Get in the Game by Selling High Performance
3:00 – 5:00 PM
Presenter: Todd Gamboa, President of Building Trust LLC
5:00 – 7:00 PM
EnergyLogic’s Mixer and networking
Drinks & hors d’oeuvres provided!
Todd Gamboa, President of Building Trust LLC, has been in the building industry for over 30 years, managing private and public companies. As a homebuilder, he has been responsible for the creation of thousands of homes. As a building science consultant, public speaker, and host of “New Home Solutions Radio”, he educates homebuilders, contractors, architects, appraisers, and realtors all over the country about the value and benefits of buying new construction. Mr Gamboa has launched and managed several, energy efficiency and “market transformation” programs for utility providers; home builder and realtor associations; and state and federal government agencies throughout the U.S. His fast-paced, fun, and informative sales training have been described as “Info-tainment” by attendees.
This Field Fusion event is generously supported by Tyvek.
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
Field Fusion: The disconnect between Fire Code and Energy Code
Fire rated assemblies, air tightness, and the real world
Location: Bad Daddy’s, 100 E 120th Ave, Northglenn, CO 80233
3:00 – 5:00 PM
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.
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.
Who to Contact:
Principal, Director of Builder Relations
How to Sell Energy Efficient Homes Effectively
Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about high performance homes. Not all homes are built alike. Find out the important things you need to know to sell energy efficient homes effectively! Learn that “Cost per Square Foot” to own is more important than “Price per Square Foot” to buy!
In this fast-paced class you will learn to:
- Educate customers on the value of high-performance homes and energy savings
- Demonstrate the comfort, healthy indoor environment, and durability of the home
- Build your value by being THE resource of information for buyers
- Leverage consumer trends and data
- Promote the value of HERS rating and third-party verifications
- Utilize national and local programs and savings that benefit consumers
- Develop strategies for branding and differentiation
- Improve customer satisfaction and communication
- Leverage referrals and testimonials throughout the construction process
- Strengthen the relationship between builders and homebuyers
Contact Todd Gamboa with Building Trust LLC to schedule a session with your sales team.
Todd Gamboa, President of Building Trust, LLC, is considered a champion in the field of energy efficient home building. He has been in the building industry for more than 26 years, managing private and public homebuilding companies, consulting and training professionals in the business. He has been responsible for the construction of thousands of homes in Colorado and was building “Green” homes when others were only talking about it. The Colorado Energy Office and Xcel Energy have contracted with Todd because he has the experience to connect with the home building sales force and to show them how to connect with the Buyer.
ENERGY STAR® Sales Training
EnergyLogic brings you an ENERGY STAR Sales Training developed by the EPA specifically for you. This training will help sales agents describe the features and benefits of ENERGY STAR certified homes in a way that aligns with the customers’ own values. The training consists of approximately two hour-long modules that can be completed all at once or in two sessions. We will develop background knowledge in the program, explore customer profiles, strategies in small groups, and practice through quick role playing exercise, all in order to gain comfort with how to speak to your buyers about the benefits of Energy Star homes. Although the focus of the training is on selling ENERGY STAR certified homes, the core concepts, you will see, can and should be applied to the sale of any home.
For more information, please contact:
Principal, Director of Builder Relations
Drinks & Discussion: 2015 IRC and IECC Codes
Date: June 15, 2016
Start Time: 3:00 PM
Colorado Code Consultants and EnergyLogic bring to you a discussion of the 2015 IRC and IECC.
As more and more local jurisdictions adopted this suite of codes we want to be sure you are prepared and understand what to expect.
3:00 – 4:00 PM
2015 IECC discussion, Speaker: Robby Schwarz of EnergyLogic
4:00 – 5:00 PM
2015 IRC discussion, Speaker: Steve Thomas of Colorado Code Consulting
5:00 – 7:00 PM
Happy Hour mixer
This event is generously supported by Tyvek.
Are you a rater, auditor, or installer who is thinking of advancing your career by obtaining a new credential? It’s been said that our industry has caught a case of certificationitis. And it is true that there have been a lot of new certifications within the last year or so. So how do you make sense of it all? Read on.
I received a large envelope in the mail recently. It was from the Building Performance Institute, informing me that I have been awarded the new Quality Control Inspector certification. BPI does a really good job when they award certification- including a letter, a nice color certificate, ID card, and even some BPI patches if you want to create your own swag. So, you can imagine that I was feeling a little bit of pride. But then, someone asked me to explain in plain terms what this would allow me to do and how it would impact my job.
I thought for a minute. As I did so, the wind in my sails subsided. The short answer is, absolutely nothing. At least in the short term, I won’t be doing anything any different than I was already doing. There is no new work out there for me, no new program that I can participate in today that I couldn’t already participate in. So why did I bother to obtain this new certification? I’ll get to that. First, I thought it would be helpful to outline some of the new credentials out there, how you obtain them, and how to determine if they would benefit your…
What should a HERS Provider expect from a prospective HERS Rater Candidate looking for either a job or a Provider? Well, you would expect that having passed the core competency test and completed two ratings under the supervision of a HERS Trainer would mean that you could seamlessly begin the certification process. The Provider, which may or may not be the same company that did the training, oversees the certification process. During the process, the candidate completes at least three more ratings to demonstrate competency to the Provider, the entity who will ultimately “create” a HERS Rater. I’m afraid making the assumption that someone who has completed rater training is prepared for the industry bears out the old saying of what happens when you assume things.
As a RESNET Accredited HERS Provider (now called “QA Provider” in the RESNET Standards), we have rater candidates come to us from all over the United States. Some of them have come through our own training with EnergyLogic Academy. But others have obtained their training elsewhere. Our experience has been, in many cases, that folks trained by some, let’s say less rigorous training organizations require significant additional training and in some more egregious cases, re-training to get to the level that we expect from a rater candidate. Consider these first-hand accounts from students who have come from other trainings that we’ve worked with:
- Never touched actual field equipment, they only got to watch the instructor
- Twenty plus in a class with one instructor
- Never visiting the field at all, i.e. “from plans” only ratings
- Training in a hotel conference room, never visiting the field
Here are our general impressions:
- Most students come in with an absolutely minimal knowledge of REM/Rate
- Most students didn’t get anything remotely like the field experience that we believe they should get in training
- Most students relate to us that they have a very low comfort level with equipment
In summary, most students are NOT prepared to begin the next steps- Probationary Ratings with their HERS Rating/QA Provider. It is the responsibility of the trainer to produce a student who can reasonably begin the process of becoming a certified Rater. Trainers that can’t or won’t do that are doing a disservice to both the student and the industry.
From Scott Doyle, our Director of Energy Professional Services and our Lead HERS Trainer —
We think being a RESNET Accredited Rating Provider AND a rating company AND Rater Trainers changes our perspective. How well should students be prepared after leaving Rater training? How much should they know? How sure do you need to be as a trainer that each and every student can run the diagnostic tests, gather field data, and properly represent the tested home with software modeling? Well, if our RESNET Provider Seal is going on the reports that those raters give out to clients -or in the case of our own staff raters, the EnergyLogic name and company logo are right at the top of every report- they better have the best training possible. Our name and reputation are on the line when a poorly trained Rater joins the workforce. All RESNET Accredited Training Providers should understand this — bad training leads to incompetence in the workforce. And that erodes the entire credibility of our industry. If we expect to be here five or ten years from now, we had better hold ourselves and our students to a higher standard.
We take training very seriously and that’s why.
We recently rolled out an advanced online training for our Rater Partners and prospective Rater Partners to help fill these gaps. We have always been stringent in our certification requirements, and now we have measurable results through our learning management system that can help in finding and filling those gaps.
Ratings, Software, Homeowner Services, Training & HERS Provider
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