Homebuilders Get WISE at PCBC Conference

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Next-gen materials and techniques point the way to greater efficiency

On June 27–29 at the San Diego Convention Center, experts from the Workforce Instruction for Standards and Efficiency (WISE) program presented a wide array of energy-saving materials and building techniques at the PCBC conference. Billed as “The Art, Science + Business of Housing,” the annual event attracts visitors from the U.S., Canada, Mexico and more than 25 other countries. This year’s event hosted over 10,000 attendees and 350 exhibits.

One of the most effective ways to improve home efficiency is to “tighten” the envelope of a building by increasing the amount of insulation in exterior walls and attics. At the event, building science consultant Steve Easley presented high-performance wall and attic construction practices. Energy efficiency expert Dan Krekelberg discussed the labor shortages affecting the homebuilding industry and steps the WISE program is taking to increase workforce participation. WISE program consultants also manned an “Ask the Experts” booth, providing guidance on Title 24 code requirements and high-performance wall and attic solutions.

Representatives from partnering manufacturers demonstrated how their products can increase efficiency and code compliance when properly installed. A key feature of the visitor experience was a floor display of a completed roof and wall cross-section showcasing different pathways for complying with 2016 Title 24 standards. Two past presenters at WISE regional forums also won awards in the PCBC’s annual Parade of Products competition. Knauf Insulation’s EcoBatt Integrated Roof Deck and BRINC Building Products’ ThermalBuck insulated window mount system were recognized by a panel of industry-expert judges for their innovative design and practical application.

“Bringing these innovations to market is not an easy task,” said WISE program manager Dan Krekelberg. “It requires rethinking some of the common construction practices that the industry has relied on for decades. Through trainings, education and the availability of new products, builders and contractors are now being equipped with the resources needed to effectively meet the new code requirements.”

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About WISE
The WISE program is designed to help the homebuilding industry meet state-mandated energy efficiency standards through education and promoting the exchange of best practices. It offers builders and contractors one-on-one training and information on how to achieve high performance envelopes in residential new construction. Its website also curates technical resources, training modules and case studies to keep builders ahead of the curve. The WISE program is funded by utility ratepayers through the California Energy Commission’s Electric Power Investment Charge (EPIC) grant program. More at http://www.wisewarehouse.org

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