Take your knowledge to the next level!

                                              

Click to learn more about each of our High Performance Home Master Classes...

What you can expect from your classes?

All LIVE classes are taught virtually in Zoom to make learning easy and convenient!

Q & A

(Live Classes)

Classes are 2-1/2 hours with time allowed for valuable Question & Answer time during class and at the end.

Small Class Size

(Live Classes)

Class sizes are limited to 25 registrations each, making one-on-one interaction with the instructor much easier in a live virtual class setting.

Complimentary Classes

Classes are designed to compliment one another to maximize your understanding, but each works very well as a stand alone class if only one or two classes are of particular interest.

CEUs Available

Most classes are eligible for continuing education credits (CEUs):  ICC, BPI, RESNET and ASHI.

Other CEUs may be available.
Please email [email protected] to learn more.

                                              

 

Becoming a Building Science Expert

We spend 90% of our lives in buildings (65% of that at home).  As designers, builders, inspectors, and home owners, raising our understanding of how buildings work to maximize energy efficiency, comfort, durability and also safety is important, if not essential.

This class will provide a foundational understanding of the basics of building science, helping you to become more expert in your knowledge of how buildings work "as a system."  When finished, you will not only think differently about how to design, build, and inspect homes… but also about your own home!

What you'll be learning:

  • Does heat flow in or out through an open door in the cold of winter?  The answer to this question is "the basics of heat flow".
  • Why must insulation be in contact with an "air barrier" in order to work?
  • Why is it OK for insulation on a horizontal ceiling to be left exposed/open to the attic when it's necessary for insulation in vertical wall assemblies (like knee walls) to be fully enclosed in "air barrier"?
  • The importance of not just "building tight", but also "ventilating right".
  • Why bedroom door(s) slamming shut when the air conditioner/heater turns on means you've got a potential problem larger than you might think.
  • How do you ensure that all the basics of good building science are correctly implemented in a building, every time?

CEUs Available

  • ASHI 2.0, BPI 2.5, ICC 0.25, RESNET 2.5
    (included with Live webinars; available for purchase for on-demand and free classes)

                                    
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Schedule of Live Webinars
On-Demand Classes

 

Maximizing Performance with Unvented Attics

Demystifying one of the best ways to build a residential or commercial building, including a user friendly explanation of the international building code requirements for building ducts in conditioned space, with special emphasis on "unvented attics", and what builders, architects, trade contractors and code officials need to focus on to ensure this building method is executed in a durable, safe, and efficient manner.

What you'll be learning:

  • Why does everyone get so excited about “ducts in conditioned space”, "unvented attics" in particular?
  • What are the options for building “ducts in conditioned space”?
  • Which option are you most likely to be successful in your home?
  • What is the “best” insulation to use when building an “unvented” attic?
  • What does the code require for “ducts in conditioned space” and “unvented attics”?

CEUs Available

  • ASHI 2.0, BPI 2.5, ICC 0.25, RESNET 2.5

                                    
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Schedule of Live Webinars
On-Demand Classes

 

Energy Code Mastery (IECC 2021)

First published in the year 2000, the international building codes have been updated, and steadily improved, every three years since.

The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and International Residential Code (IRC) contain the requirements specific to energy efficiency and, starting in 2006, many provisions we consider to be "the best of building science." 

This class provides a user-friendly look at the key elements of the IECC, with short detours into the IRC, so attendees will leave feeling much more confident designing, building, and inspecting to the code's requirements.

What you'll be learning:

  • Do you know how many possible "pathways" there are to comply with the IECC?  If not, you may be working much harder than you need to remodeling an existing home or building a new one.

  • What are the specific requirements in cold versus hot climates.... and climate zones in between?
  • Improve your understanding of the energy efficiency tests & inspections called for in the IECC, why they're important, when they are required (and when not), and who can, and probably should, be doing them for your project.

  • Getting your project into, through and out of the plan check and field inspection process with reduced headaches.... as a designer, builder, and a code official.

CEUs Available

  • ASHI 2.0, BPI 0.71, ICC 0.25, RESNET 2.5

                                    
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Schedule of Live Webinars
On-Demand Classes

 

Energy Program Knowledge Builder

Successful integration into the marketplace of energy and water efficient building products, techniques and technologies is due in large part to energy efficiency programs created by the private, public and nonprofit sectors. 

These programs have successfully packaged "the best of building science" with energy and water efficiency, then added marketing and incentives (not just financial) to entice home builders and homeowners to adopt best practices sooner than they would have without their assistance.

Learn not just the practical requirements of each program, but a little history about where they came from and how they evolved over time to reach their current status.

Few classes will bring together in a single program as much information as you will gain in this class, building your "energy program" knowledge!

What you'll be learning:

  • Can homes built to third-party energy programs satisfy minimum code requirements?
  • How do you determine "miles per gallon" for a home?
  • Do ENERGY STAR products installed in a home make it an "ENERGY STAR " home?
  • Learn about other common energy and water efficiency programs, including:
    • EPA Indoor airPLUS
    • EPA WaterSense
    • HERS H2O
    • Environments for Living
    • USGBC LEED for Homes
    • US DOE Zero Energy Ready

CEUs Available

  • ASHI 2.0, BPI 2.5, ICC 0.25, RESNET 2.5

                                        
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Schedule of Live Webinars
On-Demand Classes

 

Energy Efficiency Products Decoded (Part 1) - Building Envelope

When the energy efficiency building codes were first created, the focus was primarily on the management of heat flowing in and out of buildings through the building envelope or shell....walls, floors, ceilings, windows and doors. 

Attention has broadened in the latest versions of the code to address the "systems" covered in Part 2 of this class, but how we build the envelope remains the most essential and basic element for maximizing the energy efficiency of buildings.

While it's impossible to cover every product and variation available in the US market, let alone internationally, this class will look at some of the most popular products and designs for building envelopes as well as some wall systems you've likely never heard of before.

Our goal in Parts 1 and 2 is to give you a stronger understanding of what you need to include in a home to maximize energy efficiency, durability, performance, and convenience for the homeowner.  As part of your learning, we will provide an historical background whenever possible so you can better understand how each product and system evolved over time and, in doing so, integrates with other systems.

What you'll be learning:

  • What's the weakest link in the building envelope?
  • How does radiant barrier roof sheathing actually work when the shiny side is facing to the inside rather than the outside of an attic?
  • Can standard "stick frame" construction compare favorably to the "high-performance", "high-tech" wall systems available today?
  • Why is it so hard for "high-performance", "high-tech" wall systems to enter the mainstream, production home market?
  • Code requires slab edge insulation in cold climates, but should it also be considered in warmer climates too?

CEUs Available

  • ASHI 2.0, BPI 2.5, ICC 0.25, RESNET 2.5

                                        
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Schedule of Live Webinars
On-Demand Classes

 

Energy Efficiency Products Decoded (Part 2) - Building Systems

Our homes are full of "systems", big and small, that can be operated inefficiently or "energy efficiently," including our heating and cooling system, ventilation system, electrical system, lighting and appliance systems, and water system.

As in Part 1, while it's impossible to cover every product and variation available in the marketplace, this class will look at some of the most popular products and designs for each of these systems, and some not so popular ones you've likely never heard of before.

What you'll be learning:

  • What's the best way to simultaneously save water and energy?
  • The importance of not just "building tight", but also "ventilating right".
  • What kind of simple "set it and forget it" energy efficiency products should be included in every home?
  • Do electric tankless water heaters warm water fast enough to not leave you cold in a shower?
  • Can electric heat-pumps really provide heating when the temperature outside is below freezing, even as low as -13°F?
  • What are the four viable ways to generate your own electricity at home?
  • Which is better, traditional solar panels or solar roof shingles?
  • How are ducks and solar power related?

CEUs Available

  • ASHI 2.0, BPI 2.5, ICC 0.25, RESNET 2.5

                                              
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Schedule of Live Webinars
On-Demand Classes

 

 

Water Efficiency & the Water-Energy Nexus

According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, less than 1% of the water on Earth is drinkable fresh water, making it extremely clear how precious a resource water is not only to humans, but to every living plant, animal, and insect that does not live in an ocean.

Our first human civilizations learned how to capture water from far away or from underground, transport it to cities, and then distribute water to individuals within the settlement.

While modern technology has improved our ability to obtain and distribute water, and the quality of the water we drink, growing populations and environmental changes keep fresh water as precious as ever, and raise the importance of water conservation and the efficiency of how water is used.

In this class, we will consider the current state of both water conservation and efficiency by looking at the most popular products that help to conserve the water we use and national residential water conservation programs that provide a road map for building sustainable, water efficient homes.

We will also explain the important "nexus" between water efficiency and energy efficiency, specifically how the two go hand-in-hand when it comes to the efficient use of resources.

What you'll be learning:

  • Historical perspective on water systems
  • Current climate conditions creating an urgency for increased conservation of water
  • The nexus between water and energy
  • Water saving programs for new homes
  • The most important products for saving water in homes
  • Rainwater harvesting and grey water systems
  • Non-salt anti-scale, water filtration, and leak control systems

CEUs Available

  • RESNET 2.5

                                                    
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Schedule of Live Webinars

 

Success with ENERGY STAR

The EPA's ENERGY STAR label has long been one of the most recognized and trusted consumer labels in the marketplace.

Since 1996, home builders have been partnering with the EPA to label their homes as ENERGY STAR to demonstrate to home buyers their commitment to building energy efficient homes.

In this class, you will learn a little history about the ENERGY STAR for Homes program and what it takes as a builder to join and be successful at labeling your homes as ENERGY STAR.

What you'll be learning:

  • Builder requirements to join the program
  • Working with a HERS Rater to maximize your success
  • Program requirements
  • Utility and federal incentives for building ENERGY STAR homes
  • Review the "best of building science" that is included with every ENERGY STAR labeled home

CEUs Available

  • RESNET 2.5

                                                              
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Schedule of Live Webinars

 

NextGen & Zero Energy Ready Homes

The ENERGY STAR for Homes program has set the standard for residential energy efficiency in the United States for over 25 years, and now the EPA is stepping up it's game to a higher level of performance with ENERGY STAR NextGen Homes & Apartments.

For over 20 years, the US Department of Energy's Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program has been pushing the envelope on energy efficiency for new homes, utilizing the best of building science and cutting edge technologies developed by their Building America research partners.

What both programs have in common, are the closely related goals of moving the home building industry towards increased electrification and decarbonization.

With the help of new federal tax credit incentives for building ENERGY STAR/NextGen and Zero Energy Ready homes, home builder participation in both programs is poised to increase significantly, and achieving their electrification and decarbonization goals is now possible much sooner rather than later.

In this class, you will learn all about the ENERGY STAR NextGen and Zero Energy Ready Home programs and what it takes as a builder to join and be successful at both.

What you'll be learning:

  • A little history about each program and the role they play in pushing the home building industry to higher levels of performance
  • Builder requirements to join the programs
  • Program requirements, including a review of required products and a summary of prerequisite programs
  • Review of the important role that HERS Raters play in program implementation and compliance
  • Federal and utility incentives for building ENERGY STAR NextGen and Zero Energy Ready homes

                                                          
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Schedule of Live Webinars

 

Success with Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Construction (Part 1)

The principles of applied building science are the same for all buildings whether commercial, single family residential, or multifamily residential. 

However, there are certain construction details between these building types that deserve special attention in order to ensure they are done properly to maximize comfort, durability, safety, and energy efficiency.

This class will provide a foundational understanding of the basics of building science with special emphasis on construction details specific to multifamily residential buildings.

What you'll be learning:

  • Does heat flow in or out through an open door in the cold of winter?  The answer to this question is "the basics of heat flow".
  • Why must insulation be in contact with an "air barrier" in order to work?
  • Why is it trickier to build "tight" multifamily units than tight single family homes?
  • The importance of not just "building tight", but also "ventilating right".
  • Should concrete "podium slabs" with living units above be insulated in hot climates?
  • Why bedroom door(s) slamming shut when the air conditioner/heater turns on means you've got a potential problem larger than you might think.

CEUs Available

  • BPI 2.5, ICC 0.25

                                                    
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Schedule of Live Webinars
On-Demand Classes

 

Success with Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Construction (Part 2)

In Part 1 of "Success with Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Construction", we looked closely at how to apply the best of building science to multifamily projects to maximize energy efficiency.

In "Part 2", we adjust our focus to other topics important to building energy efficient multifamily projects.

If you participated in the MEEP Part 1 class, you won't want to miss the additional information we're sharing in Part 2 !

What you'll be learning:

  • Energy saving products included or recommended in the APS Multifamily Energy Efficiency Program (MEEP)
  • A high level look at mechanical system sizing and why "right sizing" is so important
  • Overview of the EPA's ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction program and DOE's Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program
  • Review of new federal tax incentives for ENERGY STAR and ZERH
  • Overview of the APS MEEP program

                                                      
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Schedule of Live Webinars

 

Energy Code Mastery (IECC 2024)

First published in the year 2000, the international building codes have been updated, and steadily improved, every three years since.

The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and International Residential Code (IRC) contain the requirements specific to energy efficiency and, starting in 2006, many provisions we consider to be "the best of building science." 

This class provides a user-friendly look at the key elements of the latest version of the IECC released for 2024, with short detours into the new 2024 IRC, so attendees will leave feeling much more confident designing, building, and inspecting to the latest code requirements.

What you'll be learning:

  • An overview of the key updates to the IECC (and IRC) added to the 2024 versions.
  • Do you know how many possible "pathways" there are to comply with the IECC?  If not, you may be working much harder than you need to remodeling an existing home or building a new one.

  • What are the specific requirements in cold versus hot climates.... and climate zones in between?
  • Improve your understanding of the energy efficiency tests & inspections called for in the IECC, why they're important, when they are required (and when not), and who can, and probably should, be doing them for your project.

  • Getting your project into, through and out of the plan check and field inspection process with reduced headaches.... as a designer, builder, and a code official.

                                                      
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Schedule of Live Webinars

 

Energy Efficiency in Home Inspections

Residential Home Inspectors have a lot to look for and report on in each home they inspect for a home buyer.  Other than reporting if insulation is missing or insufficient, the relative energy efficiency of a home is most often overlooked in a typical inspection.  This is primarily because the efficiency of a home has little impact on the "life safety" of occupants, unlike structural, electrical, and plumbing defects.

However, as homeowners increasingly consider energy efficiency when making home buying decisions, the importance of being able to report on energy efficient details, features, and products in a home has never been higher. 

This class will help Home Inspectors to more fully appreciate the details that make a home "energy efficient" so they can call them out when incorrect, adding more value to each inspection, and delivering higher quality inspection reports to customers and clients.

What you'll be learning:

  • How to more easily spot items that lead to higher utility bills for home buyers.
  • What features in a home provide comfort, utility savings, and a healthy indoor environment?
  • What kinds of testing & inspections provide valuable information about a home’s energy efficiency, comfort, and combustion-safety?
  • What does it mean to “right size” an air conditioning system?
  • Learn energy efficiency building code (IECC) basics to better understand how to determine if a home is not up to minimum code standards.
  • How do you establish “miles per gallon” for a home’s energy efficiency?
  • Where can home buyers find expert help to make energy efficient repairs?
  • If a home is labeled ENERGY STAR, what are the minimum requirements to look for?

CEUs Available

  • ASHI 2.0

                                                                  
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Schedule of Live Webinars

 

Learning Edge LIVE

A monthly opportunity to get answers to your most burning questions about building science, energy efficiency codes and programs as well as energy efficient products and homes.

Click here to learn more.

                                                              
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Schedule of Live Webinars

 

The 5th Element of Home Ownership

Saving Green Means Money

This power packed presentation will provide an informative and entertaining overview of the basics of building science and home energy efficiency that will make you think twice about the homes you help clients to buy and sell…and also about your own home! 

We will share secrets to maximizing the value of selling energy efficient, “green” homes and create clear differentiation from the rest of the REALTORS® in the marketplace.

This class is co-taught with Jan Green, REALTOR®, GREEN, SFR, EcoBroker®

What you'll be learning:

  • How to more easily spot items that lead to higher utility bills for your buyers.
  • What features in a home provide comfort, utility savings, and a healthy indoor environment.
  • How do you establish “miles per gallon” for a home’s energy efficiency?
  • Where to find expert help to make energy efficient repairs.
  • Understand the differences in energy efficiency between new and existing homes.
  • Learn how to market and sell comfort, utility savings, and a healthy indoor environment.
  • How to increase your value to home buyers, armed with all this new knowledge.

CEUs Available

                                                      
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Schedule of Live Webinars

 

PRODUCT SHOWCASE, Cutting edge energy efficient products for buildings

Our "Energy Efficiency Products Decoded" classes (Building Envelope & Building Systems) provide a broad overview of many, many products that are important to building energy (and water) efficient buildings.

In the "Product Showcase" classes, with the help of outside experts, we will be taking a more in-depth look at some of the most popular and cutting edge products available in the marketplace today which help to maximize the energy (and water) efficiency of the homes you're designing, building, inspecting, and selling.

Click here for a list of the classes we've offered or are tentatively planning to offer in the coming months.  Check back often to see the latest list, and information on when and how to register for class.

                                                  
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Schedule of Live Webinars

Daran has a knowledge base that is both broad and deep and presents the material in a very accessible way.

Jim Pitts
Pima County Development Services

Daran is engaging, enthusiastic, and very knowledgeable. I highly recommend his classes!

Elizabeth Sanfelippo

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