Builder Training Program with Benefits

PART ONE - By Mark Wille, High Performance & Building Science Expert


In 2021 many of us were in our homes connecting via zoom. This was also a great time to travel and create more industry contacts. I travelled to Colorado to take another builders training program; I just cannot get enough of these. This one focused on passive house and was delivered by Enrico Bonilauri https://www.linkedin.com/in/enricobonilauri/ and Mariana Pickering https://www.linkedin.com/in/marianapickering/ of Emu Systems https://emu.systems/


In my group was Nick Ciufo https://www.linkedin.com/in/nick-ciufo-2a504812/ who travelled with his wife Kacey Ciufo https://www.linkedin.com/in/kacey-ciufo-2275875a/ and their amazing children.




We worked on mock-ups and competed against ourselves and other teams. One of these professionals was Isabelle Nagel Brice, https://www.linkedin.com/in/isabelle-nagel-brice-shp-cpht-4a0072154/ We had choices of air control layers, tapes, membranes, insulation windows and WRB. While each of us were learning and refining our skills we were also challenged by another instructor named Ben Leer https://www.linkedin.com/in/ben-leer-873239116/ Tips and Tricks are a big part of our industry and the more interaction you have with other professionals, methods and materials the better.


Every day we worked with our team to progress to the next stage of the mock-up. We were consistently challenged as a group with Questions and Answers and what ifs as well as what is next scenarios. Prior to the in person training, we all went through an online course that also had an exercise workbook with a likely R value of 3 given how thick it was. The training allowed us to examine what we learned and take part in discussions of what other professionals think and know. Thankfully our group had people who were interested in building, professional contractors, energy experts and some who were also becoming PH Consultants. Various ages, levels of experience and varied climate zones helped us to really think through the exercises.


After a full day of class there was an opportunity to visit a multi-unit PH project that was wide open on the interior and just recently Air Sealed with Zip System on the exterior. I attended this walkthrough with two dozen others as well as the Ciufo Family and their children as well as the entire Emu Team. Right off the bat you could tell that the children of Kacey & Nick were not foreign to a construction site, and I was able to have lots of side conversation with them. This truly reminded me of all the sites I explored as a youth. Reflecting on this I marvel at all of the advancements in techniques and materials we have today compared to my early beginnings.

The week wrapped up with evaluations of our work and exams followed by an event with even more professionals. Enthusiasts and exhibitors from as far as Chicago and New Mexico came to showcase their materials. Edie Dillman of B.Public https://www.linkedin.com/in/edie-dillman-159a639/ and Bob Kelly of Wick Right https://www.linkedin.com/in/bob-kelly-12668613/ and Johnny Rezvani https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnnyrezvani/ were among my PHavorites.


These relationships started at the training after a period of much screen contact was perfectly timed for the next phase in our paths. The story does not stop here.


Stay tuned for part two right here on OffSiteDirt where together we take #greenstepsforward.


This story was brought to us by Havelock Wool