Building the Future: Green Building in the New Millennium
Building Electrification: Existing Building Retrofits

Building Electrification: Existing Building Retrofits

April 5, 2021

Picking up where we left off last episode...today's electrification deep dive takes us inside the mind of a designer or contractor looking to swap out gas furnaces and water heaters for all-electric systems and appliances. But wait - there are a few things to consider before signing on the dotted line: insulation, ducts, and breaker boxes, just to name a few!
 
Did you know that until just a few years ago it was actually illegal to build a home in CA without hooking up to natural gas?! What environmental, social, and public health benefits could we achieve with nationwide adoption of all-electric buildings? Listen to find out!
 
 
Show Sponsor - www.sustainablehomesofthefuture.com
Contact Host - info@shfbuild.com
 

 

Show Notes:
 
Electrify Everything - https://www.vox.com/2016/9/19/12938086/electrify-everything
Redwood Energy - https://redwoodenergy.net/research/
California Energy Commission (Title 24) - https://www.energy.ca.gov/media/3950
DSIRE (State Incentives) - https://www.dsireusa.org/
Clean Energy Connection - https://www.cleanenergyconnection.org/find-contractor
Energy + Environmental Economics (E3) - https://www.ethree.com/e3-quantifies-the-consumer-and-emissions-impacts-of-electrifying-california-homes/
Electrify Everything FB Group - https://www.facebook.com/Electrify-Everything-482071985522368

Building Electrification: A Climate-Forward Solution

Building Electrification: A Climate-Forward Solution

March 22, 2021

The first installment in a 3-part "Series" on All-Electric Buildings, we explain why the push for electrification of the built environment has only just begun. We also explore some of the local regulation in California and shine some light on how energy mandates and "reach codes" are being used to inspire proliferation of the #electrifyeverything movement here in the US.

 

Did you know that until just a few years ago it was actually illegal to build a home in CA without hooking up to natural gas?! What environmental, social, and public health benefits could we achieve with nationwide adoption of all-electric buildings? Listen to find out!

 

 

Show Sponsor - www.sustainablehomesofthefuture.com

Contact Host - info@shfbuild.com

 

 

Show Notes:

 

Electrify Everything - https://www.vox.com/2016/9/19/12938086/electrify-everything

Redwood Energy - https://redwoodenergy.net/research/

California Energy Commission (Title 24) - https://www.energy.ca.gov/media/3950

DSIRE (State Incentives) - https://www.dsireusa.org/

Clean Energy Connection - https://www.cleanenergyconnection.org/find-contractor

Energy + Environmental Economics (E3) - https://www.ethree.com/e3-quantifies-the-consumer-and-emissions-impacts-of-electrifying-california-homes/

Electrify Everything FB Group - https://www.facebook.com/Electrify-Everything-482071985522368

 

Mass Timber: The Future of Wood Construction

Mass Timber: The Future of Wood Construction

February 22, 2021

Our first Season 2 "deep-dive" into the emerging practice of building with laminated, pre-fabricated beams and assemblies explains how engineered timber paves the way for much taller wood buildings to be constructed across the globe. Tune in to learn about all the environmental and sustainability benefits of swapping in structural wood in lieu of concrete and steel.

 

Find out what's been holding things back in the US and how important sustainable forestry practices are if this building method truly ends up "catching fire". Oh, and what happens when "mass timber" structures actually do catch fire? Listen to the episode to find out...it's not what you think!

 

Show Sponsor - www.sustainablehomesofthefuture.com

Contact Host - info@shfbuild.com

 

 

Show Notes:

 

Bessie Surtees House - https://historicengland.org.uk/get-involved/visit/bessie-surtees-house/

River Beech Tower - https://perkinswill.com/project/river-beech-tower/

Forestry Stewardship Council - https://fsc.org/en

Sustainable Forestry Initiative - https://www.forests.org/

Bruce King - https://www.ecobuildnetwork.org/projects/new-carbon-architecture

Michael Green (T3) - http://mg-architecture.ca/work/t3-minneapolis/

Think Wood - https://www.thinkwood.com/mass-timber

Interview w/ Matt DiBara (The Undercover Contractor)

Interview w/ Matt DiBara (The Undercover Contractor)

February 2, 2021

Wow! Matt (DiBara Masonry) decided to run his family's concrete/masonry business in a way that benefits both his clients and the environment, and he has started a campaign (www.theundercovercontractor.com) to increase transparency in the construction business and save homeowners money.

 

Matt and I discuss how the shift toward "eco-conscious" practices and products requires a discussion of long-term value vs. upfront price. Also, find out how design-based solutions can often have the added benefit of lowering project costs. If this is where the industry is headed I'm excited for the future of the built environment!

 

Episode Sponsor - www.sustainablehomesofthefuture.com

Contact Host - info@shfbuild.com

 

 

About Matt:

 

Fourth generation mason Matt DiBara mixed his first bag of concrete at age 9 and went on to spend most of his childhood learning the trade, eventually placing first in the national SkillsUSA masonry competition. From there, he branched out to attend the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where he earned a degree in Construction Management and Environmental Design.

 

After graduating, Matt took over his family’s construction business and relocated to Los Angeles, where he went on to be mentored by the likes of marketing guru Jay Abraham and business tycoon Mike Agugilaro of CEO Warrior fame. Since then, he has built up DiBara Masonry to become the leading masonry and concrete company in the country, working on some of the most prestigious and well known celebrity homes in the city, in addition to restoring a number of Hollywood’s most famous cultural landmarks.

 

Matt’s true passion, however, rests in educating homeowners by empowering them with in-depth industry insight, much of which can be found in his upcoming book The Undercover Contractor: How To Avoid Getting F*cked By Your Contractor and his recent podcast, The Undercover Contractor Podcast.

 

Show Notes:

 

DiBara Masonry - https://www.dibaramasonry.com/

The Undercover Contractor - https://www.theundercovercontractor.com/

Interview w/ Susan Inglis (Sustainable Furnishings Council)

Interview w/ Susan Inglis (Sustainable Furnishings Council)

January 26, 2021

Listen in as Susan Inglis and I talk about her organization’s mission to merge Health, Environment, and Profitability in the interior furnishings space. SFC advocates for eco-friendly products and educates consumers, retailers, and manufacturers about better practices in the industry.

 

Other fun topics of conversation include: sustainable forestry, regenerative business practices, market-driven solutions to environmental toxins, and the circular economy. Why should we care about a circular economy? Hint: It can often save money!

 

Episode Sponsor - www.sustainablehomesofthefuture.com

Contact Host - info@shfbuild.com

 

 

About Susan:

 

Susan Inglis is Executive Director of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, and resident expert with the organization she helped found in 2006. She has led SFC to work with industry leaders to establish criteria to gauge the sustainability of furniture products and practices; develop programs for educating all sectors of the industry; and attract hundreds of companies to membership. Inglis is also founder and owner of From The Mountain, a company that imports hand spun cashmere yarn from Afghanistan, providing safe income for over 100 women there. Inglis serves on the Board of the American Sustainable Business Council and was awarded a 2017 Visionary Leadership award by the NC Business Council. She lives in North Carolina.

 

Show Notes:

 

Sustainable Furnishings Council - https://sustainablefurnishings.org/

High Point Furniture Market - https://www.highpointmarket.org/

Forest Stewardship Council - https://fsc.org/en

Sustainable Forestry Initiative - https://www.forests.org/

Architecture 2030 - https://architecture2030.org/

Interview w/ John Semmelhack (Think Little)

Interview w/ John Semmelhack (Think Little)

January 19, 2021

John Semmelhack is a Passive House consultant, energy-efficiency expert and Founder of Think-Little in Charlottesville, VA. He works in a specific region of the country where 75% of new homes (2014) opted to receive a HERS energy rating despite the lack of local and state incentives for "high-performing" buildings.

John and I discuss many of the benefits and challenges involved with the Passive House approach as well as nuances related to climate-specific and client-specific design. Fact: Three huge benefits of Passive House are increased Comfort, Health, & Efficiency!

 

Episode Sponsor - www.sustainablehomesofthefuture.com

Contact Host - info@shfbuild.com

 

About John:

John Semmelhack is the owner of Think Little. He is a Certified Passive House Consultant, a member of the Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS) Technical Committee, and is a PHIUS Trainer for the Certified Passive House Consultant and PHIUS+ Rater training programs. He sits on the boards of the Passive House Alliance U.S. (PHAUS) and the Passive House Alliance U.S. – Capital Chapter.

John is also a certified Home Energy Rating System (HERS) rater, a Technical Advisor to builders in the EarthCraft House Virginia green building program, and a BPI-certified Building Analyst. He is a graduate of the Leeds School of Business (no, not that “LEED”) at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

 

Show Notes:

Comparetto Comfort Solutions - https://comparetto-comfort-solutions.business.site/

Passive House U.S. - https://www.phius.org/home-page

Electrify Everything - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1854210748209867/

 

 

Interview w/ Jesse Russell (Hiatus Homes)

Interview w/ Jesse Russell (Hiatus Homes)

December 8, 2020

Jesse Russell, a "tiny home developer" in Bend, Oregon, and I discuss how efficiency and minimalism can go hand in hand when it comes to designing a space to live. Find out how many of the good ideas out there about smaller living are actually illegal and how Jesse was able to work within the system to create a one-of-a-kind community with shared interests and values. 

Fact: Smaller homes can help us reduce waste and embodied emissions while creating a space that encourages home-ownership and outdoor adventure!

 

Episode Sponsor - www.sustainablehomesofthefuture.com

Contact Host - info@shfbuild.com

 

About Jesse:

Jesse Russell grew up in Bend, OR and after spending some time working in the TV industry in Los Angeles and New York, he decided to sell most of his possessions, return to Bend, and focus on building a tiny house. Hiatus Homes started as Tongue and Groove Tiny Homes in 2015 when Jesse built the first “Hiatus” as a tiny home on wheels in a friend’s backyard. After participating in the Bend Design Conference, they had the dream to build an innovative community focused on small home design. Leading up to the launch of Hiatus Homes, the team at Tongue and Groove experimented with building tiny taverns on wheels, including two mini pubs for 10 Barrel Brewing Co. and a food truck and tavern for Brasada Ranch. After 3 years of hard work with the city, Jesse was the first to use the new cottage code which made the development of the first Hiatus Homes community project possible. A dream realized.

 

Show Notes:

Hiatus Homes - https://hiatushomes.com

Ross Chapin - https://pocket-neighborhoods.net/thebook.html

Phil Torchio & The Broomsmen - http://www.thebroomsmen.com/

Interview w/ Chris Kempel (Rockefeller Kempel Architects)

Interview w/ Chris Kempel (Rockefeller Kempel Architects)

December 1, 2020

Architect Chris Kempel and I discuss adaptive reuse of old buildings and how his studies in Berlin, Germany, informed his desire to mix the old with the new. We touch on daylighting in older buildings, using the natural environment to inform design, and whether or not technology can replace humans when it comes to intuitive architecture (It can't!) 

One of the biggest ways we can affect climate change is to use existing buildings rather than tearing them down, and Chris and his firm work tirelessly to bring clever design ideas to developers to maximize beauty and efficiency.

 

Episode Sponsor - www.sustainablehomesofthefuture.com

Contact Host - info@shfbuild.com

 

About Chris: 

Chris Kempel (AIA, NCARB) channeled his lifelong fascination with the arts into the pursuit of architecture, landing him in his current role as Design Partner for RKA. A graduate of The UCLA Master of Architecture program, Chris also studied at the Kunsthochechule Weissense in Berlin, an international program that values an interdisciplinary approach, viewing society and art as having a symbiotic relationship. 

Since childhood, Chris has admired the juxtaposition between natural and manmade environments, and in the confluence of his drawing, building, and visionary skills. He emphasizes excellence in craft, understanding that to fully tailor a family’s home or a new office building, it’s the finest of details that heightens the experience. His greatest passion lies within designing residential spaces. The notion that a well-designed home can positively affect someone’s well-being is what drives him to think of every last detail—he once spent several days living on a family’s land to better understand the way sunlight changed throughout the course of a day, all to better inform the design of its future dwelling.

 

Show Notes:

Hammer & Hand - https://hammerandhand.com/high-performance-building-101/

Rockefeller/Kempel - https://rockefellerkempel.com/

Broad Museum - https://www.thebroad.org/about

 

Interview w/ Erin Rank & Darrell Simien (Habitat LA)

Interview w/ Erin Rank & Darrell Simien (Habitat LA)

November 24, 2020

No one in Los Angeles is tackling the affordable housing quite like Habitat for Humanity LA! Erin (CEO) & Darrell (SVP of Community Development) discuss their 20-year tenure with "green-building", LEED certification, and other innovations in the single-family and community development space. 

From denim insulation and drought-tolerant landscaping to new partnership initiatives with for-profit developers, you'll be impressed and encouraged by how HabitatLA has used sustainability to encourage lower energy costs for first-time homeowners as well as those needing renovation and weatherization of their existing homes.

 

Episode Sponsor: www.sustainablehomesofthefuture.com

Contact Host: info@shfbuild.com

 

Erin Rank (President, CEO): 

Erin Rank began her service with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA) as a volunteer in 1995 and became the affiliate’s first employee in 1998. When Erin began her tenure, the affiliate was building one or two homes a year. Since she became president and CEO, Habitat LA has built, renovated or repaired more than 900 homes. Her ability to develop and implement strategies for success and her ability to understand market trends and respond strategically has helped the affiliate maintain its production goals despite fluctuating economic and real estate markets over the years.  She has served on Habitat for Humanity International’s U.S. Council, which oversees policy making for all U.S. affiliates of Habitat for Humanity, including the top position that can be held by an affiliate leader, Vice Chair.  She has also served as the Chair of the Board of Housing CA.  Her accolades include being named among the “Top 100 Irish Americans” by Irish American Magazine and she was named as “Alumni of the Year” by Pepperdine University in 2013. She received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Missouri and a Master of Arts from Pepperdine University.

 

Darrell Simien (SVP of Community Development): 

Darrell Simien is the Senior Vice President of Community Development of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles. Joining the Habitat LA team in 2010, Darrell has the responsibility of managing the construction, real estate, and forward planning efforts for the Affiliate. With over 20 years of experience in the construction and real estate industry, both in the public and private sector, Darrell has been responsible for the development and construction of over 1,000 affordable housing units in the Los Angeles County area. In addition, Darrell created and managed programs aimed to increase access and affordability for first time homebuyers while working for the City of Long Beach. A native of Los Angeles, Darrell holds a Bachelor’s degree with the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Master’s degree
with the University of Southern California.

 

Show Notes:

Habitat for Humanity LA: https://www.habitatla.org/

Habitat for Humanity International: https://www.habitat.org/

 

Interview w/ Nate Adams (Energy Smart Ohio)

Interview w/ Nate Adams (Energy Smart Ohio)

November 17, 2020

Nate and I discuss everything HVAC in this fun and informative interview with "The House Whisperer" himself! Electrification of the home, including the use of electric air-source heat pumps, sets us up for an in-depth conversation about Comfort & Health rather than simply focusing on efficiency. Nate developed a system called HVAC 2.0 that helps educate homeowners and contractors alike about the many benefits of a right-sized heating/cooling system.

It's worth mentioning that among his many other talents, Nate is also the King of Metaphors. We hope you enjoy this engaging interview and the many laughs along the way!

 

Episode Sponsor: www.sustainablehomesofthefuture.com

Contact Host: info@shfbuild.com 

 

About Nate:

Hi, I'm Nate! I help everyday homeowners fix frustrating comfort and health problems in their homes.

What makes our business kinda unique is we provide these solutions with incredibly high success rates, without government or utility programs which typically get in the way of truly solving homeowner issues.

I believe in radical transparency. Every project is a case study. You can see our case studies on our Energy Smart Ohio website.

Frustrated by the lack of good consumer information I took on the thankless task of writing a book, naive about how much work this would entail. What comes next is over two years of my life, and a shocking investment in illustrations. I really hope you enjoy them and share!

 

Show Notes:

Nate's Website: http://www.natethehousewhisperer.com/

Nate's (other) Website: http://energysmartohio.com/

Nate's (other other) Website: https://www.hvac20.com/

GreenHome Institute: https://greenhomeinstitute.org/

Cooking w/ Gas: https://www.treehugger.com/yet-another-report-looks-health-effects-gas-stove-pollution-4847935

 

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