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'On The Level' Series

Learn best practices on air barriers, indoor air quality, balanced ventilation & ERVs/HRVs.

Overview
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Join Earth Advantage & BetterBuiltNW for a three-part training series on air barriers, indoor air quality, balanced ventilation & ERVs/HRVs.

NW Builders are continually looking to improve the air tightness and ventilation of their homes. At the same time, the OR & WA building codes were updated in 2021, leaving many wondering what the best opportunities are to make the jump in performance.

This 'On The Level' series has been designed to provide field-tested recommendations from building professionals and will provide tangible design principles and construction practices that can be integrated into your building process. The sessions also cover the new OR & WA code pathways so you can consider the benefits of these approaches and make well-informed decisions.

Previously offered as a live webinar series, we've now adapted these trainings to an on-demand online format. Participants are invited to attend one or more of up to three 1-hour 'On The Level' trainings, all presented on the BetterBuiltNW online training platform: 

       Exterior Air Barrier Details in the NW

           Trainer: Josh Salinger, Birdsmouth Design-Build

       Balanced Ventilation Approaches for Healthy Indoor Air 

            Trainer: Stephen Aiguier, Green Hammer Design Build

       Installation Elements for ERVs & HRVs 

           Trainer: Bruce Sullivan, Base Zero LLC

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


This is essential info that every builder must know will help you keep pace with the building code trajectory, stay ahead of homebuyer expectations, and increase the energy efficiency, comfort and durability of the homes you'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! 


Indivdual Training Descriptions

Exterior Air Barrier Details in the NW

Trainer: Josh Salinger, Birdsmouth Design-Build 
Access this training >>
 

Even when done well, traditional air sealing approaches that involve caulk/foam/drywall have proven to leave significant air leakage at the top and bottom plates. With new codes rewarding tighter air leakage performance and homebuyers expressing concern about wildfire smoke, many are wondering how they can make the jump down to below 2 ACH50. Moving to a continuous air barrier at the exterior sheathing plane can provide a highly effective solution. 

Attend this session and hear tried-and-true construction details and architectural drawings for integrating an exterior air barrier (sheet goods/tapes, membranes, stem walls and top/bottom plate connections, etc) into your home building process. 

What you’ll learn:
  • Understand what areas of a building account for the most significant air leakage
  • Review common solutions and approaches to addressing primary leakage areas
  • Gain effective approaches to minimizing leakage via cost effective exterior air barrier solutions
  • Successfully apply this knowledge to various building types, assemblies and architectural details

Balanced Ventilation Approaches for Healthy Indoor Air

Trainer: Stephen Aiguier, Green Hammer Design Build 
Access this training >>


The attention on indoor air quality is higher than ever before with homeowners confronting wildfire smoke, viruses, and a greater awareness of healthy indoor environments and overall personal well-being. As of 2021, building codes now require balanced (Oregon) or efficient ventilation (Washington). As this takes on greater importance, consumers are increasingly asking builders about ventilation and filtration when searching for homes. There are several balanced ventilation systems and approaches to consider, and builders will need to decide which provides the best solution for their projects and customers. 

Join us for this session where we'll go over the primary field-proven options for balanced and filtered ventilation in high performance homes. 

What you’ll learn: 
  • Review primary objectives of ventilation in high performance homes
  • Identify effective balanced ventilation approaches
  • Explore filters and filtration options
  • Understand wildfire impacts, additional considerations, and devise an emergency action plan

Installation Elements for ERVs & HRVs

Trainer: Bruce Sullivan, Base Zero LLC
Access this training >>


Among home builders and designers seeking airtight performance with balanced ventilation, many have decided to go with either a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) or energy recovery ventilator (ERV). Increasing code standards for ventilation will likely result in more HRV/ERV installations, and with any new technology or approach, this can lead to installation errors or inefficiencies.

Access this session and learn about the different use cases for HRVs/ERVs and how to navigate the strategies and pitfalls to help ensure an effective installation. 

What you’ll learn: 
  • Identify the essential components of balanced heat recovery ventilator (HRV) and an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) ventilation systems
  • Describe the difference between HRVs and ERVs as well as the appropriate applications of each
  • List the steps for designing an effective HRV or ERV system
  • Understand the key installation details to ensure effective system operation 
  • Explain the importance of high-efficiency filtration for ventilation make up air

When & Where
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Online courses available on-demand
Three trainings available, 1 hour each

On-demand training format consists of a series of a 5-10 minute video 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 CE per training, 3 CEs total 
OR CCB: 1 CE per training, 3 CEs total 
BPI: .5 CE per training, 1.5 CEs total 
ICC: 0.1 CE per training, 0.3 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, 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).