Vermont Law School takes the Lead on Learning About Building Science and Immediately Implementing Changes.
Teaching Building Science
HEAT Squad had a blast last week at our Teaching Building Science seminar at the student center at Vermont Law School in South Royalton.
The brainchild of Masters in Energy Regulation and Law (MERL) student, Paige Heverly, she recruited staff and students to take part in the day of interactive learning. Paige is a former intern at HEAT Squad and passionate about energy conservation through weatherization.
Corey Trimmer, one of HEAT Squad’s certified energy auditors led the instruction and analysis, with students and staff having the opportunity to get a taste of building science and observe key components of an energy audit. While also learning to implement energy efficiency improvements.
Technology Leads the Way
Corey demonstrated a blower door test and drew the crowd’s attention to the volume of air being drawn up from the basement and passing through the basement door. He then used his infrared camera to point to cold spots in the ceiling, door frame, and walls. To illustrate the camera’s ability to see heat, Corey pressed his palm to a wall, leaving an eerie hand print!
At this point, the value of the test became crystal clear!
Corey and Paige gave everyone a tour of the attic and areas which could be improved from an energy standpoint. Empowered by a newfound grasp of the nuts and bolts of building science, students were able to implement some first steps.
Teaching Building Science, Implementing Energy Audit Results
Together, the team installed a vapor barrier over the entire dirt floor taping all the joints to reduce moisture common in basements, while Corey demonstrated air sealing, filling in gaps in the basement walls and along rim joist (where floor framing sits on top of foundation walls) with low-expanding foam.
Upon a second blower door test, Corey was able to report that his air sealing application reduced air leakage in the building by 200 CFM (cubic feet per minute). The students were also given instruction on how to install weather-stripping around the doors.
Reviewing the Same-Day Exterior Energy Audit Report
Corey presented a comprehensive energy audit report after the blower door test was performed on a projector screen and explained how much various measures would contribute to energy reduction in the building and their relative cost effectiveness. Everyone had a chuckle at the $70 dollars a year in savings from just doing window replacement, a huge expense for little gain!
The students all expressed a greater understanding of the importance of an energy audit and of the breadth of information it can reveal. HEAT Squad hopes to partner with more schools and colleges.