Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

The Wingnut Testing Collective

Original Wingnuts Peter Yost and Dave Gauthier hard at work creating a test panel for WTC’s first project of 2022 – see their website ( for more details! (Courtesy photos)

A Bunch of B.S.* (*Building Science, of course!)

Nate Gusakov

Yup, you read that right – I’m talking about a bunch of Wingnuts in a column about B.S. Still with me? Good. In this episode, you’ll get a sneak preview of a very informal, yet hopefully somewhat helpful new organization that will be officially debuting with a presentation and meeting at Efficiency Vermont’s Better Buildings by Design Conference in February 2022 ( the Wingnut Testing Collective or WTC.

As I write this shortly before Thanksgiving 2021, the roll-call of Wingnuts in the WTC is quite short: Old farts #1 and #2, and me, the slightly younger. Well, you get the idea. By this time next year, we hope there are dozens of Wingnuts chiming in from all over the region. The original Wingnuts are Peter Yost and Dave Gauthier. These guys have building science street cred – they’ve been fighting the good fight for a long while right here in New England, and they have acronyms after their names and charm to boot.

If you take a quick look at Peter’s website (, you’ll see things like “Lecturer for Yale University’s graduate program,” “an adjunct faculty with the UMass Dept. of Building Construction and Technology”, and fancy letters like “LEED AP; BECxP; and “CxA+BE.” What all this adds up to is that the guy knows his building science, and he knows what products are being used on the ground by modern construction companies. Dave has been an industry pioneer in laminated panel building technologies, works as a building science consultant, and still cares enough about this B.S. to show up for volunteer testing projects that label him as an official Wingnut.

Here’s Peter’s explanation of the birth of the original Wingnut Test Facility (or WTF):

A sneak preview of a test panel for 2022’s first project. Check out their website ( or register for the Better Buildings by Design Conference 2022 to see more.



“Most testing done in the building industry is done in labs under carefully prescribed and controlled environments, having NOTHING to do with what takes place in the real world.

Certainly, a bit tongue-in-cheek, I (and my longtime friend and colleague, Dave Gauthier) started the ‘Wingnut Test Facility.’ Working on the weekends and usually with responsible alcohol use involved, we set about developing test procedures that did not require fancy equipment and that mimicked field conditions.

We fully expected to be either laughed off at any building professional meeting or be sued by building product manufacturers whose products we were testing. But to our surprise, WTF was taken seriously and even appreciated.”

After attending Peter’s virtual presentation about Wingnut Testing at last year’s BBD Conference (one of the most well-attended presentations of the conference) and hearing his call for future Wingnuts to pick up the cause, I had a characteristically foolish moment of willingness and excitement. I sent an email to Peter who mumbled something about a sucker being born every minute and then gladly replied, and the WTC was born.

We intend the WTC to be an online hub for real-world, home-brewed testing projects that are relevant to today’s builders, contractors, and architects. Nothing funded by corporations, nothing overseen by the ASTM or Underwriter’s Laboratories. The overseers of the WTC are just the folks who use this stuff every day, check out our projects online, and comment and ask questions. We have a draft website up already, which we invite you to check out:

There are pictures and narratives of past Wingnut projects, as well as an opportunity to sign up and comment on past and future projects. We hope you’ll check it out, chime in with your opinions, and come see us at BBD 2022!

Nate Gusakov is a building envelope consultant and AeroBarrier installer for Zone 6 Energy.

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