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DOE Zero Energy Ready Home: Building America Solution Center

Below is the text version of the webinar, DOE Zero Energy Ready Home: Building America Solution Center, presented in April 2014.

Lindsay Parker:
We're really excited that you can join us today for the session on the Building America Solution Center. Today's session is one in a continuing series of technical training webinars to support our partners in designing and building DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes. My name's Lindsay Parker. I'm the coordination support for the program. So I'll be covering some general notes on webinar housekeeping. Just so you know, we'll have all attendees in listen-only mode. But you can feel free to ask any questions you may have during this session in the GoToWebinar question section, which we'll be monitoring throughout the webinar. So near the end of the webinar, we'll try and cover as many of your questions as possible. Also, we'll be recording this session, and we'll post the recording on the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home website once it goes through a reformatting process. So this can take up to a couple of weeks and we appreciate your patience for that. Once the link to the recording becomes available online, we'll be sure to email you the link, to all the attendees, and until then, after the webinar, you'll receive an email with the full webinar presentation in PDF format, and also some upcoming information on our upcoming webinars. Now I'm going to hand it over to Sam Rashkin, chief architect of the Department of Energy and director of the DOE Zero Energy Ready Program.

Sam Rashkin:
OK, thank-you, everyone, for attending. We travel around the country doing training classes on zero energy ready homes. It's part of the effort to reach out about the DOE Challenge Home program to builders, raters, stakeholders, around the country. And during that training we always emphasize that we cover a lot in four hours but we can't really delve into too much detail on the many, many subjects that we cover in that class. So these webinars are a way for us to actually go into a much greater detail on key subject areas that we think are important to our stakeholders. First, a reminder, the DOE Challenge Home program is a labeling program for our leading builders who built homes that are zero energy ready homes. These are homes that are so energy-efficient and high-performance that they can offset most or all annual energy consumption with renewable energy. So this is a program for leading builders and this kind of content is really important to help them and help all the people that work with these builders to achieve that level of performance. One last footnote I want to say is that hopefully most of you are hearing about a name change that's happening. The DOE Challenge Home label is changing to the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home label. We had a meeting with our leading builders and we heard loud and clear that the name Zero Energy Ready Home is a much better descriptor, and much, much more effective in communicating to consumers the value of this label. So that is in process and so these webinars will be the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home webinars in the near future. So now I'm going to just start with a few slides before I hand off to the PNNL team. And truly the Building America Solution Center is your next new best friend if you have anything to do with high-performance homes.

First slide:
What I want to first talk about is how the Solution Center fits within the larger scheme of trying to transform the market to high-performance. And most of you know that there's a process to go from R&D to market-based programs and eventually things like codes and standards. And here at DOE, the way we do that is we have a research program called Emerging Technologies that funds basic research. A lot of incredible new innovations are coming out of that in DOE industry partnerships. The DOE Building America program actually develops new innovations and best practices that are ready for the market. It's not so much basic research as applied research to demonstrate technologies and practices that are truly cost-effective and proven. Now once we have proven innovations, that's where the DOE Challenge Home, now the Zero Energy Ready Home, picks up and helps the industry apply those proven innovations in new homes in the marketplace. ENERGY STAR will be the next tier down in terms of trying to get builders to complete building science, and we try to serve as a system of providing new solutions for the ENERGY STAR program, and in fact many of the innovations in the ENERGY STAR program have a history from Building America, as well. And lastly, of course, you wind up where you're really successful at getting innovations to the market, having them eventually wind up in codes and standards. And the Building America Solution Center is designed to serve every step of this process once Building America has proven innovations.

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And that's why we're here today. Now simply stated, the goal is to get the market transformation process under way by disseminating content from Building America that's most critical for our customers to apply these proven innovations. That's the purpose of the Solution Center.

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In fact, the customers that we're going after are that span the whole spectrum of stakeholders in the housing industry. The architects, engineers, educators. Other labeling programs like ENERGY STAR and green programs, code officials, HERS raters, builders and remodelers, all are important audiences for the content that we generate and they all have different needs. Sometimes, educators want to have information for their classes. Labeling programs are really about how to install them properly, and code officials want to prove performance. Raters want to know how to specify. Builders and remodelers, how to install, and architects and engineers often how to specify these innovations. So we know we have a lot, a large audience, very diverse, and very diverse indeed for the content.

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So let's be real up-front and clear what the Solution Center is and what it's not. The Building America Solution Center is content for applying proven innovations, how to specify these innovations, how to install them properly, how to prove their performance so others will have confidence, whether code officials or builders, that they're using something that's proven. And then how to educate others to apply these innovations. What the Solution Center is not is a design tool for developing customized packages. There are already excellent tools for doing that. There are HERS rating software tools. There's a B-Op, from the Building America program that's an excellent tool actually used by many builders to develop optimized packages. There's Energy Plus and other software packages. There are all sorts of tools designed to give you the customized and optimized package for energy performance. What the Solution Center is for is how to apply those innovations.

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Now a couple things I'd like to let you know about the Solution Center is that it's a really, really powerful solution, as well. First of all, if you look at various factors before and after the Solution Center, it's amazing how much more effective this tool is. If you take speed, we figure about three to four times faster getting content that you need in the industry from Building America out to the marketplace. And it's because of the systemized approach to how we have developed good content and how we can get it into a database and out to the users much, much more quickly. Also the content will be much, much more up-to-date than in the past. Up to now, reports have been lock-fixed and if the information got out of date in those reports, we didn't go back and update the reports. In contrast, what you'll see is with the Solution Center every time we develop new content, we look at the database, what's there, and then see if we need to either remove the old content or replace it or complement the content with new information that we have. In other words, we're managing our database of content in a way we never used to be able to do with the Solution Center. And also in terms of ease of use, the Solution Center is so much easier because you don't have to rifle through endless detailed reports to get to the information you need to apply innovations. The Solution Center has been structured so you can get to just what you need to in seconds effectively, to apply proven innovations. And it's much, much more accessible. There's an amazingly easy-to-use website, and plus we have mobile solutions, as well. So you can take your information and have it available wherever you need it. It's just much, much more accessible information, much more than in the past. And lastly, there was almost no opportunity to customize the content that we provided. And now with the Solution Center, you can have your own mobile field kit, and create your own bundles of information, whether you need it for a presentation, a class, a meeting with a builder to showcase proven innovations so theycan be comfortable with them, or a meeting with a code official to show precedence using an innovation. You have complete customized ability with the Solution Center like you've never had. So in every way, this is a very, very powerful new tool. It's a paradigm shift, if you will, in how we disseminate content from the world-class hub of innovation that is the Building America to the broad audience or customers that we have for our content.

Next slide:
And with that, I want to also say one more caution, is that this is just the beginning. We're taking baby steps with this tool. Although the Solution Center's been out for over a year now, it's still very early in its optimized form. The Solution Center as we mentioned will have all sorts of content coming in from Building America. The new Building America teams will be contracted to use templates and formats that ensure that happens. Plus all the new reports that we're starting today, and in the past year, it's only starting to learn how to adjust and provide content for the Solution Center. And on top of that, all the feedback mechanisms, a way of getting other corrections and enhancements to our content is only just starting to build so we have that working at full force. So stay tuned. What we have now is really an amazing tool already, but as it continues to grow, it will get better and better. So with that, I'm going to now hand off to the PNNL folks to provide the bulk of the content about the Solution Center.

Michael Baechler:
Thank-you, Sam. This is Michael Baechler. I'm joined today by Chris Antonopoulos, and essentially Chrissi's going to walk you through where the Solution Center is today, and I'll jump back in and wrap up. Before we do that, though, we've got a few questions we'd like to ask the folks who are participating in this webinar. So, Lindsay, if you would please facilitate those questions and if possible show us the answers, it will actually influence how we present the information that we have available.

Lindsay Parker:
Sure thing. Thank-you, Michael.

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The first poll question we have is, what category best represents what you do professionally? Please list one. Design professional, builder, trader, installer, rater, consultant, or other. I'm going to give you a few seconds to respond. ... Alright, thank- you. Closing the poll. Alright.

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So now we'll see that we have quite a -- Michael, if you can see this, we have quite a few -- actually equal number of builders, trade or installers, or raters and consultants. Sixteen percent other, and 12 percent design professionals.

Next slide:
OK, so for the next question, we have, how often do you use Web- based professional content? Never, a few times a year, monthly, or several times a month. I'll give you a few seconds to respond. ... Alright, thank-you so much.

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Now to show the results, it looks like the majority says several times a month. Thank-you all for participating. We have two more.

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Next one is, what type of Web-based content is most important to you? Videos, photos and images, written descriptions, or CAD drawings. ... Alright, I'm closing the poll. Thank-you. Looks like photos and images brought in 42 percent of you. Otherwise, written descriptions and videos are up top. Alright. Thank-you. And one last one.

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Describe how often you use the Building America Solution Center. Have you ever heard of it? No? A few times a month, monthly, or several times a month. ... Alright, thank-you. I'm closing the poll.

Next slide:
Looks like 57 percent of you have never heard of it. And 35 percent have it, have visited it a few times. Thank-you so much. Alright, Michael, I turn it back over to you. Michael?

Michael Baechler:
Sorry. I was talking to myself there for a few minutes. We'll take that information and kind of use it to help shape our presentation. Thanks so much for participating in the poll. So Chrissi Antonopoulos is going to kick us off here and walk us through the Solution Center and talk about the most recent improvements.

Chrissi Antonopoulos:
Hello, everyone. Thank-you for attending today. As I work through this presentation, I just want to remind everyone that the questions can be typed in at any time, and we will address them as we get to the end of today's presentation. So I'm going to be talking about the Building America Solution Center today.

Next slide:
First and foremost, I want to put the URL up on the screen for you. It's basc.energy.gov. You can access the Solution Center from any mobile or desktop device now. And really the purpose of the Solution Center is to provide proven innovation and information for all stakeholders that Sam discussed in his presentation. So I'm going to walk you through exactly the way that we have done that within the Solution Center or the way that the Solution Center can provide information for you.

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You are looking at the Solution Center home page. The home page provides a few different ways to access content. One of the things that we do promote and we do like to show is that this is really a community tool and we do encourage community members to participate in the Solution Center. And to provide feedback, input, as well as content. So we have recently added a recognition bar on the Solution Center home page to thank people for their content submissions. In this case, this gentleman submitted many, many images that we incorporated into our image gallery. On the right-hand side of the screen, you will always see a block with recently added content. So you can see updated content as it is uploaded into our database. You will also see additions to guides and changes to guides. This kind of speaks to the information getting to the users as quickly as possible. We want everyone to see the latest and greatest. We'll talk about guides, but just as a quick overview, the guides are kind of the core information that the Solution Center breaks out content and data into.

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There is a help page on the Solution Center that will provide specific information on how to find information that each stakeholder group is looking for. The Solution Center provides many different types of navigation that I'll point out is over on the left-hand side of the screen that you can filter and organize content by and browse content by. That includes browsing information by topics and also browsing information by specific types of resources. A lot of you said that you were interested in images, for example, so you can access the entire database of images by clicking on the image gallery link on the left-hand side of the page.

Next slide:
So the core of Solution Center data and information is organized into what we call guides. And each guide is a building science measure that includes detailed information on how to install, how to specify, and how to prove performance. And the way that the information is parsed out is into eight specific tabs within a guide that will give you a scope of work. It will give you a detailed description, which is step-by-step information on how to install or approach that particular measure. Climate-specific considerations for each climate zone, training, which includes right and wrong images for specification. It will also include videos and presentations as we begin to upload some of that content. CAD drawings for builders interested in specifying from the planning or building perspective. As well as compliance, which includes both codes and standards, as well as program information such as DOE Challenge Home, which is moving to the Zero Energy Ready Home program, and the ENERGY STAR program. And then the more info tab provides links to additional resources and references for that particular measure. It will also provide specific case studies associated with that measure. So again, guides are really the core level of organization within the Solution Center.

Next slide:
One of the things that the Solution Center, or a couple of the things that the Solution Center really provides, is the ability to customize content and have it readily accessible for each and every user and stakeholder group. To do this, we asked our users to log in and register for an account within the Solution Center, that will really enhance the capability to customize content for your needs. So the log-in / register bar is up on the upper right corner of the home page.

Next slide:
And the benefits of logging in and creating a user account are to provide feedback on content, and to provide and submit content to the Solution Center. To customize content based on climate zone. To build and track field kits, which are customizable folders of images, CAD files, and guides, which we'll go through in detail in a moment. All of your saved content in your account can then be accessed in the field through one of our mobile apps. And of course, to help DOE better understand how the tool is used and to understand what type of features our user community is really interested in, in the future.

Next slide:
So here's a quick look at the user account page. What you're seeing on the right is creating an account, the type of information you can submit to do that. And then on the left you will see your log-in page, that will pop up every time you visit the Solution Center.

Next slide:
One of the benefits, of course, is to provide feedback on Solution Center content. As a logged-in user, you will see this feedback link on the top of every guide. Clicking on that link will take you to a form that allows you to communicate with the content team and provide suggestions, edits, or any other type of feedback on any content within the Solution Center. And we definitely encourage the user community to take advantage of this feature.

Next slide:
Logging in allows you to create an account. Here is a very basic example of a user account. This user happens to be in climate zone 1. And as that user browses through Solution Center content, they will receive information and warnings and/or highlights on content that might not be appropriate for their specific content. So it really allows you to customize for climate.

Next slide:
Once you are logged in, you get a third block on the upper right called My Field Kit. And this is really the core customization feature that the Solution Center offers. Your field kits are personalized folders of any content within the Solution Center that you would like to save. This includes media content such as CAD files, and images from the image gallery. It also includes full guides for specifying, installing, and proving performance of particular building science measures. I'll also point out the left-hand nav, as well. That will follow you as you browse through the Solution Center. So you can always access content based on topic or based on resources. Your field kit block will also follow you everywhere you go, so you can access your field kit from any page you are on at any time. So let's explore field kits a little bit more.

Next slide:
Clicking on your field kit will take you to your personalized folder. So in this case a user has created the San Francisco Challenge Home Project 1. And in that folder, they have saved a variety of CAD files, images, and guides that are specifically geared toward this particular building project. So you can click on the images and browse through the images. In the field, this can be very powerful for your crew or for raters, for example, to look through the specifications of the measure. You can browse through the images as well as the CAD files, which is the example here that you're looking at.

Next slide:
And then you can access all of your guides. So clicking on cantilevered floor, for example, will take you directly to that guide, and all of the eight tabs of information within it. So think of it as a bookmarked tool or a folder tool that really allows you to find exactly the data that you're looking for within this very large database. Whenever you are on a guide page or an image or CAD file page, you will see this little toolbox icon and a link that tells you what field kits it belongs to. You can -- when you click on this link, you will have the option to add or remove that particular piece of content from any one of your field kits. From that page, as well, you also have the ability to create a new field kit at any time and add any piece of content to that field kit that you create. Creating a new field kit is seen in the plus sign on the right-hand side of the screen, where it says "New Field Kit."

Next slide:
The other thing you will see on the top of every guide, and this is regardless of if you are logged in or logged out, is the print this page icon and PDF version of this guide. Clicking on either one of these will download the entire guide, in its entirety. In this case, this example is showing a PDF version that then allows you to print the guide off, take it into the field, or download and save to your computer for future use.

Next slide:
In terms of finding content within the Solution Center, there are five basic ways that allow you to browse through the database.

Next slide:
The first way that we're going to explore is the building components. The building components tool is an icon tool that breaks out all of the content by primary category. Clicking on any one of these primary categories gives you topics related to that particular category. In this case, we are going to click on "Foundation," and we are going to see all of the topics associated with foundation systems in the Solution Center. This is a way to parse out and isolate guides specifically related to topic. So in this navigation case, we are going to find slab edge insulation by utilizing this particular tool. And again this -- the ultimate goal of this tool is to take you to the guide associated with that particular measure.

Next slide:
Program checklists are one of the primary ways that users access information within the Solution Center. Currently the ENERGY STAR Version 3 Rev. 7 checklists are live and accessible in the Solution Center. We are very happy to let our users know that the Zero Energy Ready Home checklist, formerly the Challenge Home checklist, or I guess currently the Challenge Home checklist, is under development and will be available to all users on May 9 of this year. The initial rollout of Zero Energy Ready Home is going to include a subset of all of the content and will be continuously populated between now and through the summer until all checklist items are populated. In general, topics in checklists appear in the exact same order as they appear in the checklist, to make it easy for the user to find each measure. You can drill down into all of the higher-level categories to find each specific checklist item. Clicking on that checklist item is going to take you directly to the guide that's associated with that particular measure.

Next slide:
So let's look at a couple of examples. This is the ENERGY STAR Version 3 checklist, and it is open to the thermal enclosure system rater checklist. TES 1 is high-performance fenestration, and ENERGY STAR provides two paths, a prescriptive and a performance path for compliance. So clicking on one of those links will then take the user directly to, in this case, the ENERGY STAR's windows guide that will provide you with all of the information on how to specify, how to install, and how to prove performance for that particular measure. It will also provide you detailed information on how to comply, not only with the ENERGY STAR requirements, but also with the Zero Energy Ready Home requirements, as well as any pertinent code and other standards associated with that measure.

Next slide:
Here is a screenshot of the Zero Energy Ready Home checklist. The checklist is broken into three primary categories, which are the exhibit 1, exhibit 2, exhibit 3. Again, this mirrors the Zero Energy Ready, or formerly Challenge Home checklist exactly. So clicking and drilling into this checklist for example, we opened the mandatory requirements for all labeled homes, and then we opened the lighting and appliance section. Drilling down into that checklist will take us to the specific measures associated with that checklist. In this case, we're going to click on refrigerators, dishwashers, and clothes washers. And we're going to be taken directly to the guide that's associated with that checklist measure. So all checklists function in the same way. Again, on the left-hand side of the screen, you will always be able to access all of the checklists as well as all of the navigation waves and the resource types, and you will also be able to access your field kits from any one of these pages, as well.

Next slide:
Another tool that the Solution Center provides is called Building Science Publications. This is a research-oriented tool for users interested in accessing building science publications and case studies. This tool includes all of the references and resources currently in the Building America Solution Center, but it goes a step further and it also includes the entire Building America library of publications. It's a visualization tool that allows you to organize and break out content by category. Categories include construction type, climate, organization, author, as well as keywords. The bottom bar that you see is a date tool, so you can further specify publications by date.

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Once you identify the categories that you are interested in, the tool will give you a list of all publications and in that list will provide you further information about each publication, including the author, the publication date, and a one-sentence description of what you will find in that document. You can then access that document directly by clicking the link. You can also export documents that are associated with the categories that you choose. So this can be a very powerful research tool to access all of Building America innovations.

Next slide:
The Solution Center allows users to browse content by specific content types. So we have an image gallery. Currently there are almost 1,200 images included in that image gallery. So it's a lot to go through. But they are further filtered by keyword. Browsing through the image gallery will allow you to click on any one of these images that will pop up larger on the screen.

Next slide:
It will give you a couple of options. You can click the toolbox to add it directly to your field kit. You can download and save the original image file to your computer. You can also click the information icon to get more information about where exactly that image came from, and access the original document.

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The CAD file gallery works exactly the same way as the image gallery works. You can browse through and enlarge any of the CAD drawings. You can save it and you can download either the original DWG file or you can save the CAD file as a PDF, as well.

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The Building America Solution Center has now been formatted to be viewable and accessible from any mobile device. So any mobile phone or tablet with a data plan will be able to access the Solution Center. Again, here is the URL for the Solution Center. You will see that it is formatted correctly, so you can access it in the field without having to enlarge the screen or scroll through. You'll get a menu tab on the left hand side. This example is from an icon. Tap the menu tab and you will have access to the entire navigation pane, where you can go directly to topics or resources. In this case, we're going to go to the image gallery. Here is the formatted image gallery for an iPhone. And tapping any one of the images will enlarge it, allowing you to take a closer look or show others out in the field.

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While the Building America Solution Center is available currently from any mobile device, we are developing apps that allow you to take advantage of your customized Building America site, which includes specifically your field kits. So the Building America apps available for Android and Apple IOS systems allow you to log in and immediately receive all of your saved field kits to your mobile device. This is very beneficial for field work, especially since accessing -- as long as your account is synched to your app, you can access all of your saved content with or without a cellular connection. So here's the home page from an Android tablet. Again, logging into your account is required for this functionality. The app will then take you to a home page that allows you to access your field kits directly. Here, for example, are the three saved field kits associated with this particular account.

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Tapping any one of those field kits is going to give you the same view that we saw on the desktop. You're going to have the media, which are your CAD files and your images, and you're going to have a guides page, as well. So tap any of your media thumbnails in the field to enlarge the image. You can also view any of your media and your guides in a portrait or landscape view. Again, very powerful tool for being out in the field.

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This is the guide page. Tapping any one of the guides that you have saved allows you to access the full eight-tab guide. So if you're looking for a description on how to install a particular measure, accessing the guide and putting it on your tablet can give you step-by-step instructions on how to do that. Here is an image of the climate tab of this particular guide. And the more info tab.

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The Android Solutions app -- I should mention, the little icon that you see up in the left-hand corner is the icon for the app. And the app is called Solutions. The Android version is now available, and the IOS version is almost available, or just finishing up development on that. Again, creating user accounts and saving your field kits, images, and CAD files allows you to access any of this information out in the field with or without an Internet connection. If you are interested in downloading the Android version of Solutions, you can go directly to this URL: basc.pnnl.gov/solutions. We will have these -- or, the Solutions app will be available in app stores coming soon. But we did want to provide beta users with the opportunity to download the app as soon as possible.

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Thank-you, everyone. That is a tour of the Building America Solution Center. I'm now going to hand it over to Michael Baechler to wrap up.

Michael Baechler:
Thanks, Chrissi.

Next slide:
Thanks, again, Chrissi. I'm just going to quickly summarize what you've seen and maybe provide sort of a higher-elevation perspective on the Solution Center. Essentially, the Solution Center, it's a Web-accessible, structured database focusing on Building America best practices. The user interface consists of a number of tools to find focused content. We want to basically allow you to find the content that's of most interest to you. So registered users gain access to more customized and mobile or accessible information. The initial content in the Solution Center primarily around, that was populated to support ENERGY STAR Version 3, has been sort of a legacy content of Building America. And we are currently updating that information with the most recent research and that information, we're now sort of focused on getting that -- the material populated to support Zero Energy Ready Homes. Next fall, we plan on launching the checklist for existing homes, and so that's also going to involve a major upgrade in content. As you can tell, the Solution Center is a living database that is continuously populated and updated.

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Now, over the last year, if you didn't get it from what Chrissi was saying, over the last year, the focus of our work really has been to upgrade the ability to customize and access the information. So changes that have been taken incrementally have all been sort of contributing to this larger strategy of making this information accessible. That's why, though, we had to first create the ability for folks to better organize and produce multiple field kits. We had to create the PDF and print functionality to allow that information to be put in the format that's easily used in the field. The Solution Center, as Chrissi mentioned, can now be viewed through any mobile device with Internet access. It automatically adjusts to your device. What's new right now are the mobile applications that we're producing that we call Solutions. And you can see the icons here in the middle of the slide. The app for Android is now available, as Chrissi mentioned. You can get it off of the Solution Center itself. We actually have some legal issues going on, requiring, that sort of limit the ability of DOE or its national laboratories to put these kind of apps on the Google Play, which is their apps store. So it may be quite a while where the only way you'll be able to get that particular app is through the Building America Solution Center. However, we have contracts in place with the Apple App Store, and so the IOS version, the Apple version, will be available through the App Store. We anticipate rolling that out at the same time as we roll out the Zero Energy Ready Home checklist, which is May 9. So both apps allow synchronization and access to saved field kits. And the key thing here is that if you synchronize your files, you can take that information anywhere you want to. And an immediate situation that comes to mind is that you go out to a work site where there's no cell coverage, there's no wifi coverage. You can use the information on your mobile device to show your crew how to install something. The other situation might be you go into the dungeons, the third basement of your, at city hall, to talk to your code official, and you want to pull the information up to show them that some innovative measure that you're proposing is actually perfectly acceptable under code. So that's what our intent is there, is to make this information something that's portable and accessible wherever you need it to be.

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So Building Science Publications now provides access to the entire Building America library and all of the references that we use within the Solution Center. So when we write the guides and we write the other content, we don't limit ourselves to Building America information, although that's sort of the main focus of what we use in preparing that information. So we make sure all of those references are available within this particular tool. And the idea is that if you want to actually go back to the source material, you want to check the references yourself, here's a way to search and find that kind of information easily. So our big date coming up is May 9. Again, we will plan to launch an existing home checklist in the fall. And we did launch, as Chrissi mentioned, the new help page and acknowledgments.

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Let me quickly just run through the ways that you can contact us. Even if you don't become a registered user, you can use this email address to send us your comments and if you've got content that you'd like us to consider. We do want to emphasize that folks become registered users. It helps us in terms of knowing who's using the site a little bit more, at least in terms of professions and climate zones and states and that sort of thing. We don't ask for a lot of real detailed information, but we ask for enough to kind of figure that sort of thing out.

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And here's how you can access the Solution Center, once again. And I would point out to you that you can also access it through the Building America website, and you can also access the Challenge Home, or Zero Energy Ready Home, website through the Building America website, as well. So ... thank-you for taking in our webinar. I want to invite all of you to visit the Solution Center. I'd like to invite all of you to become registered users of the Solution Center. We're currently getting about 20,000 visitors a month, about 10,000 of those -- let me rephrase that -- 20,000 page views a month, about 10,000 unique visitors. We'd love it if you joined that group and took advantage of the Solution Center and let us know what you think about it. So Lindsay, are there any questions that we can respond to?

Sam Rashkin:
Before we go to the questions, Michael, thank-you, and Chrissi, great job. That's really great guidance for our stakeholders. The one thing I do want to mention is that this session was the DOE Challenge Home resources webinar, and it originally was going to do the marketing resources and the Solution Center. Due to the excellent amount of detail we had just about the Solution Center, we broke it up into two parts. Today we did part one on the Building America Solution Center. Part two will be scheduled probably in June, and that will deal with the marketing resources you have to promote Zero Energy Ready Homes. There's a remarkable set of tools and resources that can help builders and raters and anyone that needs to promote zero energy ready performance. We'll explain all of those in June. So thank-you very much for this session, and now we'll go to the questions.

Lindsay Parker:
Thank-you, Sam, and thank-you again, Michael and Chrissi. It was a very clear and informative presentation. So clear, in fact, that we had a few questions, but you basically covered most things. I think the predominant question was the URL to get to the website. Apparently there were some issues accessing basc.energy.gov. Instead, it redirected to basc.pnnl.gov. Is there any information that you can share on website changing, anything about that?

Michael Baechler:
Yea, the ... so PNNL is a national laboratory owned by the Department of Energy. And right now, the way we're handing off access to the Solution Center is that the -- your -- you can access it through the DOE servers directly, which is the URL that we provided. And essentially, that is an alias. It sends you back to the PNNL server, where we are, where the Solution Center actually lives. So the dirty little secret here is that you can access it either by using the URL with "energy" in it, or you can access it directly using the URL that says "pnnl" as opposed to "energy." So Chrissi just put the URL back up on the screen. So if you replaced "energy" with "pnnl," you would also go to the same place. Shouldn't matter which way, which one you use. You will end up at the same place. Eventually, once we're not in such an intensive development phase of the Solution Center, which is probably a year or two down the road, the URL will be transferred over to the Energy site, where it will live, and at that point, only the "energy" URL would function. So, sorry if that's caused folks any confusion. But basically you get to the same place using either URL.

Lindsay Parker:
Great. Thank-you, Michael. One last question. Is there a -- you provide so much great information to this presentation. Is there also a guide online, on how to use the website?

Michael Baechler:
Well, there is. If you go to the Solution Center, there is a help page. We don't have ... Actually, Chrissi, why don't you pull up the Solution Center itself, and let's see if we can access it. I don't know if I have a shortcut to it. So the help page does provide a lot of guidance.

Solution Center live site:
So this is -- we're now looking at the Solution Center live. So it is real. You can see over in the left nav bar there is that help feature. And it's got an accordion-style access to the information, just like other parts of the Solution Center does. And you can find guidance on how to use various aspects of the tool, and/or tools, really, on this page. So that would be where I would suggest heading to. And of course, you can use the email that we showed earlier if you run into problems with the application or its navigation.

Sam Rashkin:
And also -- this is Sam online. I also want to say that all these webinars will be posted on the website for DOE Zero Energy Ready Home, now with the DOE Challenge Home. And so you can always use that as a resource for guidance how to use the Building America Solution Center, as well.

Michael Baechler:
And if I can make just one other comment, Sam. This is not directly in response to the question, but kind of going back to the survey. Folks indicated that one type of content that they would be most interested in are images. And Chrissi, why don't you go to the image gallery if you don't mind. One of the side effects -- it's kind of a benefit, an unintended benefit of producing this thing and using a database-type format -- is that every guide is made up of lots of different kinds of content. And the guides try to organize that into an explanatory way to help you install a particular measure. Because we have all that content and we store it all separately, that's kind of where these galleries came from. And so in the early months of the Solution Center, the heaviest access, the part of the Solution Center that was most heavily used were these galleries. And coincidentally, perhaps, according to registered users, anyway, which of course is not the entire population of folks using the Solution Center, the individuals that were making, that were visiting us the most often were raters. So we surmised that in many instances, people were pulling down these images that they could then share with the builders who they worked with, or within the kinds of training that they provided, as a resource. Oh, that's great. That's actually a wonderful way to use the Solution Center. But anyway, since that was a particular type of content that folks have mentioned, there are a couple of great treasure troves in here of lots of images and we'd like to develop more CAD drawings. We've got over 100 now, I believe. But we will be continuing to improve in that score, as well.

Lindsay Parker:
OK, MIchael. There's one last question as to whether the field kits can be shared between users.

Michael Baechler:
Chrissi, you're shaking your head. Why don't you answer that.

Chrissi Antonopoulos:
Sure. That is probably one of the greatest pieces of feedback we've received since we unrolled field kits. Field kits cannot currently be shared between users unless you create a shared account. So if you are a builder and a rater, for example, working together, you can create a shared account and access your particular field kit. However, a lot of people have noted that it would be very helpful to be able to send field kits between one person and another. So it is something that we are exploring, on adding.

Lindsay Parker:
Alright, thank-you so much, Chrissi. Alright, is there anything else to add, I think, Sam?

Sam Rashkin:
Yea, folks. So thank-you, everyone. This is part one of the resources, and I hope that you got a lot out of this particular session. The Building America Solution Center is truly a tremendous improvement in again, how you get content from Building America, which is a true hub of building science knowledge and practices. So thank-you very much for attending. The next webinars will be posted on our website. Please make sure you take advantage of them. Thank-you very much.

Lindsay Parker:
Great. Also look out for an email with the PDF of the presentation, and some more information on upcoming webinars. Thank-you.