Robb joined Steven Winter Associates in 2000 where he has researched new technologies, monitored performance of building systems, and worked with builders and developers across the country to create better, healthier, more efficient homes. He holds a Master’s degree in Building Systems Engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder.
Robb first became interested in energy (and renewable energy) during college – studying Chemistry and Creative Writing at Colby College. As a chemist, his primary interest at the time was in biomass and alternative fuels.
After working a short time in chemistry R&D, he moved west where he started grad school (Building Systems Engineering program at the University of Colorado, Boulder) and began working part-time designing, selling, installing, and repairing solar electric systems for off-grid homes (Rocky Mountain Solar Electric). In a few years, he got a very good handle on PV operation & design (today’s grid-tied PV systems are much simpler and more reliable).
He studied renewable energy in grad school as well, but learned to appreciate more the tremendous savings achievable by simply using less energy – rather than collecting energy (rather expensively) from the sun. While Robb still works a great deal with solar systems, his career has focused more on practical energy efficiency strategies in homes.
After receiving his MS in 1999, Robb moved back east and worked for a small company in Maine designing heating systems and solar thermal systems – primarily for homes. In mid-2000, Robb moved to Connecticut to work with Steven Winter Associates. Since then, Robb has been doing very gratifying work on high-performance homes and advanced energy systems.
Robb has been a licensed mechanical engineer since 2005. While not doing much traditional MEP design, Robb has worked with developers, architects, builders, and home owners across the country to design and build homes that use less energy – sometimes zero net energy – and are comfortable, healthy, safe and affordable.
At dozens of conferences around the country, Robb has been invited to speak about home energy topics and outstanding projects. He’s also written many papers and articles – trying to spread the word about sensible, practical, home energy strategies.
Should we be trying to electrify everything? Is it practical for existing and new buildings with the technologies we have now? Two engineers with different takes on these questions will debate electrifying residential buildings.