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EEBA’s Excellence in Building Conference is Worth the Trip

The annual EEBA conference is one of my favorites

Posted on Jun 25 2013 by Brian Pontolilo

Each year, the editors at Fine Homebuilding and hit a bunch of trade shows and conferences. We go for a number of reasons. The big shows (IBS, KBIS, and AIA) are where the big product releases happen and where we can expose the most people to our brand. We often have our own booth at these shows, and along with our contributors, we sometimes have the opportunity to speak about relevant topics in home building and design.

Some shows, like GreenBuild, are just inspiring. I left last year's GreenBuild more excited about the prospect of a zero-energy car than a zero-energy house. But the smaller shows and regional events are where we go for our own education (and to find new authors).

Presentations from leading experts

I went to the Excellence in Building conference held by the Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) for the first time last year. It immediately became one of my favorites, and I am going back this September.

What made this conference so good? It's all about education. Though there was an expo floor, most of the attendees spent their days in classrooms learning from our industry's leading experts. I also enjoyed the conversations. Many of the attendees were experts in their own right, doing inspiring work all around the country.

And, always a sucker for shiny objects, I loved last year's home tour, particularly because it wasn't just shiny objects. We visited remodels in progress and one super 800-sq.-ft. remodel. Not your typical "show home" tour.

This year's EEBA conference is scheduled for September 24 - 26 in Phoenix, Arizona. EEBA's executive director, Karen Thull, recently sent me these planned highlights for the upcoming conference:

  • DOEUnited States Department of Energy. Challenge Home Training
  • Energy@Home Consumer Special Event with HGTV's Jeff Wilson
  • Don't Be Left Behind: Preparing for the Historic Boost in Energy Efficiency
  • Systems in Action: The Water-Energy Nexus
  • 48 Advanced Building Science Sessions, 50+ Exhibitors, Hands-on demonstrations ... and more

I'm really looking forward to the "and more." I'm not going to miss:

  • Don't Be a Dinosaur: The What Ifs, Why Nots, and How-tos of the Evolution of Building Science
  • Seeing Beyond the Glare of EcoBling: A More Sensible Approach to Green Building
  • Wall System Innovation: Familiar Materials, Better Performance

Like I said, there are a lot of great shows each year. I'm lucky to be able to get to a few. Most builders, remodelers, architects, and designers don't have that luxury. But if you can sneak away from the job site or the drawing board for a few days and are looking to expand your horizons and get some continuing education credits while you're at it, the Excellence in Building conference is a good place to start. Maybe I'll see you there.

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  1. EEBA

Jun 25, 2013 10:18 AM ET

Waiting for the news to trickle down
by Aaron Gatzke

Martin, we are all waiting for the news to trickle down to the rest of us as most of us are unable to attend such conferences.
I am looking forward to interesting blogs on all that you have learned.

Jun 25, 2013 11:06 AM ET

Response to Aaron Gatzke
by Martin Holladay

It's been a few years since I've had the chance to go to an EEBA conference. If I ever do get a chance to attend in the future, I will, of course, share what I learn there in articles on the GBA site.

It's also very possible that GBA will also be able to post reports from the EEBA conference written by Fine Homebuilding editors -- or, for that matter, by any GBA reader who wants to post a guest blog.

Jun 26, 2013 8:33 AM ET

Does the zero energy car move?
by Skip Harris

Perhaps I misunderstand "zero energy"....or do they mean zero carbon?

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