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BS* + Beer

The BS* + Beer Show: “DIY and High Performance”

The D.C. chapter of BS* + Beer hosts the show to talk about the nuances of high-performance building, DIY style

This episode of the BS* + Beer show features Dan Hines and Nick Burger, co-founders of the D.C. Chapter of BS* + Beer, as well as a number of folks from that group discussing “DIY and High Performance.” Most people intent on buying, building, or remodeling a house want it perform at the highest level possible but money is typically tight. Dan, Nick, and D.C. guests answer questions such as: What are some things homeowners can do themselves when remodeling or building to boost performance while keeping the budget in check? Which jobs ensure the most bang for the buck? And what are the most effective tools for learning about or executing projects?

Enjoy the show!


Join us on Thursday, December 3, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. EST when we host Allison Bailes and Ross Trethewey to talk about combustion appliances. When more and more people are thinking about a move away from fossil-fueled systems, do they still have a place in our homes? If so, when and where should they continue to be used? As houses get tighter, what do we need to know about atmospherically vented appliances—how do we get them right? Given the level of our guests’ expertise, the information promises to be technically rich.

Guest bios

Allison A. Bailes III, PhD, is founder and owner of Energy Vanguard in Decatur, Georgia. Like many in the field of building science and green building, he is multi-faceted: His academic credentials in physics (BS, MS, MST, and PhD all in that field) give him a solid foundation in the science that underlies buildings. What Dr. Bailes has become most known for in recent years, though, is writing the Energy Vanguard blog. In it he covers everything from building science fundamentals to HVAC particulars to big-picture topics like energy security and peak oil. His blog garnered Dr. Bailes an invitation to join Green Building Advisor, where he is now a regular contributor. Click here for a full bio.

Ross Trethewey is Home Technology Expert on “Ask This Old House.” Ross has lent his expertise to both “This Old House” and “Ask This Old House” since 2011, contributing to stories about renewable energy that looked at solar power, wind power, geothermal, and off-grid storage. He became a regular presence on “Ask This Old House” in 2016, when he and producer Heath Racela developed “Future House,” a segment that looks at the impact technology will have on how we build and live in our houses. In addition to his TV duties, Ross founded an engineering design and consulting firm in 2010 and serves as its lead engineer. TE2 Engineering provides building energy analysis, mechanical, electrical and plumbing design, and renewable energy design for clients in both the residential and commercial space. The company’s focus is high-performance HVAC design and integrated smart home design.

Use this link to register for The BS* + Beer Show

BS* + Beer Book Club

Because the hosts of the BS* + Beer Show all love to read, we thought we would celebrate the authors in our industry by adding a book club to the show every few months. We’ll announce the book, give you a few months to get it and read it, and conclude with a BS* + Beer Show episode where we will invite the author to join us, present, and take questions.

We have selected our second book: Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity by Joseph G. Allen and John D. Macomber

We hope you will pick up a copy and join the discussion on Thursday, December 17, from 6 to 7:30 pm.


-You can contact Kiley Jacques at [email protected]. Photo by William Kallock.


  1. steve_smith | | #1

    I really enjoyed the discussion. I especially appreciated Doug Horgan explaining how smart thermostats can be useful for determining how oversized heating and cooling equipment is based on run times on cold and hot days. I've used the method he discussed and it is much simpler than some of the other fuel use methods I have read.

  2. Jon_R | | #2

    Don't forget to account for solar gain, kitchen exhaust, wind and periods that are colder/hotter than periods you measure (I'd use something near record lows/highs). They all add to the equipment size needed. Eg, high wind could easily add 30% to load.

    For anyone interested in a specific portion of the BS+BS talks, a searchable transcript is available when watching on youtube.

    1. steve_smith | | #3

      I’ve used the hottest and coldest weeks in the last year that were both outside the 1% and 99% temperatures. I agree that one needs to be careful when choosing what time frame and temperatures to use with the smart thermostat method.

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