July/August Contributors

June 20, 2015
July/August 2015
A version of this article appears in the July/August 2015 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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Phillip Meeks

Reaping the Benefits of Existing Tree Cover

Author Phil Meeks works in agriculture at Virginia Tech, and his job is anything but ordinary. “I may help a farmer vaccinate beef cattle in the morning, lead a native plants hike in the afternoon, and speak to beekeepers in the evening.”

His article this month is about how healthy, mature trees have value. “A few basic steps can result in building sites on which trees and their functions are preserved,” he says.

Philip Meeks

What you didn’t know about him: “Throughout college, my dream was to earn my forestry degree and settle in the Pacific Northwest or even Alaska.”

Indigo Ruth-Davis

Smart Design: Optimizing Efficiency in High-Performance Homes Doesn’t Always Mean PH Certification

Indigo Ruth-Davis writes this month about how detailed energy modeling is the only way to make informed decisions about the thermal envelope of a house. “Passive House design in cold climates, for better or for worse, is pretty dependent on passive-solar heat gains,” he says. “Using the PHPP or WUFI Passive for energy modeling is really important.”

Indigo Ruth Davis

What you didn’t know about him: “I played cello in a rock band that toured Europe.”

Jason Todd

HVAC Contractors: How to Set Up a Home Performance Vehicle

Author Jason Todd distinctly remembers one building science class with Rick Karg when it all clicked for him. “It was like being given a pair of 3D glasses, and explanations popped out in front of me. I understood roof issues, thermal bridging, condensation, insulation, and air barrier failures.” Afterward, he went back to the 20-year-old home he was working on and did a blower door test.

Jason Todd

What you didn’t know about him: “I don’t sweat on one half of my forehead. It’s nerve damage.”

Eric Wilson

Using BEopt to Optimize Home Energy Performance

When Eric Wilson isn't sharing his research, he's been known to enjoy some of the lesser-known perks of energy efficiency work. “The most memorable day of my career was when I did an energy audit on an artisan bread factory and got to take home a huge bag of misshapen but delicious loaves of bread,” he says.


What you didn’t know about him: “My interest in residential energy efficiency was first piqued when, as an undergrad, I toured the newly completed Smith House in Urbana, Illinois, the first U.S. home built to the PH standard.”

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