All EnergyLogic Academy
EnergyLogic is proud to announce some exciting changes to our team! Get to know our new Field Services Manager & Software Technical Liaison, Steve Eagleburger.
Q&A: Learn more about Steve, his comprehensive background, and credentials!
What was your first job in the residential construction industry?
I’ve been involved in construction most of my life. I started as a painter/faux finisher around 30 years ago. I moved on to handyman work and eventually became a General Contractor around 2003.
How and when did you first become interested in high-performance homes and energy efficiency?
I’ve always been interested in environmental construction and design. I built the one and only Compressed Earth Block home in Denver and currently live there. It’s imperative that the construction industry realizes the impact it has on this planet and its inhabitants and take steps to move toward more efficient, cleaner and safer homes.
What insights did you gain in your time working as a general contractor?
Contractors can change the way we build homes and by making that change we can create longer- lasting, more comfortable, better performing homes. We often are focused on the bottom line when we should step back and look at the big picture. Success comes when we meet a triple bottom line -Economic Value, Environmental Sustainability and Social Responsibility. This is what drove me as a G.C. and eventually what lead me to work at Energylogic.
You’ve been with EnergyLogic since 2010 and have worked at a number of different roles. What are some things you can share about your background in residential energy consulting?
You don’t know what you don’t know until you know it and as soon as you know it you need to share it. This is a constantly evolving industry and as raters and builders, we have to stay informed. Codes and programs evolve over time. It’s our responsibility as energy consultants to keep our clients informed and be as pre-emptive as possible when change is coming. Nobody likes surprises!
What are some of the common design mistakes or misconceptions builders should watch out for?
Demand a detailed set of drawings from your architect and engineer before you start to build and make sure those drawing specify local codes and builder program details! Refresh your plan set to include updated codes or details that were missed originally so you don’t keep repeating the same mistakes. So many failures and re-inspections can be avoided by having a knee wall framing detail somewhere in your plan set, or air barrier detail drawn for double framed walls, or by making sure there’s room between the stairs and foundation wall to add insulation, etc. These details allow everyone to do their job better, from estimators to installers.
Little things do matter. Even though we don’t like to delay construction schedules over minor issues, small improvements on a national scale can make an impact. We call these things out to help you build a better product, not to be obstructive. The building code and national programs such as Energy Star and DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes exist to help you build a better product and get to that triple bottom line. Embrace it and accept the future of construction!
What do you like to do in your free time?
When I’m not working you’ll find me hiking or camping with my wife and dog, but nothing too extreme. We like the quiet places. Or maybe I’m down at the local brewery for a pint of cask-conditioned English ale. Once a week you’ll find me at Zenko Kyudojo in Boulder, practicing Japanese archery.
EnergyLogic Academy’s Referral Program Rewards – Tell ALL Your Friends!
We feel everyone should benefit from ‘word of mouth’ marketing, not just us! We make it worth your while by offering cash rewards through our referral program.
Let’s keep building this industry – together!
RESNET HERS® Rater Training Combo Package (Phase 1 & 2)
Phase 1 of the EnergyLogic Academy HERS Rater training is designed to allow participants to navigate through the knowledge base needed for a HERS Rater at the users own pace. The course prepares students for the extensive knowledge needed in building science, building materials, integrated construction processes, HVAC equipment, and diagnostic testing equipment and processes.
The HERS Rater Training online course covers the core knowledge for the HERS Rater certification. By enrolling in our self-paced, open enrollment course, you will have 90 days to complete the training. You can complete the training at your own pace, and you do not need to use the whole enrollment period if it is not needed. There are 24 modules in the course – each module will take a minimum of two hours to complete, with some taking over four hours.
Phase 2 is four days of field training designed to introduce the HERS Rater inspection processes and diagnostic testing. During the field training, we will complete two practice ratings according to the RESNET training standard. Practice ratings will be performed on an existing home and a new home.
This is an instructor-facilitated course. Students will have one-on-one instruction with the testing equipment. Much of the field work will be done in a group setting, where peer-to-peer interaction is used to complete the practice ratings.
RESNET® Instructor, Green Rater, Auditor
Field Services Manager & Software Technical Liaison
After completing the course, Rater candidates have two steps remaining before earning certification:
The candidate must pass three exams. The exam fees are not included in the price of tuition. These fees are paid directly to RESNET. For more information click on the RESNET Exams tab.
The candidate must join a provider and complete the probationary phase of certification. The provider ultimately issues the certification once the candidate completes the probationary phase.
A package you just can’t turn down!
Use coupon code december2016 for $500 off of the HERS Rater Training Como
EnergyLogic’s “Game of Homes” Offers Edutainment-based Training Alternative, Professional Development to Home Performance Pros
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.
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.
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.
EnergyLogic Academy Referral Program
At EnergyLogic Academy our most effective marketing has always been word of mouth. Our extensive trainings have provided the industry with ready-to-work graduates who are more prepared to enter the workforce than many others. This is what our customer’s know. This is why they send their new recruits to us.
We asked ourselves a couple questions. How can we make ‘word of mouth’ a marketing tactic for us? How can we reward those who send us new students and grow our business?
What we came up with is the EnergyLogic Academy Referral Program; a program which benefits everyone. The referrer is rewarded as well as the referred. Cash for the referrer and discounts for the referred are offered.
Over the next couple of weeks we will be sending out emails to our regular customers with their unique referral code. This code can be used on any training-online or live- and used by anyone! We welcome you to visit our website for a full explanation and review our guidelines on this new program.
So thank you, word of mouth marketers! We wouldn’t be successful without you.
Feel free to call us with any questions at 888-997-5132. You can also visit our website for all the ins and outs of our referral program.
Director of EnergyLogic Academy
EnergyLogic Academy is now offering two new courses designed to educate residential home professionals the RESNET Home Energy Rating System (HERS). The course will teach the workings of the Home Energy Rating Industry to ‘non-Raters’ who work with Raters in New Residential Building. We are proud to introduce the RESNET HERS Advisor and HERS Designer courses. Steve Byers, CEO of EnergyLogic, explains the purpose, the point, and the benefit of the classes.
A. Over the years we’ve had professionals such as Architects, Engineers, Builders, Real Estate Agents and more recently, Code Officials take the full Rater Training to learn about RESNET and how HERS Raters work. It was time to offer something to them that was geared toward what they were looking for, and priced accordingly.”
Q. Why not take the full rater training? Wouldn’t that be more comprehensive?
A. Well… for a person who wants to work in the field doing ratings, sure. But for a Code Official or an Architect, why spend that kind of time and money? In the past, they were compelled to take HERS Rater training in order to access the knowledge base and/or the software. It is an exercise in frustration for these individuals as they know they are taking training that isn’t going to meet their ultimate objective. Now we offer an educational path that makes sense for their industry. These courses address the true needs of those professionals, and we are a reliable and experienced source to offer that training.
For a more in-depth look at the two courses, I interviewed Matt Thornberry, Training & Education Manager for the EnergyLogic Academy, who is working with RESNET to develop these new designations, RESNET HERS Advisor and RESNET HERS Designer. Matt is also the author of the courses and oversees the students.
Q. Who is a ‘HERS Advisor?’
A. The HERS Advisor is a professional connected to the new residential building industry who understands and can advise others on RESNET’s HERS. HERS Raters are playing a larger role in the residential construction industry and are verifying compliance for the International Energy Conservation Codes (IECC). As the Rater’s role in the residential construction industry grows, so does the need for a wider understanding of their qualifications, process, inspections, computer modeling, and tools. A HERS Advisor holds that understanding and can apply it to their part of the home building process when needed.
Q. Who is a HERS Designer?
A. A HERS Designer has gone one step beyond the HERS Advisor training by learning the process of performing a from-plans rating just as HERS Raters do before a home is ever constructed to help guide decisions about designing the home. They have been trained on a step-by-step creation of a from-plans rating using REM/Rate.
Q. Are these RESNET approved courses?
A. RESNET is actively considering creating a “designation” for the HERS Advisor and Designer courses and ultimately, “certification” for the HERS Designer path.
Q. Do these courses offer CEU’s or designations from any governing body?
A. At this time, HERS Advisor has been approved for .50 continuing education units from ICC. HERS Designer has been submitted for approval recently. We’re exploring offering other professional development credits from AIA and other organizations as well. Currently there is no designation; however EnergyLogic is working to get both pathways recognized by RESNET as an official designation.
If you’re interested in learning more about EnergyLogic Academy’s RESNET HERS Advisor or Designer courses, you can visit them at the EnergyLogic Academy’s RESNET Pro page.
We just finished creating a new classroom for our live training professionals here at EnergyLogic and the EnergyLogic Academy. What? What! What you say? Your “LIVE” training? But I thought that EnergyLogic was all in for eLearning and online education? The hypocrisy!
Ah Grasshopper, we are indeed heavily invested in the best that eLearning has to offer. We’ve seen the impact that thoughtful well-crafted eLearning has on our effectiveness as a training organization. However, sometimes live training is required (i.e. RESNET, BPI, LEED for Homes) and sometimes it’s the right learning environment whether required or not.
Toward that end, we’ve converted the garage space at our training facility, The Logical Living Center, into a new classroom. We’re really excited by the way it turned out.
Here are some nice features:
- Daylight – Yes! Real live daylight that we can control
- Classroom lighting – Proper direct/indirect lighting fixtures
- Improved A/V – built-in cabling and controls for all of our A/V needs
- Whiteboards! – 128 square feet of whiteboard (I know, I know, the first step is to admit you have a whiteboard problem…)
- Classroom tables – Proper classroom tables that flip up and all that!
- Cork Floor – Warm, quiet, and best of all, salvaged!
- Mini-split heat pump – another type of machine for heating and cooling!
There’s more, but that gives you the idea – a bright, comfortable, well-lit space (with no pole in the middle!) that allows us to continue delivering the finest live training to pair with our best-in-class eLearning. Hopefully you’ll join us for one or the other sometime in the near future!
E-learning Misconception of Social Interaction
I’ve heard a number of times that e-learning’s main weakness is the lack of social interaction. I would like to attempt to dispel this common misconception.
Social interaction in any setting is dependent on the structure of the course. A live training can have little to no social interaction if the instructor does not foster discussion. A live training may be so packed with information that an instructor simply cannot allow discussion in an effort to stay on time.
If anything, a properly structured e-learning course can create an atmosphere of deeper discussion.
Let’s use an example of the EnergyLogic Academy HERS Rater Training. In the screen shot below you will find our structure for each module in our training,E-learning Module Structure from EnergyLogic Academy
Let me do a brief run down on the module structure. First, each module is worth 100 points. Each module has 4 distinct sections. Each section is worth 25 points.
- Learning Resources – These are SCORM compliant narrated flash files with interactivity. These are designed to educate the student on the topic being discussed. In this case, domestic hot water.
- Activity – In our course we have activities around the topic. These range from glossary construction, uploading work files, research, and in this case our class project. The class project is the creation of a from-plans rating. In this section we work through the REM/Rate entry of water heating systems.
- Social – This is where we foster social interaction. As you can see we have 14 unread posts in this Rater training. This is where the rest of our discussion will focus.
- Quiz – Each module finishes with a quiz.
Let’s focus on the social interaction in our course. We foster discussion. In fact, to pass our course we require social interaction. It is important to note that we focus on structured social interaction. Each social will have a set of instructions for that particular topic. For example:Social Interaction Menu on EnergyLogic Academy Course
As you’ll notice the last instruction is that each person is responsible for starting a discussion and responding to a colleague.
Now let’s look at the discussions:E-learning Discussions for ELA Course
You’ll notice we have seven distinct discussions. Each of those discussion has at least one reply. And you’ll notice on the right the last person to comment. This is a great example because Mark Jabaley is a very experienced Rater, an EnergyLogic partner, and in this course as a guest instructor. In addition, our lead trainer Scott Doyle has weighed in.
Now let’s dive into one of the discussions.
Discussion page on EnergyLogic Academy Course
The discussions can include links to more information, videos and images to help describe the topic.
Our teaching style is social constructivism. The idea is that students work together to build knowledge of the topic based on discussion and activities. What we have found is that students will go as deep as they want. We give them the basic instructions but find that willing students will bring back great information. In fact, I’ve learned a lot from these students. It’s truly a remarkable thing to watch as our students become champions of the course and seek to help their colleagues to learn the material.
Please don’t tell me that social interaction is not part of e-learning. As educators, we require it!
Deputy Director of Energy Professional Services
When people want something, they invariably want it all. The best new phone, in their hands tomorrow, and $59 seems a fair price to pay. Is this really a rational prospect?
I can probably get that phone, I may even be able to get it tomorrow – but if I find it for $59, I’d better look hard at that two-year commitment to find out how much that phone is really going to cost me.
But wait, here’s this other phone that’s free and there’s no commitment. Oh, it’s a model from two years ago and doesn’t even do text messaging.
Yes! Here’s the newest model, no plan and it’s only $199 – this is the one! What? Really? 4G won’t come out for how much longer on this phone?
Are you getting it? You need to prioritize what’s most important to you and then pick the top two – good, fast, or cheap – it’s unlikely you’ll get them all.
Typically, unless you’re picking up a pack of pencils for your 7-year old, you should probably consider quality first. Quality takes a long time to develop and quality costs money; but it’s worth it in the long run. As the old adage goes, “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.” Be wary of those “great deals” – they are great for a reason. Something newer and better is about to come out and the manufacturer needs to dump stock, there are hidden costs, or maybe that product didn’t make the cut for full-price sale due to some deficiency.
I’ve run across this often when looking for training courses – Acme Training Corp. has exactly what I need and it’s available in every major city. Sounds great! I’ll be trained in half the time the other providers offer and at half the cost – wow! They guarantee I’ll be ready to go after this training – fantastic! This training sounds good, it’s fast, and low cost to boot. WARNING ! WARNING! Danger Will Robinson! Sirens should be going off in your head; red flags popping up before you. What’s wrong with this picture? Turns out, 80% of the classes get canceled and when you’re done with the training you find you’re only marginally more knowledgeable than you were before you paid that low price.
If you’re choosing something you’re going to be relying on for your livelihood, such as RESNET, BPI, or LEED training — good, fast, cheap – pick two … but pick the right two.
We recently saw and read the Op-Ed piece in the New York Times “The Trouble With Online Education” by Mark Edmundson and I’m afraid we must beg to differ. Since deploying our online learning platform at the EnergyLogic Academy (which does have both live and online training), we’ve been blown away by how much more effective our overall training has become.
- Students are more engaged, not less
- Retention is radically better
- Test performance is radically better
When we directed our energy and resources on creating an online platform for our trainings (starting with RESNET and BPI certification courses), we set out to create the best eLearning experience in the industry. I think we’ve achieved that. (Not that we’ll rest–e are at our core, a continuous process improvement company and that informs our training efforts as well). We know that there are a lot of crappy online classes out there and we wanted to ensure that we weren’t going down that road. We studied the literature; we ate up best practices; we learned a lot by trial and error as well.
Mr. Edmundson feels it’s not possible to have an engaged experience with an instructor in an online environment. He’s wrong. We are a testament to that; we are in a real-time learning experience with our students. The chats, quizzes and iterative experience based learning that our students both do and encounter gives us a far better picture into how much they are “getting it” than we ever had when we stood at the head of a class and lectured.
From the article:
With every class we teach, we need to learn who the people in front of us are. We need to know where they are intellectually, who they are as people and what we can do to help them grow. Teaching, even when you have a group of a hundred students on hand, is a matter of dialogue.
That’s what we’re getting via the variety of technological and engagement tools that we use in our trainings.
To be fair, we also couldn’t agree more that “canned”, “taped”, “static” online learning is no better than traditional death by PowerPoint. In fact, it’s almost certainly much worse. There is likely a dark place down below for anyone who’s ever inflicted a straight video feed on an unsuspecting student body and called it “learning” of any kind. The monitor is probably still warm when the retention level for such a course drops to zero.
How best to learn?
We don’t know the “best” way to teach every student as they are all different. A really good eLearning system works to deliver material in a variety of ways and with as much interaction and progress measurement as is necessary to ensure the message is being retained. We used to conduct our classroom training in the conventional way, stand in front of the class and go through innumerable PowerPoint slides (we do technical training, so I do understand the difference between that and a more academic and liberal arts setting). As the demographic of our student body changed and became more career shifters and less folks with industry experience, we found ourselves with increasing challenges in successful outcomes. What you may ask is a successful outcome? For us, it’s someone who, when they leave our training has not only achieved the learning outcomes, but is ready to use them to increase their success in our industry and their career. As the experience level of students entering our courses grew more diverse, we weren’t getting there with a traditional classroom approach.
Immediately on shifting to the eLearning platform we saw dramatic and sustained improvements across every metric that we are able to measure– test scores, level of understanding, field readiness and career preparedness.
Again, from the article:
Learning at its best is a collective enterprise, something we’ve known since Socrates.
That too, we achieve in our trainings as students interact with each other as well as the instructor. They participate in chats, they create class wiki’s and glossaries, they work together on a class project. They are absolutely engaged in a “collective enterprise”. In fact, we require it to pass through the training. I’ve never been either student or teacher in a class in which I was so certain that everyone was participating and engaged.
What is this called in fancy pants terms?
Social constructivism is a sociological theory of knowledge that applies the general philosophical constructivism into social settings, wherein groups construct knowledge for one another, collaboratively creating a small culture of shared artifacts with shared meanings. When one is immersed within a culture of this sort, one is learning all the time about how to be a part of that culture on many levels.
That’s a mouthful for sure, but just see it for what it is: teamwork. With every training we do via eLearning, a team is created.
A few other things that we’ve seen that are perhaps just as important:
- Just as all students don’t learn in the same way, they also don’t learn at the same pace. Instead of either getting left behind or disrupting the class, the eLearning student takes it at their pace and goes over a topic or point as many times as it takes to “get it”.
- Our lives are busy and complicated. eLearning allows many who would otherwise either be unable or find it difficult to get training, to do so.
- If a student can’t keep up for whatever reason, personal, work related, etc. they can easily slip back to another class session.
In short, but we feel that there are a number of ways to teach. Thoughtful, well considered eLearning is absolutely one of them.
EnergyLogic is very pleased to announce the availability of BPI Building Analyst Hybrid training.
Combining the very best of eLearning, see our last blog post, and the best of hands-on field training; prepare yourself for success in the residential energy industry. EnergyLogic is an industry leader in training and innovative delivery of services across the nation. We are committed to helping you get started on the right foot.
Our eLearning environment covers the bases of learning types and stays fresh and relevant throughout. When combined with our guaranteed small class size field training, it doesn’t get any better.