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Volume 6   Issue 11               December  2005

Code Concerns

EEBA:  Working Hard for the Fenestration Industry
by Michael d. Fischer

The Energy and Environmental Building Association (EEBA), based in Bloomington, Minn., hosted the 2005 Excellence in Building Conference and Expo in Colorado Springs, Colo., in October. The conference, which provided a healthy smorgasbord of exhibits, presentations and hands-on demonstration, focused on the EEBA’s “Houses That Work” program. From foundation water management design to roof-to-wall connections and everything in between, the EEBA conference provided building industry members with a chance to learn about the state of residential design.

Learning About EEBA
EEBA serves as the premier educational provider for the industry through the Houses That Work educational series, Annual Excellence in Building Conference, Best Practices publications and books, Houses That Work Institute Certification program and Future Builders Curriculum program with community colleges across the country. 
EEBA members have made a commitment to be good stewards of the resources used in the construction of residential and light commercial buildings. From this commitment and members’ expertise, climate-specific design criteria were developed. The criteria documents provided a blueprint, based on regional climatic conditions, for improved building performance. The EEBA criteria became the industry’s leading document detailing the systems approach to new construction and served to initiate a shift in the way homes were built. As the building industry has evolved over the past two decades and new concerns about production building and problems associated with water management surfaced, the EEBA approach of climate-specific design remains on the cutting edge of current best construction practices.

Conference Highlights
The EEBA Conference and Expo included presentations from leading industry experts on building science and construction. 

A tag-team presentation by John Carmody of the University of Minnesota and Jim Larsen of Cardinal Glass Industries highlighted research and data on the energy performance of windows and glazing systems. While Carmody showcased the newly developed design aids available from the Efficient Windows Collaborative, Larsen led the audience through a review of the energy case study homes built by Cardinal Glass to evaluate window and glass performance in Sacramento, Calif., Houston and Fort Wayne, Ind. By gathering data on virtually identical homes with different combinations of glazing and coatings, Cardinal was able to demonstrate how designers can tweak the combinations of solar gain and thermal resistance to provide the best value and comfort for the homeowner.

As EEBA continues to grow in membership and influence, the opportunity for the building industry to share information and best practices will flourish. With the continued emphasis on green building, indoor air quality, water management and energy efficiency, EEBA fills a needed role in the residential building arena by serving as a conduit to bring the various trades and product manufacturers together with the builders who are left to somehow make it all work together. 

Michael Fischer serves as director of codes and regulatory compliance for the Window and Door Manufacturers Association based in Des Plaines, Ill. 

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