Day 1 – Tuesday, February 25, 2020

7:00–8:15

Living Net-Zero in an Advance Steel-Framed, Low-Toxin, Super-Insulated, High-Performance Home
Lawrence Ponziano, Zehnder America

Have you ever wanted to know the ins and outs of a net-zero home? This session will provide an inside view into the construction process of an advanced steel-framed, low-toxin, high-performance, low-energy home. Learn about the materials and systems that make up this home, including the advanced insulation, air sealing, and controlled moisture migration materials; solar energy production; heat and moisture recovery; and advanced heating, cooling and domestic hot water production. You’ll also hear about how the fire, mold, and insect resistance was mastered.

7:00–8:15

Introduction to Solar: Technology, Resources and Policies
Mark Weber, Minnesota Renewable Energy Society

This session will introduce solar technologies with a concentration on solar electric (photovoltaics). We will introduce the basics of various solar technologies and applications, the policies that are encouraging growth in the solar industry, and programs from around the region that are helping advance deployment of the technology. Current events and hot topics affecting markets will also be explored.

8:30–10:00

Opening Keynote

Are We There Yet? 30 Years Along the Path of Better Buildings. What Have We Accomplished? What is Left to Do?
Gord Cooke, EEBA

The journey that the research of energy -efficient homes has taken since the mid-1970s has been fascinating and constantly evolving. It has spawned innovative products and processes, created jobs that never previously existed and improved the health, safety, comfort and durability of the homes our industry builds. Now as the early wave of researchers, builders and energy geeks contemplate retirement, we should take into account what we have learned and what is left to accomplish along the path of continual improvement. There is an urgency now to implement cost-effective practices as soon as possible, while recognizing and responding to the unique challenges inherent to our homebuilding industry.

We can’t look into the future, without taking stock of where we’ve been. Let’s look at what we’ve learned in the last 30 years and use this to identify a vision that is doable in the next 10 years. Together we can make the final push to Zero Energy and even Zero Carbon homes.

10:30–12:00

Houses That Work for Existing Homes, Remodeling for Energy Efficiency – Part 1: The Basics
Gord Cooke, EEBA

In this first of three segments, participants learn how each change in an existing home over the years impacts other parts of a home and affects overall performance. These effects are very important as more and more houses will undergo significant energy efficiency improvements. This segment outlines the basic building science physics of air, heat and moisture flow that everyone involved in remodeling needs to know in order to avoid risks and take advantage of opportunities presented by energy efficient remodeling projects. The building science principles will be applied to examples of the most common remodel projects found in houses of various ages.

10:30–12:00

Air to Water Heat Pump Systems
Dennis Schramel, Electro Industries

Air source heat pumps have been on the market for a number of years. As the technology has evolved, performance has improved with the equipment performing better at colder temperatures. Air to water heat pump systems have now become the new game changer in delivering high efficiencies at cold temperatures with unsurpassed comfort for radiant floor heating systems. Join us in this session to learn about this heat pump solution.

10:30–12:00

A Path to Green(er) Building
Rachel Wagner, through design

There are many reasons to build greener, but this presentation focuses on just one: the Next Generation Energy Act. This session offers an overview of goals, guiding principles, priorities and concrete steps to use in the pursuit of building greener homes in line to meet the emissions reduction target mandated by this 2007 state law. Beginning with a discussion of context, this session will progress down a path to an approach using both thought and action when building green for the next generation.

10:30–12:00

National Electrical Code and Minnesota Policy Changes for 2020
Christopher LaForge, Great Northern Solar

Solar codes and policies are changing. The new National Electrical Code book will affect the designs of photovoltaic systems as we know it. Policy in Minnesota—and the Midwest as a whole¬— is a moving target. Learn what the NEC book says, and find out where policy is and where it is heading in this informative and enlightening session.

1:00–2:30

Houses That Work for Existing Homes, Remodeling for Energy Efficiency – Part 2: Common Remodel Projects & Evaluating the Opportunities for Energy Efficiency Upgrades
Gord Cooke, EEBA

Using additional examples of common specific remodel projects, the instructor will outline building science principles and important elements needed to ensure the project enhances safety, durability, health, comfort and efficiency of the home. Performance measures will be identified that can be applied to each project to ensure success. The instructor will identify technologies, products and strategies that are most appropriate for each remodel project and how they can be integrated into the process. Participants will learn the basics of how performance measures in energy efficiency audits can be used to evaluate and prioritize energy efficiency upgrades in individual homes.

1:00–2:30

Are You Pumped Up? Achieving Widespread Quality Installations of Cold Climate Air Source Heat Pumps – Part I
Alexis Troschinetz and Joel Haskard, Clean Energy Resource Teams
Phil Anderson, Alex Haynor, and Isaac Smith, Center for Energy and Environment

This is the first of a two-part, half-day session devoted to air source heat pumps (ASHPs). This session will cover the technology of ASHPs and their applicability to real life situations. You’ll learn about the latest technological research findings (design optimization, quality installation, and integration with existing systems). Next, the conversation will focus on education, customer engagement and customer awareness. We will reveal a plan for super-charging the cold climate ASHP market and ensuring good customer experiences in Minnesota, along with sharing ways you can be a part of it. You’ll hear real-world examples of multifamily and new construction ASHP installations to help dig into the design details. Finally, a moderated panel of contractors, already in the business of installing ASHPs, will be available to provide their real-world insights.

1:00–2:30

If I Had a Hammer, I Would Build a Zero Energy Home!
Patrick Huelman, University of Minnesota

For high-performance, zero energy homes, it is critical to get the building enclosure and mechanical systems right. While renewable energy can be added or acquired later, it is not as easy to change the efficiency of the building enclosure or the HVAC equipment. It is imperative to identify cost-effective approaches to get the loads low and efficiencies high. It all comes down to systems optimization—not spending too much in one area or too little in another—with the goal of keeping the cost of a renewable energy system more accessible and affordable today and in the future.

1:00–2:30

Energy Storage Basics: Options, Equipment, and Requirements
Christopher LaForge, Great Northern Solar

Energy storage is a hot topic with a lot of potential in the renewable energy realm. This technology stands to shake up much of the energy industry as we know it. Find out how this technology works, what the components are that make up an energy storage system, and how the coupling of solar and storage is revolutionizing the energy field.

3:00–4:30

Houses That Work for Existing Homes, Remodeling for Energy Efficiency – Part 3: Avoiding Risks and Pitfalls – Using Building Science and Energy Evaluations or Ratings
Gord Cooke, EEBA

Participants will learn important risks to avoid when remodeling that could compromise health, safety or durability of buildings. The role of energy raters and building performance contractors and the tools they use, such as blower doors, IR cameras, duct leakage and HVAC performance, can be used to avoid risks and find new opportunities for improved performance. Participants will learn how energy efficiency upgrades offer an excellent return on investment. They will be given an example of remodel project showing the incremental cost of adding energy efficient upgrades. The process changes needed to implement energy efficient upgrades will also be discussed.

3:00–4:30

Are You Pumped Up? Achieving Widespread Quality Installations of Cold Climate Air Source Heat Pumps – Part II
Alexis Troschinetz and Joel Haskard, Clean Energy Resource Teams
Phil Anderson, Alex Haynor, and Isaac Smith, Center for Energy and Environment

This is the second session of a two-part, half-day session devoted to air source heat pumps (ASHPs). This session will cover the technology of ASHPs and their applicability to real life situations. You’ll learn about the latest technological research findings (design optimization, quality installation, and integration with existing systems). Next, the conversation will focus on education, customer engagement and customer awareness. We will reveal a plan for super-charging the cold climate ASHP market and ensuring good customer experiences in Minnesota, along with sharing ways you can be a part of it. You’ll hear real-world examples of multifamily and new construction ASHP installations to help dig into the design details. Finally, a moderated panel of contractors, already in the business of installing ASHPs, will be available to provide their real-world insights.

3:00–4:30

From Control Layers to High-Performance Enclosures
Patrick Huelman, University of Minnesota

High-performance enclosure systems are fundamental to efficient, durable, healthy, sustainable, and resilient homes—especially in a demanding climate. Once built, it is not easy to change the building enclosure, so it is imperative to find cost-effective approaches to get the efficiency high and the loads low. This session will dive into the critical functions and attributes of the four key control layers: thermal, water, air, and vapor. Then, using these principles, we will look at leading high-performance enclosure strategies along with specific applications for slab, foundation, wall, and roof assemblies.

3:00–4:30

Electric Cars are Coming! What Should Real Estate Owners and Building Industry Professionals Know About Charging?
Jukka Kukkonen, PlugInConnect

There are over 1.3 million electric vehicles on U.S. roads every day and according to a survey from the American Automobile Association, one in five Americans say they are likely to buy an electric car for their next new vehicle. EV charging infrastructure will be needed in more innovative ways than before. New areas of interest like corridor charging that enables long trips with EVs and destination charging that hotels, parks and other destinations can offer to attract more customers and visitors are increasing. Find out what you need to know about EV charging infrastructure to stay connected.