Registration is open for the JLC LIVE conference at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, Rhode Island, March 23-26. One of the events already drawing a lot of advance interest, according to show organizer Sherry Daniels, is a panel discussion about deep energy retrofits moderated by JLC editor Don Jackson. On the panel are four New England builder/remodelers with some leading-edge high-performance projects in their portfolios: Paul Eldrenkamp, owner of Byggmeister, a Boston-area building and remodeling firm. Byggmeister makes deep energy retrofits a core mission. A recent remodel in Belmont, Mass., cut an older home s energy use by two thirds even while doubling the home s square footage from 2,700 to 5,400. Peak heating load in the structure dropped from 36 Btu/sqft/hr to just 5 (see summary report). Byggmeister s winter newsletter features an interview about the project with construction manager Cador Pricejones ( Tale of a Deep-Energy Retrofit page 4). For more background, here s a Journal of Light Construction article by Eldrenkamp about measuring and comparing home energy performance ( A Simple Approach to Home Energy Rating by Paul Eldrenkamp; JLC 2/10). Paul Huijing, owner of Paul Huijing, Inc. Construction Engineering, in Wilbraham, Mass. Huijing s feature artlcle Building an Energy-Efficient Spec House ran in the Journal of Light Construction in August, 2007. David Joyce, President of Synergy Companies Construction, LLC, in Arlington, Mass. A brief case study chronicles Synergy s recent retrofit project on a 3600-square-foot foursquare home in Concord, Mass. Building Science Corporation, who consulted on the job, also produced a case report. And the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources produced a flier on the retrofit of the Arlington, Mass., two-family home of Alex Cheimets, carried out in 2008 (Cheimets has since become VP of Sales and Marketing for Synergy Companies). Sean Jeffords, owner of Beyond Green Construction in Easthampton, Mass. Beyond Green made the news in Western Massachusetts recently with a green makeover of a local brew pub and restaurant, the Northampton Brewery. On the drawing board is Beyond Green s Off the Grid Condos project. Zero-energy retrofits typically have large up-front costs and long payback periods even if fuel prices are assumed to be headed upwards. Nevertheless, Massachusetts has made deep energy retrofits of existing buildings a key element of achieving a zero-energy housing stock in the state. In 2009, a task force appointed by the governor included building retrofits in the report Getting to Zero. Paul Eldrenkamp, who chaired the residential team for the task force, said at the time, It would be irresponsible not to. Commented Eldrenkamp recently: Deep energy retrofits are crazy. But continuing to build underperforming houses is even crazier. And besides, a lot of the bathrooms and kitchens we do are crazy, too.

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