Total 17 commentsLeave a comment

Architectural Assistant, City and County of San Francisco
3

ok

Chief Operations Officer, Stralance Energy Solutions
4

Great course

WSP USA
4

Informative

Senior Mechanical Engineer, DAR
3

informative

Technical Leader , Cisco Systems Inc.
4

.

President/Director of Sustainability, Accurity Valuation
3

Good handout but a bit advanced for Associate level.

5

Great intro to the HVAC focus of the Energy Star Program. The Q & A session was extremely valuable in further detailing some of the nuances. Would like to hear a webinar on these nuances or lessons learned.

Deputy Associate Director, Cultural Resources Partnerships & Science, National Park Service
3

Good intro. Some sound problems.

Architect Principal , Valentini Architetture
Pro Reviewer
3

This course is an effective contribution to understand all the HVAC Credentialing for Energy Star Certified Homes. The first part of the lesson is a very clear exposition describing the evolution of HVAC systems in ESH in the progression of Energy Star versions.The main key issues fon HVAC systems are well explained specifying the main goals of the program.
Also the HVAC Design Report explains properly all the checklists required for the Commissioning as the Rater design review section does. The HVAC Credentialing program describes clearly all the steps to follow and also the relations with other rating systems as LEED and PHIUS.
The second part of the lesson with the ACCA speaker,really,isn't very clear due to the poor audio quality facing the theme of the Quality Contractors and Quality installation while the Advanced Energy HQUITO presentation is more comprehensive with some interesting links to LEED credits and prerequisites.
Globally the course is a good opportunity to understand HVAC Credentialing program for ESH but it can't have more than the three stars for the second part of the course that is difficult to follow.

Architect, Edwards + Hotchkiss Architects
5

Excellent

Architect, DAR
5

informative

Project Engineer, BJ Perch Construction, Inc.
Pro Reviewer
4

A lot of information is provided in this course. This is a topic which I don’t fully have my head around but for the most part was able to follow along and understand a bit of what was presented. As far as the course itself goes and its delivery; it did follow the objective outline pretty well and I felt it accomplished the stated objectives. The stated course level of “Intermediate” is accurate, since it gives you more than basic introduction information. This is a course that would be best suited to any HVAC contractor or designer or a LEED Homes reviewer. The checklist portion was pretty solid since it went through and provided some explanation on what’s being required.

Executive Director , GreenHome Institute

Thank you for your fair and honest review, Amal!

Chief Architect (Semi-Retired), Formerly of US Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District
Pro Reviewer
1

This course recounts the evolution of the "Energy Star for Homes" (ESH) system of HVAC credentialing. It then describes its credentialing requirements, discusses the roles of Energy Star designers and contractors, and describes the credentialing process.

The ESH system is a "basic" program, aimed at ensuring adequate installation of forced-air heating and ventilation systems for smaller-scale housing. The program was founded in the mid-1990's, and initially, advocated only minimum requirements for HVAC systems, but through the years, has expended its requirements to more fully encompass the needs of fully-developed HVAC systems for small housing projects.

The ESH system does not advocate pioneering or futuristic systems or methods for installation of HVAC systems in housing projects, but mainly adheres to satisfying already existing building code requirements. The "design" and "credentialing" needed to achieve "Energy Star" rating can be performed by the construction contractor, who can become credentialed after a 2-to-3-day course having no credentialing examination.

The narration of the course is lackluster, and produces some startling comments by the speakers, such as, "The checklists are a real pain to fill out.", or (The certification process has) " ....no gadgets, gizmos, or tools", or (Designers can be people who) "...didn't do so well in school, but know enough about HVAC to design the system." In all, the student is exposed to lower-quality narration by speakers who have not thought out what they were going to say, and generally, have not prepared themselves to produce a quality educational experience.

The quality of the sound recording itself is pretty terrible, and more than anything else, the course sounds like a badly-connected teleconference -- with the quality of the recording becoming worse as the course proceeds.

The course's slides follow the narration reasonably well, although some of the slides don't make sense (such as the slides including photos of cute children, or the slides announcing the six sections of the course which include the same photo of inner-city housing). Also, many of the slides would not be legible if condensed 6-to-a-page for print-out -- thus condemning students who wish to print the slides to having to print-out 66 sheets of paper. Finally, although the slides are in color, some would be illegible (i.e., would be grayed-out) if students preferred to print them in black-and-white).

The course exam is sub-standard, because: (1) It includes "true/false" questions, which do not truly test a student's knowledge, (2) It questions students on some points which were poorly emphasized in the course, (3) At least one of the "correct" answers is clearly wrong, (4) A few of the questions are poorly and/or confusingly worded, (5) Some of the answer options are poorly worded, and (6) One of the answers is obvious.

Taken as a whole, and considering its minimal contributions to the concepts of sustainability, this course must be regarded as "below average", in comparison to other USGBC courses I have reviewed; and thus, with all due respect, in its present form I would assign the course a rating of no more than "one star" -- however, if the course were "improved", with attention paid to addressing the criticisms given above, the course could easily achieve at least a 3-star rating.

Technical Manager, ENERGY STAR Homes, US EPA

Stephan,

We’re sorry to hear this webinar did not meet your expectations. Thanks for providing feedback so that we can work to improve our webinars in the future, particularly around sound quality and better ensuring that the slides and script are clear throughout.

For the benefit of those who are less familiar with the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes program, it is a voluntary program designed to certify new homes and low-rise multifamily dwelling units that are meaningfully more efficient than code. It uses a whole-house building-science approach that addresses not just the HVAC system, but also the thermal enclosure system (e.g., insulation, fenestration, infiltration), lighting and appliances, and the water management system (e.g., flashing details, drainage planes). Since its inception in 1995, nearly 1.8 million new homes have earned the ENERGY STAR.

Executive Director , GreenHome Institute

Hi, Stephen.

Thank you for bringing those quiz issues to our attention. Very helpful and they have been fixed.

Can you please elaborate a little more some of the other issues? I am just not sure what you mean. We also sent this over for review to the EPA and the 2 provider orgs to give their opinion and rebuttal as well.

Thank you.

Chief Architect (Semi-Retired), Formerly of US Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District
Pro Reviewer

Dear Mr. Little: (1) Regarding your comment above about "quiz issues", I think it is good that the Quiz has been reviewed and improved in light of my "Pro Reviewer" comments; that is a good step in the right direction. (2) Regarding your request that I "elaborate a little more (on) some of the other issues", I wonder if I could prevail upon you to ask specific questions about specific topics, in which case I would be glad to respond.

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