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By Robby Schwarz
At BuildTank, a pragmatic building think tank, our mission is to use what we learn applying building science to affect meaningful change in the construction industry. The BUILDCast is the next step. Through conversations, we will learn something new from our guests’ story that could be the catalyst to take sustainable buildings to mainstream building. We will concentrate on the “story”. No two second intro, instead a deep dive into life experiences that create interesting lives and ultimately move our industry forward. Join me and learn something new from each conversation.
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#17-2022 Travis Brungardt, Catalyst Construction, and the Midwest Building Science Symposium


#22-2022 Skilled Trade Training in High Schools with Matthew Blomquist and Michael Degitis
Matt Blomquist is the Building Trades Instructor at Taylorville high school in Illinois and Mike Degitis is the Construction and Applied Math Instructor at Cherry Creek Innovation Campus in Denver Colorado. Although Matt and Mike are located in different states, they are making a difference in the construction industry teaching high school students the importance of the building trades and how what they learn each day can be applied in life skills outside of school. In addition, they are teaching sound building science fundamentals as a better way to build more efficient, comfortable, healthier homes that are made to last. Matt Blomquist  On LinkedIn On Instagram  Mike Degitis  On LinkedIn  On Instagram 
September 25, 2022
#21 - 2022 Bonus Episode - Midwest Building Science Symposium recap from me and a few other attendees
Really Enjoyed the Midwest Building Science Symposium in KC on September 14 and 15th, 2022.  This episode is a quick recap of this event from me and a few of the attendees. Next up is the Southeast Building Science  Symposium OCT 12 & 13, 2022 Midwest Building Science Symposium
September 18, 2022
#20-2022 Dan Gorham and the new Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety Wildfire Prepared Home Program
In episode #16 of 2022 I spoke with Fred Malik about the Fortified Construction Program. The FORTIFIED construction method is a voluntary construction standard and program designed to help protect homes against sever weather events. Primarily wind driven damage event. FORTIFIED construction was created from decades of research that the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety or (IBHS) has conducted. Their lab allows for the building and testing of full-size houses in a controlled environment. In this episode I am learning about a new IBHS program that has just been released and is of great interest to me because of my work as the Boulder County Marshall Fire New Homes Building Advisor. I spoke with Dan Gorham, a Research Engineer focusing on wildfire and its impact on the built environment at the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. Like the Fortified programs focus on sever wind events, IBHS has focused its attention on wildfires and their impact on homes.  They have recently launched a new Wildfire Prepared Home Program which is a research driven program design to meaningfully reduce risk and better protecting homes against wildfire.  Dan was supper informative, and a pleasure to speak with, as he walked me through the IBHS research findings and the new Wildfire Prepared Home Program. Dan Gorham on LinkedIn Wildfire Prepared Home Program Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety FireWise USA Colorado Firewise USA Fortified Program
September 12, 2022
#19-2022 A Conversation with Gord Cooke
Gord Cooke, President of Building Knowledge Canada & Partner at Construction Instruction is one of the most influential building scientists and building science trainers in North America. He has an extraordinary ability to make complex topics understandable and meaningful for his students and clients. It was a pleasure to speak with him and to learn more about Canadian vs. US construction and how he has helped build successful building consulting firms in both countries. Gord Cooke on LinkedIn Building Knowledge Canada Construction Instruction National Building Code of Canada 2020 Free viewable version of the 2021 IECC
August 28, 2022
#18-2022 Heart of A Building with Paul Kriescher
After growing a successfully energy rating company, Lightly Treading. Paul Kriescher managed a merger with PCD Engineering who later merged with Bowman consulting group. Paul now wears two hats. He is the Business development manager and thermal envelope specialist at Bowman Consulting in Colorado and is Executive producer and host of Heat of a building. Heart of a Building is a TV show about creating a better future. Paul and his team make videos, that have been airing on Rocky Mountain PBS, that tell the stories of innovators who are designing, financing, constructing, and occupying the buildings of tomorrow. The stories they tell showcase the state-of-the-art technical expertise behind energy efficient buildings. They explore the heart centered reasons – the “Why” – behind each project and feature buildings that are transforming the places we inhabit into spaces that can exist in harmony with the environment and their occupants. Paul Kriescher on LinkedIn Heart of a Building Heart of a Building on Rocky Mountain PBS Bowman Consulting Group
August 14, 2022
#17-2022 Travis Brungardt, Catalyst Construction, and the Midwest Building Science Symposium
Travis Brungardt of Catalyst Construction has spent more than two decades working professionally in the remodeling and homebuilding industry. He and his partner Joe Cook have brought building science and systems thinking into their company as a foundational principle for how they approach and execute their work building and remodeling homes. This episode explores Travis’s growth as a builder and how the Kansas City BS and Beers Midwest Building Science Symposium came about. Travis Brungardt on LinkedIn Catalyst Construction Building Science (BS) and Beer of Kansas City Midwest Building Science Symposium registration Kansas City - September 14th & 15th, 2022 #KeepCraftAlive Educational Resources discussed with Travis: Fine Homebuilding Journal of Light Construction Green Building Advisor Instagram builders and others to follow catalystbuilt buildtankinc dettmore101 risingerbuild jake.bruton stevenbaczekarchitect buildingsciencefightclub michaelmaines mike_guertin
August 01, 2022
#16 – 2022 Fred Malik and the Fortified Construction Program
The FORTIFIED construction method is a voluntary construction standard and program back by decades of research, that roofing contractors and builders can use to help protect their homes against sever weather events. FORTIFIED construction has been created from decades of research that the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety or (IBHS) has conducted. Fred Malik is the Managing Director of the program. Fred Malik on LinkedIn FORTIFIED program information and information for Builders and Homeowners Insurance Institute for Builders and Home Safety (IBHS) IBHS Research Center information and video
July 17, 2022
#15-2022 Brett Dillon and Building Science Institute – A New organizations offering an independent Energy Rating Index score, and which is recognized as an EnergyStar Home Oversite Organization.
Brett Dillon has worked in the Home Energy Rating Index world for years. In the past as a RESNET board member, he was one of the leaders of the creation of the ANSI 301 standard. The standard lays out the Calculation and Labeling of the Energy Performance of Dwelling and Sleeping Units using an Energy Rating Index. He ran a successful rating company provider-ship under RESNET and now, using the ANSI 301 Standard, has created an alternative Energy Rating Index score and system in his newly created organization Building Science Institute. Building Science Institute Brett Dillon on LinkedIn The Dillion Group The Building Science Institute, Ltd. Co. has been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency as an ENERGY STAR® Home Certification Organization EnergyStar Home Certification Organizations (HCOs) ASHRAE 140-2020 Standard 140 specifies a method of test for evaluating the technical capabilities and applicability of software used in calculating the thermal performance of buildings and their HVAC systems. RESNET MINHERS – Mortgage Industry National Home Energy Rating Standards Triconic Energy Rating Program  Energy Plus software  SouthFace Institute
July 04, 2022
#14-2022 Lumber Connection Podcast from SBCA (Structural Building Components Association)
Moly Butz is the Managing Director of the Structural Building Components Association; she is also the hosts the Lumber connection podcast. The Lumber Connection Podcast focuses on the latest trends in the North American lumber markets. Each week, experts Justin Binning and Ken Timmins, lumber traders with American International Forest Products, provide insight into the latest trends and many factors impacting the supply and demand of the lumber used in structural components.  Although I don’t buy lumber or build roof or floor trusses and the like, I began getting the SBCA newsletter and started listening to the Lumber Connection podcast during the pandemic. I have found the information and insights in both have helped me better understand the supply chain issues in the lumber industry, as well as those facing the entirety of the construction industry. In the podcast specifically, Molly, Justin, and Ken, break down the current issues impacting lumber sales in about 15 minutes, so a quick listen has broadened my ability to speak to builders in a more educated way. I was really pleased to be able to speak with Molly, Justin, and Ken on the buildCAST to learn more about how they came together and are using their expertise to connect their listeners to lumber, but also the broader economic issues that are impacting the construction industry on a lager level. I hope you enjoy our conversation. Lumber Connection Podcast SBCA Structural Building Components Association Moly Butz, Managing Director, Structural Building Components Association on LinkedIn Ken Timmins, Lumber Broker at American International Forest Products on LinkedIn Justin Binning, Lumber Trader at American International Forest Products on LinkedIn
June 20, 2022
#13-2022 Brian Iverson – Bring Tstud™ to Market.
Brian Iverson is the CEO of US Engineered Wood, the manufacturer of the Tstud™ products. He is a character and was a joy to speak with. Brian brought the Tstud™ to market, an Innovation in framing materials that is impacting the energy performance of house and the construction of high-performance homes. Please enjoy this episode of the buildCAST. Brian “Tstud” Iversonon LinkedIn Tstuds™
June 06, 2022
#12-2022 Thoughts on the 2024 IECC development process
I have been involved with the development of the IECC since the 2015 code cycle. Traditionally the International Code Council develops construction and public safety codes through a governmental consensus process. For the 2024 IECC and Chapter 11 of the IRC, which is the residential IECC reprinted in the International Residential Code, has changed. An ANSI standard development process and consensus procedures will now be used for the development of the 2024 IECC.  The resulting document will still be called the international Energy Conservation Code and will still be considered a Code, but the process of getting the next updated code is quite different.   In this episode I explains the traditional code development process and the new development process and then speak with Gill Rossmiller, Hope Medina, Jay Crandell, Jim Meyers, Rob Salcido, and Tom Culp who are all deeply involved in the current 2024 IECC development to see how they think the new ANSI process is working. IECC Committee website information: Code Development Process: IECC Committee Procedures including Scope and Intent of the development process: ICC - LEADING THE WAY TO ENERGY EFFICIENCY, “A Path Forward on Energy and Sustainability to Confront a Changing Climate”
May 23, 2022
#11-2022 University of Colorado Solar Decathlon Build Challenge Team leaders describe their entry in the 2022-2023 Event
Solar Decathlon Build Challenge Teams will compete to earn points by operating their house successfully, and by showcasing the excellence of their solutions to industry expert jurors in the 10 focus areas which include: Architecture, Engineering, Market analysis, Durability and Resiliency, Embodies Environmental impact, Integrated performance, Occupant Experience, Comfort and environmental quality, Energy performance, Presentation. The University of Colorado team has won the last few changes and we speak with Kyle Biega and Wes (MAC-EVOY) Mcevoy,  the team leaders to learn what they have planned for the 2022-2023 Challenge. Solar Decathlon Build Challenge 2022 CU Team Website CU Solar Decathlon fundraising through crowdfunding CU Boulder’s #1 finish in 2020 Solar Decathlon Build Challenge Flatirons Habitat for Humanity ElektrikGreen - 100% emission-free energy storage
May 09, 2022
#10-2022 Mark Willie - A wonderful journey to sharing ones passion with the world
To me Mark Willie burst onto the seen during the height of Covid when all kinds of building educational content was being created and distributed through social media. During this time, I learned about BS and Beers, Building Science Fight Club, Delta and rockwool training, and all the folks on Instagram I call the “Instagram builders”. Mark is in the mix of these people that came into my world at that point, and I was drawn to try and have a conversation with him. He works and promotes TStud, is a host of the Passive House Accelerator Construction Tech Tuesdays, as well as the Dave Cooper Friday building science show. Mark graciously spoke with me, and I hope that you enjoy this episode of the BUILDTank/buildCAST. On LinkedIn Passive House Accelerator TStud Dave Cooper Building Science Friday
April 24, 2022
#9-2022 Sandra Adomatis and the Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum
Sandra Adomatis is an appraiser, consultant, and educator. Her story is one of love which also led her to her work passion, residential appraisals, specifically green appraisals. She has pioneered the art of valuation of the energy and green building features in homes that is behind the drywall. She wrote the first drafts of what, through the help of the Appraisal Institute, became the Residential Green and Energy Efficient addenda. A systematic approach for gathering the data needed to add the value of energy efficient and green building features incorporated in modern homes into the appraisal. I have seen Sandra speak several times at RESNET or EBBA conferences but never realized how important it is for builders to talk about and market their homes in a way that truly highlight the programs, energy rating index scores, and other features of value they build in. If you aren’t talking about it you are just giving it away and now thanks to Sandra we can quantify the dollar amount that builders have been giving away. Sandra Adomatis on LinkedIn  Residential Green Valuation Tools Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum Fillable PDF A Guide to the Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum
April 10, 2022
#8-2022 A conversation with Mark LaLiberte - The Art of Applied Building Science
Mark LaLiberte almost needs no introduction to the buildCAST audience. In the world of building science there are a few superhero promoters of doing the right thing in the houses that we build. Mark is definitely one of the Rockstar's. He is President of Construction Instruction, a tremendous educator and speaker and works with nearly 5,000 builders and architects a year. His particular gift is being able to communicate building physics in a fun and attainable way that is engaging and informative for the average nonscientist. He is now building a net zero home, and in Mark fashion, using it as a demonstration project to continue the promotion of proper applied building science. If you are a going to attend the 2022 EBBA Summit in Scotts dale Arizona, take the opportunity to tour the house. I really enjoyed my conversation and want to thank Mark for taking some time out of his busy schedule to be on the buildCAST. Please enjoy. Construction Instruction Mark LaLiberte on LinkedIn
March 27, 2022
#7-2022 Bill Rose - retired Senior Research Architect from the Indoor Climate Research and Training Applied Research Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
To me, Bill Rose has single handily written the most about historical forensic building science and analysis that explains why we build things the way we do. This historical perspective reveals why we have wrongly and myopically focused on class one vapor retarders to stop vapor diffusion when we should be focusing on vapor transport through air leakage, for example. I feel we can't loose this historic perspective if we want to move forward with making applied building science part of everyday building.  Thank you Professor William B. Rose for all that you have brought to light. More about William B Rose “Water in buildings: an architect’s guide to moisture and mold” by Bill Rose Green Builder Advisor Article with bill Rose Search the internet for the following papers that I found particularly interesting: “Early History of Attic Ventilation” By William B. Rose "A review of the regulatory and technical literature related to crawl space moister control"  By W.B. Rose "Moisture Control in the Modern Building Envelope: History of the Vapor Barrier in the U.S., 1923-52" By William B. Rose
March 14, 2022
#6-2022 Drew Lindsay Owner of Hammerwell Construction Passive House Builders
Drew Lindsay owner of Hammerwell Construction is the only builder in Colorado that I know of that has a full staff of Passive house certified tradespeople. The have learned building science and passive house principles that they are wrapping into all their projects, certified or otherwise, with an aim of continuing to build beautiful homes that their clients love living in. I learned of Hammerwell while I was training to become PHIUS certified passive house consultant, and continuing to learn more as I watch how they are approaching helping people rebuild from the Boulder County Marshall Fire. As you will hear, Drew came up in the trades and worked his way to a position where he could take over hammerwell and continue to grow the company. It is clear that family is important to Drew and his business is like a family, but a family of professionals, experienced in a range of fields that allow them to bring creative solutions to projects that are now layered with passive house principles. HammerWell Colorado State University Institute for the Built Environment
February 28, 2022
#5-2022 Boulder County Marshall Fire rebuild a builder and building consultants perspective.
Mark Attard, operations manager at HammerWell Custom Homes, and I have a candid conversation about rebuilding after the Marshall Fire. Applied building science and better performing homes needs to be at the heart of the conversation of rebuilding. 1st costs vs. opportunity cost vs. cost of ownership, resiliency, health, fire resistance and more. Cost of construction can’t be laid on the back of energy codes only. Boulder County Marshall Fire Web Page Town of Louisville Marshall Fire Updates Town of Superior Marshall Fire FAQs, Resources and Recovery Dashboard
February 21, 2022
#4-2022 Mark Attard – one house's experience of the Boulder County Marshall Fire that burned on December 30th, 2021
Mark Attard Operations Manager at Hammer Well custom homes is helping to lead the company towards a commitment to building exceptional custom homes following passive house principles. In that effort, Mark gained significant building science knowledge that he has applied in a complete retrofit of his own 1990 vintage home. Starting at 17 ACH50, mark improved the thermal envelope, air tightness, mechanical and ventilation systems in his house following building principals he and his colleges at Hammer Well are now taking to all their projects. Mark however has gotten to see the fruits of his labor because the neighborhood where his house is located ended up protecting downtown Louisville from the recent Boulder County Marshall Fire. One house burned in Mark’s neighborhood as firefighters defend the aera to ensure that the fire did not reach downtown Louisville. As you can imagine houses with air leakage in the 17 ACH50 range, All were smoke damaged. Mark’s house faired differently, and it’s story is the basis of this episode of the buildCAST. I can’t say I hope you enjoy this episode, but I do hope we listen well and learn a lesson of the byproduct of resiliency that can come from applied building science and better performing buildings. Hammerwell, LLC (720) 201-2418 PHIUS Colorado Public Radio Boulder County Marshall Fire coverage Denver Post Marshall Fire Coverage City of Louisville Building Codes *EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 23, 2021* The city has adopted the 2021 IECC with amendments and electric vehicle charging requirements. All residential homes must comply with Appendix RC, Zero Energy Residential Building Provisions. Projects submitted after November 23, 2021 will be subject to the new regulations. From Tragedy to Triumph: Rebuilding Greensburg, Kansas
February 13, 2022
#3-2022 Peter Stuart of Sterling Enterprises and his journey to and through PHI certification
Chief Builder and Owner of Sterling Enterprises, Peter Stuart values creativity, uniqueness, and perfection. Sterling builds for comfort and longevity while believing that advancing their craft leads to innovation and high performance. Peter is leading his team in building their first PHI passive house duplex, applying building science and critical passive house strategies that integrate with their company philosophy and working toward certification. Sterling Enterprise Website Sterling Enterprise on Instagram 
January 31, 2022
#2-2022 Part 2 with Justin Wilson Understanding Construction Instruction
Part II of my conversation with Justin Wilson concentrated more on the creation of Construction Instruction and how it has grown. CI provides leading building professionals with the tools needed to apply building science principles while integrating cost-effective, practical solutions to build better, longer lasting, healthier homes. They offer hands-on training at their Colorado Experience Center, continuous online learning through our Ci App and help connect builders with solutions to improve build quality, make fewer mistakes and stand-out from the competition, all while remaining cost-competitive. Construction Instruction LinkedIn Profile Download the CI App
January 17, 2022
#1-2022 Justin Wilson and Construction Instruction Part 1
Justin is an experienced building consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the construction industry. Skilled in energy efficiency, construction, sustainable design and applied building science. He is a principal partner with Construction Instruction and in part 1 of our conversation, reveals unique experiences that lead him to where he is. LinkedIn Profil1 Construction Instruction Download the CI App EEBA
January 03, 2022
#27 - 2021 Decommissioning Martin Drake Power Plant in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Featuring, Jim Riggins, who is involved in the heat of his community's energy future.
Martin Drake, a coal fired power plant located in downtown Colorado Springs, has burned coal to generate electricity since 1925. It burned its last piece of coal, however, on August 27, 2021 And it will transition to being fully decommissioned on December 31st, 2022. For now, Drake will operate by making electricity using a large natural gas generator. The generator is actually portable and can be repurposed after Drake is fully shut down. Jim, is retired from the United States Air Force and from running an independent Home Energy Rating company, I first met Jim as a student in one of the Rater certification classes I taught while with EnergyLogic. He is now involved in the heart of his community’s energy future and is going to help describe what it takes to decommission a coal fired power plant. I hope you enjoy your listen! Jim welcomes direct questions Reach out to him at Colorado Springs Indy article, “Drake Power Plant’s glory days are over” By Pam Zubeck Sep 29, 2021 Updated Oct 6, 2021 Colorado Springs Utilities Sustainable Energy Plan Colorado Springs Utility Electric Generation 2030 Chart Xcel Energy commits to net-zero carbon goal by 2050 Southeastern Colorado Renewable Energy Society Passive House Institute United States
December 20, 2021
#26 - 2021 Bonus Episode EEBA Session - Creating an Airtight Shaft Liner Area Separation Wall
Creating an Airtight Shaft Liner Area Separation Wall The IECC requires that town homes and duplexes achieve 3 or 5 ACH50 depending on the climate zone the dwelling is built in. My experience is that attached housing is 2-3 time leakier than detached even though detached is generally twice as large. In the past creating airtight attached dwellings has been quite difficult and costly do to the 1” to ¾” gap between the area separation and structural components of the assembly. Two recently completed UL and ICC/NAT tests are changing how we should think about construction and air sealing this assembly. This BUILDCast, explores what fire separation means and how air leakage can now be addressed. Energy & Environmental Building Alliance EEBA 2021 Summit Reach out to me directly if you would like a copy of the slides for this presentation
December 13, 2021
#25-2021 Bill Rectanus, COO at Thrive Home Builders, discusses the business of Building from planning to going vertical
Bill Rectanus is chief operating officer, or COO, at Thrive Home builders, and today he will walk us through his journey to becoming a COO at this regional production builder, how the company began building only DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes, and the planning and economics that need to happen years in advance before a house can go vertical and be brought to market. I learned a lot about the business of building, for example the lead time and planning that goes into a project before going vertical. I hope you will learn as well and that you enjoy! Bill on LinkedIn Thrive Home Builders
December 05, 2021
#24-2021 Nigel Watts – bringing RHEIA HVAC airtight compact air distribution system to market.
Nigel Watts is successfully bringing the new RHEIA HVAC airtight compact air distribution system to market. Rheia's compact air distribution system is significantly faster to install, located entirely within the home's conditioned space, without using unsightly, expensive bulkheads and chases. Rheia improves comfort and helps maximize efficiency, at a competitive price. NIgel's LinkedIn  RHEIA Website  Article on RHEIA  The Coanda effect explains how air can is thrown into a room from a high interior supply registers across the room to the exterior wall creating more mixing of air within a room. Differences between Bernoulli's Principle and the Coanda RHEIA on LinkedIn
November 22, 2021
#23-2021 The Biggest Roadblock to Electrification of homes, Removing the Gas Cook Top
Chef Rachelle Boucher with , and Chef Andrew Forlines with speak to with me about one of the biggest roadblocks to the electrification of a home. Getting ride of the gas cook top. Chef Rachelle Boucher In 2018, when the city of Berkeley, CA announced the first all-electric building codes, I immediately knew that this was a huge moment for the planet, for the appliance industry and, frankly, for me. As a self-described "induction cooking and electric kitchens super-fan" and chef, I knew that I could make a big difference. It was an "A-ha moment". My partner Robert Roth and I started "Kitchens to Life" with the mission to: ELEVATE the electric kitchens conversation, ENGAGE stakeholders with today’s inspiring cooking options and FACILITATE the adoption of kitchen electrification for performance, people and planet. Chef Andrew Forlines I’m Chef Andrew Forlines and I offer insights on the newest technology available to the residential home cook. As a chef, I have spent my career at the nexus of food science, fine dining, appliance technology, refined customer service, and culinary education.  For the last several years, I have worked in the residential appliance retail industry as a chef presenter, retail sales, and kitchen design trainer focused on advanced technology in the modern home kitchen. I am certified by both the NKBA and IDCEC to give accredited Continuing Education Unit presentations in person or via webinar.
November 08, 2021
#22 - 2021 Jonah Schein, WaterSense National Program Manager for Homes & Buildings
Since his college days, Jonah has worked on national and international water issues. He has spent over a decade leading the technical direction and development of WaterSense which is the EPA's water efficiency program and has established himself as an expert in the field of water efficiency, conservation, and sustainability with numerous published articles and speaking engagements. Our conversation tracks his path and what the WaterSense program is doing in the built environment today. EPA WaterSense Program Arava Institute for Environmental Studies LinkedIn profile
October 25, 2021
#21-2021 Bonus Conversation about ZERO Energy Homes with Gord Cooke, Bill Rectanus, Justin Wilson, and Seth Hart at the 2021 EBBA Summit
Welcome to this bonus session of the BUILDCast. I am happy to bring to you A conversation about Zero Energy homes that took place at the 2021 EEBA (Energy & Environmental Building Alliance) High performance Home Summit. I had this conversation as a session at the conference with individuals that have been working to build, promote, and educate us about building science based construction that results in zero energy homes. Gord Cooke - President at Building Knowledge Canada & Partner at Construction Instruction Bill Rectanus - Vice President of Homebuilding Operations at Thrive Home Builders Justin Wilson – Principal Partner Construction Instruction Seth Hart - Associate Principal at DTJ Design Energy & Environmental Building Alliance  2021 EEBA High performance Home Summit EEBA Ultimate ZEN HOME
October 19, 2021
#20-2021 Greg Fisher Architect and his Fisher Passive House
Greg D. Fisher, Architect is a design and service-centered practice focusing on simple, progressive, authentic and responsible designs since the firm’s inception in 1993. In 2020 Greg started down the road of designing and building a Passive house for him and his wife in Fort Collins Colorado. Listen to his journey to architecture and then to Passive house. Advantage Architectural Woodwork This is the window company located in Kolby, KS and is owned by Bob Holloway. They are represented here locally by AE Building Systems  Colorado State University Institute for the Built Environment  Revive community EMU Systems - Passive House consultation and training  Fisher Passive house presentation links AE Building Systems Spring 2021 presentation given to NAPHN Live December 2020 presentation to BS+Beer Show November 2019 episode of the Build Show
October 11, 2021
#19-2021 Shawn LeMons with Mitsubishi Electric Trane US HVAC and a conversation about heat pump technology and much more
Performance Construction Manger Mitsubishi Electric Tane US HVAC, Shawn has focused his worked in Energy and resource efficiency, sustainable buildings, and community abundance. He enjoys contributing his experience and intuitive problem-solving skills to what he calls a history-changing industry. He believes there are countless opportunities as we face the nexus of energy, water, food, transportation, technology, and economic sustainability. The time is now to meet our energy and carbon challenges head-on. Shawn's LinkedIn  Mitsubishi Electric Trane US HVAC  PCD Engineering and Lightly Treading Join Forces
September 24, 2021
#18-2021 Part I - EEBA Summit Bonus Episode conversations I had with sponsor exhibitors
An assortment of short conversations I had with the sponsor exhibitors at the 2021  EBBA High Performance Summit EEBA Aprilaire Dettson Energy Panel Structures SIPS Graphen Stone Panasonic Resideo RetroTec Sonnen USA Dupont
September 24, 2021
#18-2021 Part II - EEBA Summit Bonus Episode conversations I had with sponsor exhibitors
An assortment of short conversations I had with the sponsor exhibitors at the 2021  EBBA High Performance Summit - Part II BOAN-Nutone Etopia USA Extreme Panel Technologies  Mitsubishi Electric Tane US HVAC R-Control Panel Santa-Fe Dehumidifiers  Stego Industries  SunNova Huber ZIP System
September 24, 2021
#17-2021 Corbett Lunsford & His Building Performance Workshop
I had a great conversation with Corbett who is juggling all things that his company Building Performance Workshop is doing. Performance Testing and home diagnostics, a home diagnostics book, training, podcast, TV show and YouTube Channel. All in an effort to help homeowners live their best life in the homes they have chosen. Corbett introduces himself on his website this way. “Hi. I am Corbett Lunsford, and sometimes I’m an idiot. I wasn’t always a home performance expert – I used to play piano for ballerinas. For a living. So, in 2008, I started this career with Grace (my wife) and we learned a few things very quickly: construction is unbelievably messy, most pros are over-rushed and under-paid, and homeowners end up suffering in small ways, for their entire lives in the house. None of this has to be so we can opt out of the whole thing with performance testing.” Performance testing, gathering data in the home is the mission that Corbett has chosen as the backbone for his different platforms to educate industry and the public on what we should expect of our housing. Building Performance Workshop Home Diagnostics TV Series You Tube Channel  Building Performance Podcast Home Performance diagnostics book Tiny House/Tiny Lab
September 13, 2021
#16-2021 Garry Klein's in Hot Water
The story about how Gary Klein got into hot water is a long one which we delve into in this episode of the BUILDCast. It takes us from the east cost of the United State to Lesotho in Africa, back to the United States and on to California. Throughout his journey Gary took his own path and followed what interested him the most while looking for big problems to solve. Gary is passionate about helping people and looking at social issue through a lens of environmental ethics which has led him first to renewables, then energy efficiency, and now to hot water. Why Hot water? Well take a listen and find out. Gary Klein and Associates Lesotho, a high-altitude, landlocked kingdom encircled by South Africa, is crisscrossed by a network of rivers and mountain ranges including the 3,482m-high peak of Thabana Ntlenyana. California Energy Commission – Water Heating
August 30, 2021
#15-2021 – CR Herro, Building Innovation Philosopher
C.R. Herro, Vice president of Innovation at Meritage Homes, leads Meritage’s Business Innovation Program which combines design, efficiency, sustainability, and new technologies to establish a new standard in home building that provide better comfort, healthier air, and cost less to own and operate. C.R. earned a Bachelor of Science at Arizona State University in Physical and Life Science, master’s in environmental science from Governors State, and Doctorate in Environmental Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology, and a master’s in philosophy from Arizona State University. CR has spent 20 years within Fortunate 500 companies driving innovation and the supporting change management.
August 16, 2021
#14-2021 - Chris Mathis - – Creating Consensus in the construction industry through standards setting organizations
Chris and his team provide a variety of strategic services to both private and public sector interests related to buildings and building product performance. Their Specialties include Building Science; Building Science Education and Training; Building Performance and Product Research, as well as, Building and Energy Code Development; Fenestration and Insulation Performance, and Energy and Power Policy. Chris was the director of the National Fenestration Rating Council and Architectural Testing Inc. and was a scientist at the NAHB Research Center before starting his own consulting company. MC2 Mathis Consulting Company National Fenestration Rating Council  Architectural Testing Inc.   NAHB Research Center now Home Innovation Research labs  ASHREA  ASTM 
July 30, 2021
#13-2021 Laurie Johnson & Emily Freeman - Construction and Demolition Waster Recycling
About 23 years ago I almost created a sister company to my energy rating company BUILTWright that I was going to call WasteWright. Construction waste recycling was all the rage and there were all kinds of ideas regarding how to offer production builders solutions that fit within there building process. I almost bought a Packard Grinder which was portable and would allow me to grind construction waste on site. The theory was that the waste could then be used as mulch and soil amendment. As you may well know, I did not buy a grinder or start a construction waste recycling business. Now I am helping the City of Denver with their new code adoption which includes a Green Building Code, and I began to wonder what has happened with regards to construction waste recycling in the past 23 years. Not sure if it is surprising or not, but little has happened. However, there are a number of people in industry and in Cities that are continuing to try and solve this environmental problem. This includes my guests Laurie Johnson of 5280 Waste Solutions and Emily Freeman of the City of Boulder Colorado. Take a listen and get a glimpse of where we are currently at. Construction Wastes: Types, Causes, and Recycling strategies DECONSTRUCTION AND DEMOLITION REQUIREMENTS city of Boulder 5280 Construction Waste Recycling Solutions
July 19, 2021
#12-2021 Joe Medosch - Healthy Building Scientist at Hayward Score
Joe Medosch took a wide and varied route to become the Healthy Building Scientist. On his journey he became an artist, electrician, home inspector, and professor. He did marketing and sales and now is on a small team at Hayward score tasked with developing questions and providing best practice advice to homeowners to address indoor health issues that they are facing. Hayward Score: Of the 23,000 breaths you take each day – about 90% of them are indoors. Breathing poor quality air has consequences. At Hayward Score both substantial scientific research and our personal journeys have led us to the knowledge that homes can (and should) be health supporting, not health degrading. Joseph G. Allen is Director of the Healthy Buildings program and an Associate Professor at Harvard’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health. Building Performance Institute's Healthy Home Evaluator (HHE) certification builds on the BPI Building Analyst (BA) and other BPI certifications. The HHE was developed in partnership with the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI). A Healthy Home Evaluator assesses home-based environmental health and safety hazards and provides a prioritized list of recommendations to address those hazards National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) EPA Indoor Air Plus Program Version 2
June 08, 2021
#11-2021 Steve Andrews, a treasured mentor of mine.
In his spare time, as he claims to be retired, Steve Andrews is an energy consultant, free-lance writer, and mentor to many of us in Colorado. He worked primarily in the residential sector and was very active with the Denver Homebuilders' association and the development of Colorado’s home energy rating system in the early 1990’s, called E-Star Colorado. This was when states were the RESNET provider. His work ranged broadly from research with the State of Colorado’s Energy Office, co-chairing CORE's World Oil Forum in 1998, to working with the Fort Collins Utilities, code officials, Habitat for Humanity, and writing for Fine Homebuilding and local HBA publications. He also co-authored a draft report to the Colorado Legislature, for the Colorado PUC, regarding the findings by the state's Electricity Advisory Panel about whether or not to restructure the state's electricity industry. He has moved off the front range into the mountains of southern Colorado, but his impact on residential energy efficiency lives on. Currently writing for Resilience an Online newsletter that is Building a world of resilient communities. Co-Founder of ASPO-USA The Association for the Study of Peak Oil & gas.
May 25, 2021
#10-2021 David Goldstein - Energy policy advocate & Energy CO-Director with the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC)
David B. Goldstein has worked on energy efficiency and energy policy since the early 1970s. He currently codirects Natural Resource Defense Council’s Energy program. Goldstein has been instrumental in the development of energy efficiency standards for new buildings and appliances that are currently in effect at the regional and national levels in the United States, Russia, Kazakhstan, and China. He was a founding director of the Institute for Market Transformation, the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, and the New Buildings Institute. Goldstein received a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the recipient of its Leo Szilard Award for Physics in the Public Interest. He was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2002 and is the recipient of the California Alumni Association’s 2003 Award for Excellence in Achievement. The author of the books Saving Energy, Growing Jobs and Invisible Energy. ASHRAE 90.2-2018 Energy efficient design of low-rise residential buildings: This standard provides minimum requirements for the energy-efficient design of residential buildings, including new dwelling units, new portions of dwelling units and their systems, and new systems and equipment in existing dwelling units.
May 07, 2021
#9-2021 Eric Holt Assistant Professor at University of Denver - Burns School of Real Estate & Construction Management.
Eric Holt is an Assistant Professor at University of Denver - Burns School of Real Estate & Construction Management. He teaches Construction Building Systems, Architectural Design Management & Planning, Construction Project Management, and Residential Development. Our conversation revealed his beginnings in the construction world, what education looks like in the COVID world, and the field work Eric is exposing his students, including the DOE Solar Decathlon.  Come take a listen. University of Denver Franklin Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management Solar Decathlon University of Denver Showcases First-of-Its-Kind Project for Solar Decathlon RED Angle – Construction Spanish and more. Red Angle partners with construction leaders to attract, retain, and communicate effectively with the Hispanic workforce to improve retention, safety, and productivity. TEACH Construction is here to support those doing the great work of training individuals in the trades.
April 26, 2021
#8-2021 - #5 Kirsch/Stroup Passive House Series Zane Bishop - Bishop Built Construction Becoming a Passive House Builder
Today I am speaking with Zane Bishop of Bishop Built Construction based in Grand County Colorado Climate Zone 6. Zane and the Bishop Built team are the builders of the Kirsch/Stroup Passive house that we have been exploring over the past few episodes. Today we will be exploring Zane’s path to becoming a builder and what it took to dive deep into building a passive house. I hope you enjoy our conversation. Bishop Built a premier home builder based in Grand County Colorado Climate Zone 6, Bishop Built takes pride in their craftsmanship, relationships, and attention to detail. Bishop Built caters to the individual needs of their clients’ budgets, aesthetics, and goals. When asked they jumped in full speed to learn and execute the Passive House standards on the Kirsch/Stroup house. EMU Systems  #RunWildBuildPassive | Empowering the construction industry to build for the future through simplified, standardized, Passive House systems. Learn from our experienced passive house building trainers through online, interactive training. We have courses throughout the year. View our training schedule for the next available class. A&E Building Systems provides products that help builders, architects, home and building owners create comfortable, energy efficient and healthy environments to live, work, study and play. We look forward to helping you on your next project. Arctic Cold Climate Heat Pumps ENERsign Windows from Germany
April 09, 2021
#7-2021 - #4 Kirsch/Stroup Passive House Series David Barns - Bishop Built Construction Manager
David Barns took one career as an Industrial Technology Teacher, teaching classes in welding, AutoCAD drafting, STEM pre-engineering, and building construction, to his second carrier as a site construction manager for Bishop Built. He is one of the managers of the Kirsch/Stroupe Passive House. Our discussion ranged engaging young people in the trades, training the trades, to specifics on this passive house.
March 29, 2021
#6-2021 - #3 Kirsch/Stroup Passive House Series Munn Architecture - Architecture and Passive House
Scott Munn Principal of Munn Architecture: Scott Munn’s warm-hearted and positive demeanor, coupled with a genuine love of his craft, translates directly into client satisfaction time and again. He is a Colorado native with ties to Grand County extending longer than 50 years. His family still has a home on Grand Lake, an incredible place that engendered in him a love for water. A graduate of architecture from the University of Washington, Scott achieved greatness in 1994 as World Champion in rowing, competing in Tampere, Finland, preceded by a fourth place in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. He now channels his passion for water in the sport of competitive sailing and as an avid fly angler. Munn's architectural career launched in Vail and continued to Grand County in 2000. As founder of Munn Architecture, LLC, in 2007, he has brought together a team of talented individuals who share his unique perspective for innovative architecture and how it relates to the mountain vernacular. He resides in greater Grand Lake with his wife Tonya, daughter Ashlyn and son Zayden. University of Washington school of Architecture: Joe Mautz LEED AP BD+C~ Architectural Designer Joe Mautz joined the Munn Architecture team with a strong background in sustainable studies and an accreditation in high performance efficiency in construction. Originally from Pennsylvania, Mautz moved to Colorado in 2010 to finish his B.A. degree, then earned an Associate Architectural Engineering degree at Luzerne County Community College in northeastern Pennsylvania, as well as a B.A. in Sustainability Studies at Colorado Mountain College. Mautz went on to achieve a Master of Architecture at the University of Colorado Denver. He brings to Munn Architecture substantial experience as an energy auditor at a nonprofit community design center and from employment at smaller firms in the Denver area, where he gained considerable knowledge working on multifamily projects. With an official LEED AP BD+C accreditation, Mautz enriches the Munn team with his passion and authority on sustainable architecture. His appreciation of this place extends to his free time, in skiing, wakeboarding, hiking and camping. University of Colorado Denver College of Architecture and Planning: Joe Mautz did hi energy auditing with High Country Conservation Center:
March 16, 2021
#5-2021 - #2 Kirsch-Stroupe Passive House EMU Systems – The passive house consultant, educator, and more.
EMU Systems is empowering the construction industry to build for the future through simplified, standardized, Passive House systems. They are the primary passive house consultant for the Kirsch-Stroupe passive house, and the reason the house is moving forward to certification.  Join our conversation. Enrico Bonilauri and Marinara Pickering of EMU Systems offers professional training, consulting services, and component/systems analysis for all aspects of the design and construction of high-quality building envelopes and healthy indoor environments. They have extensive knowledge and experience in the international Passive House standard for building construction and performance and are on a mission to close the gap between mainstream construction practices and research based Passive design/build dwellings. EMU Systems: Passive House Institute (PHI): Passive House Components: Passive House Institute United States (PHIUS): Passive House Rocky Mountains:
February 25, 2021
#4-2021 #1 Kirsch-Stroupe Passive House - Matt & Kerri the home buyers/owner - How they got to Passive House
Kerri Stroupe and Matt Kirsch How they got to Passive House. Kerri and Matt have built an environmental ethic over the years starting at an early age yet it was a journey to find passive house when they decided to build their future retirement home in Tabernash Colorado Climate Zone 6. This conversation tracks that journey and some of the decisions that they made to embrace the building of a Passive house. They introduce us to their passive house consultant (Emu Systems), their Architect (Munn Architecture) and Builder (Bishop Built) who I will be speaking with on future episodes.  Emu Systems Munn Architects Bishop Built Construction Cold Climate Heat Pumps capable of operating continuously in weather as cold as -30° More show notes at
February 25, 2021
#3-2021 Jeffery Rhodin Principal of Lean Green Building, inc.
A great conversation with Jeffrey Rhodin focusing on his deep knowledge of of lean thinking and six-sigma methodologies and the construction industry.  He is currently focusing on assisting builders and homeowners maximize their discretionary income and value of their homes by saving on heating, cooling, and electric expenses.  He Bring to bear the problems facing the construction industry while working directly on access to, and affordability of, all forms of renewable energy. To learn more, go to LinkedIn   Michael Hammer’s work has been influential on Jeffery. “Dr. Michael Hammer's groundbreaking research and visionary thought leadership galvanized the business world—beginning with his leadership of the reengineering movement and continuing with his brilliant formulation of the process-centered organization. Hammer's ideas have become integrated into the DNA of businesses and organizations worldwide and continue to be relevant today.” To learn more Harvard Business Review that "started" the reengineering wave. Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution True North “a global provider of lean process and methods to the construction industry” is company mentioned during the episode that you might what to check out. The Lean Six Sigma method was discussed. To learn more The Lean Enterprise Institute Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Boston, MA, with a mission to make things better through lean thinking and practice. Founded in 1997 by management expert James P. Womack, PhD, LEI conducts research, teaches educational workshops, publishes books and ebooks, runs conferences, and shares practical information about lean thinking and practice.
February 14, 2021
#2-2021 A Conversation With Sam Rashkin
A compelling conversation with Sam Rashkin, currently Chief Architect of the Building Technologies Office in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the Department of Energy.  How did Sam get to were he is today and what is he doing in his spare time with "Housing 2.0" Energy Star website - DOE Solutions center DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes Team Zero Website IECC code Retooling the U.S. Housing Industry Housing 2.0 Green Builder Medial Web site
January 26, 2021
And Interview with myself " Robby Schwarz" The Host of BUILDCast
I am Robby Schwarz, and I’ll be your host on the BuildCast, therefore I would like to spend this first episode telling you my story before I go out and seek others.
January 25, 2021