Due to the terrible destruction caused by last week’s tornadoes, thousands of homes across the South will need to undergo substantial repairs if not be completely rebuilt.  Given this fact, might this also be an opportunity for those of us interested in increasing home efficiency?  

 

I live in Birmingham, AL, scene of some of the worst of the tornado damage.  Even before this tragedy, I was planing to seek certification and begin a second career as a home energy auditor.  Now, after surveying the massive destruction, I’m wondering if that plan is still the wisest course to follow.

 

Those thousands of damaged or destroyed homes can be rebuilt in much the same manner as they were or they can be rebuilt as efficient savers of energy.  My goal is to become a valued resource to the community for anyone interested in home efficiency issues.  I am just getting started and realize I have much to learn so any advice you might have would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you in advance.

Views: 53

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Bill,

 

We published an article last year about Greenburg, KS. I hope that this article will help give you some direction.

http://bit.ly/jpE1fa

It may be smart to immediately sense your preference of focus, repairs or replacement.  If replacement, learn about PassivHaus as soon and as much as you can, and become at least an advocate for its acceptance.  Start a PassivHaus group here if there isn't one; you don't have to be the expert to be the founder.

Whatever your choice, learn about best practices in hot climate design with respect to roof color(s), shading, insulation and ventilation.  Encourage people to replace what they lost with a smaller, but better designed/built, building.

It's wonderful that you wish to serve!

Man talk about a bunch of loaded questions - yes it is a great opportunity to build & push for better & more efficient homes. In some cases, many insurance companies wont have a choice in the matter as the rebuilt or repaired structures must meet the minimum codes. Fortunately some cities like Vestavia Hills have adopted the 2009 IECC, with many more well under way. On the other side of the coin, many locations could care less, so it is up to the consumer to push for things to be built right.

 Is it a great time to become an auditor, i would say you are in for a tough time in the Alabama market for numerous reasons. Is it a great time to learn more & applying that info - always. Feel free to email me or call if you want to talk about the market in this area.

Good for you for thinking ahead as your community rebuilds.  I would highly recommend that you seek out training to become a HERS rater and BPI building analyst.  Local community colleges are a good place to start.  Also, talk with your local builders about incorporating building science principles into their work.  I joined my local homebuilders organization.

How can we let the consumer Know to push for things to be built right??????

I am in Alabama and a HERS rater ........... and have had NO calls from people who want to rebuild or renovate energy efficiently. It is VERY frustrating knowing what needs to be done but no building codes or energy efficient construction taking place. HELP please.

Craig,

Writing commentaries for local newspapers to print near editorials might be good.  Might certain office-holders or agency heads speak to the matter?  Would a resolution have a chance of passing in the legislature?

At the right moment (whenever that is!), people might attend an educational public session put on jointly by you and your competitors.  The mere fact of that cooperation would be attention-getting.

 

Stacy that's a great idea, unfortunately while Community Colleges might be good in your area and some others, they are almost worthless here. Occasionally a group with a grant (i.e. USGBC) might host a few classes (good luck hearing about them), but those are pretty rare. We do have a few groups like the local Habitat that promote & put on the local Green & Blue Conference, but overall they are almost always limited to special grants to.

Craig, same offer - feel free to call or email me and maybe we can brain storm some ideas one day. As I love to joke about, there is a reason we are tied for 48th in the nation. One of the best ways is simply to get the info out, offer to do a few free seminars, blog about it, talk to everyone - it is a slow process in this state, but progress is being made.

what about a social media campaign on rebuilding. Maybe you could get Habitat involved see if there are any local universities that have building science courses. Talk to Southface in Atlanta, FSEC in FL. It takes work, but might be worth it. Keep a running journal of what you are doing and talk Jim Gunshinan, Home Energy's Editor about an article. We have been publishing articles about rebuilding New Orleans for a few years now.

RSS

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Stacy Hunt posted an event
Thumbnail

2015 Race to Zero Student Design Competition at Registration open now!

April 18, 2015 at 6pm to April 20, 2015 at 7pm
The Race Is On!  This is an exciting time – a time when Zero Energy Ready Homes have become readily…See More
1 minute ago
Kerry Haglund posted a blog post

Efficient Windows Collaborative Releases Window Selection Tool Mobile App

The Efficient Windows Collaborative (EWC) has released a mobile app based on it web-based Window…See More
8 minutes ago
Casey Gesell posted a video

Home Comfort Pays for Itself | Ideas Worth Sharing

http://www.myhomescience.com There are 88 million homes in the U.S. and Canada alone that burn twice as much fuel for heating and electricity for cooling tha...
3 hours ago
Profile IconRob Madden, Solar Home Broker, Alicia Hobbs, Rachel Scott and 2 more joined Home Energy Pros
4 hours ago
Don Fitchett posted a video

HVAC AC Compressors Training

This HVAC training sample is from the HVAC section of the Online Industrial Training Video Library (http://bin95.com/Industrial-Training-Videos/HVAC-Training...
4 hours ago
Sean Lintow Sr replied to Robert Cameron's discussion Air duct testing questions.
"#1 - outside "conditioned" space & really should not be allowed #2 - up to the AHJ if…"
7 hours ago
Susan E. Buchan posted a status
"EEBA's Conference in St. Louis last week was a great success! Presentations at http://www.eeba.org/conference/2014-presentations."
21 hours ago
Jan Green replied to George Kopf's discussion Real Estate Professionals need our support - but how?
"It helps for companies to understand what the public wants and to educate them so that realtors are…"
21 hours ago

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service