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Ph.D., P.Eng., ASHRAE Fellow
Principal, Building Science Corporation
Joseph Lstiburek is the founding principal of Building Science Corporation. Dr. Lstiburek’s work ranges widely, from providing expert witness testimony to overseeing research and development projects, to writing for the ASHRAE Journal and buildingscience.com. Dr. Lstiburek’s commitment to advancing the building industry has had a lasting impact on building codes and practices throughout the world, particularly in the areas of air barriers, vapor barriers, and vented and unvented roof assemblies. For example, his work with industry partners through the Department of Energy’s Building America program led to significant research into the wetting and drying of walls and ultimately to a major code change relaxing the requirement for vapor barriers in the International Residential Code.
Dr. Lstiburek is also an acclaimed educator who has taught thousands of professionals over the past three decades and written countless papers as well as the best-selling Builder Guides. Fittingly, the Wall Street Journal has described him as "the dean of North American building science." He has a joy for telling tall tales to his protégés and audiences.
Dr. Lstiburek holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering, a Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering, and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Building Science. While still an undergrad, Dr. Lstiburek worked as a residential construction manager; during his Master’s degree, he developed the Air Drywall Approach to air barriers. Other formative experiences include working on the Canada-wide Super Energy Efficient Housing R-2000 program and serving as senior engineer on commercial construction projects for Trow in Toronto. Dr. Lstiburek founded BSC in 1990 with his business partner Betsy Pettit, and he has been a key figure in establishing BSC as one of the most influential, innovative, and respected building science firms in North America.
Principal, Building Science Laboratories, Building Science Consulting Inc.
John Straube is a principal of Building Science Laboratories / Building Science Consulting Inc. and a professor of building science in the Civil Engineering Department and School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo. Energy-efficient, healthy, durable and sustainable building designs are a general goal of his research, which is often supported by advanced computer simulation, laboratory testing and full-scale natural exposure performance monitoring. Dr. Straube has consulted to many major building product manufacturers, government agencies (CMHC, NRC/IRC,UN, NRCan, DOE, EPA), and a range of design professionals and building owners. Considered an international expert in moisture-related durability issues, his building science expertise has been applied to moldy roofs, failed masonry, leaky EIFS cladding, insulating Mongolian yurts, wet basements, rotting crawlspaces and attics, historically sensitive retrofits, and litigation support for buildings as diverse as commercial office towers, manufactured housing, and sustainable strawbale homes.
Dr. Straube has been involved in the preparation of design and construction guides for numerous organizations, and has published dozens of technical papers in academic peer-reviewed conferences and journals as well as trade journals and magazines. He is the author of High Performance Enclosures: Design Guide for Institutional, Commercial and Industrial Buildings in Cold Climates and co-author of the widely used textbook Building Science for Building Enclosure Design.
President, Building Science Corporation
Betsy Pettit is the president of Building Science Corporation, which she co-founded with her business partner, Joe Lstiburek, in 1990. Ms. Pettit is a registered architect with over 35 years of professional experience in the design and renovation of residential, commercial, and institutional buildings. With a particular passion for and commitment to environmentally responsible design, Ms. Pettit managed Building Science Corporation’s role in the Department of Energy’s Building America project for the past twenty years, which has involved the design of over 2,000 high performance houses throughout the United States.
Consistent with her philosophy that environmental responsibility ought to also be economical, Ms. Pettit has done extensive work to advance the building industry in the area of energy efficient affordable housing, partnering with Habitat for Humanity, as well as developers and builders across the United States. She is the former Director of Modernization and Redevelopment in the public housing division of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Offices of Communities and Development, where she oversaw over $120 million of building improvements to Massachusetts’ 40,000 units of public housing.
Ms. Pettit has given seminars on the subject of healthy and environmentally responsible housing to builders and architects across the country, and she has contributed to many procedural and technical manuals and papers to guide designers and contractors in the area of high performance design. She has also served as chair of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) Buildings Conference, where BSC staff members are frequent presenters.
Ms. Pettit holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental Design from Miami University and a Master of Architecture from North Carolina State University. Based on Ms. Pettit’s “notable contributions to the advancement of the profession of architecture,” she was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in February 2008.
Principal, ABT Systems, LLC
Armin Rudd is both an engineering consultant and researcher. He conducts research and development, analysis, design, and inspection of building mechanical systems and building enclosures. His main activities focus on the overall production homebuilding industry and on commercial and residential building moisture and indoor air quality investigations. Mr. Rudd has experience as a subject expert in arbitration and court. Highlights of Mr. Rudd’s work have included: researching and developing HVAC system designs with a focus on ventilation and dehumidification; guiding production homebuilders and HVAC contractors through transitions from standard to high-performance product; and research-based code changes related to unvented attics and crawlspaces.
Mr. Rudd has twelve U.S. patents related to HVAC controls and metal-wood structural framing components. He received the Distinguished Researcher Award in 1997 from the University of Central Florida, Institute and Centers. He is a frequent presenter at national conferences and has published numerous peer-reviewed technical papers and reports. He is also the author of the 2011 Ventilation Guide, published by Building Science Press, and many reports and articles on buildingscience.com.
Principal, Building Science Laboratories, Building Science Consulting Inc.
Christopher Schumacher is recognized as an expert in the field of building monitoring and building systems and enclosure testing. He has led the design, installation and analysis of monitoring systems for over 25 projects in over a dozen states and countries as far abroad as Mongolia and New Zealand. Mr. Schumacher pioneered the use of the gravimetric balance to study the moisture performance of full scale wall systems, and has received awards for his role in several major ASHRAE research projects. In addition to his expertise in monitoring and testing, he has a breadth of knowledge founded on his formal education in both architecture and engineering, as well as over a decade of experience in design, computer simulation, and forensic investigation. Even before LEED was widely adopted in Canada, Mr. Schumacher served as a “green design facilitator,” guiding design teams through the process of creating energy efficient, comfortable, durable, economical and environmentally responsible buildings, including one university laboratory that achieved 73% savings over the reference building.
Mr. Schumacher firmly believes in creating buildings that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable – and he pursues the continuous development of building science to this end. On buildingscience.com, he has shared his expertise in Building Science Digests and numerous Research Reports.
Senior Associate, Building Science Corporation
Kohta Ueno’s work at BSC includes forensic field investigations of building failures and consulting work for new and retrofit construction in the design of building enclosure and mechanical systems. Mr. Ueno also frequently performs computer modeling (using WUFI, THERM, and HEAT3) as well as field testing and verification, HVAC design, and residential energy analysis and simulations.
Mr. Ueno has conducted extensive research and field work on building science topics under the Department of Energy’s Building America program. This researched covered topics as varied as the hygrothermal behavior of basement wall insulation, double stud wall durability, interior insulation retrofits of mass masonry buildings, multifamily ventilation systems, and simplified space conditioning systems. Earlier research work included monitoring of vapor control in above grade walls, self-dehumidifying roof assemblies, drainage and drying of wall cladding materials, and comparative performance of interior foundation insulation systems.
Mr. Ueno is a dynamic speaker and a frequent presenter at academic and industry conferences such as the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) Buildings Conference, the Energy & Environmental Building Alliance’s (EEBA) Excellence in Building Conference, the Passive House Conference, and the Boston Society of Architects’ Architecture Boston Expo.
Mr. Ueno received his undergraduate degree in Material Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Master of Applied Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Waterloo.