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Holy Cross Monastery

NESEA Hudson Valley Group welcomes you to our spring 2016 Monastery Workshop Series. The main purpose of this project is to produce a deep, in detail Home Performance Energy Audit in order to establish an energy measures work scope including health and safety. We will evaluate all possible energy saving targets, and prepare the site for any appropriate sustainable energy solutions.

A Short Intro to the Buildings

The Guest House, the long building with light color roofing,, was the original building,. It was  built in 1902, with a total  floor area of 21,520sf.

The Middle House, to the left of the Guest House, was built in 1920 and has a total floor area of 10,655sf.

The Monastery building is the furthest building to the top of the photo. It was built in 1964, with a total floor area of 25,335sf

The Refectory,  known as the “new building”, is to the right of the Guest House and  has a total floor area of 5,000sf

The entire project includes four buildings built at different times using  different materials and designs. What really makes this a very complex project is that those buildings are connected to each other, so the height of one building will impact the entire dynamics of all four buildings. The same is true if a wet spot is found on one of the buildings, that would certainly impact in one way or another, all four buildings as well. The overall impact  between those four buildings dramatically increases the moment they become more energy efficient after home performance work is conducted on them like air sealing or insulation.  The proper way to predict the total impact of any Home Performance upgrade on this project is by treating all four buildings as a one home system.

For those of you who are reading this because you are interested in learning more about Building Science, I will provide the short version of the meaning of a home as a one system.

Long gone are the days in which houses were just four walls and a roof in which the main consideration were looks and comfort. Those homes were built very loosely with very little insulation and with little health considerations in mind.. Home construction and renovation in early days were influenced by extremely cheap energy sources and the freedom to pretty much modify any component of the home with no consequence to the rest of the house. Because of that, a thermostat was just understood as the awkward device to turn the heat and cold air conditioning “ON” and if a room got uncomfortable, the easiest thing to do was to crack a window open.  

Because of this ideology, it is still common to think that houses are made of a bunch of  independent pieces of a puzzle, like the heating system, the water heater, the ventilation, the insulation, etc all placed on an attractive lot with  a nice white fence. The oil embargo of the 70's forced  construction and renovation  to  change dramatically  with the use of new technology. We began to save energy by building tighter, having greater use of insulation, air/vapor barriers, and the installation of energy-efficient windows,. The concept of a house made of a bunch of independent pieces was no longer true.

About Retrotec

Retrotec is the world's leading manufacturer of blower door, air duct blowers, duct testers, and door fan test equipment. Retrotec equipment is used around the world by demanding weatherization, home energy audit and air balancing professionals to conduct residential & commercial energy audits, large building leakage test, duct leakage tests and clean agent integrity testing, with over 29 years of blower door and duct tester engineering & product development experience.  More energy auditors world wide rely on trusted Retrotec blower door test equipment over the competition.  All blower doors are sanctioned for use on BPI, Resnet (HERS), ASTM, USACE (United States Army Corp of Engineers) and LEED projects.  

The energy audit component of the project will be done in the format of workshops, designed to demonstrate several building science techniques, from beginning to advanced, to enable you to conduct a comprehensive energy audit, with one or several blower doors and a thermal camera.

The workshops offers BPI educational credits for those of you who participate and need them.. More things are been added for this event, so far we are adding door prices, courtesy of Home Energy Magazine. We are also working the details with a local artist to display some of her work during an evening networking event, her paintings are inspired by Mother Nature.

This is an amazing opportunity for you to be part of something that is really important to our community. For any information send us a message using the contact us tab, or click here

About our sponsors

Retrotec at NESEA's BuldingEnergy16 Boston


Multiple Fans Workshops

Multiple Fan Workshops

BPI Continuing education FLIR Workshops

Find Water, Air & Energy leaks with Thermal Imaging

About FLIR


The most effective tools for predictive maintenance imaging applications, infrared cameras from FLIR give you the power to see what other diagnostic tools miss, and avoid expensive equipment failures and loss of production capacity.   Keep your facility operating at peak efficiency: use infrared cameras from FLIR to find problems before they  become serious.

Electrical Maintenance

Mechanical Maintenance



Building Diagnostics

Energy Loss

Gas Detection


Air source vs Ground source Heat Pumps

Air source heat pump versus ground source heat pump

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RETROTEC Blower Doors FLIR IR Cameras Home Performance Coalition Ground Heat Pumps Home Energy Performance Magazine Efficiency First

Along with all the improvements in the building technology, the industry has gained a better understanding of air, heat and moisture movement in a home. We now understand  the need to manage the indoor environment in a deliberate and systematic way with proven methods of air sealing, insulating and using high efficiency equipment. Those processes do save energy and upgrades our home comfort level. Finally all the pieces of the puzzle of the house are combined forming a very complex interrelated system of all its components. What does that mean?  It means that the house, the outside environment and the indoor environment functions as a unit. In order to have a well balanced home, it needs to be properly designed to make certain that each part functions properly with all the other parts. This will  provide a safe, comfortable and healthy living environment for the occupants. The proper design of a healthy home takes into consideration fluctuating temperatures, controlling moisture levels, as well as air pressures changes. An unplanned change of any of these pieces, due to a repair or an upgrade without planning can sometimes produce unforeseen changes that could potentially lead to unhealthy consequences for the home and its’ occupants.  

I am certain that you have heard the term car performance, indicating a high, average, or low car performance. As you dare to open the hood of a high performance car, you can certainty appreciate how that car can offer you such great mileage, safety, comfort and efficiency. Most of the components of a high performance car are foreign to us, the same now applies to homes. We now use the term “Home Performance”  to indicate how energy efficient a house is, and how we can make it much more energy efficient, and self-reliant. In order to accomplish this you would use Building Science procedures with the help of blower doors, manometers, pressure pans, programmable thermostats,  ECM motors, heat pumps, modeling software, foam, rigid insulation, etc.

Learn about our presenters

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About Verdae

Changing the existing energy game and helping our communities become more sustainable by installing highly efficient geothermal heat pump -or ground source heat pumps, GSHP .

Home efficiency, quality and beauty are now possible.

About BPCA

The Building Performance Contractors Association (BPCA) of New York State is a 12-year old non-profit trade association whose members are primarily energy efficiency contracting companies, building science consultants, and Energy Star raters.  BPCA is focused on building up the marketplace and the businesses of our members through market transformation for energy efficiency services.  Within this context, we function as an educational organization - specifically addressing advanced topics on energy efficiency diagnostics, deep retrofits, and building performance

About Tricklestar

TrickleStar manufactures affordable, simple and easy to use products that help everyday people reduce energy consumption in their homes and workplaces. We strive for product quality, superior safety features, and outstanding customer service. Our award winning power management solutions are designed to reduce plug load and address wasted electricity, thereby saving consumers money and helping electric utilities achieve their energy saving goals.

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BPCA Having a meeting with home performance contractors regarding new BPI standards


475 High Performance Building Supply