After taking the Wufi Pro class I had a few days off and adapted what I learned to creating a sample WUFI Pro Visual Guide. It is planned to be an interactive reference guide for the Pro version of WUFI. Little did I know, it would soon have fans among the instructors and I would be making plans to expand the guide to include both the 2D and 3D versions of WUFI.
I have been creating interactive training guides for a while now. For the Passive House community I have created one for the PHPP which I hope to negotiate a license for, and one for THERM which I have just this week received permission to release. The interactive THERM Visual Guide should be available in time for the Spring PHNW conference in Olympia, WA on March 18th. There will also be a ½ day THERM workshop held on March 17th, also in Olympia and taught by Bronwyn Barry with my THERM Visual Guide being demonstrated during that class as well. Registration for the conference and THERM class will be announced in the next few days on the PHNW website - http://www.phnw.org.
Training is such a key component of Passive House construction. There are many ways to model a building and plan for its success, but those models take a lot of skill to create and to use. It is the dedication to learning the science of building construction and how to best handle the climate and site challenges that a building faces while providing a quality structure with curb appeal that gives a Passive House consultant a reason to get up in the morning. It is through the modeling and study of the constructions that the energy usage can be reduced, the air quality improved, as well as the potential for mold, rot, and decay diminished.
As I went through the training to become a CPHC it became abundantly clear that we would continue to be challenged to learn and understand how the buildings operate. I will be the first to tell you that the software is daunting in the beginning, but as you learn how it operates you see how very critical it is to achieving the Passive House standards. While I was learning a new way to consider construction, I found the way that I can give back to the field of construction that interests me so much.
Prior to studying construction I was a homeschool mom. I took those years of learning a new skill and turning around to introduce it to my son (who happens to be a very gifted visual learner) and applied what I knew to the software a Passive House consultant would see. The resulting visual guides are just the beginning of what I plan to be a series of support items that will enable consultants, architects, contractors, and others to have visual reference materials they need to build to the most energy efficient building standard around.
As soon as the THERM guide is ready, I will announce that through this blog and tell you how you can get hold of a copy for yourself. I shall continue to look into the WUFI software and talk with the fine folks at Fraunhofer to see what needs to be done to produce a visual guide for their moisture migration modeling software and keep you updated on that effort. I will also bring you updates on the PHPP Visual Guide as they are available.
I must confess I get tickled whenever I show someone a new interactive guide I have created. Most people tend to like what I have done and I know my success is only possible because of the incredible talent that went into creating the wonderful software in the first place. I’m not a scientist or a math whiz, nor do I play one on the internet. In the last year I have had the good fortune to meet some of those scientists and math whizzes who have worked so very hard to create software like the PHPP, THERM, and WUFI. A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but figuring out all the equations and giving the building community such tremendous modeling tools is priceless.