RaterFest! is an annual two and a half day training conference for home energy professionals. Registration includes all sessions, housing, meals, activities, Colorado craft brews, and optional participation in the RaterOlympics.
Keynote: Mark LaLiberte
Presenters: Laura Capps, Cody Farmer, Mark McLain, Shaunna Mozingo, Bill Rectanus, Robby Schwarz, Colby Swanson, Daran Wastchak, Justin Wilson
Conference | September 18-20, 2015 | Covenant Heights, Estes Park, CO
Our field is exciting… we think the training should be too. Unbeatable training for energy professionals is our standard.
Whether during a session or around the bonfire, brilliant ideas always surface… inevitable with so many great minds together.
RaterFest! celebrates the ways that energy professionals are saving the world… one efficient home at a time. From the RaterOlympics to music jams and Colorado craft brews in the evening, RaterFest! is the perfect balance of education and fun.
Credits & Attendance
RaterFest! 2015 is accredited for 9 BPI CEUs. In order to earn CEUs, students will need to bring their BPI ID number and sign-in at each session.
Students are expected to attend the full conference if they desire to achieve full credit.
Who Should Attend:
- HERS Raters looking for Professional Development Credits
- Energy Professionals
A group of RaterFest! 2014 attendees:
RaterFest! 2015 Presenter Bios
Laura Capps is the Program Manager for Southface’s Advanced Commercial Buildings Initiative (ACBI) program. ACBI leverages existing local and regional commercial energy efficiency programs and DOE resources to create research-driven solutions to overcome hurdles to broad adoption of deep energy packages for commercial buildings under 50,000 square feet. Prior to joining the commercial team, Laura directed the Residential Sustainability Services team at Southface for 7 years overseeing various residential green building programs. Laura is certified as a LEED Accredited Professional for Homes, LEED for Homes Green Rater, LEED for Homes QAD, EarthCraft Technical Advisor, RESNET Green Rater, HERS Rater QAD, HERS Rater, Lead RRP contractor, National Green Building Standard Accredited Verifier, NAHB Certified Green Professional, BPI Building Analyst Professional and Certified Energy Manager. Laura serves as faculty for US Green Building Council, RESNET and NeighborWorks America. She holds an undergraduate degree in Sustainable Development from Appalachian State University and a graduate degree in Building Construction and Facility Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Colorado native Cody Farmer co-founded Main Stream Corporation in 2007 focusing on ENERGY performance and green building. A business marketing graduate of the University of Northern Colorado’s Monfort College of Business, he spent several years serving as the Director of Marketing for a high-tech R&D firm helping bring new government funded projects into the marketplace. During his service with the Colorado Air Force National Guard, he held a secret clearance specializing in remote living quarters. His Master’s of Science in Construction Management, Sustainable Building degree from Colorado State University was focused on affordable sustainable construction and bridging the gap of recovery stimulus money with high-performance building standards.
Throughout his life he’s overseen major construction jobs as lead Construction Manager and General Contractor. In 2010 MainStream launched with ‘laser like focus’ into the Passive House building and materials arena. Receiving awards for two of their noteworthy Passive House building projects from Colorado Green Building Guild 2014: Passivista and Travelers Rest.
Cody brings to the Passive House and performance building arena a passion for training, building, attention to planset details and knowledge of available performance materials. He enjoys learning and working with craftspeople, nourishing and motivating the inquiring green builder in all of us, para enseñar, and embracing family through integrated design and construction.
- Advisory board member at Blu Homes since it’s inception
- Technical Advisor to Cold Climate Housing Research Center in Fairbanks, AK (CCHRC.org) since it’s inception
- Life Time Achievement Award from EEBA – 2005
Mark LaLiberte, a founding partner and President of Construction Instruction, devotes his time educating the building industry on the benefits of constructing durable, energy efficient and healthier homes through lectures, video series and publications.
Mark speaks nationwide to over 8,000 people annually, offering consulting and training sessions for building professionals, architects and major manufacturers. By performing on-site visits of builder’s homes, he is able to identify risks and opportunities for contractors from an independent perspective.
Mark has had the opportunity to take his expertise overseas, speaking to The Polish-American Builders Association in various cities in Poland through The Department of Agriculture and at The International Housing Fair in Tokyo, Japan through the Trade Office.
I have always been interested in energy efficiency and sustainable building techniques; from ancient dwellings to modern structures. Practicing architecture in the mountains of Colorado, I have seen many beautiful homes built, but I have typically been disappointed by their performance. In the course of trying to learn as much as possible about building science, I became a Home Energy Rater.
Shaunna Mozingo, Building Plans Analyst, Inspector, and trainer for Colorado Code Consulting/City of Cherry Hills Village. Shaunna is a past president of the Colorado Chapter of ICC and serves on the Chapter’s Education, Legislation, Membership and Code Development Committees. She has also been appointed to ICC’s Code Correlation Committee and Commercial Energy Code Development Committee for the 2015-2017 code cycle. Shaunna is very active in the code process both locally and nationally and has won awards for her work in the effective use of the Energy Code, helping raters, designers, code officials and contractors understand not just what the code says but how it works in the real world. Shaunna also manages the energy code related contracts for Colorado Code Consulting and has done numerous studies on what HERS Raters look at in the field, consistencies and inconsistencies between rating companies and raters, road blocks for jurisdictions or builders using raters, and how raters can get more involved in the code development process. She is currently working on a survey through the Colorado Energy Office to further define the availability, roadblocks and effective use of Raters around the state.
Shaunna serves as a Building Inspector for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon Competitions and served as the Inspector for the China Solar Decathlon Competition. When not traveling to teach or do inspections, she usually can be found doing plan review or researching what the end user of the code needs to know to effectively use it.
Bill Rectanus is currently the Vice President of Homebuilding Operations for New Town Builders. His responsibilities include the management and oversight of the construction, purchasing and customer service departments. In addition to his daily responsibilities Bill is also responsible for the implementation of New Town Builders’ “High Performance Building Initiative”, its advancement, and research and development of new systems and technologies.
Bill has been in the residential construction industry for over 17 years and has supervised the production of large apartment complexes to semi-custom homes. Bill began his building career in the apartment industry with Camden Property Trust before he moved into building single family homes with a local Denver builder. He has workedfor New Town Builders for 8 years starting in the field as a Project Manager andArea Construction Manager before assuming his current leadership role.
Bill has been very active in the Denver homebuilding industry serving on the Board of Directors for the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver and as Chairman of the Flatirons Building Council. In addition Bill has been a session speaker at many industry and energy efficiency conferences.
Robby is a Principal & Director of Builder Relations for EnergyLogic, which he founded in 2006 with Steve Byers & Wynne Maggi. Before that, he owned his own company for 13 years. Robby’s life has two continuous themes: 1st, an environmental ethic and 2nd, a love of learning and being flexible enough to embrace change. He feels that one of the best things about field of applied building science is that he learns something new every day and has the opportunity to share that knowledge and love of learning with clients and colleagues. A large part of that is the ability to adapt and be open to change. He sees the world, the economic climate, and EnergyLogic as opportunities to practice living that way every day. Robby is dedicated to helping EnergyLogic’s clients develop a sustainably built environment that can blend seamlessly with our modern lifestyles and meet our expectations of comfort, durability, safety, efficiency, and environmental soundness for the homes that we live and invest in.
Colby Swanson is a construction industry enthusiast with a passion for developing bold visions and translating them into results. Known for his strong innovative spirit and curiosity, he has a 360° view of the construction industry having framed houses in college, starting a rating company in AZ,consulting with builders, contractors, and utilities as a building scientist, leading long-term strategy and sustainability at BASF, and most recently launching a home renovation tech start-up. Colby enjoys innovating and believes the next wave of disruptive innovation NEEDS to come from the building science community! Every year for the past 10 years, Colby has taken one consecutive month off to do what he loves … adventure travel.
Daran Wastchak is President of D.R. Wastchak, LLC, a firm based in Tempe, Arizona that specializes in residential energy efficiency and building science consulting. He has a BS in Construction as well as a Masters and PhD in Public Administration from Arizona State University. He is certified as a RESNET Home Energy Rater, RESNET Quality Assurance Designee and Trainer, USGBC Green Rater, and EPA WaterSense Inspector.
Articles written by Daran have appeared in Home Energy, Arizona New Homes & Lifestyles, and Arizona Builder magazines as well as the Arizona Journal of Real Estate and Business. In addition to being a guest lecturer at Arizona State University, Scottsdale, Gateway, and Yavapai Community Colleges, and the Arizona School of Real Estate, Daran has given presentations at the annual conferences for the Energy and Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA), Affordable Comfort Institute, Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), USGBC Greenbuild, NAHB International Builders’ Show, ASHI Inspection World, as well as locally for the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona Southwest Builders Show and the City of Scottsdale Green Buildings Lecture Series.
Daran is a member of the EEBA Board of Directors and a past Director of the RESNET Board, including serving as RESNET Board Secretary and Vice President as well as Chairman of the Quality Assurance Committee. Daran was a member of the Arizona State Energy Code Advisory Commission from 2000 to 2007, serving as chairman of the Commission from 2004 to the conclusion of his term.
On a more personal note, Daran has three daughters (ages 9, 10 and 12) and he enjoys reading about and studying history, biographies, politics, government, and big game hunting. His favorite activities are spending time with his daughters, traveling, book collecting, public speaking, teaching, politics, and hunting.
Justin Wilson is a Principal Partner and the Vice President of Construction Instruction. As our Operations Expert, he leads research initiatives and company operations.
Justin works with national and regional builders on new construction of residential and commercials buildings and forensic investigations on building sites all over North America to find solutions to problems in the building processes that affect energy, comfort, and durability. He also uses this insight to work with leading building product manufacturers on new product development, product refinements, installation and maintenance guidelines.
Thermal enclosure improvements, indoor air quality, occupant comfort, HVAC integration and design of homes are his primary industry interests. He also has a passion for affordable net-zero energy homes with advanced and durable thermal enclosures. As the Environment & Sustainability Manager with McStain Neighborhoods in Boulder, CO Justin was a key player in designing and developing several of the first production net-zero homes in the US. He knows about the good, the bad, and the ugly of production net zero building.
Justin’s Bachelor of Science Degree is in music. He is an accomplished Jazz and Classical musician who one time played Paul Creston’s Concertino for Marimba and Orchestra solo to a live audience at full tilt. Turns out, Justin’s love for music is only love; his passion lies in the building industry, which he discovered while swinging a hammer to make ends meet. Since then, he’s studied mechanical engineering and physics, and has since worked as an Engineer at a plastic component manufacturing facility.
These days, the Construction Instruction mobile app is Justin’s main part-time job and one of his his proudest achievements. It thrills him to watch the user base keep growing and it is rewarding to know that people are gaining valuable and innovative industry knowledge through the app.
When he’s not souping up the app, Justin is souping up cars — he drives a souped-up, fully restored VW bus, and is also an amateur race driver.
- Fun Facts About Justin…
- RESNET HERS Energy Rater since 2004.
- On the technical committee to develop Enterprise Green Communities Criteria since 2007
- Involved with the construction of over 30 net zero energy projects
- Participated at a national/international level in competitive sports including track and field, alpine ski racing and mountain biking.
- Speaks English, Swedish and is currently learning Italian.
2015 Session Descriptions
Data – Driving Performance for Builders and Raters
By: Mark LaLiberte
Based on work over the last five years of deep interaction with builders, lumber companies and manufacturers, Mark will discuss how the rapid move toward testing and verification offers all parties great opportunities to improve performance through services, collaboration and customer service opportunities. Focusing on wall systems, air tightness and products he will elaborate on the potential to grow HERS businesses by helping builders and manufacturers access and understand the data generated by their homes.
Expanding Rater Services to Include Light Commercial
By: Laura Capps
Energy codes are beginning to require commercial building blower door testing. With over 90% of the commercial building stock under 50,000 sq. ft. and consuming more than 40%of the energy used in U.S. commercial buildings, light commercial buildings offer huge opportunities for energy and water savings. HERS Raters are well equipped to support small commercial owners and tenants through assessments, testing and upgrades, taking advantage of utility incentives and local programs. This session will review research results from Southface’s Advanced Commercial Buildings Initiative and provide participants with tools for expanding their Rater business to include light commercial services.
An Architect’s & His Home
By: Mark McLain
I built a home for myself in 2006-2007 using all the best knowledge I had about energy efficiency at that time. The features were all architectural in nature; passive solar, thermal mass, tuned overhangs, etc. Then I went through rater training with EL and learned more about building science; indoor air quality, mechanical systems, insulation effectiveness, etc. Questions I will discuss include:
- Why didn’t the architect get it perfect from the start?
- What would I do differently now?
- How did the recession lead to better construction practices?
- How can raters help architects from the beginning of a project?
ERI-Building Science and the Mandatory items of the 2015 IECC
By: Shaunna Mozingo & Robby Schwarz
Are you afraid of, or intimidated by the Energy Code? Don’t be. More and more building science is being brought into the code, making the things you already know the basis for the requirements. We will talk about the new ERI path in the 2015 IECC as well as those mandatory requirements that you just can’t forget. You will be surprised at how much of it you already know. “We ain’t afraid of no codes!”
A Builder’s Perspective: Moving to Zero Energy Homes
By: Bill Rectanus
For many home builders making a big change is tough. In this session learn from a Denver production builder who successfully made a big change from Energy Star to building zero energy homes. Learn from their experience: how they set goals, implemented change, navigated through the issues and mitigated the “dumb tax” of trying something new. Finally, hear the real results from successful market differentiation through energy efficiency. This session will help you understand from a builders point of view the challenges and rewards of making the tough change to push towards zero.
THE small BIG 90
By: Cody Farmer
This condensed class was delivered at Colorado State University’s last Energy Masters Program. Join the energy-neering knowledge base that roots performance building comfortably healthy in conservation’s hands. Known as Passive House building, Cody Farmer will lay on the line the costs and steps to apply to ANY building in order to reduce heating and cooling loads up to 90%.
Case studies and real applied science in action, watch as the paradigm of building is shifted as we know it. Once you drink this koolaid you may never think of building the same again.
Rated GEE (for Geeky)
Real or Unreal
By: Colby Swanson
Colby Swanson, RaterOlympic Champion 2014, will be joining the ranks of RaterFest! Presenters for the second year to once again challenge us all to dream a little bigger. His session will explore the latest innovations in building materials, techniques and all things building related. Be prepared to have your ideas of what is and isn’t possible stretched, as Colby challenges you to guess which innovations he shares are in fact real products, and which are completely made up. Everyone will get to play in assessing the real from the unreal. We think that in dreaming up things that are unreal, we’ll generate some sparks and so will you!
New Developments for HERS
By: Daran Wastchak
Across the nation the RESNET HERS Index Score is fast becoming mainstream in the housing market. Home builders are having their homes energy rated and are marketing the HERS Index of their homes, Multiple Listing Services are incorporating HERS Index into their listings, and state and local governments are recognizing a HERS Index as a building energy code compliance option. With the increased visibility of the HERS Index Score, RESNET has embarked on a comprehensive effort to enhance the consistency of home energy ratings nationally. This includes the upgrading of its quality assurance standards and procedures, the use of automated QA file review in the RESNET Registry, enhancements to rating software tools to flag questionable inputs, and modifications to how RESNET delivers training for new Raters and Rating Field Inspectors. This session will cover these important topics as well as provide an overview of the new RESNET Water Rating Index and the exciting opportunity for Raters to acquire IECC Code Inspector certification to take maximum advantage of the new ERI in the 2015 IECC.
Weather Resistive Barrier’s on Modern Wall Assemblies
By: Justin Wilson
Weather Resistive Barriers and Air Barrier materials in building assemblies are getting a lot of attentions and discussion in our industry, and its worth taking a minute to understand their impacts on the wall assemblies from a moisture perspective (down to a molecule perspective). We are inundated with choices from traditional asphalt coated papers, spun bonded sheets, woven perforated films, polymeric films, permeable films facers, spray-applied coatings and universal product applications. In this session we will take at the science behind the materials, how they are manufactured and function in the real world situations. We will discuss what the ideal characteristics of these materials might be and the risks and rewards when combined into today’s ever changing wall assemblies.
(Click thumbnail to view schedule draft)
The best airport to fly into is the Denver International Airport. Below are suggested options for transportation between the airport and Covenant Heights:
- Estes Park Shuttle. ($85 round trip) They have a shuttle that will leave DIA at 1:00 PM on the 18th, which should get you to our location in time. It will drop you off at Covenant Heights. When booking, select “Estes Park: Camps” in the “Drop-Off Location” field. After that, another drop down should appear, choose “Estes Park: Covenant Heights Conference Center – Main Office”
- Car Pool. Contact Hannah if you are interested in carpooling from DIA. A few weeks prior to the conference, a list will be sent out to everyone who signed-up with with the contact information of other attendees interested in carpooling.
- Silver Car. New rental service available at Denver Airport, only rents Audis. You can easily reserve the car in advance. If you haven’t used them before, search online for their New Online Customer Discount – usually saves $50 to $100.
What RaterFest! Previous Attendees Have to Say…
“RaterFest 2014 was a great event in a beautiful setting with interesting attendees and presentations. It is probably the most enjoyable way to get CEUs I could imagine. Thanks to EnergyLogic for coordinating this event!” Jeremy Draper, RF! 2014
“What a fantastic event! Great facility with an awesome group in attendance. Excellent content as always. Thoroughly enjoyed the fire-side chats on topics ranging from Building Science to Code to kids. The food and accommodations were outstanding and the beer… ah, the beer was truly the nectar of the gods. Being largely disconnected from the outside world made it so much easier to connect with each other at RaterFest! 2014!!” Stephen Davis, RF! 2014
“First time to Rater Fest. Solid training and great networking. Thanks for making it happen!” Shawn LeMons, RF! 2014
“I had a wonderful time for the third year in a row! Rater Fest is a great way to meet associates, update our knowledge and band together to energy efficiency in buildings.” Nancy Kellogg, RF! 2014
“The element of Raterfest that made it stand out from other conferences was the specific focus on the role of the rater. Networking with such a diverse group of people doing that same work that I do was invaluable for me. And the site was fantastic!” Heidi McCullough, RF! 2014
“I am a huge fan of RaterFest. The organizers acheive a perfect balance of learning, engaging conversation, and nature … a sort of “unconference” that you walk away from feeling like you were part of something special! When was the last time you could say that about a conference? I know why it’s called RaterFest now … Looking forward to the next one!” Colby Swanson, RF! 2014
“What a great time! It’s rare that you can pack so much education and fun into the same event. As a code official, it was great to hear what is happening on the rater side of things and what is coming down the pike as far as innovations, policies, procedures and technology. I look forward to enhancing the rater/code official relationship and already looking forward to next year’s event!!” Shaunna Mozingo, RF! 2014
“Excellent gathering of building energy professionals.” Jack Beal, RF! 2014
“Great conference for catching up with folks in a relaxed and intimate setting while also knocking out those CEUs!” Laura Capps, RF! 2013
“I appreciated the balance between lecture and networking – with such a small group, the structure was particularly powerful.” Thiel Butner, RF! 2013
“Just like mother nature, RaterFest! is a force to reckoned with!” Andrea Ingalsbe, RaterFest! 2013 attendee
“Thank you so much for having Rater Fest, I totally enjoyed attending this event. I learned alot but meeting fellow raters was the best!” Nancy Kellog, RF! 2013
“This was an extremely informative session, and I truly enjoyed the hospitality. We will begin implementing some of the tactics presented, to improve our performance in the field. ‘What a Fest-Raters!’” Stephen Kassa, RF! 2013
“Tired of your old, dry, stuffy home performance conference? Trade it in for a fresh, lively, intimate, hands-on mountain high conference with down-to-earth building experts. Come to Raterfest!” Graham Davis, RF! 2013
“RaterFest! is truly unique within the mix of home performance conferences–national in scope yet small and intimate, high level, attracting a very unique group of professionals from the industry, and NOT in a Holiday Inn ballroom! My favorite event of the year.”
“Honestly, I was anticipating a bunch of nerds discussing building science. Turns out RaterFest! brought together the funnest, most dynamic group of people I have been with in a long time. There was no shortage of building science talk, but it was blended with the perfect amount of laughter, and beer, to make me want to come back again and again. Thanks for a great weekend!”