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BS* + Beer

The BS* + Beer Show: Scary Building Failures

The Green Police cast warnings about the many things that can go wrong in a building

This episode of the BS* + Beer show features guests Michael Anschel and Carl Seville, a.k.a. The Green Police. (“One is mental. The other is a curmudgeon.”) Halloween is the theme and “Scary Building Failures” is the topic. Suffice it to say, much silliness ensues. And, of course, there are some great building lessons to be gleaned from the duo’s vault of disasters. “Penetration nightmares,” missing overhangs, “insulating” paints, illegal use of flex duct, no kick-out flashing, white roofs, and combustion appliances are just a few of the scenarios discussed. Michael rails against the Passive House standard, wood furring strips, and heat-pump water heaters. Carl gives it to him on the chin, telling us not to listen to Michael when he “gets a hair up his ass about something,” and shares how-to-do-the-wrong-thing-right lessons from his book, Green Building: Principles and Practices in Residential Construction. They also raise an important question: Who is paying the price for high-performance building? The answer is disturbing. Perhaps the best way to give you a taste of the show is to share a few salient quotes:

“Vapor barrier should be ripped out of the lexicon.”—M.A.

“Even if you have overhangs, you can still be an idiot.” —C.S.

“Setback thermostats are a solution to a terrible house. . . . and white roofs are just as dumb.” —M.A.

“If we can’t figure out how to do kick-out flashing, what are we doing with blower doors?” —M.A.

Enjoy the show!


Join us on Thursday, November 5, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. EST for a special BS + BBQ episode. We will discuss “The Challenges of Building in Hot-Humid Climates” with guests Matt Risinger, Kristof Irwin, and Armando Cobo. There will be talk of southern-style BBQ, and a deep dive into the factors influencing design-build strategies in hot-humid regions. 

Guest bios

Matt Risinger is a custom builder and remodeler based in Austin, TX, who has made a name for himself via his popular YouTube channel “The Build Show.” His 300k-plus followers watch him weekly as he builds to a higher standard focusing on durable, efficient, and healthy construction techniques and products. In addition to creating the he is a contributing editor at the “Journal of Light Construction,” and publishes two videos per week to and daily to Instagram @RisingerBuild.

Kristof Irwin, P.E., M Eng., is the principal of Positive Energy. In that role he works to rethink the way society delivers conditioned space to itself and recognizes the potential of homes and buildings to impact human and planetary thriving. Kristof’s background includes 12 years of experience as a custom builder (including deep energy retrofits and zero-net energy projects) and 11 years as a building science consultant. He worked for 14 years as an engineer, research scientist, and physicist for government and university research labs. He is active in the local and national high-performance building community including his role as past Chair of AIA Austin’s Building Enclosure Committee, Advisor to the AIA Austin COTE Committee, as well as several ASHRAE committees – ASHRAE TC-2.1 (Physiology & Human Environment), ASHRAE SSPC-55 (Thermal comfort), ASHRAE SSPC-62.2 (Ventilation/IAQ) – and serves on the Board of Passive House Austin Chapter (PHAUS). Kristof hosts The Building Science Podcast to promote education, advocacy and understanding for the public and within the AEC industry. 

Armando Cobo is a zero-energy custom home designer, trainer, and building consultant with over 35 years of experience. Armando designs following the guidelines of DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Home program, The Building America Program, Build Green New Mexico, California’s Title 24, National Home Builders Association’s Green Building Program, and LEED for Homes, among others. He’s designed over 500 custom homes, and helps homeowners and builders achieve success with their zero-energy projects. He works all over the country.

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 courtesy of Carl Seville.


  1. jkonst | | #1

    Semi-minor, but it looks like the video feed is zoomed in/cut off at the top and sides. Is that fixable? Looking forward to watching this.

  2. bcade | | #2

    FYI they left a comment on the Youtube video that a non-zoomed re-upload is coming later today.

  3. Expert Member
    CARL SEVILLE | | #3

    Try this link to see the video:

  4. GBA Editor
    Kiley Jacques | | #4

    It's been updated.

  5. Expert Member
    ARMANDO COBO | | #5

    Thanks for fixing the link so we could watch. I missed it while on the FHB Summit.
    I don't know what's scarier, Carl's and Michael's presentation or Maines' blond afro... YIKES!!! I saw an ET in New Mexico once, it kind of remind me of him... 😂

    1. Expert Member
      Michael Maines | | #6

      What, you didn't like my Art Garfunkel costume? I have to say, after having facial hair for a few years it feels weird to have a naked face now!

      1. bob_swinburne | | #7

        Every time I shave off my beard I am immediately regretful.

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