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.
Stayed tuned for information on the next RaterFest!
Conference | Colorado
- Education – Our field is exciting… we think the training should be too. Unbeatable training for energy professionals is our standard.
- Innovation – Whether during a session or around the bonfire, brilliant ideas always surface… inevitable with so many great minds together.
- Celebration – 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.
Each year, RaterFest! has a line-up of dedicated, passionate speakers. Here’s a preview of some speakers we’ve had in the past:
Steve Armstrong, Senior Building Analyst of Environmental Solutions Group
Scott Doyle, Quality Assurance Manager for RESNET
Michelle Foster, Vice President of Innovation Services at Home Innovation Research Labs
Bruce Manclark, Director of CLEAResult
Shaunna Mozingo, Building Plans Analysis, Inspector and Code Educator/Consustlant for Colorado Code Consulting LLC (CCC)
Bill Rectanus, Vice President of Homebuilding Operations at Thrive Home Builders
Brad Smith, Energy Code Compliance Specialist at City of Fort Collins
Bill Spohn, President & CEO of TruTech Tools, LTD
Tyler Stein, Construction Manager for CalAtlantic Group, Inc.
Dan Wildenhaus, Building Science Manager at CLEAResult
Sessions from RaterFest! 2017
Opening the Window to the Builder’s Back Office
This presentation will try to give you some insight into the builder’s world. Learn how builders make decisions and choose to move towards or away from building science and energy efficiency. Get an understanding of the different types of builders and how their structures push them towards the decisions they make? Get a sneak peek into home builders financials; how they price their homes, the types of margins that run their businesses and the risks they face in this very competitive business.
This interactive session should help you better understand your builder client, how they make decisions and who or what is the driving force behind making them. Learn how you can use this information to bring value to their design, their cost control and in the end drive them towards building better more efficient and healthy homes.
Better understand the different builder types and building company structures.
Learn how the different builder types make decisions and who is behind making them.
Understand the builder’s financial structure and review the strains and limits it poses to a builders business.
Review and learn how builders price their homes and how that exercise affects their decision-making process.
Learn how building science and energy efficiency fit into these different building company models.
Gain an understating of how you can help builders limit risk and control cost while moving towards a more energy efficient, healthy and durable product.
Build Your Business and Bring Builders More Value Using the HERS Index Path to Green Certification
Steve Armstrong & Michelle Foster
The National Green Building Standard ICC/ASHRAE 700-2015 now includes a streamlined HERS Index Path toward NGBS Green certification. Builders looking to gain even more value from their IECC ERI HERS rating can leverage it to take advantage of a simple and affordable process to earn NGBS Green Certification and capitalize on all of the marketing, valuation, and quality control benefits that accompany a third-party green certification. Come learn about the HERS Index Target Path in the 2015 NGBS and how NGBS Green certification can boost the services and value you provide to your builder clients; single family and multifamily alike.
Understand how the HERS Target Index Path works to meet the NGBS energy efficiency requirements
Learn how a home or multifamily can earn NGBS Green certification
Find out the role the Verifier plays in inspecting homes to determine compliance with the NGBS
Learn what green practices are necessary to earn certification and how much certification will cost
Making Friends and Influencing Physics – Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRVs) and Central Air Handler Integration
Bruce Manclark & Dan Wildenhaus
Why should Builders care about integrated HRVs? HRVs are a smart way to ventilate that you can sell at a higher profit margin and avoid call backs with negative comfort issues. In contrast to simple exhaust fans or holes in the home, HRV allow for heat recovery, health through fresh, filtered air. Codes dictate ventilation, yet HRVs allow for both meeting code and adding value to the customer through IAQ controlled with the least economic impact or comfort impact. What are the benefits of integrated vs. two stand-alone systems? With integrated systems builders are required to install fewer ducts, requires less room and few holes cut into the buildings. An HRV adds the V back into the HVAC system.
Why should Raters care about integrated HRVs? More energy savings in the model (SRE and fan wattage), adding value as a consultant to the builder and designers, future proofing givenRESNET is going the direction of grading HVAC systems.
Why should HVAC designers care about integrated HRVs? Fewer design challenges, better chance at success (the thing works), and a clear process to install/better guidance.
Learning objectives: After participating in this session, attendees will be able to…
Articulate the pros and cons of the three primary types of ventilation and the sub type of centrally integrated HRVs
Discuss the performance challenges with connecting an HRV to the return side of the central system
Relate examples of selling the benefits of good IAQ to homeowners
Prioritize the design, installation needs, control strategies, and final commissioning of HRVs, particularly into central air handlers
Building Relationships with Code Officials
Ever feel like you’d better not challenge that inspector or make them mad because you have to work with them on the rest of your project? Or that if you second guess or question the plan reviewer they might hold up your permit? We all have relationships with our code officials, some of those relationships just aren’t working. How can we create a working relationship where we learn from each other instead of fight each other? How can we be heard by the code official without coming across as challenging or argumentative? Let’s look at how to create relationships that work, thereby creating houses that work!
To better understand the make-up of the building departments and their core tasks.
To learn ways to communicate with inspectors without jeopardizing the job you’re on.
To understand how the permitting process can be a learning process for everyone involved.
To learn how to create dynamic relationships with code officials that will serve you both for years to come.
And in this corner… Putting the gloves back on to build team cohesion from the beginning to the end
Tyler Stein & Brad Smith
Relationships between Builders, Code Officials and trades can be classified as fragmented and
sometimes even strained. This presentation will focus on the inner workings of builders,
jurisdictions, trades and third party inspectors and how a cooperative work effort can achieve
desired results for all. We’ll delve into the priorities and needs of both builder and code official
and provide insight as to how to raise the bar for all involved and how to foster a cohesive
Topics of discussion will include what’s been learned working intimately within a building
department, understanding your value or place in the building process, asserting yourself into
the design and build process, identifying the whole building team early and including all into
design and review of construction documents, understanding how to effectively communicate
and persuade, being self-empowered and have the desire to make change. We’ll also address
accountability and personalize it with a “if you see a problem, you own the problem” approach.
Lastly we’ll address the importance of marketing and sales of the building science built into
Both of the presenters have spent time working construction, owning their own companies,
working as HERS raters, have a great deal of experience testing residential mechanical systems
and now work for a large national builder and a progressive jurisdiction respectively. Much of
the presentation will be peppered with personal stories and experiences during our time spent
working in all situations addressed as part of the session.
New construction & healthy homes: Observations & Measurements & for Raters
Formal studies and anecdotal experiences have homeowners thinking more and more about achieving a healthy indoor environment. Many factors play into this including siting; choice, installation and maintenance of materials, systems and furnishings; as well as the activities of the occupants. Come to this session to learn about some of the observations & measurements a Rater can make to help homeowners achieve a healthy home.
The health impacts of poor indoor air quality
Which materials, systems and furnishings and practices contribute to poor indoor air quality
What are some key measurements and observations for Raters to make including action thresholds
Industry Update from RESNET®
With the inclusion of the HERS Index in the 2015 IECC (known as the ERI path) RESNET and the HERS Index was placed into the spotlight. But this adoption was contentious and detractors put the organization on notice. Essentially, the RESNET and the HERS Industry would face outside scrutiny unlike ever before. Additionally, savvy builders began to observe large inconsistencies among raters across various markets. This context helps us understand the environment that led to a number of initiatives all designed to increase consistency among raters and strengthen the credibility of the HERS Index. With all the changes, it can be difficult to keep it all straight. There is a lot of confusion and even misinformation being spread. But the truth, as they say, is out there. Scott Doyle, RESNET Quality Assurance Manager, will review 2017 Standard changes that effect raters and providers and preview key changes that go into effect for 2018. Policy decisions -including an important update on the SIM Practical exam- will be covered. Then we turn our attention to some key initiatives that RESNET is working on that should energize attendees for an exciting future ahead!
Review Key changes effective February 2017 (5 min)
– Understand the Terminology Change for Instructors
– Describe rule change that training is now required for Candidates
Preview Key Changes Effective 2018 (8 min)
– Understand Practice Ratings/Probationary Rating changes for new candidates
– Describe responsibilities and minimum requirements of Candidate Field Assessor
– List new Professional Development requirements for Instructors
– List new Professional Development requirements for Raters
– Describe Policy Update on SIM Practical
Status Update on Current Chapter 2 Amendment (2 min)
– Clarify Language for new Probationary Rating Requirements
Status Update on Chapter 9 Amendment (7 min)
– Describe status of Public Comments and Draft Responses
– Describe QA Pilot Status Update
– Describe Quality Agent Training Working Group Update
Key Updates to Technical Standards (8 min)
– Understand process for updating duct LTO exemption
– List recent and upcoming changes to technical requirements
– Software Consistency Task Force Update
Top 4 Most Exciting RESNET Initiatives (15 min)
– Understand WER Index and how it might affect raters and builders
– List benefits of Multifamily Standard for Rating Businesses
– Describe HVAC Quality Install
– Who is behind this initiative?
– What will I need to know?
– Understand how Appraisal Institute MOU with RESNET could finally provide solution to one of the housing industry’s oldest problems.
Q&A (15 min)