March 2-4, 2016 Ashly and I attending the 2016 Better Buildings: Better Business® Conference at the Kalahari in Wisconsin Dells. The WBA partnered with Seventhwave to offer a mix of quality construction, energy efficiency, building science, business topics, and social events at the B4 Conference guaranteed to have something for everyone.
We started our day off in “Net Zero Energy Part 1: The Big Secret” presented by Ann Edminster with Design Avenues LLC. This session helped lay the groundwork for success in reaching net zero by identifying the typical pitfalls and how to avoid them. We also covered the economics of net zero—it’s surprisingly affordable!
Next “Foam free high performance building enclosures” presented by Floris Keverling with 475 High Performance Building Supply. This presentation took a careful look at how to achieve the highest levels of resilient and sustainable building enclosures while eliminating foam. The growing performance demands of air control, vapor control, thermal control, health and sustainability were examined. For insulation, dominant in today’s high performance marketplace, is increasingly recognized as hindering many of these building performance goals. Practitioners are therefore wanting and finding new solutions that virtually eliminate foam and provide greater performance.
We then spent time on the expo floor meeting with our current vendors and exploring and learning about new products. We were also able to spend some time at the Focus on Energy booth as we are a trade ally.
Friday, to Ashly’s delight, we attended two seminars in the Better Business Operations sections of the conference. We started the day learning “Estimating and job costing for profit” presented by Mark Etrheim with Mastercraft Homes, Inc. Accurate scope of work for each trade translates into a lower price to the customer and more money for the company. And then moved to “Business success: learning to master the grey areas” presented by Michael Anschel with Otogawa-Anschel Design Build. This was a proactive session that challenged us to help take our business to new levels by building systems and learning to manage our controllable environment. We also discussed the importance of our mission and vision statements.
We wrapped up our information filled two days by joining Steve Romme with eFree Advisors LLC for “Build your business by building better homes”. This session helped to show us how to use optimization and smart building techniques to market and build new homes that are more comfortable, more durable, healthier, more energy efficient and provide the homeowner more value from the first day they move in. Steven and Seth were generous with their time and stayed to chat with us long after the conference ended.
We truly enjoyed our time at the B4 Conference and hope to bring everything we’ve learned to our consumers. It was wonderful to see familiar faces of home builders we currently work with during the session breaks.
We’ll definitely plan to attend again in 2017! Thank you to the WBA, Seventhwave and all the presenters for creating such a nice event.