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Cold Climate Heat Pumps

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)

Electric Vehicles & Battery Storage


A closer look at cutting edge energy (and water) efficient products for buildings.


Cold Climate Heat Pumps

All signs point to a future where most new homes will be all electric and, indeed, the movement in this direction is already underway.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, the percentage of homes that are all electric has increased from 20% in 2005 to 25% in 2015.

A big driver of this electrification is the growing popularity of "cold climate heat pumps" that deliver indoor heat even when the thermometer drops below zero outside.

In this class you will learn how cold climate heat pumps do this feat of magic, and much more.

What we'll be covering:

  • Why the market is now ready for cold climate/variable capacity heat pump technology
  • How heat pumps work in general, and "cold climate" heat pumps work in particular
  • The distinct advantages of cold climate heat pumps over other forms of heating for buidings
  • An overview of design and installation criteria
  • Example projects where hundreds of homes at a time are being built with cold climate heat pumps
  • Information on how you can design and build your next home with a cold climate heat pump

Guest Speaker:   Shawn LeMons, Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US

Shawn is part of the Performance Construction Team with Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC, focused on efficient cooling and heating systems for residential new construction and high performance remodeling.

He has over 25 years of experience in the residential building industry with small and large companies, non-profits, and volunteer work, and since 2019, he has completed analysis and advising on over 7 million square feet of residential and commercial buildings.

Shawn strives to expand his building science knowledge and skills at every opportunity, and enjoys sharing that knowledge through hands-on training and mentoring for all levels of building professionals.

He has held certifications as a LEED Green Rater, PHIUS+ Verifier, HERS Rater, BPI professional, ICC Residential Energy Inspector, Level 1 Thermographer, and earned a BS in Business from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)

The construction industry continues to face many challenges with maintaining quality in how buildings are assembled, labor shortages, increased material costs, and increasingly stringent and demanding building codes.

Penalized construction has been around for over 75 years, but today more than ever, can play a major role in addressing each of these challenges and, in doing so, move the construction industry to a much higher level of performance.

In this class you will learn how structural insulated panels (SIPs) are a solution to each of the challenges listed above, and much more.

What you'll be learning:

  • How SIPs increase quality, with fewer people, at lower costs, both in time and dollars
  • How SIPs are manufactured and assembled in the field
  • How to run wires and plumbing in SIP walls, roofs and floors
  • How to move a project from drawings, to engineering/design, to manufacturing, and finally delivery and product installation
  • See examples of successful residential projects the were multiple homes, not just custom one-off homes

Guest Speaker:   Phil Ligon, Premier SIPs

Phil Ligon is a Regional Sales Manager for Premier SIPs, the largest SIP manufacturer in North America.

With over twenty-five years of experience in the construction industry, Phil has spent the past 10+ years working with structural insulated panels, first as a SIP installer, builder and designer, and for the past six years with Premier SIPs delivering educational and sales presentations to architects, engineers, builders, framers, and homeowners.

For the past 50 years, Premier SIPs has focused on customer service and elevating the overall structural insulated panel industry.

In the 1980s, Premier invested heavily in research, field testing, third-partly testing, and code report substantiation to bring structural insulated panels into the International Building Code (IBC).

Premier serves their customers through education, pre-design expertise, and field jobsite training to ensure the SIPs framing portion of every project goes smoothly.

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Electric Vehicles & Battery Storage

All major auto manufacturers are moving towards converting their fleets to electric. Understanding the service entrance requirements for different level chargers will help you educate others on the best solution to “future proof” their homes.

In this class, you will learn common levels of EV infrastructure for residential EV charging and what requirements are coming in the next generation of codes and standards.

The Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) available for residential use are rapidly expanding. Understanding the basics of how energy storage works is foundational to working with these systems.

Truly understanding what "Thermal Runaway" is, and how to mitigate the potential hazards of certain chemistries used in BESS, is becoming more and more important for builders, designers, and code inspectors.

In this class, we will be reviewing the most recent code developments for safe deployment of these systems. Understanding the "why" of these requirements will provide you the necessary knowledge to stay ahead of others in the quality and safety of the homes you build, design, and inspect.

Guest Speaker:   Sharon Bonesteel, AIA, CBO, CP

Sharon has been a Senior Policy Analyst and Manager of Codes & Standards Initiatives at Salt River Project (SRP) for over 10 years, and has over 30 years of experience in the construction industry, including jurisdictional plan review and directing operations at her own architectural firm.

She leads SRP's enterprise-wide team focused on the safe deployment of battery energy storage systems and inverter-based resources, and provides expert witness consulting on batteries, fire and building code issues, as well as jurisdictional code enforcement.

Sharon brings this experience to the utility industry, facilitating the adoption of energy efficient building codes and providing education on codes and standards to the customers served by SRP.

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