In early March the Building Performance Center in conjunction with Habitat International held an Integrating Weatherization with Critical Home Repair training in Tacoma, WA. for western Washington and Oregon Affiliates.
The training was designed to introduce project leaders for Habitat to Building Science and Weatherization retrofit materials and processes. Course participants represented affiliates from Salem and Florence Oregon, and the Washington communities of Ellensburg, Whidbey Island, Bremerton, Kelso/Longview and Tacoma.
The first half day was spent in the classroom covering Building Science basics, weatherization priorities and the importance of thinking of a house as a system. After lunch attendees used training props to watch and experience proper air sealing, duct sealing and insulation techniques. Afterwards attendees worked with our House of Pressure to watch and understand air leakage diagnostics, forced air heating diagnostics and combustion safety diagnostics.
The morning of day two was spent observing and participating in a combustion safety test of a home built several years earlier by the local affiliate. The home provided an excellent example of how code compliance doesn’t necessarily assure 100 percent safety when it comes to “open” (air intake and/or exhaust not totally separate from inside living space) combustion appliances.
After testing house one we moved on to a 1911 home that provided the challenge of how to integrate home repair with weatherization. We spent over 3 hours collecting information including blower door and combustion diagnostics that would provide the foundation for a written work scope and budget. An excellent discussion followed as we determined what could be done on a limited budget to make the homeowners safe and comfortable.
Thanks to all the great work and help from the folks at the Tacoma Habitat affiliate in making this training a success. And thanks to Aimee from NCERT for her help with the House of Pressure and the filming and training preparation.