Yes, they call this the Building Enclosure Science and Technology conference... up in Central Cascadia itself-- Portland, OR.
This is kind of like the other green building conferences we go to, except this conference actually talks about performance, and brings the data. They say such heretical things like "Green building may or may not include the use of green materials." There are lots of charts and graphs and pictures of hilARIOUS failures and all these design/construction professionals' pets.
So, here's a summary from the day, selectively
1. Invisible Window Installation!!
This was in a presentation on metrics for Zero-Net Energy Homes, mostly focused on Winnipeg.
2. ENERGY STAR homes: New standards coming out in 2012, incorporating all the more building science, which is nice. The guy, (Sam Rashkin) was pretty implicitly down on most existing buildings, since they are simply controlled failures, since they are either uninsulated (and consequently durable) energy hogs, or they're insulated inappropriately resulting in inevitable mold, lameness, and failure.
Highlights from the new standard:
-- no more ductwork outside of conditioned space!
-- all insulation installed to RESNET grade I, which pretty much makes batt insulation as cost-effective as spray installations (meaning, a lot more expensive)
--Toyota is starting to make modular homes for $200-$800. they come with a 60 year warranty. no joke
--no more energy model "score" in E-STAR certification
3. In the construction of the Guggenheim museum in New York City (demigod himself F. Lloyd Wright)
-- as a testament to divine intervention, the top level of the cylindrical complex there did not completely fly open in all of its 60 years of existing. The top floor is formed like an old wooden barrel, with vertical planks of wooden cinched together (and bent like springs) against horizontal metal straps. Instead of wood, they used gunnite concrete with metal rebar 'straps'. Well the consruction foreman (or someone) decided to cut those straps before the gunnite was sprayed/formed, leaving the entire 6th floor of the museum unreinforced.
They only discovered this when, several years ago, they were trying to diagnose some cracking that they saw up there. hmmm. scary.
--In Net Zero Energy Homes:
Rule of thumb for for the Northwest 75% energy efficiency, 25% building PV's
for Canada: 80-90% efficiency, 10-20% PV's
Stucco: it will crack, it will fail, it will crumble, that's exactly what it's supposed to do. That's why it's such a great protector, and has been used for thousands of years.
the keys are:
--clean consistent materials: e.g. polluted sand contains too many fines, which suck up way too much water, causing one to way water down the cement, resulting in a weak structure.
--consistent thickness: makes for consistent movement, which is key for crack prevention
--proper hydration during curing: just like concrete. it is concrete.
--proper detailing: all those corners and edges and transitions and openings.
I saw some great 1-coat stucco systems over 1-inch foam. awesome
Some parting thoughts:
The Parthenon meets LEED requirements for daylighting
Most Sustainable Building (that's actually a building) evfer!