As an industry we are getting used to these virtual meetings, though we miss seeing each other in person and sharing a cold beer or soda; taking a walk in an interesting city; finding new restaurants; bagel breaks; meeting interesting new colleagues; and you know what I mean.
Energy OutWest 2020 was very well run, provided lots of helpful information and strategies for dealing with the pandemic, and provided us a place to “talk” and see old friends and make new ones.
Conference attendees interacted with vendors in a virtual exhibit hall on Thursday, virtually all day for some vendors. I stopped by to see Kim Dresser of BPA, and Aaron Mogaas and Chris Dorsey of the Montana Weatherization Training Center. You could also visit with CHP Energy Solutions, Quiet Cool Systems, Heat Smart, Retrotec, and Hancock Software.
The last day’s last session was a discussion among the members of the Energy OutWest Technical Committee: Vinnie Pedalino, Bruce Hagen (Moderator), Cal Steiner, Troy Cucchiara, Jonathan Ballew, Michael Figueredo, Mimi Burbage, Chris Clay, Daniel Berube, and Amanda Hatherly. These folks really require no introduction. About half the group has written articles in Building Performance Journal, back when it was Home Energy, and all have been at the center of the building performance industry for decades or more.
Here are a few of the many highlights in the one-and-a-half hour presentation (sorry to the presenters I missed):
Mimi kind of summed up the approach we should all take to living and working during Covid-19. Stick to the basics. “Just do ventilation right.” Build Tight and Ventilate Right! Amanda has this advice: “Cloth masks aren’t enough; you should still social distance.”
From Bruce, while discussing what we should ask for and expect of the occupants we are serving. “If you are uncomfortable [with the level of safety in a home] just leave.” Everyone agreed that you should at least offer a mask to your clients and keep them away from the areas where you are working. Some have made mask wearing mandatory. And Troy says, “One tool per person.” And it’s okay to travel two to a truck, but only when you can have the windows open. Vice asks us to be optimistic. “Put positivity our there. We are going to get through this.” Jonathan talked about understand that you are providing comfort in more than one way. “People are starved for comfort. After being in more than one-hundred houses, I’ve learned a lot about their lives.”
Vinnie, Cal, Michael, Chris, and Daniel all provided their insights. But a reporter can only take notes so fast, and deadlines are merciless.
Next up from BPA:
October 5, 2020 to October 6, 2020