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High Performance Home Site Visits

Gain a behind-the-walls look at the features and benefits of high performance homes.

Overview
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Experience in-field site tours virtually with this pre-recorded video series featuring building industry leaders showcasing their high performance homes. 

Join Earth Advantage for up to three 1.5-hour guided, under-construction tours of three green and/or energy efficient homes that have achieved a variety of third party certifications and performance levels. Hear from the builders themselves, their project teams, energy raters, and our instructors as they explore the design details and construction practices that go into these homes and learn how they communicate features and benefits to homebuyers. 

Normally an in-person on-site tour, we've now adapted this training to an online video format. Participants are invited to attend one or more of three site visit trainings, all presented via pre-recorded video tours that take place at these project sites:

       ENERGY STAR Single-Family Affordable Housing Townhome 

           Builder: NeighborWorks Boise
           Trainer: Bruce Sullivan, Base Zero LLC

       ZERO ENERGY READY Single-Family Spec Home 

           Builder: Noyes Development
           Trainer: Stephen Aiguier, Green Hammer Design Build

       ZERO ENERGY Custom-Built Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)

           Builder: Birdsmouth Design-Build
           Trainer: Josh Salinger, Birdsmouth Design-Build

           (Read more about these projects and sign up for each individual training below.)

Participants will learn design principles and construction practices that can be integrated into their building process. These trainings provide essential info that every builder must know to keep pace with the building code trajectory, stay ahead of homebuyer expectations, and increase the energy efficiency, comfort and durability of the homes they’re building.

Note: This online training series is one of the many components of the Sustainable Homes Professional (SHP) online training and accreditation program designed for the NW region. Join our SHP training and gain over 15+ hours of cutting edge design and building best practices that are critical to success in today's housing market. Learn more and register today! 


Individual Training Descriptions

ENERGY STAR Single-Family Affordable Housing Townhome 

Builder: NeighborWorks Boise
Trainer: Bruce Sullivan, Base Zero LLC
Location: Boise, Idaho (Climate Zone 5) 
Performance Standards: ENERGY STAR New Homes, RESNET HERS Rating, Solar Ready, EPA Indoor AirPlus

Access this site visit training >>

It takes community to build a community. Learn from Bud Compher (CEO of affordable housing provider NeighborWorks Boise) and instructor, Bruce Sullivan (Base Zero LLC), how collaboration across industry partners and subcontractors helped create cohesive community building and performance-tested energy efficient building practices. This training helps demonstrate the value of working with an energy rater and HVAC subcontractor early in the construction process to utilize energy modeling and help ensure building tightness and HVAC optimization. Other advanced project features highlighted in this training include:

  • Advanced building envelope and insulation
  • High-efficiency H/AC (Mitsubishi ducted heat pump at 9.65 HSPF/16 SEER)
  • Ducts located inside conditioned space using horizontal ducting approach
  • Foundation considerations and approaches within a flood zone
  • Supporting prospective homebuyers with education and counseling, financial guidance, and lending opportunities

ZERO ENERGY READY Single-Family Spec Home 

Builder: Noyes Development
Trainer: Stephen Aiguier, Green Hammer Design Build
Location: Portland, OR (Climate Zone 4C) 
Performance Standards: Earth Advantage Platinum + Zero Energy Ready, ENERGY STAR New Homes, Energy Trust of Oregon EPS & Solar Ready

Access this site visit training >>

Hear from Mike Frey (Vice President of Noyes Development Co.) and Stephen Aiguier (Founder and President of Green Hammer) as they explore the under-construction details that go into outstanding 'Zero Energy Ready' performance homes. This site visit  takes place at a Noyes Development subdivision where all homes are 'ZE Ready' certified thanks to construction approaches and systems that significantly reduce power demands and allow rooftop solar PV to supply all the energy that will be needed for the homes. This project features several highly efficient and healthy home characteristics, including:

  • Advanced building envelope and air tightness (1.3 ACH, super insulation, raised heal truss, advanced framing)
  • High efficiency mechanical systems (11 HSPF ducted heat pump, .96 tankless water heater)​​​​​​
  • Horizontal duct system located within the conditioned space
  • Super windows (.24 u-value, fourth surface low-e coating)
  • Healthy home features (balanced ventilation, MERV 13 filters, garage exhaust fan, low VOC, green label carpets)
  • Durability aspects (rain-screen wall system, enhanced flashing details, cement siding, insulated doors)
  • Water conservation measures (efficient toilets/faucets, ENERGY STAR appliances, smart irrigation)

ZERO ENERGY Custom-Built Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)

Builder: Birdsmouth Design-Build
Trainer: Josh Salinger, Birdsmouth Design-Build
Location: Portland, OR (Climate Zone 4C)
Performance Standards: Earth Advantage Platinum + Zero Energy, Energy Trust of Oregon EPS & Solar Ready

Access this site visit training >>

Hear directly from Josh Salinger (Founder and CEO of Birdsmouth Construction) as he walks you through various stages of construction in this Zero Energy-certified ADU. This Birdsmouth Design-Build project was recently featured on the cover of Fine Homebuilding magazine and subsequent Job Site Diaries (learn more) for its advanced approaches to a continuous exterior air barrier (self-adhered WRB), concrete-free floating plywood slab (R-16), and foam-free, vapor-open, vented, and vaulted roof assembly (R-49). Gain valuable insights that will help you understand the building science fundamentals and installation practicalities of these and more advanced project features highlighted in this training:

  • Advanced building envelope and air tightness (0.62 ACH50)
  • Super windows (u-value 0.16-0.19)
  • Horizontal duct system located within the conditioned space
  • Durability aspects (rain-screen and fiber cement wall system, enhanced flashing details, insulated doors)
  • High-efficiency mechanical systems (Sanden CO2 hot water heater, Minotair ducted heat pump / ventilation system with MERV 15 filtration) 

Learning Objectives
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  • See behind-the-walls high performance building features included in green certified and/or energy efficient homes
  • Learn practical design/build implementation tips from the professionals who contributed to the construction process (designers, builders, raters, and/or HVAC subcontractors)
  • Translate energy efficiency into health/comfort/savings/durability benefits that will resonate with different homebuyers/occupants

When & Where
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Online courses available on-demand
Three trainings available; 1.5-hours each

On-demand training format consists of a series of 5-10 minute videos divided into sections. Users can start or stop their viewing at their own pace and easily resume the course at another time.

CEs & Cost
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Continuing Education
AIA LU/HSW: 1.5 CEs per training; 4.5 CEs total 
OR CCB: 1.5 CEs per training; 4.5 CEs total 
BPI: 0.75 CEs per training; 2.25 CEs total 
ICC: 0.15 CEs per training; 0.45 CEs total 
OCHI: 1.5 CEs per training; 4.5 CEs total 
OREA: 1.5 CEs per training; 4.5 CEs total

Course Fee
No cost (Regularly $29 each)

*This training made possible thanks to BetterBuiltNW

Audience
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Architects, Builders/Contractors, Code Officials, Developers, Program Representatives, Raters/Verifiers, Real Estate Professionals, Subcontractors

Instructor(s)
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Stephen Aiguier
Stephen Aiguier: Stephen founded Green Hammer in 2002, evolving the business into a full service design-build firm committed to advancing the highest standards for green building. An SHP, Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC), and building science expert, he has been a pioneer of Oregon’s green building movement and has been involved with many of the nation's highest scoring LEED Platinum Homes and first residential and commercial Passive House buildings in the Pacific NW. Stephen has been invited to speak at every major green building conference across the country and he has taught the SHP course annually since 2010.
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Bruce Sullivan
Bruce Sullivan: Bruce operates Base Zero LLC to promote greater sustainability in residential construction through training, consulting and contractor services. He has been involved in energy efficient construction since 1983 and has been a primary training developer/instructor for Earth Advantage, Energy Trust of Oregon, BetterBuiltNW and EEBA. Bruce first taught the SHP program in 2008, and has since delivered it over a dozen times across Oregon. In 2006, Bruce built his personal home that earned the NAHB EnergyValue Housing and Green Building Awards. In 2015, Bruce completed construction on a new zero energy home.
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Josh Salinger
Josh Salinger: Josh is Founder and CEO of Birdsmouth Design-Build located in Portland OR. In 2007, he started Birdsmouth with the goal of designing and building beautiful, high performing buildings that transform and improve the built environment. Josh sits on the board of Passive House NW and is an Earth Advantage SHP, EEBA Zero Energy Professional, and a PHIUS Certified Builder. Birdsmouth has recently earned Earth Advantage awards for Zero Energy Builder of the Year (2018), Lowest EPS of the Year (2018) & Custom Builder of the Year (2020).