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Retrospective: Building Science Education in the Community College

July/August 2014
A version of this article appears in the July/August 2014 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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July 02, 2014
Why aren’t we building more energy-efficient homes in this country? Technology and our understanding of home performance have evolved dramatically over the past ten years, but for the most part, these new technologies and techniques are not evident in the field. New technology suffers from slow acceptance, but basic energy-efficient building and design details are almost always missing as well. I have come to expect thermal defects (i.e., poorly installed and missing insulation, thermal bridging, and air intrusion), leaky duct systems, and a disregard for solar orientation and window placement in the design and construction of new homes. Lack of access to good information is one of the biggest obstacles to improving the efficiency of this country’s housing stock. Many architects and builders would design and build a better product if they were aware of the impact of their decisions, or if they were given good information about how to build efficient homes. The course I teach at Yavapai Community College in Prescott, Arizona—Energy- Efficient Building and Design: A Systems Approach—provides building professionals with the information and motivation they need to design and build more efficient homes. It also demonstrates that ...

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