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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.
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 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.
Senior Associate, Building Science Corporation
Peter Baker is an expert in building forensics and the building enclosure design of residential, commercial and institutional buildings, particularly with respect to energy efficiency, durability, constructability, and water management.
Mr. Baker conducts field investigations of existing buildings with problems such as leaks, rot, mold, decay, odors, poor indoor air quality, and uncontrolled humidity. With over a decade of first-hand insight into the realities of construction, Mr. Baker determines the underlying cause or causes of building failures and makes repair recommendations that not only account for the owner’s long-term goals and constraints, but that also take into account the repair’s effect on the building’s current occupants, the constructability of the repairs, and the availability and compatibility of repair materials.
With respect to new construction, Mr. Baker has partnered with major developers, contractors and architects, reviewing drawings and developing design standards to mitigate the risk of technical failures in both commercial and residential buildings in all climate zones. Mr. Baker has made valuable contributions to the advancement of energy efficient design in his role as project manager for the Department of Energy’s Building America program. Mr. Baker has also performed both laboratory and field exposure testing to examine the long-term system deflection resistance capacities of wall assemblies insulated on the exterior. This research has been used to validate and develop attachment guidelines for various cladding types installed over continuous exterior insulation. Additionally, in collaboration with Catholic Charities Group and Louisiana State University, Mr. Baker developed flood resistant design concepts to assist with their re-building efforts after hurricane Katrina. Mr. Baker’s approach used energy efficiency and durability gains to offset the cost of the additional structural measures required for hurricane and flood resistance.
Mr. Baker holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from University of Alberta and is a registered professional engineer in the Province of Alberta, Canada.
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.
Senior Associate, Building Science Corporation
Christine Cronin works with developers, contractors, and architects to mitigate the risk of technical failures in new construction. Ms. Cronin’s practice includes both commercial and residential design throughout North America, including the Canadian Arctic and the Caribbean. She reviews drawings and makes recommendations that promote appropriate water control, air control, energy efficiency, constructability, and durability. For clients with a portfolio of upcoming projects, she assists in developing design standards commensurate with their tolerance for risk. During the construction phase, Ms. Cronin reviews work in progress and addresses conditions or changes in sequence or scope that were not anticipated during the design phase.
In existing buildings Ms. Cronin investigates failures related to the design of the building enclosure and mechanical systems as well as material and installation defects. Failures include leaks, corrosion, rot, mold, odors, poor indoor air quality, and discomfort due to poor temperature or humidity control. Ms. Cronin’s experience in new construction and attendant understanding of the division of labor among the trades, and typical sequencing and construction practices inform not just her analysis in forensic cases, but also her repair and retrofit recommendations, which, whenever possible, are designed to minimize disruption in occupied buildings.
Ms. Cronin has extensive experience in both the design and installation of below-grade water control systems for projects as diverse as an underground particle accelerator constructed partially underneath an existing hospital, a utility tunnel between two buildings, and a lakeside private residence with an underground basketball court. She also performs hygrothermal modeling (using WUFI), particularly of atypical building assemblies, for both new construction and to illustrate failure mechanisms in forensic cases.
Ms. Cronin is Co-Chair and a voting member of ASHRAE Technical Committee 1.12, Moisture Management in Buildings, and a member of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA).
Ms. Cronin received her Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University and her Master of Architecture from NewSchool of Architecture + Design.
Office Manager, Building Science Corporation
Jeff Melvin is the office manager at Building Science Corporation. He sees the full customer cycle - from initial phone calls to interacting with project managers to final invoicing. Additionally, he organizes BSC's seminars and fulfills book orders, and seeks to streamline all aspects of BSC's operations.
Graphics, Newsletter, and Website Manager, Building Science Corporation
Ashley Owens is a Registered Architect with over 10 years of experience in the building industry. She has been involved in the design and renovation of projects in the residential, commercial, and institutional sectors. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Boston Architectural College and believes strongly in community involvement by the design profession.