Introducing our new HVAC Designer, Scott Olson

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Introducing our new HVAC Designer, Scott Olson

Q&A: Learn more about Scott, his design philosophy, background, and credentials!

What was your first job in residential construction industry?

Construction Superintendent for a National Home Builder in Denver. The Job consisted of front and back‐end scheduling, and warranty work.

How and when did you first become interested in high performance homes and energy efficiency?

While working for a local home builder, I helped create their High Performance testing on all homes. I received my Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) Certification and tested homes for energy code compliance and made sure homes were ENERGY STAR compliant. I balanced the needs of a production builder with ENERGY STAR best practices.

How did you get into HVAC Design?

I was challenged by my boss, while working for a large production builder, to take on a whole new role as an HVAC Designer. My construction experience as a superintendent was a huge advantage and I strived to make my designs be trade friendly and cost-effective.

What insights did you gain on HVAC designs when you worked directly for a large production builder?

Designed cost effective, construction friendly and functional HVAC systems

What elements of EnergyLogic’s HVAC design philosophy resonated with you and attracted you to the job?

EnergyLogic’s HVAC design services, with a goal of ensuring comfort and efficiency with properly built envelopes integrated with properly-sized and designed HVAC systems.

What are some of the common design mistakes or misconceptions builders should watch out for?

Sizing HVAC with a rule-of-thumb calculation. With today’s tighter building envelopes, rule of thumb often results in oversized systems that cost more upfront and cost more to operate over time. Oversized systems also don’t dehumidify as well as properly sized systems because the run time is shorter, so occupants are actually paying more for discomfort. 

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I enjoy grilling, working on projects around the house, and camping.

Xcel Energy ENERGY STAR® New Homes Program Update

Xcel-#s-Aug-2016

Xcel Energy ENERGY STAR® New Homes Program Statistics

2016 Year-to-Date Program Statistics:

  • 2,921 total completed houses
  • 84,087 net dekatherms and 2,722,167 net kilowatt-hours in energy savings
  • $1,926,765 in builder rebates and energy rater administrative fees, which represents roughly 69% of the 2016 budget

2017/2018 program year updates coming soon!

Additional information regarding the rebate structure and requirements is located on our website.

  

Who to Contact:
Tracy Larson
Logistics/Customer Support Supervisor

Email Tracy
970-556-6491

 

 

 

 

Field Fusion: The Disconnect Between Fire & Energy Code

 

Field Fusion: The disconnect between Fire Code and Energy Code

Fire rated assemblies, air tightness, and the real world

Field-Fusion-LogoDate: August 31, 2016
Start Time: 3:00 PM

Location: Bad Daddy’s, 100 E 120th Ave, Northglenn, CO 80233

Please RSVP here

 

 

SCHEDULE

3:00 – 5:00 PM 

Speaker Highlights:

Robby Schwarz, Principal and Director of Builder relations at EnergyLogic, Inc

  • Laying out the issue. Fire code vs. energy code and air leakage requirements that have to be met. Why multi-family homes are twice as leaky as single-family homes that are twice their size.

Gil Rossmiller, Chief Building Official for the City of Parker

  • A perspective from a Code jurisdiction on what defines a fire rated assembly and what is being allowed to make them air tight.

Brian Firestone, Applegate Insulation

  • Fire and Acoustical rated assemblies. UL listings the process and the options that are available.

 

5:00 – 7:00 PM 

EnergyLogic’s Mixer and networking

This event is generously supported by Tyvek.

 

 

IECC and Multi-Family Buildings

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Up and down the front range of Colorado we are seeing more and more code jurisdictions adopt either the 2012 or 2015 IECC.  From a building science perspective, this is a step forward toward better performing buildings because these two codes require mandatory air leakage targets be met by all segments of residential construction three stories or less.  What I mean by this is that the code understands the importance of gaining control and predictability of the air flowing through our buildings.  I like to say that air is a freight train and like a train it carries cargo from point A to point B. The cargo it carries is heat/energy, moisture, and pollutants. The issue is that air does not always carry its cargo in a straight line on tracks from inside a house directly outside the house and deposit its load into the ambient air. A properly ducted fan may take air and its cargo to the outdoors, but often air takes its cargo into building assemblies and deposits it there, causing long-term building durability and efficiency issues for our homes. The code now recognizes that tight homes increase durability and efficiency and now understand that visual inspection itself cannot ensure house tightness.  The fundamental change in the code from the 2009 IECC to the 2012 or 2015 IECC is this recognition and the move from a choice to administer a blower door test or visually inspect to a mandate that you visually inspect and test to ensure tightness of the homes we build.

EnergyLogic tests homes and has been helping builders use the Simulated Performance pathway through code since the 2006 IECC.  Unlike other pathways in the energy code, the flexibility gained in the performance path allows for the most cost-effective means to develop the energy specifications for a house because we can trade off house tightness for R-values and U-values in the thermal envelope. This means that we understand that there is absolutely no problem achieving the code required 3 air changes per house at 50 Pascals (3 ACH50) in a single-family home.  In fact, the 2012 and 2015 IECC offer a checklist for how to be successful in the mandatory air barrier and insulation table R402.1.1.  We also know with certainty that it is not easy for multi-family buildings to achieve this same air leakage target. Currently, code does not recognize the difficulty of achieving 3 ACH50 in multi-family homes and buildings.  The City of Denver has accepted EnergyLogic’s code amendment to allow multi-family homes and buildings to have a leakage rate of 4ACH50. The city of Fort Collins allows a CFM/sqft of shell area measurement to be used to express air leakage in multi-family project.  So far they are the only jurisdictions in the state that I am aware of that have amended this section of the code to better reflect the realities of creating airtight multi-family buildings. On a national level, EnergyLogic has submitted a code change proposal for the 2018 IECC that makes a clear distinction between single-family detached homes and multi-family attached homes with achievable air leakage targets for both. We will have to wait until October to see if the proposal is accepted.

So where does that leave our multi-family builders?

Whether you are building duplexes, townhouses, or stacked multi-family buildings, house tightness is solely dependent on attention to detail with regard to air sealing adiabatic common fire rated walls, floors, and ceilings.  We recommend beginning by removing all draft-stopping materials (rock wool and fiberglass that are air permeable) in these fire rated assemblies and replacing them with solid fireblocking materials that actually stop the movement of air. By doing this you now have reasonable-sized holes that, depending on the jurisdiction, the assembly, and the skill level of the air sealing contractor, can be sealed. Next, you must treat common walls, floors, and ceilings as you would treat assemblies that separate conditioned space from the outdoors. The codes air barrier and insulation mandatory table/checklist must be applied to these common fire rated assemblies. For example, if there is a tub or shower pan, drop ceiling, or knee wall adjacent to an adiabatic common fire rated wall, floor, or ceiling, an air barrier needs to be installed.  Lastly, these details cannot be an afterthought!  They need to be addressed from the first design charrette, through a trade partner kickoff meeting, to mid-phase air barrier and insulation rough quality assurance inspection, if there is to be any hope of achieving 3 ACH50 when the home is blower door tested at a final inspection.  Blower door testing occurs when the home is complete and when it is impossible to achieve significant air sealing objectives at this point of construction.  Small changes in the tightness of the home may be able to be achieved, but air takes the path of least resistance; so if you have not blocked and sealed it out behind the drywall it is unlikely that you will be able to do more that achieve a small increase in the tightness of home at a final stage of construction.  In other words, the work has been done at the time of the rough inspection and the evaluation of the work is done at the final inspection.

In conclusion, get involved and take full advantage of EnergyLogic’s third-party inspection and testing services.  Get us involved as early as possible in the design of your multi-family project, and let us train all your trade partners at a kickoff meeting, how to successfully work toward meeting the requirements of code.  It is not easy, but attention to detail, quality assurance inspection, and greater understanding by the trade base will make 3 ACH50 achievable.

 

Robby Schwarz

 

Who to Contact:
Robby Schwarz
Principal, Director of Builder Relations

Email Robby
720-838-0677

EnergyLogic’s “Game of Homes” Offers Edutainment-based Training Alternative, Professional Development to Home Performance Pros

 Game of Homes is proudly supported by Owens Corning®

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Owens Corning Sponsorship Gives Game a Boost with Real-world Products

Aug. 4, 2016, DENVER, Colo. – EnergyLogic announces Owens Corning as a flagship sponsor of Game of Homes, EnergyLogic’s new, free training platform for home performance professionals. Game of Homes takes a departure from traditional classroom and online training courses by applying gaming designs and concepts to learning scenarios that are interactive, engaging and entertaining. Home performance professionals – such as energy raters, remodelers, retrofitters and others involved in the process of improving the comfort, safety and energy efficiency of a home – gain valuable continuing education units (CEUs) they can apply toward industry certification programs such as the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) and the Building Performance Institute (BPI).

“Owens Corning’s collaboration with EnergyLogic brings additional depth to the resources and partnership we provide building professionals to help them stay at the top of their game,” said Todd Fister, vice president of strategic marketing, Insulation, Owens Corning. “This edutainment-driven approach to training represents a truly innovative and user-friendly solution to help these pros gain new knowledge and advance their home performance practices.”

According to Matt Thornberry, training and education manager for EnergyLogic, Game of Homes is geared to reach the approximately 35,000 home performance professionals in the U.S., as well as more than 100,000 home inspectors.

“Game of Homes offers users a fresh approach to the ‘death-by-PowerPoint’ training that plagues our industry,” Thornberry said. “We believe that excellent training is critical to the success of the building science industry – and a more sustainable world. But our industry is historically guilty of offering training based on boring presentations and lectures. That’s not how people learn. People learn by doing,” he added.

Game of Homes helps energy professionals become critical thinkers and make smarter decisions about ways to make homes efficient, safe, healthy and durable. Users are faced with complex choices they must make about the home’s systems – from ventilation systems to furnace equipment to insulation materials – that simulate a home’s performance. These scenarios are developed based on real-world situations that experienced professionals have encountered in the field. For example, one situation involves a serious mold condition; another is based on a career-threatening condition in the home of a vocal coach. The game features actual products the pros use – such as Owens Corning’s residential insulation products – to make for a realistic online experience.

Game of Homes taps into people’s natural desire for competition, achievement and community status, using leaderboards, achievements and social interaction as techniques to  deeply engage players as a community. Players can earn achievements through the accumulation of points awarded for correct decisions they make during the interactive scenarios and challenges. In addition, the system tracks points and issues professional development credits for various home energy certifications such as RESNET and BPI.

Users sign up for Game of Homes for free at www.playgameofhomes.com. The Game of Homes video is available online.

 

About Owens Corning             

Owens Corning (NYSE: OC) develops, manufactures and markets insulation, roofing, and fiberglass composites. Global in scope and human in scale, the company’s market-leading businesses use their deep expertise in materials, manufacturing and building science to develop products and systems that save energy and improve comfort in commercial and residential buildings. Through its glass reinforcements business, the company makes thousands of products lighter, stronger and more durable. Ultimately, Owens Corning people and products make the world a better place. Based in Toledo, Ohio, Owens Corning posted 2015 sales of $5.4 billion and employs about 16,000 people in 25 countries. It has been a Fortune 500® company for 62 consecutive years.

About EnergyLogic

EnergyLogic is a building consulting company that provides expert resources, education and support to new home builders and energy raters involved in the construction of high‐performance homes. Its products and services include an energy rating system, rater services, an enterprise software system and training. EnergyLogic also serves as a resource to other organizations that are influential in creating energy efficient housing across America, including industry associations, construction and building professionals, utility companies, government code officials, state energy offices and real estate professionals. More information may be found at www.nrglogic.com. Details about the company’s comprehensive training program is available at energylogicacademy.com.

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Media Contacts:

EnergyLogic:
Linda Lidov
303-358-6279

Owens Corning:
DeAnna Starn
419-248-5667