Customer Thank You, UltimateAir RecoupAerator November 2013
The UltimateAir® News
The UltimateAir team was very excited about attending the 8th annual PHIUS conference and expo. From the 16th through 19th of October, the frontrunners of the United States Passive House industry convened on Pittsburgh to share their knowledge, ideas, and desires for growth. Overall, the wealth of knowledge that is transferred at these yearly conferences is imperative to continued development of Passive House construction in the North American market.
Passive House building is the world’s most extensive construction method. By utilizing highly technical building science – the Passive method reduces heat and cooling load by up to 90% over general homes built to “code.” One aspect of obtaining the Passive House standard involves highly efficient recovery ventilation. That is where the team at UltimateAir comes in! Our RecoupAerator ERV technology has been incorporated in dozens of Passive House projects across North America.
Overall, the annual PHIUS conference did not disappoint. We were able to speak with many of our great customers and learn about some amazing Passive House projects that are in the near future. The UltimateAir team is looking forward to this coming year and the continued growth of North America’s Passive House industry.
The expo floor was littered with some great informational boards describing recent North American Passive House projects. Always helpful to see real life examples especially when they utilized our RecoupAerator ERV!
Report on Energy and Climate Change:
Problems and Opportunities
Talk and Discussion with Pat Murphy
Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions
Today the world is facing increasing CO2 from fossil fuels, declining quantities of suchfuels, record income and wealth inequity, and a population that has reached 7 billion.
The common factor to these is cheap plentiful fossil fuel energy, which will not be as cheap in the future. CO2 has reached 387 parts per million (ppm) in the Earth’s atmosphere – above the 350 ppm considered to be the maximum allowable without causing damage to the climate.
Most people, over 95%, assume some kind of technological breakthrough will deal with these issues. Possibly 5% believe that our current lifestyle can be maintained with renewable energy and breakthrough bio-fuels. Far less than 1% of the population has any sense of the real need to reduce per capita energy consumption.
Technology breakthroughs such as fuel-cell or electric cars have not borne the promised fruit. Nuclear fusion has made no progress. Carbon sequestration is still only a dream. Renewable energy is growing rapidly but from a very small base. The low energy density and intermittency of most renewable energy sources are often overlooked limitations. The main focuses to date, electrification of transport and “green” building are still in the range of 1% improvements.
Community Solutions proposes a paradigm shift – Plan C, where the C stands for curtailment and community. This involves measuring the ideas and proposals that are so popular by using such evaluation techniques as “energy return from energy invested” (EROEI) and Lifecycle Analysis. These techniques are ways of measuring the feasibility or fallibility of proposed options. Using per capita measurements in a global context is also vital to determining what is possible. It addresses the huge difference in energy recourse use between the first and third world.
Today it is clear that a CO2 reduction target is necessary. According to the UN’S International Protocol on Climate Change the target must be to reduce CO2 80% by 2050. Community Solutions is exploring ways to do this in the areas of personal consumption: our cars, homes, and food, more than 60% of the nation’s CO2 emissions.
Pat will discuss possible solutions in detail, sharing what is being done in the three consumer areas – by individuals, private organizations and the U.S. government, and make specific recommendations for personal actions one can take.
When: November 15 from 7pm to 9pm Where: The Dairy Barn
8000 Dairy Lane, Athens OH 45701
For more information call 740 466-5289
Jason Morosko started working at Ultimate Air in 1996, literally the day after he graduated high school. He continued throughout college and is now an engineer and the Vice-President of UltimateAir. Jason's career and lifestyle go hand in hand, for he lives with his wife and guitar-toting son in an energy efficient Passive House (which he built himself!). While financing the project was a “nightmare,” Jason wants everyone to know the relatively easy time he had constructing the home. He elaborates on the wonderful experience, "I was looking for the option that made the most sense to me in regards to carbon footprint and energy efficiency. I found out about Passive House around 2004, and built my home in 2010. It took about 18 months. It has the Green Building Council, Energy Star, and Passive House Institute US stamp of approval - but what really matters to me is my utility bill and the comfort of my home. Seriously, I heat and cool a 3200 sq. foot home for next to nothing; the inside temperature is always the same too. I sleep directly under my vent, and for someone who doesn't register pollen, even I notice a tremendous difference from my last home.”
Jason's family life and interests are characterized by the same attributes that dominate his profession. "My fathers side of the family are all engineers. My father is a wannabe engineer, my brother is sort of an engineer, I AM an engineer!" laughs Jason. His biggest hobby is building things. "I've been building things since I was three: Legos, cabinets, houses, you name it, hehe. On my day off last week I started building a tree-house by myself. Right next to my passive house, I've built a passive chicken coop. If someone were to drive by my house they would think, 'Man this guy has a passion for shed roofs!'"
You can check out Jason's Passive House on his website: http://www.sustainablepath.us/home
He is married to his lovely wife and has a handsome 3 year old boy. Ming likes to play soccer, "although he cannot finish a game anymore 'cause he has gained some unnecessary weight.” He loves the atmosphere of his work; "Like a big family, everyone knows each other and cares for each other.”
Gilly is from Pomeroy, Ohio and has lived there almost all her life. She has been married to her husband, Coy, for 35 years, and has 2 children and 3 grandchildren; as well as 5 dogs, 2 fish, and a rabbit. She says "My grandchildren are the best pleasure of them all." Gilly enjoys camping, fishing, gardening, boating, going for a motorcycle ride, and being with her family. As you get to know Gilly, it is immediately apparent that she loves talking (to whoever will listen).
Chelsea, a Southeast Ohio native, has two sons. One produces comic books and sells his own artwork, the other is a student pursuing a master’s degree and is a coaching assistant. Chelsea has an adventurous and do-it-yourself spirit; she describes herself as somewhat “raw and earthy.” She prefers preventative and alternative approaches to home and health. “I like to learn, experience, and explore new things. I’m always looking for ways to be healthy (mind, body, and spirit) and become financially fit.” In her spare time, Chelsea enjoys surfing the web, reading, journaling, gardening, hiking, and target shooting.
Originally involved with Sunpower Inc, there Sherry Walker became acquainted with company founders Catherine Chagnot and Craig Kinzelman. She has been part of the UltimateAir family from the beginning, in a secretarial position that has taken on many facets over the years. Sherry likes "that the company has been on the cutting edge of alternative energy and efficiency, while promoting a healthy environment."An Athens County native, Sherry loves spending time with her family which includes two children and three grandchildren. She is a member or officer of several organizations pertaining to genealogy and Native American Affairs. Currently, Sherry is part of the Tutelo Nahyssan Tribal Council; Research and Identification of Early Occupancy of Southern Ohio; the Federal Creek Indian Center; and the Multicultural Genealogical Center. She is active in her church and likes to read, bicycle, swim, and walk.
Matt Baker, Product Development and Design, studied aviation electronics at Colorado Aero Tech in the mid 90s and, more recently, completed a degree in Interior Architecture and Design at Ohio University. He started working with UltimateAir testing and protoyping a potential product in 2009. He is an experienced designer, and has practiced with architects in South Florida and was a lab technician at Sunpower, Inc. here in Athens, Ohio. He loves being in an innovative workplace. Matt explains, "The process of good design is very interesting to me. Being a design thinking person I like to test new ideas for viability. The ups and downs of the design process is as much physical as it is intellectual. If nothing else is accomplished in the design process, I usually gain some important insight about why things are made the way they are. The wonderful thing about the RecoupAerator is the way in which it effects our architectural decisions. It makes us think about fresh air and ventilation, and I believe it has the potential to change the whole building industry. This product allows people to build more energy efficient and longer lasting buildings, while improving their indoor air quality."
Matt has been a cyclist and bicycle mechanic for over 20 years and worked designing and developing an auto-shifting bicycle transmission concept which has been patented.
After working here a few weeks and getting a crash course in ERVs and the Passive House, I have started to discuss these topics with family and friends. Most of them are blissfully carefree about indoor air quality. It is not that no one has heard of IAQ issues. They might know all about Radon. Many homeowners can name sources of formaldehyde and other VOCs too. So the obvious question arises: what then, stops someone in the know from properly ventilating their home? The most popular response: "Money. I can't shell out the cash at the moment." Don't despair, Green Builders, because while there is honesty in their responses, it's not entirely true. Many homeowners would rather buy a new TV or finish their basement; they find it difficult to prioritize the invisible. But if you could constantly see nasty air being forced down your throat, wouldn't you do something about it? These toxins are small and subtle enough that we do not perceive them on our own. When we say "passive home" styles we don't mean "passively poisoned."
OK, so sometimes you do smell stenches. Let's say that you do come home and your pet has left you a present. Or perhaps you'll return from vacation this summer to a musty odor. You can open your door, but as was explained to me my first week here, your nose stops smelling it after 5 minutes, no matter what. That's right, it’s not an open window or spray freshener. It's your body acclimating to the smell.
As a coffee fiend, I was immediately reminded of Starbucks. Their cafes exude a unique aroma. This smell is essential to the company's brand. Four years ago, they scrapped their egg-sandwich from the menu because its smell was overwhelming the traditional coffee bean scent. Needless to say, their customers raised a stink. This scent works so well because customers enter over and over again -- they grow to expect a certain smell. Because we are indoors 90% of the time we lose whatever scent there is. Whether we are coming, going, or just hanging around it is always there. It takes something like "Egg-sandwiches" to make us sit up and notice.
So what can we do about this? How do we convince ourselves and others to fix that we cannot sense? Not sure. However interesting, continuous discussion of IAQ is somewhat frugal amongst those already in the field. As an outsider, my best piece of advice is to find more like myself, and educate them however briefly on the importance of good Indoor Air Quality.
Please share this, and let me do some of the educating for you!
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