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5928 N Paulina St
Chicago, IL, 60660
United States


Quality control for home improvement and new home building, plus building forensics for solving virtually any home performance problems. Nothing can hide from advanced diagnostics in residential construction, and you should never have to guess or assume that home improvements worked- proof is possible. Ask for it.

Videos, Podcasts, & Articles

Home performance articles and stories from the field with internationally respected building forensics gurus at the Building Performance Workshop. Hear new episodes of the Building Performance Podcast, see new videos from the Home Performance YouTube channel, and learn all about how diagnostic testing (more than an 'Energy Audit') can make home improvement and new home construction a proven process!

The Pro's Guide to City Sponsorship for the Proof Is Possible Tour

Corbett Lunsford

Because nothing like the Proof Is Possible Tour has ever been done before, we get a LOT of questions about it. Which we LOVE answering, so keep them coming! But we thought we'd take the bull by the horns and answer some of the HARD questions about what it is, why we're doing it, how City Sponsors work, and why YOU should participate!

San Diego, CA (City Sponsor: United Infrared/Thermal Imaging Conference)
Atlantic City, NJ (City Sponsor: GreenLife Energy Solutions)
Chicago, IL (City Sponsor: Advanced Energy Services)
Dallas/Plano, TX (City Sponsor: Advanced Energy Solutions)

OK, here's an 8-minute crash course in putting your city on the map:

Proof Is Possible Tour to Visit 16 Cities in 2016

Corbett Lunsford

A full week of workshops for homeowners, building pros, and real estate pros show the path to worry-free construction

The launch of the Proof Is Possible U.S. Tour is unusual for several reasons, the biggest being that ‘energy efficiency’ is not central to any of the workshops. Instead, what the homeowners, Realtors, mortgage lenders, appraisers, and building pros absorb is the need for quality control, pure and simple. Proof Is Possible for everyone involved: proof that you do better work than the competition, that you got what you paid for, and that a home is worth more.

The tour had a sponsored kickoff event in Tampa way back in 2014, and that got participants hands-on with state of the art tools like testing fans and infrared cameras thanks to TruTech Tools and Retrotec.  While the help from exclusive sponsor Dow Building Solutions on that original event was awesome, it made the process of replicating the tour in other cities very slow.  Corbett and Grace ultimately decided to streamline the tour, do it all at once in sequence, and spend a whole week at each location, instead of just two days!  Find out more about the 2016 tour at

The Building Performance Workshop team makes ‘Proof’ both educational and entertaining, showing homeowners and homebuyers that they should expect nothing less. Whereas most marketing for home performance is of a ‘macro’ nature intended for huge swaths of people in different areas, the Proof Tour takes a markedly ‘micro’ approach and simply gets everyone who needs to be involved in a local market in one room together.

“I attended the first Proof is Possible in Tampa, and it was the most informative class I have ever been to. Corbett took a very involved subject and in 2 days made me understand things about Home Performance that I hadn’t known in 5 years of testing and 30 years of contracting. It is worth every penny and a lot more to spend this time with the man who wrote the book on the subject while he breaks it down and shows you how it works,” reported Mike Bowman of Dunedin Refrigeration. Adds Cate Hammer of Building Insight, “It’s exciting to have an exuberant and nationally-respected expert like Corbett help us connect the top local contractors with the homeowners and real estate pros who’re looking for what they can deliver- proven results.”

The tour aims to also deepen the real estate community’s understanding of the value of performance. Out of 850 total MLS databases in the U.S., a surprising 185 incorporate ‘green’ features- but few Realtors understand how to use them. The National Association of Realtors found in 2012 that 87% of surveyed homebuyers believe cooling and heating costs are “important” or “very important”. High performance home certifications such as ENERGY STAR and Passive House can add a 10% premium to a home’s selling price, according to several studies surveying millions of home sales throughout the nation. Punta Gorda-based home appraiser Sandra Adomatis adds, “There’s a huge misunderstanding about the cost- a new high performance home will only cost 2-7% more than a code-built home, but then it works for you, instead of you working for it.”

The Proof Is Possible Tour is coming to a city near you, with dinner workshops for anyone who owns or plans to own a home, a breakfast workshop for real estate professionals, mortgage brokers, and appraisers, all free of charge thanks to sponsorship. Additionally there’s a full day of training ($200) for building professionals, who’ll be equipped to turn around and prove they did the job right the first time, and find the mistakes competitors have made. And on Day Two a Duct and Envelope Tightness certification course is be held for a limited number of participants.

For a list of upcoming cities, information and registration visit:

'Home Diagnosis' Finally Puts Home Performance Testing on Mainstream TV

Corbett Lunsford

Grace and I have been trying to make a TV show about home performance testing for years- we've tried three times so far!  This is how it works traditionally:

  1. You get a network executive to want to see you as a couple onscreen because they think you're quirky or weird or otherwise compelling in a I-can't-look-away kind of way
  2. You work with a production company and pay out of your own pocket to shoot a 'sizzle reel' that shows off the personality of the hosts
  3. You remind yourself and everyone else that your show is about SCIENCE, not about relationship drama and being quirky or weird
  4. They remind you that no one cares about the topic in reality TV
  5. You feel frustrated and you throw the whole idea in the garbage because you don't want to play their stupid game

So we've decided to make the show ourselves, without asking anyone's permission. We find that works best for us- whether self-publishing a book (Home Performance Diagnostics) or making a feature film (The Other One), it always seems to work perfectly when we don't have someone breathing down our neck to conform to 'the way things get done around here normally.' Here's the show that will actually make it onto mainstream television: HOME DIAGNOSIS.

In 2014, we pushed hard for a show called PRESCRIPTION HOME PERFORMANCE to get made, but it went exactly nowhere. We went to the national RealScreen Summit, a non-fiction television programming conference (yeah, I know!), met with all kinds of networks to pitch the idea, and finally had Science Channel interested until they finally said, "wait, we don't want to compete with HGTV." And that was that. But you can still see what the show was like here:

And way back in 2009, we worked with our friends and client Sandy Gordon to make OUR GREEN COMPANY, which resulted in all of us being told by the Discovery Green channel that 'green' was a fad. Look at these kids- so young, so fresh, and maybe clueless!

Stay tuned for developments on HOME DIAGNOSIS- at the very least, it'll show on PBS just like This Old House does, and at most, it'll be running 24 hours a day on every channel there is.  Probably it'll be somewhere in between!

If you'd like to participate in the making of this show, please reach out to us about it!

Infinite Toolbox: OCT 2015 Building Forensics Mastermind Webinar

Corbett Lunsford

Join Corbett as he shows off the advanced building performance testing and data gleaned from the past month's projects.  This month, focus on simple, inexpensive tools that can help get your brain in shape to master building performance- HOBO dataloggers, theodolite photo app and roomscan app, and a great graphical weather forecaster.
Be sure to SUBSCRIBE!

How to Renovate a Home in Dallas- the RIGHT Way

Corbett Lunsford

Dear Corbett-
I am not a contractor, but a residential homeowner that has become increasingly interested in owning (and taking a part in creating) a high performance building. After going through several series of podcasts, I ran across yours, and immediately loved it because you went into greater detail about the things that I want to learn about; so I want to thank you for the podcast.
Onto my situation.... I am looking to buy an older (1940's) home that has no hvac, next to no insulation, and needs a good deal of work; but I believe it has the best potential for making a high performance home.... a blank canvas.
What I am having trouble with is finding the local rock stars that can really help me make my house as efficient and comfortable as possible with my given budget. Do you know of any really good people in the Dallas area that could get me on the right track? Thanks again for putting out all the info!
~Derek R.

Thanks for reaching out, Derek! I'm always happy to help, and I think the home you're considering is a GREAT OPPORTUNITY. A blank canvas is much easier to paint on, and when a house is fully 'finished' and has been renovated, it just means you'll have to dig harder and deeper to find and fix the issues that are lurking under the surface.
I'll hook you up privately with a few of my own black belts who are part of Fall Fast Track, but I also want you to know that when we take this show on the road next year for the Proof Is Possible Tour, we'll be creating a directory of pros who pledge to deliver guaranteed results across the U.S.!  Stay tuned here for further developments on that front, and keep in touch about your high performance home renovation!
Looking Forward,

How to Fix Summertime Heat on Your Top Floor

Corbett Lunsford

Hi Corbett-
Finally, I have two solid quotes for air sealing. I have one new concern, however. My finished attic gets really hot in summer, and the A/C dedicated to this attic rarely is able to cool the space below 82 degrees.  From what I have read, besides implementing some kind of reflective roofing material, the only way to keep an attic cool is plenty of airflow.  So, if we air seal the attic and add insulation (which I have read holds and radiates heat in summer ?), is this air sealing initiative going to make my attic unlivable in the summer?

Hey there R-
First thing to do is stop thinking about your top floor as an attic of any type.  Yes, it used to be an attic, but now it's supposed to be inside the enclosure, so let's call it what it is- your valuable living space.
Not only will airsealing NOT going to make your top floor (finished attic) hotter in summer, it is in fact the ONLY THING that will make it cooler up there.  What's happening is called reverse stack effect: your air conditioners are creating cooler, drier, DENSER air, which sinks to the bottom of the house. All the air conditioning wants to be in the bottom of the house at the same time, so it creates a higher pressure down there, and there's a low pressure at the top of the house.
The cool, heavy air escapes through gaps and cracks in the bottom of the house, and the house now needs air, so it breathes in at the most depressurized (and also hottest) place- at the very top.  So all the air that's in your top floor rooms is coming from the attic spaces and the roof cavity.
Lastly, it's a total myth that attic ventilation will keep an attic cool- #1, attic ventilation is actually for venting MOISTURE, not heat; and #2, you don't actually care how hot it gets in your attic, since it's not part of your house.  The roofing manufacturers used to void their warranties if the attic got too hot, but they don't do that anymore.  You're free!
For a more detailed look at attic airsealing, watch this:

How to Master the Multi-family Blower Door Test

Corbett Lunsford

Hello Corbett,
A need to run a Blower Door test at a 3 house complex here in Greece. The houses are in the row, this means that normally I should have three Blower door devices, in order to measure the house in the middle. But I have only one Blower Door!
Additionally, I will need to hand over a written document (report), in order to certify the construction to the Passive House Institute. Do you have any suggestions?
Best and thanks in advance,

Hey Stefanos-
Great question! You do not, in fact, need multiple blower doors, because you actually want to include the unit-to-unit air leakage.  The measurement of all uncontrolled air leakage to outdoors and to other townhouses is a valuable one, and it should be the goal especially when building to Passive House (or PassivHaus) standards.  Watch this video for a visual explanation:

How Should a Homeowner Shop for a High Performance Home?!?

Corbett Lunsford

Hello Corbett,
I have been listening to your podcast and heard your request for ideas. You often mention the challenges in educating consumers, and I think my questions might be interesting to the non-professionals in your audience.
I just moved to Denver, Colorado and am considering purchasing a home for the first time. As a potential first-time homebuyer interested in air quality, moisture management, energy efficiency, and building durability, I expect that it is unlikely that I will be able to find a high-performing home at an entry-level price. With the expectation that I may need to invest in some retrofitting, I have a couple of general building performance questions:

Ascertaining current performance

Assuming that a first-time buyer probably will not have access to the sophisticated diagnostics described on your podcast during their search, what are some key things to look for that would indicate a high or low performance?
Utility bills can shed some light on energy efficiency, but how can someone gauge issues like air quality or moisture control?

Performance improvement opportunities

What factors influence a residential building’s suitability for a high-performance retrofit?
Are there factors that would influence the ROI of a retrofit for a modest home? And how could a homebuyer identify those?

Assembling a team

Do you have suggestions about how to assemble your team (realtors, inspectors, and appraisers) to help identify an entry-level home based on current or future potential?
What skills or expertise would you consider important?
Your podcasts have covered issues about financing for retrofits – so there may be nothing new to address here.
Basically, it would be great to be able to use a home performance lens during a home search to identify a property in which it is not too difficult or expensive to improve from decent to good performance.
As a potential consumer, I have enjoyed and learned a lot from your podcast. Thank you for thoughts.


Home Performance Pros: Listen, Smile, and Remember Sometimes You're an Idiot

Corbett Lunsford

Listening, smiling, and validating are all skills that any home performance professional must have in order to serve homeowners, architects, developers, and other contractors!  Don't get so full of scientific diagnostic proof that you forget we all have to relate to each other in order to make any home improvements or performance-based building project work.

What Spillage Looks Like from a Water Heater

Corbett Lunsford

Testing for "spillage" of combustion gases means making sure the bad stuff that's supposed to go UP the chimney doesn't come back DOWN.  It's a critical part of home performance analysis, according to BPI, RESNET, and everyone else.  If you don't know what it looks like, you might feel a little lost- let your old pal Corbett the diagnostics guy show you the single most awesome example of what you shouldn't see in your clients' homes!

I Turned My A/C Off All Day at 106 Degrees

Corbett Lunsford

Dear Corbett:

I thought I would send this your way.  I live in the Central Valley of California.  Yesterday it reached 106 degrees.  I did an experiment with my house.  My 1,883 sq./ft. house had a deep energy upgrade over three years ago.  The heating and cooling unit is a 2 stage/2 ton heat pump with no back-up heat.  The second stage of cooling is disconnected so I am cooling with 1.4 tons.  That is one ton for every 1,345 sq./ft.

Yesterday morning I left the house at 7:40 am.  It was 75 degrees in the house and 75 degrees outside.  I closed all of the blinds, turned the HRV off and turned the Heat Pump off.  In other words, I let the house float.  It got up to 106 degrees in Stockton yesterday.  Luci my bride got home at 5:40 in the afternoon and the house was 78 degrees.  She turned the thermostat back on and it brought the temp back to 75 in 30 minutes.

This stuff really works.
Keep up the GREAT work;
Dick Rome

Dear Dick-

You are awesome. I'm not sure I know many other home performance experts who have fixed their own homes- most of our families have to suffer at home while we help other people get comfortable. Thanks so much for sharing the good word!


PODCAST #75 REALTORS OF THE FUTURE: Chad Curry on Technology & Real Estate

Corbett Lunsford

Today Corbett talks with Chad Curry, managing director of the Center for REALTOR Technology, about how performance metrics are changing the real estate industry. From the Internet of Things to measuring air quality in neighborhoods, Chad's group is on the cutting edge of helping the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) incorporate home performance into the selling and buying of homes everywhere! Sponsored by Fall Fast Track- my 6-week mastermind course in home performance ninja techniques.

To download this episode or hear more, subscribe in iTunes or visit