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
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:
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!”
2014 Session Descriptions
The speaker line-up for RaterFest 2015 has not been posted yet.
Curious about previous year’s presentations? Below is an overview of RaterFest! 2014’s session descriptions.
Building America, Twenty Years and Counting
By: Dave Roberts of NREL
Building America, USDOE’s flagship residential building systems research program, is in its 20th year. With a goal of developing, testing, and mainstreaming cost-effective, robust solutions for zero energy homes, this program has had wide-reaching impacts during its first 20 years. In this session we’ll review where this important research program started, where it is now, and most importantly, what the future holds. I’ll share how the program measures its progress and impacts, look at some of the more impactful research underway, and pontificate on some interesting insights and thoughts on the interaction between energy efficiency and renewable energy.
High R-Value Wall Systems
By: Justin Wilson of Construction Instruction
The standard construction in most markets is 2x stick framed walls with only cavity insulation and OSB sheathing which is covered by a weather resistive barrier (Usually). Understanding the goal our industry has to build profitable net-zero energy homes in the coming years; is the standard wall construction a thermal, air and moisture dinosaur? Adding R-4/5 to the exterior walls on a home is quite easy, but when 1 ½” + is added to the exterior wall, the rules change quickly. Understanding how these applications impact the various aspects of wall performance and the challenges of increasing the thermal insulation in walls is a key to producing high performance, net-zero ready homes. Learn about continuous current exterior wall insulation research, air and weather barriers, rainscreen applications, moisture and thermal analysis and how these elements work together to create a high R-value wall system.
Beautiful Catastrophe – One Rater’s story of building my first home
By Jeremy Draper of Ensign Building Solutions
The story of the hardest year and a half of my life building a green home, on a bare bones budget; using 50-60%+ reused/reclaimed/liquidated materials sourced from Craigslist, personal connections and found materials. The presentation will be a narrated photo diary with stories of the sourcing. My home is a 3 bed, 2 bath, 2000 SF (+1000 SF unfinished attic), built in downtown Atlanta for about $85/SF including land acquisition. It is solid wood framed home, ZIPsystem sheathing, 23SEER Heat Pump, Al-clad stain-grade windows, hard wood floors and well insulated/sealed envelope.
By: Daniel Wildenhaus of CLEAResult
The CLEAResult building science team is currently entering Phase II of a pilot project with the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, market testing a specification for a new tier of advanced performance homes in climate zones 4, 5 and 6, based on targets for building heat loss, high efficiency equipment and distribution systems, tight construction, and superior levels of ventilation efficiency, which work in tandem, taking a holistic approach to the low load home of the near future. Thirteen demonstration homes have completed construction or are in data collection phase of this pilot project, with 30 additional homes to be built as part of Phase II. Detailed M&V (measurement and verification) of energy and water usage, systems performance, and indoor environmental metrics is underway. We will take a look at the key issues, challenges, and lessons learned from construction and actual performance of these homes; focusing on what Raters need to know to bring value to their builders.
By Stephen Davis of Demilec
Ventilation and ventilation strategies throughout the ages… from living under tree canopies to living in leaky leaky dwellings to leaky leaky dwellings with windows to super-tight dwellings with satellite TV. The journey begins during Neanderthal-ish times and their struggles with ventilation (some [a bunch of] creative license taken here) to our modern-day caves and our struggles with ventilation…. What we have learned and forgotten over the past 355,000 years or so, all covered in about an hour.
Let’s Start with “What if…?”
By Colby Swanson of CAS Group, LLC
It is time to shake things up, spark new ideas, and lead innovative movements! Colby will guide the group through a view-widening, brainstorming session that is sure to have everyone hyped up about the expansive potential before us. The session will begin with a “show and tell” of amazing construction innovations that are in or near production. After Colby gives some examples, we want to hear about exciting new ideas or products you’ve seen on the market! Once everyone’s creative juices are flowing Colby we open the floor for new ideas. Collaboratively, the group will begin dreaming up ways that we can develop our own disruptive innovations. If you have an idea that you’ve been brewing over, but need feedback and further inspiration, this is the perfect avenue to grow your idea through collaborative, innovative thinking.
By Ben Adams of MaGrann
This session will explore a number of interrelated themes that will increasingly impact the rating industry in the next few years…
- How raters and builders have responded to incentives linked to HERS scores, looking at data from more than 5000 single family homes
- Whether ratings and usage projections can be meaningful metrics for customers – and what makes us nervous about actually using them
- If and how new approaches to energy guarantees might change the dynamic – with Single Family and Multifamily examples.
- We will wrap up by considering what the future may look like and the opportunities and adaptations that could emerge.
By Scott Doyle and Glenn Pease of EnergyLogic, Inc.
At the 2014 RESNET Conference in Atlanta, the primary author of the RESNET Sampling Standard called it “one of the most misunderstood and commonly misapplied standards in use by raters.” EnergyLogic has been involved with sampling projects since 2007. Based on our QA and the type and number of technical support questions we receive, we would tend to agree that there is a lot of confusion on the topic of sampling… and HERS Ratings are not even the only service that raters might apply sampling to. How does sampling apply to LEED? Energy Star? IECC? What are the differences and similarities? What about single family homes vs. multifamily? In this session, we will dispel the myths, illuminate the hazards, and describe the current standards as clearly as possible. Further, we will discuss the details of the pending changes to the RESNET Sampling Standard.
Duck, Ducks, and more Ducts
By Duncan Prahl of IBACOS
Don’t hit your head while crawling around in a building (Duck!) and I haven’t seen the menu but I hope to see Smoked, Peking, or l’orange (Ducks!) and then there are all sorts of things you might want to know about what builders use (or abuse) in their houses (Ducts!). This session will provide you with insight on some of the little considered but very important issues associated with the “Duct System” (per Section 202 or the International Mechanical Code – “A continuous passageway for the transmission of air that, in addition to ducts, includes duct fittings, dampers, plenums, fans and accessory air-handling equipment and appliances.). How are systems behaving in low load houses? What problems might you run into as the 2012 code becomes more prevalent? What about Splitter Boxes? Bring your questions, stump me and you get an adult beverage after class.
“Grandpa Simpson Waves Fist at Cloud”
By Bruce Manclark of CLEAResult
Bruce will give a wide ranging discussion on the performance, and non-performance of certain building elements. Areas of discussion will include the new heat pump water heaters, fan-cycler GV62, and issues with ASHRAE 62.1