As a contractor during the1980s energy crisis, I directed my energies toward building the beta version of the super-insulated home. I experimented and struggled with my share of "cutting edge" strategies, with mixed results. It became quickly apparent that some of the experimentation — like site-built skylights — was less than successful. What was not so obvious at the time was that, in spite of beefing up the insulation levels in everything I built, I wasn't really getting the thermal performance I would have expected.

However, as more building diagnostic tools became available, I was able to see the flaws in my previous insulation strategies. I also saw a business opportunity: troubleshooting the all-too-common efficiency and comfort problems in buildings.

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