3. Analysis of Solar Ready initiatives, guidelines and legislation. Part of a broader project carried out by C3 for the City of Edmonton’s Green Building Plan.

  • Next Generation EnerGuide Rating System – Technical Procedures. NRCan. Available late 2014 to ERS evaluators and service organizations.

  • Energy Efficiency Program Evaluation. PEI Office Of Energy Efficiency. Analysis of cost effectiveness of loan and grant programs for energy efficiency measures in 1800+ houses.

Hal Richman
Our COO, Dr. Hal, keeps Blue House Energy operating smoothly. With a strong international background in training and business development, Hal is the point person for our performance management program. This program was designed to help our clients get the most value out of their training dollars.

Hal also provides user support and customer service, and keeps our learning management system in good health. He is the lead on quality assurance for learning content, and ensures our assessments (exams and tests) comply with in-house and client-required competency maps and levels of knowledge.

He represented BHE on Education Activation Team (2013-2014) for the Net Zero Energy House Coalition, focussing on competency requirements and levels of knowledge for the 2015 Net Zero Summit.

Hal has a Ph.D. in Political Science from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he studied how facilitation can help overcome power disparities in task-oriented groups. His undergraduate and graduate work includes studies in mathematical game theory, cybernetics and the philosophy and psychology of science.

Hal has strong business planning and “startup experience”, as well as an entrepreneurial bent in a variety of technically focused industries such as software and energy efficiency. He was the president of Knowledge Navigators International, a pioneering start-up that developed an online learning and collaboration platform before Facebook.

Since 1996, the focus of his work has spanned areas including creation of training and development strategies; learning needs analyses and competency mapping; design and implementation of e-learning methodologies, programs and content; procurement of learning and performance management systems; and evaluation of training and development initiatives.

Prior to BHE, Hal’s wide-ranging experience in business, training and development led to him providing services to provincial and federal governments in Canada, the Republic of Macedonia, the Kingdom of Bahrain and Sri Lanka. He has also served intergovernmental organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme and bi-laterals such as the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Canadian International Development Agency.

Hal's other interests include ocean kayaking and working out. Hal is also volunteering at the Cancer Centre at Capital Health in Halifax, on projects that leverage his PhD research skills

Contact Blue House today to line up our team for your online learning needs.

What our customers are saying

  • If you are planning a house build or renovation, understanding Building Science is important to avoid repetitive heating costs and possible water damage later. Shawna and her team know their stuff.

    K.W., General Manager, Halifax, NS
  • Studies over the last 20 years have shown a worrying energy performance gap – where buildings are consistently found to use more heating energy than designers had predicted and Energy Performance Certificates indicate.

    Oliver Drerup, Former Head of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation - International
  • I am pleased to hear that you will be undertaking a new initiative to further trades training in residential energy efficiency. CMHC supports the building of industry awareness and capacity to deliver more sustainable technologies and practices in the housing sector.

    Duncan Hill, P. Eng., Acting Director, Sustainable Housing and Communities Policy and Research Policy, Research and Planning, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
  • Over the last 20+ years I have been speaking to and training thousands of new home builders and renovators across North America.

    Gord Cooke, Air Solutions
  • All I can say is … wow!  You have nailed it! I just watched the 5 minute overview of what all your training videos will attempt to accomplish, and am very impressed.  I am so proud that I know you both, this is incredibly good.

    Gregory A. Pedrick, C.E.M., Project Manager, New York State Energy Efficiency Agency
  • This training is easy use and in a perfect format.

    Dan Drummond, Training Director, Canada Wood China
  • It is very well centred on the learner's experience. Visually-based rather than text-based delivery make the modules straightforward and non-intimidating. I like the way the expected learning outcomes are clearly presented and the information is clearly applicable to practical work.

    Michelle Harding, Professional Builders Institute of BC
  • This is primo education that goes way beyond training.

    Chris Rosemont, BASF
High-performance new construction minimizes space conditioning through insulation, air sealing and right-sized equipment.


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