Alex Glenn Leads PechaKucha Session at EEBA Summit

Last October, Alex Glenn, building science trainer and consultant, attended the Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) Summit in Atlanta, Georgia. Alex hosted and moderated a session that featured five recent winners of the U.S. Department of Energy Housing Innovation Award, a recognition given to builders who push the industry forward. During the session, these individuals discussed their businesses and their way of building high performance homes.

The session was designed around a particular style of presenting known as PechaKucha, which comes from the Japanese term meaning “the sound of conversation.” PechaKucha emphasizes creative, fast-paced and high-energy presentations as a way to keep audience members engaged and foster out-of-the-box thinking. In Alex’s session, presenters followed a format of 20 slides at 20 seconds each, allowing for just under 7 minutes to get their message across. The presentations were typically image-heavy and forced speakers to use an approach they might not have been accustomed to.

Alex was originally introduced to PechaKucha by Chris Dorsi of Habitat X, an organization that provides training solutions to the housing industry. Its flagship event is the Habitat X Summer National Conference, where Alex was challenged to deliver his own PechaKucha presentation and was inspired to apply the concept to the energy efficiency industry. He first brought PechaKucha to EEBA for its 2015 High Performance Homes Summit and was asked to return as host for the 2017 Summit. This led to his collaborative session, “PechaKucha – Invent, Imitate or Innovate: What’s Your Story?”

The session was a big hit, reaching a mix of builders, raters, utility representatives and program staff. Attendees rated it as being extremely valuable and well-organized, and reported that the presenters were effective and responded well to questions. Furthermore, and possibly most importantly, many audience members noted that they were likely to apply the lessons learned to their work in the field. With the continued success of Alex’s session, EEBA is planning to make PechaKucha presentations an annual part of its program. In addition, Alex accepted an invitation to join EEBA’s board of directors and will serve in the role for three years.

EEBA’s mission is to advance knowledge in and increase exposure to building science in the residential new construction community. Its summit is an annual event that brings together building professionals – builders, designers, raters and more – from across North America to network, collaborate, learn and share ideas. Attendees hear stories and insights to promote the growth of more-efficient and better-performing homes. Advanced Energy’s abilities in training and marketing align well with EEBA’s goals, and Alex’s experience at last year’s event shows how we can make a positive impact.