If you want to make buildings more energy efficient, you have to understand how those buildings work. That’s why Jessie Davis, a Building Analyst certified by the Building Performance Institute, was at the Island Institute’s Energy for ME Summer Institute.
“Buildings are complex systems,” said Davis, who engineers efficiency upgrades for homes and community buildings in her role as an Energy Advisor at Evergreen Home Performance. “Heat, air, and moisture interact in all kinds of surprising ways, and anyone looking to effect change in the system needs to understand those interactions.”
Dozens of students and teachers at the Summer Institute are seeking to do just that. They’re all participating in Energy for ME, a three year program funded by the National Science Foundation and designed to help students better understand their communities' energy-consumption habits, and develop effective strategies to increase energy efficiency. During the five-day Summer Institute, students explored several areas of energy efficiency, including lighting, appliances, transportation, heating and cooling, and renewable energy sources.
“They’re building a base of shared knowledge that will help them develop efficiency projects and bring them to their schools and facilities managers,” explained Davis. She spent two days teaching students the basics of building science so they can make clear plans to reduce the heating and cooling expenses at their schools. She also demonstrated some of the tools she uses to diagnose home energy efficiency challenges, including blower door testing and infrared analysis.
Homeowners interested in pursuing energy efficiency upgrades can learn building science basics from Davis, too. She and the other Energy Advisors at Evergreen Home Performance offer FREE one-hour energy consults to help homeowners gain a big-picture understanding of how their homes work. Consults include infrared analysis for a behind-the-walls look at any air leaks or insulation deficiencies, and an overview of efficiency upgrades that will help increase comfort and cut costs. Contact Evergreen Home Performance at 594-2244 for more information.