Paul Eldrenkamp speaking at the announcement of the E-Positive Housing initiative unveiled by Mayer Thomas E. Menino, details available here. 



NESEA Building Energy Masters Series - Passive House in the Real World 
September 14, 2015 - Spend four weeks with certified Passive House Consultant Mike Duclos, learning how to apply Passive House principles in the real world. With a brief nod to theory and computation, this course will mainly focus on tips, tricks, pitfalls, and what to expect when making Passive House a reality. Through case studies, videos, readings, quizzes, and Mike’s guidance you will enhance your ability to be a part of a Passive House project team, the most vital component of any successful Passive House project.
Learn more here.


Melrose DER is a Finalist in the NESEA Zero Net Energy Award Competition !

This home was a finalist in the NESEA  Zero Net Energy Building Award, having operated for two consecutive years producing more energy than it consumed for all purposes. The owner will present on this home at the NESEA Building Energy Conference at the Seaport Hotel on March 4 at noon.


NESEA Building Energy '15 - High Performance Buildings in Sweden & Denmark - 3/3/2015 to 3/5/2015

Architects Chris Benedict adn Tom Hartman, engineering Andy Shapiro, graduate student Heather Nolan, and remodeler Paul Eldrenkamp spent two weeks in October touring high performance buildings and communities in Sweden and Denmark, similar to their 2011 tour of Austria and Germany. They will present their experience there at the NESEA BE'15 conference at the Seaport Hotel in Boston, details.


JLC Live March 19, 2015 -All About Windows – Perspectives from an Architect and an Engineer – 9:30-12:30 PM

This is an updated and expanded version of last year’s very well attended ‘All about Windows.’  We will review the fundamentals to establish a ‘window language' (adding a few new things) and cover new ground including Architect Steve Baczek’s perspectives and experience on the correct (and incorrect) use of windows, and how quality windows are designed, manufactured and installed.

Windows are arguably the most important architectural element in a home, impacting the appearance, comfort, energy use, ventilation, cost, maintenance and overall enjoyment of our homes in a number of ways – some not so obvious. We will present some new ideas about windows, including how they impact comfort and home energy use, can supplement a heating system, assisting with ‘passive survivability’ when the power fails (with real data).

We will explain window construction, performance parameters, and HVAC implications. We’ll discuss architectural implications of windows, with some very interesting insights on their design and manufacture. Steve and Mike have worked together on a wide variety of both new Zero Net, and Passive House homes, as well as Deep Energy Retrofits of existing homes, including the first true National Grid Net Zero DER and the first retrofit of an existing home in the US to meet the Passive House EnerPHit standard, in which windows played a key role. This will be an interactive workshop, questions and discussion will be encouraged, so we can all learn together.


JLC Live - March 19, 2015 Residential Ventilation – New requirements, new systems, new issues - 7:30-9:00

Until recently, residential ventilation has consisted mainly of installing bath fans and kitchen exhaust hoods, but that is changing with the new code requirements for testing, and with tighter houses driving the need for balanced ventilation – a novelty in homes until recently. Learn why something as simple as a bath exhaust fan may not deliver anything close to the specified air flow, and why this is likely not an issue with the fan.

Ventilation is a real issue to consider, especially in Mass., where homes permitted after 7/1/2014 must have ventilation flows measured by an approved 3rd party that meet a written specification – or no Certificate of Occupancy. See data from exhaust only and balanced ventilation systems that graphically depict a surprising difference in CO2 levels. Learn about the two major functions of a balanced residential ventilation system. Understand why commissioning can result in a smoothly operating ventilation system, or ‘rip up and redo’ when a balanced system is not designed to be commissioned – and what ‘commissioning’ means. This interactive session will feature two stories of ventilation systems gone wrong, how the issues were diagnosed, and what was done to improve them after the drywall was installed. 


NESEA Building Energy Masters Series - Live Lecture Webinar on Windows for Passive House - 3/26/2015

Passive House is justifiably regarded to be the most energy efficient building standard in the world, as well as the most challenging to meet. An introduction to the Passive House Design course (see below) Mike Duclos will be presenting a free one hour webinar, and will provide a free tool. Details willl be posted here in January.


19th International Passive House Conference - Congress Center Leipzig, Germany - 4/17/2015 - 4/19/2015

Mike Duclos will be attending his fourth international Passive House conference, details.


NESEA Building Energy Masters Series - Passive House Design - 5/4/2014 to 6/19/2014

Passive House is justifiably regarded to be the most energy efficient building standard in the world, as well as the most challenging to meet. Spend seven weeks with Mike Duclos, Principal and Founder of DEAP Energy Group, learning how to meet the rigorous (and non-negotiable) Passive House design criteria and make Passive House happen in the real world.

During Passive House Design you will learn:

• How to design a home  that meets Passive House Space Heating and Primary Energy requirements. You will actually do this as your Capstone Project.

•Products & Strategies for designing a passive house in the real world: thermal bridging, above-grade walls, windows and doors, roofs, mechanical systems, and more.

•Building Science issues encountered in Passive House design and construction that you may not run into in conventional design and construction.

•Solutions for very low energy home designs using a variety of calculators for feedback in exploring different aspects of the design space.

"PHPP Lite,"  a simplified interface to the Passive House Plannng Package is used to qualify the Capstone Project for the Space Heating Demand and Primary Energy criteria of Passive House. Mike created the PHPP LIte, which is a 'wrapper' around PHPP SI version 8.5 especially for this course, but has also been giving demonstrations of how Passive House optimizaiton can be approached to architects across the state.

Details here.




Passive House Proejct on Martha's Vineyard awarded a $12K  Zero Net Energy Building  grant !

Mike Duclos is the Certified Passive House Consultant working with Hutker Architects on a Passive House design to be constructed on Martha's Vineyard. Mike assisted with the preparation of successful grant application for the Department of Energy Resources "Pathways to Zero Net Energy Program."  This outstanding project was one of 25 that were selected for awards, and captured both the $10K Zero Net award and a $2K award for hygrothermal monitoring of building assemblies. Program details and a map of the awards granted.

19th International Passive House Conference, Leipzig, Germany - April 22-24, 2015 - Mike Duclos attended the International Passive House Conference in Leipzig, and excursions to examples of Passive Houses, including a Multi-generational residential Passive House and the third school, a newly constructed elementary school in Leipzig. 


VEIC Better Buildings Conference '15 - A reality check:
How much do home energy upgrades improve home energy performance ? - 2/4/2015 - 3:15 to 4:45

We set out to quantify the impact of energy upgrades by tracking energy use for our projects and comparing pre- and post-project usage. Using a combination of tools, including e-monitoring and online energy tracking, we have developed a replicable system to gather and analyze energy usage data. At this session, we will share data gathered from several projects, both partial and deep energy retrofits; discuss how these data compare to pre-project expectations; and share the major lessons we have learned from the data about how to maximize the potential of retrofit opportunities.  Details


NESEA Zero Net Enegy Building Award - Application Deadline - 12/15/2014

The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association awards a $10K prize at the Building Energy Conference in the Seaport Hotel in Boston  for the best Zero Net Energy building.

In 2014, the Uphill House in Cambridge, New York won this prize, a detailed look into what it takes to design and build such a home, and the experience of  living there at the Uphill House website.

Paul Panish, DEAP Energy Group Certified Passive House Consultant, used the Passive House Planning Package to design this 'Passive House Inspired' home with the owner, Larry Burks.

Since 2012, Mike Duclos has been a member of the NESEA Zero Net Energy Building Advisory Board, which is charged with evaluating the applications for this award, and verifying Zero Net Energy performance from energy use data.


NESEA Building Energy Masters Series - Passive House Design - 9/22/2014 to 10/31/2014

Passive House is justifiably regarded to be the most energy efficient building standard in the world, as well as the most challenging to meet. Spend seven weeks with Mike Duclos, Principal and Founder of DEAP Energy Group, learning how to meet the rigorous (and non-negotiable) Passive House design criteria and make Passive House happen in the real world.

During Passive House Design you will learn:

• How to design a home  that meets Passive House Space Heating and Primary Energy requirements. You will actually do this as your Capstone Project.

•Products & Strategies for designing a passive house in the real world: thermal bridging, above-grade walls, windows and doors, roofs, mechanical systems, and more.

•Building Science issues encountered in Passive House design and construction that you may not run into in conventional design and construction.

•Solutions for very low energy home designs using a variety of calculators for feedback in exploring different aspects of the design space.

"PHPP Lite,"  a simplified interface to the Passive House Plannng Package is used to qualify the capstone project for the Space Heating Demand and Primary Energy criteria of Passive House. Mike created the PHPP LIte, which is a 'wrapper' around PHPP version 8.5 especially for this course, but has also been giving demonstrations of how Passive House optimizaiton can be approached to architects across the state.

Details here.



North American Passive House Conference - Portland, ME - September 2014

Mike Duclos attended the first PHI Passive House Conference in North America, featuring keynote speaker Dr. Wolfgang Feist,


Metrowest Code Officials - IECC 2012 Energy Code  and Building Science
North Grafton, MA - September 9, 2014

IECC 2012 with Mass. amendments is now the building code in all cities and towns which have not adopted the Stretch Code. Mike Duclos will present basic heat transfer calculations, as well as more advanced 2 dimensional heat transfer simulation visualizations, to illustrate the reasoning behind the requirements of IECC 2012, including the 3.0 ACH at 50 Pa blower door test and building assembly specifications. The new ventilation requirements will be discussed, along with data taken in 'leaky' buildings that illustrates why the default ASHRAE 62.2 exhaust ventilation system may not work to effectively reduce CO2. The combination of increased air tightness and the continued use of exhaust ventilation can create issues with radon and backdrafting of atmospherically vented mechanicals, illustrated with actual data. Finally, Passive House principles are discussed, and data from a Passive House during January 2012, with the heating system turned off, is presented.


Beyond Weatherization: Planning You're Homes Energy Future - April 23, 2014 -7:00 PM
NRWA River Resource Center - 592 Main St (Rt 119) Groton, MA

Are you concerned about the cost and environmental impacts of heating and/or cooling
your older home? Do you feel unprepared to deal with uncertain fuel supplies and rising
energy prices? Would you like to do something about it but aren’t sure what to do or
where to begin? If so, please join us for an interactive presentation and discussion of
sensible, cost-effective projects you can undertake to increase the energy efficiency and
comfort of your home.  Free, details here.


Set goals for building a healthy future in Lexington - May 3, 2014 - 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM 

Paul Eldrenkamp will be a panelist in this workshop, which, while focused on Lexington, will be of interest to all

Topics:
  • What goals should be be considering for the next generation of our buildings ?
  • How can high performance buildings benefit our health, productivity and resilience ?
  • Are zero-net energy and zero-emission buildings possible and affordable in Massachusetts ?
  • Should we embrate sustainable building standards like LEED or Green Globes ?
  • What support is available to help our community get started building a healthy future.

Price: Free, RSVP requested


JLC Live, Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, RI, March 19, 2014 1 PM to 4 PM
Passive House: Ready for prime time ?

Mike Duclos will be hosting an interactive dicussion / workshop on experience with Passive House.
Passive House has been called the ‘ultimate energy efficiency standard for buildings,’ and is gaining popularity as more are in use. This session will cover the Passive House standard,  the market, how to approach designing and building your first Passive House, and the important benefits not directly related to energy. The Passive House approach is radically different from homes built to prescriptive building code, and so provides insights on how all buildings can be made better. Windows and ventilation are approached very differently. Results of computer simulations and actual data are presented to illustrate how homes designed using Passive House principles provide superior energy and Indoor Air Quality performance. The concepts of Zero Net Energy and Passive House are compared, as are winter temperature performance data without a mechanical heating system.  This session will be interactive, ideas will be presented and time for questions and further discussion will allow us to explore the more interesting aspects of Passive House, as well as the idea of a ‘Passive House inspired’ home.  Key construction details are illustrated by plans and photographs of Passive House under construction. JLC Live '14 website.


JLC Live, Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, RI, March 20, 2014 7:30 AM  to 9 AM
All about windows

Mike Duclos will be hosting an interactive discussion / workshop on windows for residential applications.
Windows are arguably the most important architectural element in a home, impacting the appearance, comfort, energy use, ventilation, and overall enjoyment of our homes in a number of ways – some not so obvious. This interactive session will present some new ideas about windows, including how they impact comfort, how they can be used to supplement a heating system and assist with ‘passive survivability’ when the power fails (with real data on two homes), and impact on home energy use. We will  cover window construction, the meaning of the various performance parameters, the  impact of windows on  design, construction and space heating and cooling mechanicals, window considerations for  zero net energy homes, Passive House and Deep Energy Retrofits.  JLC Live '14 website.


JLC Live, Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, RI, March 20, 2014 1:30 PM to 4:00 PM 
Passive House Panel

This course will delve into Deep Energy Retrofit in the Northeast and offer proven strategies for energy reducing retrofits. Paul Eldrenkamp, Chris Corson and Oliver Klein will share varied approaches to  energy reduction through renovation.  Learn how to prioritize and cost effectively attack the challenges in existing residential building stock.  JLC Live '14 website.



NESEA BE '14, Seaport Center, Boston, MA, March 6, 2014 8:30 AM  to 10 AM
Three Deep Energy Retrofits, Three Years Later -

In this session Paul Eldrenkamp and Mike Duclos will look at three deep energy retrofits: a single family that approaches Net Zero, a two-family that approaches EnerPHit (the Passive House retrofit standard), and a three-family with co-generation. All of the projects were completed by mid-2011 we have nearly three years of actual performance data to share. Our retrospective on these projects will include hard data on the initial retrofit costs; energy performance data; payback analysis; indoor air quality monitoring results; first-hand feedback from the occupants with regard to what it's like to own, operate, and live in a home that's undergone a deep energy retrofit; and lessons learned over time as a result of our direct experience with these projects. Slides.


Boston Society of Architects - Architecture Boston Expo 2013 - November 19, 2013, 1:00 to 2:30
A Reality Check: How well do energy upgrades improve home efficiency ? 
Paul Eldrenkamp and Rachel White.  The panelists set out to answer this question by tracking energy use for all of their projects, and comparing pre and post-project usage. Using a combination of tools, including emonitoring and an online energy tracking platform, Rachel and Paul are striving to quantify the impact of efficiency measures on energy usage, and assess the energy performance of their portfolio as a whole. At this session, they will share energy usage data they have gathered from several residential projects, discuss how these data compare to pre-project expectations, and share preliminary usage numbers for their entire portfolio. - Details here, ABX '13 info here


Boston Society of Architects - Architecture Boston Expo 2013 - November 19, 2013, 3:30 to 5:00
Ten easy steps to becoming an expert at monitoring and measuring the performance of your projects.
Paul Eldrenkamp and MIke Duclos will be presenting a 'how-to' guide to implementing, measuring and monitoring into a design, construction or engineering practice. This session is a “how-to” guide for incorporating project performance measurement into a design, construction, or engineering practice. The focus is on small-scale residential and light commercial construction. The steps are: 1. Establish the baseline; 2. Decide what's important to measure; 3. Determine a winning "score"; 4. Select the appropriate equipment for the task at hand; 5. Calculate the budget for time and equipment costs and determine how it gets paid for as a billable cost, as a marketing investment, as part of the education and training budget, or something else; 6. Integrate equipment installation into the construction workflow; 7. Commission the monitoring equipment; 8. Use the monitoring equipment to then commission the building; 9. Learn to separate signals from noise; 10. Repeat on the next project, only better, by learning from mistakes. - Details here, ABX '13 info here


9th North American Passive House Conference, Pittsburgh - October 17-18, 2013 - Mike Duclos attended the PHIUS sponsored Passive House conference and exhibition.

NESEA Building Energy Masters Series - Passive House - The future of building in the US ?
May 13 to June 10, 2013 - This for fee course covers the German Passive House standard inspired by the work of early high performance building pioneers in the 1970's and 1980's. The Germans took that early work and developed it into a system - an innovative approach to design and construction with an intense focus on minimizing energy needs in a building. There are very significant additional benefits, such as the comfort criteria that prohibit the effects that make us uncomfortable in our homes. There is also a strong emphasis on the control of indoor air quality, which is in large part absent in conventional homes. Learn more here.


Inverter Driven Heat Pumps for Low Load Buildings: Opportunities and Challenges for Application and Design - April 25, 2013 -  Paul Eldrenkamp will be emcee for this NESEA  event at Mitsubishi in Southboro, MA on Thursday evening. A panel of industry leaders will discuss their experiences designing for and living with high efficinecy inverter driven heat pumps. Details.

17th International Passive House Conference, Frankfurt, Germany - April 19 - 21 - Mike Duclos will be presenting the story of Passive House New England President Kristen Simmons 'Catbird' house on Saturday afternoon. This project is woriking  to achieve EnerPHit Certification under the National Grid DER program. Mike will be attending this conference, exhibition and excursions to Passive House to learn more about the remarkable technologies, techinques being made by PassivHaus in Germany, and to speak with those who are making it happen.


Energy Raters of Massachusetts - April 9, 2013 - RESNET Blower Door Test Protocol - Overview, requirements, equipment, software, etc.. - Mike Duclos, ERM Director of Education, will present an interactive webinar on the RESNET Blower Door test protocol which took effect Jan 1, 2012. Use of the blower door, duct blaster, TECTITEsoftware running on PCs as well as the new TEC iPhone app, will be discussed. 
This presentation is exclusive to RESNET HERS Raters working under the QA supervision of Energy Raters of Mass.


Energy Raters of Massachusetts - April 5, 2013 - HERS Rater Panel - Mike Duclos, ERM Director of Education, was notified today that he, and two other Energy Raters of Mass. principals were elected by the 44 voting Raters participating in the MA Residential New Construction Program.to this five member panel to represent Raters working in the Program.


JLC Live 2013 - Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, RI - March 20, 2013 - "A Tale of Two Homes: A new home and a renovation, each at three levels of energy efficiency" - Architect Steve Baczek and Mike Duclos will host this interactive, three hour workshop. New homes and renovations present different challenges and opportunities. Designers are faced with multiple decisions and constraints, including client interests and requirements, budget, existing site and building conditions and a host of others. This course will explore the challenges and novel solutions used in the design and construction of the second Passive House certified in Mass. and a National Grid Zero Net Energy Deep Energy Retrofit , as well as alternative ‘less extreme’ approaches to these two homes

Learning Objectives

1.The ‘ideals’ of Passive House and Zero Net Energy performance require substantial commitment to those goals. Learn what intermediate steps which can deliver substantial energy reductions at  much lower cost are possible

2.Learn how to avoid one of the biggest problems in the design of high performance homes: architects and designers want to design homes and then apply energy efficient or durability features to that design, instead of making them an integral part of the design from the start.

3.Learn how key decisions are made, what information is necessary to make those decisions, and how to sort through the many possibilities to arrive at a design that meets budget and performance goals

Details and conference registration on the offical website


Energy Raters of Massachusetts - March 12, 2013 - Measuring Ventilation Systems: Why, How, Equipment, etc. - Mike Duclos, ERM Director of Education, will present an interactive webinar on ventilation system commissioning, equipment, and how a failure to anticipate the comissioning task in the design of the ventilation system can lead to very unfortuante results.
How unfortunate ? Mike will tell the story of three days he spent in the basement of a DER in Framingham, MA, diagnosing multiple issues with a ventilation system, one day of which included the assistance of Kerry Koskinen of Retro Future Remodling, Westminster, MA. 
This presentation is exclusive to RESNET HERS Raters working under the QA supervision of Energy Raters of Mass.


Massachusetts Climate Action Network - March 10, 2013 - Annual Conference at Northeastern University
Mike Duclos will be speaking with MCAN's Executive Director Rob Garrity on how the Passive House approach to buliding design can mesh with the outstanding building energy efficiency initiatives underway in Massachusetts, and serve as a springboard to the future today. Details here.


NESEA Building Energy '13, Seaport Center, March 5-7, 2013 -  Passive House and Building Energy '13 -
Paul Eldrenkamp's retrospective and forward looking blog on the influence of Passive House in the US.

NESEA Building Energy '13, Seaport Center, March 5-7, 2013 -  As soon as the annual Building Energy Conference is officially over, planning for the next year's conference begins. Paul Eldrenkamp was the vice chair of the BE '12 conference, and is the chair for the BE '13 conference. Stay tuned to see what novel ideas he will bring to the design of next year's conference.  Details and conference registration on the offical website


NESEA Building Energy '13, Seaport Center, March 5, 2013 - Net Zero Energy and Beyond - Carter Scott and Mike Duclos will lead this all day workshop.  With a net zero energy home you solve your share of  the 48% carbon emissions that come from the building sector---and you don't have any utility bills to pay.  We now can go beyond this and address another 33% of the carbon emissions from the transportation sector.  Carter Scott will show cost effective examples of both custom and production homes with Home Energy Rating  System (HERS) indexes as low as  -36.  These homes are modeled to produce over 10,000 kilowatt hours more than they use in a year.  This is enough energy to power a Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt for 30,000 miles each and every  year!  Now you can also use your car to power a portion of your house when the grid goes down---with vehicle to home back up power.  This workshop will take you through the components necessary to make buildings achieve net zero energy and beyond.  It will go into detail about the cost effective techniques that are available today and the incentives for both the shell as well as the renewable energy systems.  Mike Duclos will present energy modeling, Passive House techniques to improve energy efficiency and passive survivability,  monitoring, troubleshooting and more.  This workshop is targeted to builders, developers, architects and others looking to regain a competitive advantage in today's marketplace. Details and conference registration on the offical website


NESEA Building Energy '13, Seaport Center, March 5, 2013 - Passive House Standard: Suitability for the Mainstream Market - Mike Duclos is the session chair for this presentation by Alan Gibson and Matthew O'Malia of GO Logic. The passive house standard is a new and important standard for building energy performance and sustainability. But is it suitable for mainstream construction? The presenters address this question by presenting one year of monitored performance data for two certified passive houses, and sharing progress on a 36-unit, clustered, pedestrian based cohousing development built to the passive house standard. This project is potentially the largest passive house standard production housing development in North America. Learn more about Building Energy '13 here.


NESEA Building Energy '13, Seaport Center, March 5, 2013 - Passive House Standard: Suitability for the Mainstream Market - Mike Duclos is the session chair for this presentation by Alan Gibson and Matthew O'Malia of GO Logic. The passive house standard is a new and important standard for building energy performance and sustainabil


Boston Sunday Globe Magaine - February 24, 2013 featured an interview  titled "Smart By Design" with DEAP Principal Paul Eldrenkamp.

Home Energy Magazine Article on Deep Energy Retrofits (DER) January 2, 2013 - Paul Eldrencamp and Mike Duclos collaborated on the three Deep Energy Retrofits described in the Jan/Feb 2013 Home Energy Magazine article available here. The cover is an image of the Belmont DER described here, the article also covers the single family DER and the three family DER in Jamaica Plain, MA.


Architecture Boston - Boston Convention & Exhibition Center - November 15, 2012 - Paul Eldrenkamp and Mike Duclos will be presenting "Three pathways to low-load homes: Passive House, Net-Zero Energy, and Deep Energy Retrofit". This session will feature case studies of three Massachusetts homes—all built or substantially remodeled in the past three years—that have aimed for and achieved extremely aggressive energy performance goals: a zero-net energy home in western MA; a certified Passive House in central MA; and a deep energy retrofit of a 90-year-old two family in the Boston area. The presenters will share construction details, selected project cost data, and a broad range of actual measured performance data, including not only energy usage but also on-site renewable energy production and environmental data such as temperature and relative humidity and ongoing moisture content of various building materials. The presentation will include an extensive section on lessons learned from these projects: which aspects worked as planned and which did not; how useful and accurate the pre-project energy models were; and cost-benefit analyses of aiming for efficiency goals as aggressive as these projects represent.  Details to follow on the official website


Architecture Boston - Boston Convention & Exhibition Center - November 14, 2012 - Green Building with Accounatbiilty - Paul Eldrenkamp -The only way for your work to be truly "green" is to set specific performance goals and frequently check whether your work is meeting those goals. How much energy should your projects be using? How much water? What other quantifiable criteria should we establish? Too much of what passes for green consists of fuzzy, feel-good measures that may or may not move us in any useful direction. If the green building movement is to get us any closer to solutions to the energy and environmental issues that we face, it needs to incorporate a much more serious element of accountability. At this session we will share the process and results of our efforts over the past couple of years to develop measurable standards of sustainability for our residential remodeling practice. We will describe the challenges we have faced, provide examples of successes and failures, and review the data we have gathered about how we are doing.  Details to follow on the official website



2012 ACI New England Home Performance Conference - Springfield, MA - October 16-17, 2012 - ACI New England happens only once every two years, so don't miss it !  Paul Eldrenkamp and Mike Duclos will be presenting "Three Pathways to Low Energy Homes" in the Pathways to High Efficiency track. Case studies of three Massachusetts homes—all built or substantially remodeled in the past three years—that have aimed for and achieved extremely aggressive energy performance goals: a zero-net energy home in western MA; a certified Passive House in central MA; and a deep energy retrofit of a 90-year-old two family in the Boston area. Content includes construction details, selected project cost data, and actual measured energy performance and air quality data. The presentation will include “lessons learned” such as which aspects worked as planned and which did not and how useful and accurate the pre-project energy models were. Details as they become available on the official website



2012 NESEA Green Buildings Open House - October 13, 2012 - This is a once a year opportunity to visit outstanding homes in New England that aspire to 'state of the art' levels of energy efficiency. DEAP projects on the tour include the following:


Melrose, MA DER - DEAP link
Jamaica Plain, MA DER DEAP Link
Brian Butler, Medford, MA DER - DEAP link.
Solar Village, Greenfield, MA - DEAP link
Somerville, MA DER - DEAP link
Brookline, MA DER - DEAP link


The Melrose, MA DER is concurrently hosting a National Grid DER Open house, details here.



Das Haus Comes to Cambridge ! June 19 - June 26 - Das Haus is a traveling pavilion, a North American tour, and an ongoing international dialog about advanced technolgies for home construction and solar energy use. Mike Duclos will be presenting posters on the Beaton Passive House and the 'Cape Cod' Passive House, the first two Passive House certified in Massachusetts at 5:30 on June 19th. Register: for this and other Das Haus Events.



NESEA Building Energy Masters Series - The future of building in the US ?
May 14 - June 8,  2012 - This for fee course covers the German Passive House standard inspired by the work of early high performance building pioneers in the US in the 1970's and 1980's. The Germans took that early work and developed it into a system - an innovative approach to design and construction with an intense focus on minimizing energy needs in a building. There are very significant additional benefits, such as the comfort criteria that prohibit the effects that make us uncomfortable in our homes, and Passive Survivability in the event of power outages. There is also a strong emphasis on the control of indoor air quality, which is in large part absent in conventional homes. Learn more here.


National Grid Deep Energy Retrofit Open  House - Sunday, May 20, 2012 - This DEAP / Byggmesiter collaboration will have an open house, details here and here


March 30, 2012 - Affordable Comfort Conference, Baltimore MD - "200 CFM 50: You must be kidding! - Paul Eldrenkamp and Kent Hicks of West Chesterfield, MA present on how the Passive House standard is changing the way we design and build homes, how we view the 'traditional' function of a home, and what is possible today.


March 29, 2012 - Affordable Comfort Conference, Baltimore MD - "Re-skinning I: Fluff, Foam & Furring Strips" - Paul Eldrenkamp and Bruce Coldham, of Coldham and Hartman Architects, Amherst, MA  present part I of a two part session on improving existing wood frame walls.


March 28, 2012 - Affordable Comfort Conference, Baltimore MD - Paul Eldrenkamp and Marie Meehan report on the results of the National Grid Deep Energy Retrofit Pilot.


March 24, 2012- 8:30 AM - 9:45 AM - ''Building a Passive House: Case Study' - Providence, RI. - Mike Duclos, Principal of DEAP Energy Group, and Architect Steve Baczek will be presenting the details of the design, construction, testing and certification of the Falmouth Passive House, the second Passive House certified in Massachusetts at JLC Live 2012.


March 22, 2012 - 8:00 AM - 9:10 AM - Deep Energy Retrofits - Passing Fad or New Reality  at JLC Live 2012 - Paul Eldrenkamp, Principal of DEAP Energy Group, answers a number of burning questions:
  • Why these DER projects are now a hot topic within the high performance building movement
  • Payback on projects - two ridiculously long for comfort ?
  • Are these realistic solutions to energy and environmental challenges or a passing fancy ?
  • What's the future reality for home performance projects in general ?


March 21, 2012- 8:30 AM - 9:45 AM - 'Striving for Zero Net Energy Homes: Design, Construction, Results' - Providence, RI - Mike Duclos, Principal of DEAP Energy Group and  Carter Scott, President of Transformations, Inc. will be presenting on the design, construction and measured performance of several Zero Net Energy homes at JLC Live 2012.


March 14, 2012- 4:30 PM to 7:00 PM - 'Falmouth Passive House' - Mike Duclos and Steve Baczek present the story of the second Certified Passive House in Mass. The Valle Group constructed this home, and this event is being hosted by the Home Builders and Remodlers Association of Cape Cod. For details


March 6, 2012, Boston, MA - NESEA Building Energy '12 - "Pathways to Zero Net Energy" - Mike Duclos - This workshop will take you, step-by-step, from designing and building to Code, to Energy Star, to Stretch Code and finally all the way to Net Zero and Passive House. What does it take to get from one level to the next? Learn what changes you must make with regard to construction details, mechanical systems, materials choices and design decisions. Hear about the most cost effective ways to move from one level to the next. For residential architects and custom builders new to high-performance construction but looking to regain a competitive advantage in today's marketplace, this is the workshop to attend. For details:


March 7, 2012, Boston, MA - NESEA Building Energy '12 - "How Clear is your Crystal Ball ?" - Paul Panish and Mike Duclos - Modeled energy usage will be compared with actual energy usage for five homes in Eastern Massachusetts that were modeled using the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP), including some that achieved Passive House Certification. How close did the modeling get to the actual post-occupancy energy use? What caused the variations? How did occupant behavior affect the correlation? What lessons did we learn that can be applied not just to Passive House buildings but also to low-energy homes in general? For details.


February 9, 2012, Burlington, VT - Better Buildings By Design 2012 - "Hard Answers to Easy Questions" - Paul Eldrenkamp will be presenting on the challenges of building in the New England climate, addressing questions such as "Is rain screen siding worth the effort ?, What's the best way to insulate a foundation, How do I really know if I'm providing enough ventilation ?"  For details.


February 9, 2012, Burlington, VT - Better Buildings By Design 2012 - "Three routes to low-energy new homes" - Paul Panish and Mike Duclos will compare three approaches to low-energy new homes: Zero Net, Passive House and Tier III. This will focus on the planning, modeling, certification and incentives. Pros and cons of the three standards will be discussed. For details.

November 18, 2011, Boston, MA - Build Boston 2011 - "New England Passive House Case Studies" - Paul Panish will be speaking with architects JB Clancy and Stephanie Horowitz. New England now has a half-dozen completed or near-completed homes built to or inspired by the Passive House standard. In this session, three case studies from three leading practitioners will give participants an up-todate sense of the challenges and rewards of meeting (or aiming for) the Passive House standard in the New England climate. Topics will include what’s worked, what hasn’t, and what we would do differently next time. For details:


December 2, 2011, Cromwell, CT - "Introduction to Passive House"  - Paul Eldrenkamp and Mike Duclos will present an all day seminar on Passive House, 'the world's most stringent building energy standard', which also has outstanding non-energy benefits such as comfort, indoor air quality and passive survivability. The DEAP energy group's Certified Passive House Consultants certified the first two Passive House in Massachusetts in July, 2011. For details.


November 16, 2011, Boston, MA - Build Boston 2011 - "Setting and meeting energy targets" - Mike Duclos - As the Cheshire cat said to Alice, “You don’t know where you’re going, anywhere will get you there.” If you’re not in the habit of setting energy-usage targets for your projects, there’s a good chance those projects are not nearly as green as you think they are. In this session, learn various metrics for calculating and comparing energy usage, strategies for setting targets with different types of clients and mechanisms for tracking usage over time. For details:


November 16, 2011, Boston, MA - Build Boston 2011 - "Passive House Retrofits: A tale of three residential retrofits in Boston" - Paul Eldrenkamp will be moderating a panel who will describe their work on retrofitting existing homes to a remarkable level of energy, comfort and indoor air quality performance., as they strive to attain the Passive House EnerPHit standard. For details:


November 11, 2011, Southboro, MA - Join our host and sponsor, Mitsubishi Electric at their Southboro, MA facility for a stimulating presentation and dicussion of Zero Net Energy from both the residential and commercial perspectives. For details.


October 28-29, 2011, Silver Spring, MD - North American Passive House Conference - "Beaton House: The first Passive House certified in Massachusetts"- Paul Panish will be presenting the inside story. For details.


October 26, 2011, Webinar - Onset Computer, Bourne, MA - 2 PM - The Paul Eldrenkamp presented a webinar on the use of various data loggers in high performance homes, real data, true stories.
The 55 minute recorded webinar is available here.


October 15, 2011, Boston, MA - Passive House Boston Symposium, Boston Architectural College 9 AM to 4:30 PM -
The  Passive House Boston organization offered their first Symposium on a variety of Passive House related topics, Mike Duclos spoke on the second Certified Passive House in Massachusetts, the Falmouth Passive House.


October 11, 2011, Natick, MA - "Zero Net Energy Residential Design and Construction" - Mike Duclos, Principal of DEAP Energy Group and Carter Scott, President of Transformations, Inc. will be presenting a 6 hour workshop on the design, construction and measured performance of Zero Net Energy homes. 


October 1, 2011 - "Reducing Energy Bills in Older Buildings with Limited Budgets :A Crash Course in Systems Thinking for Older Buildings" - Cambridge, MA. - Marc Rosenbaum will be running this workshop, Paul Eldrenkamp, will moderate, for details.


September 21, 2011, 7 PM - 'Clean and Green: Reducing Our Carbon Footprint' - Chelmsford, MA - Paul Eldrenkamp, President of Byggmeister, Inc. and Principal of DEAP Energy Group will be presenting on this topic, for  details.

July 5, 2011 - Goody / Clancy, Boston, MA - 7 PM - Mike Duclos and Steve Baczek, Architect will present on their collaboration which produced the pre-certified Falmouth Passive House. The presentations will chronicle the design, construction and testing sequences, and will address some of the technical issues encountered.

Passive House News - July 13, 2011

DEAP Energy Group Certified Passive House Consultant Paul Panish has succeeded in his role helping to design and certifying the Beaton House as the first Certified Passive House in Massachusetts on July 13, 2011.

DEAP Energy Group Certified Passive House Consultant Mike Duclos has succeeded in his role helping to design and certifying the Falmouth House as the second Certified Passive House in Massachusetts on July 13, 2011.


June 29, 2011 - Yestermorrow Design / Build School - 7 PM
Paul Eldrenkamp will be presenting "Deep Energy Retrofits: Passing Fad or New Reality?


June 16, 2011 - Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Reserve - 5:30 PM - Registration is full !

If you are wondering about how difficult it is to build to the Stretch Energy Code and want to know what the savings in energy and dollars really are, you should attend this session on design standards that exceed the Stretch Energy Code. The Passive House principles relate to the aggressive energy saving design and construction methods, not just passive and active solar design. The Passive House design principles strive to reduce heating costs by 90% less energy than traditional construction methods.

The forum will showcase the work of Mike Duclos, Steven Baczek, Architect, and Christian Valle of The Valle Group on the recently completed pre-certified Passive House in Falmouth and a question and answer session.


June 13, 2011 - Housing Assistance Corporation's Conference Room - 4:30 PM  - 508-771-5400

What's Happening in Saxony and Upper Austria ?

Tom Hartman and Paul Eldrenkamp will present a summary of a trip taken
in Feb 2011 with Chris Benedict and Andy Shapiro as part of the Building Energy
conference. We will show Passivhaus buildings in both Germany and Austria as
well as highlights from the World Sustainable Energy Days Conference.


April 29, 2011 - Residential Design and Construction - Seaport World Trade Center, Boston,  1:30 to 3:20
Paul Eldrenkamp will be co-presenting  on the topic "Passive House Retrofits - A Reality Check"

Passive House retrofits are an inspiring cause, but what, at the end of the day, are they worth? To answer, this workshop compares and contrasts the goals, methods, costs and post occupancy performance of two renovation projects: one—the JP Green House—seeking Passive House status on a shoestring budget, and the other—a deep energy retrofit of a Belmont two-family—aiming for dramatic savings but stopping shy of Passive House standards. Summing it all up, a moderated discussion will explore the suitability of the Passive House standards to retrofits in the New England climate.


April 1, 2011 - Affordable Comfort National Conference - Marriot Marquis - San Francisco - 10:30 to 12:00 -
Mike Duclos was co-presenting with Prudence Ferreira on the topic "Building Local and Regional Networks for Deep Sustainability."



March 30, 2011 - Affordable Comfort National Conference - Marriot Marquis - San Francisco - 10:30 to 12:00 -
Mike Duclos was a member of the panel discussing "No Regrets Remodeling: Enlisting Trades in Deep Energy Reductions."  Slides are available here.


March 29, 2011 - Affordable Comfort National Conference - Marriot Marquis - San Francisco - 8:00 to 5:00 - 
Mike Duclos was a member of the panel discussing "Planning Deep Energy Projects: A Practicum."
Slides are available here.


March 25, 2011 - JLC Live 2011-  Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, RI -  12:30 to 1:45
Paul Eldrenkamp will participate in the "Deep Energy Retrofit Panel: Details and Lessons Learned"

This is a unique opportunity to learn from those in the field about DER and techniques for retrofitting projects.  By attending this panel discussion, you will learn more about:

  • Best practices for adding exterior insulation
  • How to reinstall and properly flash windows over exterior build-outs
  • How to assess moisture and water vapor issues that result from deep-energy retrofits


March 24, 2011 - JLC Live 2011-  Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, RI -  8:00 to 9:10
Paul Eldrenkamp will present "Still Struggling to Answer New England's Tough Building Questions ?"

In this session, Paul Eldrenkamp, who has been a builder in NE for more than 28 years, will address some of the tough questions we all face today, including:

  • Is rain screen siding worth the effort? Does it actually work?
  • What’s the best way to insulate a foundation? Inside? Outside? Spray foam?
  • Are painted exteriors worth the trouble? How can I extend the life of paint and exterior trim?
  • Am I creating a dangerous wrong-side vapor barrier when I add foam insulation to the outside of the shell?
  • When I tighten a house, how can I know if I have enough ventilation for combustion and occupant safety, and to get rid of moisture?


March 23, 2011 - JLC Live 2011-  Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, RI -  10:00 to 5:00
Mike Duclos and Carter Scott  will present "Striving for Zero Net Energy Homes: Design, Construction, Results"

Advanced building energy standards are a topic of intense discussion and investigation by both the construction industry and state governments.  The final report of the Massachusetts Governor’s Zero Net Energy Task Force issued 3/11/09, recommends establishing a zero net energy performance monitoring protocol. In this intensive, interactive session, attendees will:

• Understand the goal of Zero Net energy
• Understand the key characteristics of Zero Net Energy Homes and Passive House
• Understand how these buildings are designed ‘as a system’
• Learn how the key component and mechanical system decisions are made
• Learn how cost reduction can be done in super-insulated buildings
• See examples of key construction details, both plans and construction images
• Understand testing and verification criteria and methods
• See measured data on performance interpreted in super-insulated buildings
• Learn about marketing and other advantages of extremely low energy buildings


March 10, 2011 - NESEA Building Energy '11 - Seaport Convention Center, Boston, MA - 8:30 to 10:00
Mike Duclos will present with Bruce Coldham of Coldham and Hartman Architects, and Katrin Klingenberg, Executive Director of PHIUS, the Passive House Institute in the US "Extremely High Performance Homes: A Few Years On ..."

The co-founder of the Passive House Institute US, a long-time designer of high performance homes, and an experienced data monitoring consultant will review the progress of three CASE STUDY homes striving to achieve zero net annual energy status. The session will focus on the performance of these homes over the past few years, the systems failures and successes and how the failures were corrected. Review of the data and explanations of how the data can be interpreted to reveal subtle system design and performance flaws will be presented. * This session is accredited by BPI.


March 9, 2011 - NESEA Building Energy '11 - Seaport Convention Center, Boston, MA - 11:00 to 5:30
Paul Eldrenkamp will be on three panel discussions: "What's Happening in Germany and Upper Austria: Regional Models for Sustainability, Part I, II, III.

A multi-disciplinary quartet of "conference regulars" returning from their just-completed tour of Germany and Upper Austria will present their findings. They visited high performing building projects and attended one of the largest European Conferences and Trade Exhibitions. This promises to be a rather raw and wonderful outpouring; a spirited cross-engagement between the travelers and their audience. * This session is accredited by BPI.


February 10, 2011 - Better Buildings By Design - Sheraton Conference Center, Burlington, VT - 1:45 to 3:15
Paul Eldrenkamp and Mike Duclos will be co-presenting "Modeling and Marketing the Deep Energy Retrofit"

Come hear about the challenges faced and approaches used in successfully marketing and delivering deep energy retrofits to clients. This session will include discussion of design and energy modeling, HVAC design development, building envelope strategies (and compromises), estimating, technical and jobsite management issues encountered in the field during construction. Get a look at actual vs. modeled energy usage data and gain insights from lessons learned, both in the details and the big picture. - Residential / Intermediate - Sponsored by Efficiency Vermont.


Build Boston - November 17-19, 2010

Paul Eldrenkamp solicited speakers for and organized the Passive House Symposium at Build Boston 2010, which was held at the Seaport Center, Boston, MA and was very well attended.  

This symposium included:

The Passive House Experience in Europe and North America
Gunther Lang & Katrin Klingenberg

Passive House: Energy Budgets
Paul Eldrenkamp, Gunther Lang, John Straube, Marc Rosenbaum

Passive House Planning Package (PHPP)
Marc Rosenbaum

Passive House: HVAC System Design and Installation
Marc Rosenbaum, Mike LeBeau

Thermal Bridging, THERM and High Performance Buildings
David White



5th North American Passive House Conference, Portland, OR – November 4-7, 2010

Paul Panish and Mike Duclos presented at the Passive House  poster session at the 5th North American Passive House Conference in Portland, OR, the evening of November 4th.

Paul presented the completed Beaton Passive House in Shrewsbury, MA, and Mike the Cape Cod Passive House under construction in Falmouth, MA.

This was an outstanding four day conference highlighted by in-depth technical sessions, visits to built Passive Houses in the area (including one renovation!) and the presence of Dr. Feist.



LDA Architects, Cambridge, MA – October 29, 2010

Paul Eldrenkamp presented Introduction to Passive House to an enthusiastic group at LDA Architects in Cambridge, after which he and Mike answered questions.

Affordable Comfort Inc New England Conference – October 6-7 2010

Paul Eldrenkamp and Mike Duclos presented on “Using HERS as a Design and Sales Tool” to a near capacity audience at the  Affordable Comfort New England Conference in Sturbridge, MA. Affordable Comfort Inc. is an outstanding national organization dedicated to advancing performance in residential buildings. 


Deep Energy Retrofits Experts Session – October 5, 2010

Mike Duclos attended an ‘experts’ session to participate in refining the ‘state of the art’ in Deep Energy Retrofits by request of Building Science Corporation, who organized this extraordinary gathering.


Introduction to Passive House and Charlotte, VT Habitat Passive House – September 16, 2010

Mike Duclos, presenting Paul Eldrenkamp's now famous Introduction to Passive House and JB Clancy , architect of the Charlotte, VT Habitat Passive House presented the concept and implementation details of this extraordinary building in a whirlwind tour of Vermont. This home was the topic of a Vermont Public Radio piece and there is an associated audio slide show.

They gave presentations at noon in Williston, VT to more than 20 at the Vermont Home Builders Association.
Chet Pasho, Building Science & Business Development of Preferred Building Systems of Claremont, NH was in attendance to answer questions. PBS built the modules that comprise the Charlotte Passive House.

In the evening these presentations were repeated at the famous Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT to an an enthusiastic group of more than 50.

Along the way, JB Clancy (of Albert, Righter & Tittman Architects, Inc.) had the opportunity to show Mike the Charlotte Habitat Passive House, which had just been installed on the foundation on September 10.



Introduction to REM/Rate and PHPP as Modeling Tools - BSA – August 24, 2010

Mike Duclos presented on the widely used REM/Rate home energy modeling software, a product of Architectural Energy Corporation, which is widely used in ENERGY STAR for Homes programs throughout the Northeast, including the Massachusetts New  Homes with ENERGY STAR program, as well as ENERGY STAR programs in many other parts of the United States.

Paul Panish  presented on the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) an incredibly detailed spreadsheet based building energy simulator used to design and certify Passive Houses at the Boston Society of Architects facility at Milk St. in Boston.


Introduction to Passive House – Design and Construction Strategy- BSA – August 17, 2010

Paul Eldrenkamp, Paul Panish and Mike Duclos presented on the concept of Passive House, and introduced some of the more interesting aspects of the ‘most stringent building energy efficiency standard in the world’ at the Boston Society of Architects facility at Milk St. in Boston.


Habitat Passive House in Charlotte, VT – August 10, 2010

As part of a technical session scheduled by the Northeast HERS Alliance, Mike Duclos presented an Introduction to Passive House segue to Peter Schneider of Vermont Energy Investment Corporation's in depth presentation on the Charlotte, VT Habitat Passive House he designed in collaboration with architect JB Clancy. The presentation is available for viewing here.


Lemonister Stretch Code Hearing – June 17, 2010

Mike Duclos presented on the HERS rating system and answered questions at an open meeting on the adoption of the Stretch Code in Lemonister, MA, as requested by Kelly Brown of Department of Energy Resources of Massachusetts.


International Passive House Conference, Dresden, Germany – May 28-30, 2010

Mike Duclos attended the 14th International Passive House Conference with about one thousand other attendees from 43 countries. This remarkable event included the latest research results into Passive House compliant buildings, as well as tours of built and under construction Passive Houses. The conference proceedings are available here.
Mike Duclos and Paul Panish are making plans to attend the 15th International Passive House Conference in Innsbruck, Austria.


Introduction to Passive House, Rhode Island School of Design – May 15, 2010

Paul Eldrenkamp, Jamie Wolfe and Mike Duclos collaborated on an all day session comprised of presentations and interaction on the topic of the Passive House standard in the United States in general, and in our climate zone in particular at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI.



Deep Energy Retrofit Workshop, Hadley, MA– April 30, 2010

Paul Eldrenkamp and Mike Duclos collaborated on an all day session of presentations and stimulating interaction with an enthusiastic group of 50 at the Western Mass Electric facility in Hadley, MA. This event was organized by Anne Perkins of Rural Development, Inc.Mike Duclos worked with Anne Perkins on the Solar Village project in Greenfield, MA.


Affordable Comfort National Conference, Austin, TX – April 20-23, 2010

Paul Eldrenkamp and Linda Wigington, Director of Deep Energy Reduction Initiatives of ACI collaborated on an all day technical session on Staged Deep Energy Retrofits that encompassed all aspects of the DER process.

Mike Duclos was the energy consultant who worked with Linda Wigington to qualify Brian Butler's home (Boston Green Building) for the Thousand  Homes Challenge Option B program of the National Grid Deep Energy Retrofit Pilot.


Residential Design and Construction Conference – April 14, 2010

Dr. Mary Beth Smuts of US EPA, and Mike Duclos collaborated on presentations of the Indoor airPLUS program for homes, and how the ENERGY STAR and HERS rating systems interact and can be leveraged to best effect. Mike's portion of the presentation is here.


Belmont Deep Energy Retrofit Site Visit – April 9, 2010

Paul Eldrenkamp and Mike Duclos answered questions at the site of a National Grid Deep Energy Retrofit Pilot project as it was under construction. Paul’s company Byggmeister, Inc. was responsible for the construction process, Mike consulted on energy modeling.


Energy Modeling to Reduce Energy Use in Homes – JLC Live, Providence,RI, March 27, 2010

Mike Duclos presented on the ways in which energy use in homes can be minimized in the design phase by use of computer energy modeling at the Journal of Light Construction’s annual conference, JLC Live, in Providence, RI.
Mike's presentation is available here


Deep Energy Retrofit Experts Meeting – Seaport Center, Boston, MA – March 12, 2010

Paul Eldrenkamp, Paul Panish and Mike Duclos participated in this remarkable gathering to discuss and advance the ‘state of the art’ with respect to Deep Energy Retrofits, at the invitation of Building Science Corporation.


Getting to Zero Cost Effectively - NESEA Building Energy ’10 – March 11, 2010

Carter Scott, President of Transformations, Inc. and Mike Duclos collaborated on a presentation that described the design of the Transformations, Inc. Zero Energy Challenge entry. Mike also presented an interpretation of data collected over a winter, including a period of 7 days when power was lost for 7 days due to a massive ice storm, available here.


MassSave and Independent Energy Auditors - March 18, 2010

Paul Eldrenkamp and Mike Duclos participated in a meeting at Boston Gas in Westboro, MA of utility company representatives, independent energy auditors, insulation contractor representatives and DOER staff to discuss and hopefully expand the role of independent contractors in the MassSave program.