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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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#20-2021 Greg Fisher Architect and his Fisher Passive House


#20-2021 Greg Fisher Architect and his Fisher Passive House


#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 8, 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 8, 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 7, 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 9, 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