There is a village, once every two years, where you can not only see, but take a tour of, 20 of the world's most technologically advanced and energy efficient high-performance homes. This village is not, as you might imagine, at Epcot Center (although who doesn't love a spin through Spaceship Earth) or at the highly-publicized World's Fairs. This magical village appears on the National Mall in Washington, DC, for the US Department of Energy's biennial Solar Decathlon.
When I tell people that I’m a Technical Manager for Building Science at PECI, I’m usually met with confused looks and further inquisitions about what my job entails. The words “building” and “scientist” are not exactly used together very often in practice, let alone in conversation. Things get even more complicated when I explain that I have an architecture degree. And when I’m talking to fellow architects, more blank stares… how exactly am I working with buildings but not designing them?