Day 8 Recap: National Home Performance Virtual Conference

We’re mid-week here at the National Home Performance Virtual Conference and—like all other days—today’s sessions were full of great info and lessons learned. Something new today was the opening of the virtual trade show—an online platform where people can click on exhibitors’ virtual booths, talk with them live, and view related information, content, and videos. The trade show is open today and tomorrow—check it out.

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The first session today was Employee and Contractor Scorecards – A Balancing Act with J West, training manager at CEDA, Inc. West started his session with some lighthearted fun and then got right to his goal: that by watching his session, others would leave saying, “If he can do it, I can too.” West went through the process of CEDA’s employee and contractor scorecards—how they broke each domain into goals and then included a simple scoring system worth 100%.

He also detailed key performance indicators, goals, points, and subpoints. CEDA bases their scorecard on the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) Job Task Analysis (JTA). It helps them measure employee performance, including those who work remotely.

The second session today was titled Summer Moisture: Problems and Solutions. The dynamic duo leading this presentation was Doug Horgan of BOWA Design Build Remodelers in Virginia and Bill Robinson of Train2Build in New Orleans.

Their session answered the questions: What are common summer time moisture issues? And what can you do to fix them? What I particularly liked about this session was the real-life case studies that each of them presented from their different climates. Photos of issues they’ve seen and solved really helped bring the message home, so to speak.

They discussed how relative humidity is relative to temperature, dew points, and humidity comfort levels (which often depend on where you live and what you’re used to). A lot of the case study photos showed condensation and some showed dripping coming from ductwork (all problematic, by the way). The problem comes when moisture turns to… you guessed it, mold. Well, Robinson doesn’t use the “m” word because he’s not certified in the area, but if your attic air can’t circulate and cool down to the dew point, you’ll get ductwork condensation, and eventually ceiling discoloration and staining.  

The third and final session today continued in the same arena: moisture. Presenter and conference moderator Bob Krell (and our publisher, along with the publisher of Healthy Indoors) spoke on his experience in his session titled Mold School: A Crash Course in Investigating, Remediating, and (Ultimately) Preventing Indoor Microbial Problems. Unlike session 2, Krell used the “m” word a lot. He started by asking: Why are we (everyone) so concerned about mold? The answer can be summed in one word: health.

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Krell has been an IAQ consultant since the ’80s, so when he says “If you’ve got mold, it’s an underlying moisture problem,” you can be sure that he knows what he’s talking about. He also told us that a home needs three things to have mold:

  1. Moisture
  2. A nutrient source
  3. Spores

Then he continued the rest of his presentation discussing how to solve various mold problems that contractors may encounter, which he enforced with images he’s seen in the field. Another helpful mold tip before we wrap up today: “If you can smell it, it’s probably there.”

If you missed any of these sessions, you can view the recorded versions at the bottom of the BPA Live events page. You can also still register for the conference—more sessions will be available on-demand after May 18.  

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