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Healthy Homes Initiative, Poverty, Weatherization

Out of the Office & Into the Field: Weatherization Site Visit

By: Eric Behna, Program & Policy Analyst, NASCSP


Weatherization Day is fast approaching on October 30th! Hopefully you have gotten a chance to view NASCSP’s Weatherization Day toolkit. It is full of planning and communications resources to help you with your Weatherization Day efforts. If you have any questions about these resources, don’t hesitate to contact me at ebehna@nascsp.org. Also be sure to log your Weatherization Day activities in this google document so that the national partners can highlight your great work.

One powerful activity you can do for Weatherization Day is a site visit for members of Congress or other policymakers. Yesterday, I had the amazing opportunity to do a site visit at two in-progress WAP jobs in Virginia. Community Housing Partners, a local WAP agency and training center located in Christiansburg ,Virginia, hosted NASCSP, the Community Action Partnership, and staff from DOE. It was an energizing day seeing WAP professionals in action and meeting WAP clients. Furthermore, the staff at CHP demonstrated how to plan and execute an engaging and effective site demonstration. Be sure to check out some site demo best practices in our planning guide here.

Stop 1- Mobile Home

The first stop of the day was at a mobile home. CHP staff began by reviewing the energy audit with us and explaining all of the measures that would be performed at the house. Next, we toured the house and met the homeowner. In addition to increasing the home’s energy efficiency, the CHP team was also making the home healthier and safer for the homeowner and her kids. We eventually suited up with the proper protective equipment and headed underneath the home. The CHP crew showed us how they methodically install insulation into the “belly” of the mobile home to keep it warm in winter and cool in the summer.

Stop 2- The Warehouse

On our lunch break we headed to one of the warehouses where CHP stores its weatherization supplies. The CHP staff taught us about the different materials that they use on a daily basis. We saw everything from windows, to insulation, to diagnostic equipment. We also learned how each truck is carefully organized so that crews can work effectively and efficiently.

Stop 3- Single Family Home

In the afternoon we headed to a single family home that had a wood-burning stove as its only heat source. The homeowner was a senior who lived alone and was no longer able to haul the wood needed to feed the stove. We again began by reviewing the energy audit and the measures that the crew was going to install in the home. In addition to installing a new heating system, the crew also replaced the entire ceiling of the home, a task that they were able to complete because of leveraged funding. We next toured the crawlspace where the CHP crew was removing debris and preparing to install a vapor barrier which would help prevent moisture issues. We also climbed into the attic where the team explained how they would be adding more insulation to the ceiling and performing air sealing measures.

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A huge thank you to the staff at Community Housing Partners for putting together a great site visit and being such great hosts!

 

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