National green homebuilding workshop travels to Wrightsville Beach

by Matt Corpening
Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Members of the construction community will have an opportunity Sept. 5 to gain exposure to green technology as it pertains to efficiency in houses. The Energy and Environmental Building Alliance will hold its Houses that Work workshop at Bluewater Grill from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

EEBA was founded in 1982. Headquartered in Minnesota, it is a national nonprofit organization offering three platforms of education. The first is the Houses that Work Program, which is a full-day building science curriculum, explained Nancy Bakeman, EEBA Program Director. 

“It is for builders, architects and code officials,” Bakeman said. “It teaches high performance residential construction.” 

The Houses that Work Program is held 30 to 40 times per year in 30 to 35 different locations and markets, she said. 

The second platform is an annual three-day conference called the Excellence in Building Conference, which will be held next month in Phoenix, Ariz. Bakeman said it features many of the building science experts in the country in 55 sessions. 

The third platform is a bookstore.

“We also have a bookstore with lots of field guides, publications and software in the residential construction industry,” Bakeman said. “EEBA focuses on green, sustainable methods, trying to reach net zero energy.”

The workshop, to take place at Bluewater, will be a one-day training session on new or existing homes, explained Karen Thull, EEBA Executive Director.

“These training sessions address the energy efficiency and performance of homes and how they work as a system,” Thull said. “This includes everything from foundation to wall systems, advanced framing, windows to HVAC specifications.”

Attendees can expect tabletop expos containing brochures and educational resources regarding building materials that are associated with increasing the performance of homes, in addition to hands-on demonstrations. Thull said the Houses that Work program educates approximately 4,000 individuals every year who vary broadly by expertise. 

“Primarily we have 35 to 40 percent builders that are national, mid-size or custom builders,” she said. “Then we have another 25 percent that are contractors — the trades, whether it be HVAC, window installers, framers or roofers. We have a percentage of architects, a percentage of weatherization professionals and raters. Then we have a few mixed into every session that are government representatives either from cities, municipalities or even the state energy department.”

The Houses that Work workshop will include CEUs, continuing education credits, from seven national organizations, like the National Association of Homebuilders, Thull said. Though EEBA’s platforms do not generally focus on the homeowner, at its national conference it will hold an energy and home-consumer seminar hosted by Jeff Wilson of HGTV and the DIY network. The $125 workshop registration is found online at

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