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: 107

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

Featured Forum Discussions

Too many BTU's. Too much horsepower?

Started by Steve in General Forum. Last reply by Eric Kjelshus yesterday. 4 Replies

Stack/wind pressure and flow networks.

Started by Daniel James Grundy in Training. Last reply by Daniel James Grundy on Thursday. 5 Replies

BDT with vermiculite in hollow CMU walls?

Started by Brad Cook in General Forum. Last reply by John Nicholas on Thursday. 2 Replies

Strange IR Image

Started by Larry Nissman in General Forum. Last reply by Brad Cook Mar 9. 7 Replies

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Latest Activity

Derrick Brodanex joined allen p tanner's group
Thumbnail

Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase

Discuss the pros and cons of the equipment you are interested in prior to purchase. Post equipment…See More
16 hours ago
Eric Kjelshus replied to Steve's discussion Too many BTU's. Too much horsepower?
"Its more about run time with high RH removing, than to large over sized AC unit, in houses.  …"
yesterday
Sarah OConnell posted a blog post

Crowdsourcing for Innovation

Share Your Ideas!Novel Building Envelope Design for Increased Thermal PerformanceIn 2014, more than…See More
Friday
Colin de Paor is now a member of Home Energy Pros
Friday
Walter Ahlgrim replied to Steve's discussion Too many BTU's. Too much horsepower?
"The 5 ton system you have is not 500 hp racecar engines they are 500 hp truck engines. The duct…"
Friday
Daniel James Grundy replied to Daniel James Grundy's discussion Stack/wind pressure and flow networks.
"So I wanted to start with a basic who can help then go into more detail later. But yes find…"
Thursday
Daniel James Grundy replied to Daniel James Grundy's discussion Stack/wind pressure and flow networks.
"My tutor got back to me and while areas don't quite feel right a little to much assumptions…"
Thursday
Brennan Less replied to Daniel James Grundy's discussion Stack/wind pressure and flow networks.
"Daniel, I'm assuming you're trying to predict the airflows through the different openings…"
Thursday

Home Energy Pros

Welcome to Home Energy Pros – the unique digital community by and for those who work in the home energy performance arena.

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (supported by the U.S. Department of Energy) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network. Please honor our Guidelines

© 2017   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service