As we approach Christmas, I am reminded of the days when my siblings and I would, one by one, make our way down to the Family Room on Christmas morning to count the number of gifts for each of us. Some years, that was at 4 am, and we'd realize it was way to early to get up. Our parents wouldn't be getting up for at least 3 more hours, so we'd go back to our rooms and try to get back to sleep. Needless to say, we couldn't!

Lately, I have been waking up earlier and earlier, because I am anxious to get started with my day; to get to work! I've been like a kid in the candy store, when I see what potential there is in the work that I do. I can't wait to get started on this project, read that article, or write this one! I'm back to counting the number of gifts under the tree, except there's no end to it. The pile of potential is enormous.

I have several projects I am working on, right now. Each of them share a similar theme, custom design, but the decisions I will be making are different. For the client in Tecumseh, Michigan, I will be figuring out how to model Superior Walls in my energy modeling software, while sizing a ground loop heat pump. For Simon in Pittsburgh, I'll be reviewing the set of HVAC design reports and drawings with him, and discussing how to detail and build the new roof over his Four Seasons Room for the most energy efficient results. Finally, for Uncle John in Illinois, I am finalizing the schematic design for his 2,500 square foot high performance home.

Oh, and while doing all this, I am working with Allison to prepare for our next HERS Rater class, and our first of many ENERGY STAR Version 3.0 trainings. Not to mention getting ready for the RESNET conference (booth #55, come see us) in February, a design competition deadline in December...you get the idea

Things are happening! The potential for more continues to pile high, and I am not the only one taking advantage of the growth (albeit somewhat slow at the moment) happening in the residential building industry. Specifically, I am referring to energy efficient design and construction.

Of the few homes that are being built these days, it seems that a large percentage of them are meeting higher and higher levels of performance. Green certification programs like LEED for Homes, ENERGY STAR, EarthCraft and NAHBGreen are starting to gain in popularity and seeing a lot of growth.

Two architects already seizing the opportunity to bring energy efficient design to the forefront are Betsy Petit, FAIA, and Peter Pfeiffer, FAIA. Betsy is the President of Building Science Corporation, and the project manager for BSC's Building America project. She has provided whole system designs for over 3,000 high performance homes, and she continues to be influential in advancing energy efficient design in the building industry through research and practice. 

Peter, founder of Barley&Pfeiffer Architects, has spent the past 33 years designing high performance homes, and has been recognized as a pioneer in "mainstreaming green building."

There is a tremendous opportunity for architects, whether they are budding designers or veteran technical experts, to participate in what appears to be one of the fastest growing sectors of of the building industry. It's not going to happen overnight, and it will take more than just passing the LEED for Homes exam.

The future of our built world will rely on the knowledge of its leaders, and that includes architects, builders, building scientists, home energy raters, etc. In terms of energy efficient design, is the architecture profession, in general, really ready to lead? I think the potential is there.

Compared to Betsy and Peter, I have only scratched the surface, but I am ready.

Bring it on!


-Chris Laumer-Giddens

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @claumergiddens

 

Views: 30

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.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network.

Latest Activity

William H Nickerson replied to Kim Tanner's discussion Fantastic innovation
"So that's where you use those True Flow plates....."
2 hours ago
Colin Genge updated an event
Thumbnail

Passive House Testing Webinar with Kevin Brennan of the Passive House Academy at Online

September 29, 2015 from 1pm to 2pm
Tests needed to qualify as a passive houseWhy we’re seeing an increase in PH buildingsBest…See More
9 hours ago
Colin Genge updated an event
Thumbnail

DM32 Smart Gauge 101 Webinar at Online

September 22, 2015 from 1pm to 2pm
Webinar Learning Objectives:Gauge settings and operationCalculate results in the gaugeUpdate the…See More
9 hours ago
Colin Genge updated an event
Thumbnail

Blower Door 101 Webinar at Online

September 15, 2015 from 1pm to 2pm
See how easy it is to do your first test. Learn tips to perform your first duct test in only twenty…See More
9 hours ago
Colin Genge updated an event
Thumbnail

Zone Pressure Diagnostics (ZPD) with Bill Eckman of NME$A Webinar at Online

September 10, 2015 from 1pm to 2pm
Benefits and limitations of Zonal Pressure Diagnostics (ZPD).Best practices for accurate…See More
9 hours ago
Colin Genge updated an event
Thumbnail

Problem Solving- Air Tightness Tests of Large Buildings Webinar at Online

September 1, 2015 from 1pm to 2pm
Effect of Stack Pressure during airtightness tests in tall buildings-caluculating the effectsHow…See More
9 hours ago
Kim Tanner posted a discussion

Fantastic innovation

What an awesome example of fantastic innovation!Check out the TrueFlow Capture Box CEE made!…See More
10 hours ago
Amina Lang posted events
10 hours ago

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service