Energy Design Convention: Full Report

February 10th, 2006 by Peter Schmelzer

-Duluth-

-Duluth-

Tuesday and Wednesday I was in Duluth for the annual Energy Design Conference in Duluth. The weather was fine, and the convention center offered great views of Duluth’s historic lift bridge and Lake Superior.

The conference was well-attended; some 1,100 builders, architects, realtors, and homeowners converged for the sessions.
-Duluth-

-Duluth-
The real purpose of the conference was continuing education. In total, I attended four or five seminars from a wide variety of topics.

Tuesday, these grabbed by interest: Insulation Products and R-Values, A Green Approach to Residential Housing, Windows for High Performance Buildings, and Home Sick Home: Designing for Family Health.

-Duluth-

Wednesday I took classes on these topics: Practical guide for installing Cultured Stone and Stucco, Foundation Design and Construction, HVAC for Builders and Designers, “Topography, land-Forms and Impacts”, and Sustainable Europe, What can we Learn?

I’d offer a complete summary, but you’d probably not like to read it all! Instead, I’ll incorporate what I learned in your project where you’ll get the benefits!

-Duluth-

Between courses, I visited with a broad array of exhibitors, builders, and utility company representatives.

-Duluth-

-Duluth-

Here is a shot of the Toyota Prius’ engine compartment and one of the sticker. Check out that mpg!

-Duluth-

I also learned about a composting septic system that can handle 12 adults. It can even produce drinkable water with an upgrade or two. It is unique in that it separates solids from liquids before treatment, which greatly increases its efficiency.

In general, this was a great learning opportunity and a terrific networking opportunity with people who are taking real steps toward sustainability in the built environment.

Mark your calendars: next year’s conference will be on February 27 and 28, 2007!

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