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Recent Blogs
iPads in the Field

iPads in the Field

Macie Melendez

As energy efficiency becomes an ever more important factor in a home’s value, developers and homeowners alike need assurance that their energy investments actually produce the returns they expect. Enter Builders Energy Rater, a home energy rating company that has created a custom FileMaker solution (that run on iPads) to streamline the process of collecting and analyzing home performance data.  [continue reading]

Community Power Works Uses Housing Data to Make the Emerald City Even

Community Power Works Uses Housing Data to Make the Emerald City Even "Greener"

Macie Melendez

In Seattle, Washington, owners of oil-heated homes are ineligible for city-sponsored electric and gas utility rebates. But that didn't stop the city's Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partner, Community Power Works, from using housing data to break through to this untapped market. Given the lower efficiency and high cost of heating oil, the program recognized the energy and cost savings potential for these Seattle homeowners and acted to engage them in undertaking home energy ... [continue reading]

Simergy Brings the Power of EnergyPlus to Designers and Architects

Simergy Brings the Power of EnergyPlus to Designers and Architects

Mark Wilson

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE’s) open-source EnergyPlus building energy simulation program has helped architects and engineers design more efficient buildings for more than a decade. However, it can take a great deal of effort to input information and analyze the output. As a result, many have avoided using the program, while others have turned to third-party graphical user interfaces (GUIs) to increase its effectiveness. As entities such as the California ... [continue reading]

Pennsylvania County Puts Contractors Back to Work

Pennsylvania County Puts Contractors Back to Work

Danielle Sass Byrnett

Fayette County, Pennsylvania, may have a high unemployment rate, but it is using this challenge as an opportunity to improve homes and the local economy with energy efficiency upgrades. As a Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partner, the Fayette County Better Buildings Initiative has two primary goals—complete more than 1,000 residential energy efficiency upgrades and transition under- and unemployed citizens to energy efficiency jobs. [continue reading]

The Night the Lights Went Out In New Orleans

The Night the Lights Went Out In New Orleans

Jim Gunshinan

When the lights went out at the New Orleans Superdome during the Super Bowl last month, I was strangely reminded of a little known religious ceremony of the Catholic Church. The ceremony is called Tenebrae, from the Latin for “darkness” or “shadows”. It takes place late on Holy Thursday, when Christians celebrate the Last Supper, or on Good Friday, the day on which the crucifixion of Jesus is remembered. [continue reading]

Strategy for Action to Advance Healthy Housing

Strategy for Action to Advance Healthy Housing

Rebecca Stewart

On Monday, February 4th, the federal Healthy Homes Work Group (HHWG) launched the new Advancing Healthy Housing: A Strategy for Action, laying out goals and priorities to advance healthy housing initiatives for the next three to five years nationwide. The development of a comprehensive national strategy for improving the nation’s housing stock, especially those home occupied by families who may not be able to afford such improvements, across federal agencies ... [continue reading]

Northwest Energy Star Super-Efficient Homes—#3: The O’Neill in Meadow Ranch

Northwest Energy Star Super-Efficient Homes—#3: The O’Neill in Meadow Ranch

Neil Grigsby

The O’Neill, part of the Meadow Ranch community in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, is one of six super energy-efficient homes being highlighted this year by Northwest Energy Star Homes—in collaboration with builders, utilities, and homeowners—to increase awareness and adoption of advanced building practices and products that can improve quality, comfort, and energy efficiency in new homes. [continue reading]

Knowing What to Charge for HVAC Services

Knowing What to Charge for HVAC Services

Rachel Kopp

You’ve dreamed of this day for years. You’ve looked forward to it, saved your money, and it’s finally time. You’ve chosen the name for your company, decided on a location, and now you have to decide what you will charge for HVAC services. You can just choose a flat rate, but there are other options that may help you avoid unnecessary expenses. [continue reading]

Thinking Outside the (Tool) Box

Thinking Outside the (Tool) Box

Sam Rashkin

Ensuring that U.S. workers have the training, tools and information they need to succeed is critical for maintaining America’s leadership in the 21st century global energy economy. This is especially true in the building construction and renovation field—where access to accurate and unbiased energy information is a key step to capturing lasting energy efficiency savings in our homes, buildings, and public facilities. [continue reading]

BPI Celebrates 20 Years

BPI Celebrates 20 Years

Macie Melendez

The year 1993 was a big one for the Building Performance Institute, better known to all of us as simply BPI. It was the year they started, and the year that 35 building performance professionals gathered to develop a set of principles for the industry. [continue reading]

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