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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 at BSC ranges widely, from providing expert witness testimony to overseeing research and development projects, to writing for buildingscience.com. A building science pioneer, particularly in the areas of air barriers, vapor barriers, and vented and unvented assemblies, he has had a lasting impact on building codes and practices throughout the world. For example, his work with industry partners through the 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 a noted educator who has taught hundreds 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 been known to have a fondness for single malt scotch and red wine coupled with a joy for telling tall tales to his protégés and audiences.
Dr. Lstiburek holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.) in Mechanical Engineering, a Masters of Engineering (M.Eng) 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, and has been a key figure in establishing it 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 and is a registered architect with over 35 years of professional experience. Prior to joining Building Science Corporation, she was a project architect/ project manager for several Boston architectural firms where she was responsible for the design and production and/or renovation of over 2,000 units of housing, and several area office and commercial buildings. Ms. Pettit is currently the project manager for Building Science Corporationʼs Building America project, involving system design for over 2,000 high performance houses nationwide. Ms. Pettit has given seminars on the subjects of healthy and environmentally responsible housing to builders and architects around the country. She is the former Director of Modernization and Redevelopment in the public housing division of the Commonwealthʼs Executive Offices of Communities and Development, where she oversaw in excess of $120M of building improvements to the Commonwealthʼs 40,000 units of public housing. Based on Ms. Pettitʼs “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.
Ms. Pettit has contributed to many procedural and technical manuals and to papers published in building journals and elsewhere. These documents serve as guidelines to designers and contractors around the country.
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 responsibilities at Building Science Corporation include forensic field investigations of building failures, consulting work with construction teams, project management, and public speaking/education. His consulting experiences have included design charrettes, meetings, and field verification; this work has been done with builders, architects, owners, and developers. He has conducted extensive research and field work on 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. He also has long-term experience in computer modeling (WUFI, THERM, HEAT3), field testing and verification, HVAC design, and residential energy analysis and simulations.
Mr. Ueno has contributed to several Building Science Digests and many research reports on buildingscience.com, including RR-1015: Bulk Water Control Methods for Foundations, RR-1105: Internal Insulation of Masonry Walls: Final Measure Guideline, RR-1108: Hybrid Foundation Insulation Retrofits: Measure Guidelines, and RR-1209: Multifamily Ventilation Retrofit Strategies. His writing has also appeared in Home Energy Magazine.