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Free Podcasts on Building Topics

A Chicago-based trainer, author, and energy rater offers a series of podcasts on high-performance building

Posted on Jul 31 2014 by Scott Gibson

When Corbett Lunsford got out of the music business and took up building diagnostics and consulting, he learned that old hands in the industry weren't always interested in sharing their trade secrets. They were, in fact, "a little bit cranky" when Lunsford came calling.

So the Chicago-based Lunsford vowed that when he became more established, he'd share what he knew with anyone who was interested — for free.

The result is a series called The Building Performance Podcast. To date, Lunsford has produced 58 podcasts ranging from 15 minutes to 45 minutes in length. You can listen to them online or download them as MP3 files.

The podcasts are a sideline for Lunsford, the managing director and trainer of the Green Dream Group, a company which he started with his wife, Grace Lunsford, in 2008. About 60% of his time goes to Green Dream, which performs building diagnostics, and about 40% to the Building Performance Workshop, which trains others.

Lunsford produces all of the podcasts himself, recording them "guerrilla style" with his iPhone. He says there are about 2,000 downloads per episode.

The podcasts also have become a learning tool as Lunsford tracks down and interview experts on topics he'd like to learn more about it. In that sense, he says, the podcasts are a little selfish.

Lunsford, a HERS and Passive HouseA residential building construction standard requiring very low levels of air leakage, very high levels of insulation, and windows with a very low U-factor. Developed in the early 1990s by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist, the standard is now promoted by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany. To meet the standard, a home must have an infiltration rate no greater than 0.60 AC/H @ 50 pascals, a maximum annual heating energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (4,755 Btu per square foot), a maximum annual cooling energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (1.39 kWh per square foot), and maximum source energy use for all purposes of 120 kWh per square meter (11.1 kWh per square foot). The standard recommends, but does not require, a maximum design heating load of 10 W per square meter and windows with a maximum U-factor of 0.14. The Passivhaus standard was developed for buildings in central and northern Europe; efforts are underway to clarify the best techniques to achieve the standard for buildings in hot climates. Institute U.S. rater, is also author of a book, Home Performance Diagnostics: The Guide to Advanced Testing.


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