Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Green Mountain Enclosure Consulting, LLC, Bristol, VT

Interview with Nate Gusakov, Owner

Nate Gusakov of GMEC performs a blower test on a large building. (Courtesy photo)

G.E.T. Staff

G.E.T. What is your background?

Nate Gusakov.: I was born and raised in the town of Bristol in Addison County, VT. My parents’ house is on the edge of Hogback Mountain — the backyard goes up into thousands of acres of woods, and the front yard is sidewalk and village streets.

After high school, I dropped out of college twice (U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Whitman College) and traveled around the world. Eventually, I settled in at Sterling College in VT’s Northeast Kingdom where I stayed for four years and earned degrees in Natural Resource Management and Sustainable Agriculture. My time at Sterling was formative, especially in terms of some core values around ecological awareness and environmental stewardship. I also got into the college’s draft horse program. I graduated in 2006 with my degrees, a milk cow, and a Percheron horse.

I did some small-scale commercial farming after that but working as a carpenter was always what paid the bills, and that’s what I stuck with professionally. In 2013, I was hired by Silver Maple Construction (SMC) as a crew carpenter. I worked there for over ten years until founding Green Mountain Enclosure Consulting in the spring of 2023.

What is the history of your businesses?

N.G.: Green Mountain Enclosure Consulting, LLC (GMEC) came into existence on April 1st, 2023, but my path towards building envelope work began through Silver Maple Construction (SMC) in 2017.

At SMC we were seeing an increased demand for blower-door testing and residential energy audits, so I was sent off for a week of training and received certificates from the Building Performance Institute (BPI). Consequently, I began performing residential energy auditing and weatherization work.

Then, in 2018, SMC started installing AeroBarrier (aerosolized building air-sealing technology). I was the most likely candidate to run that division, so for the next five years I did many AeroBarrier installations around Vermont and New England.

At the same time, I began receiving more inquiries about airtightness testing services for large commercial buildings. This led to SMC investing in more fans and equipment to meet this need. I was consequently capable to perform envelope assessments and compliance blower-door tests for the large commercial sector.

In 2022, I earned credentials as a Certified Commissioning Authority (CxA) and a Building Enclosure Commissioning Provider (BECxP) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

What is building enclosure commissioning?

N.G.: It is the process of ‘minding’ the building envelope of a construction project, right from the pre-design stage through final compliance testing and ensuring that what is actually built conforms to the original desires and requirements of the owner. It involves performing architectural design reviews, on-site progress testing (thermal imaging, theatrical fogging, etc.), and final blower-door testing when the building is completed, all with building durability and efficiency in mind.

In the spring of 2023, I decided to make the leap and started GMEC, and am keeping busy with BECx work and residential and commercial enclosure consulting.

One of the things I’m starting to specialize in is performing envelope assessments on existing large buildings. This refers to a lot of turn-of-the-century municipal brick buildings that are coming due for renovations (town offices, libraries, dorms). Usually this involves a blower-door test with IR imaging under depressurization, with a lot of guided diagnostics of current insulation and air leakage conditions. It is very important that we take good care of our existing building stock going forward. I really enjoy having a hand in helping to make careful, impactful decisions about how to weatherize and renovate these old, large buildings without doing un-intentional harm.

Another service that I offer and am really excited about is remote building envelope conditions monitoring through little Wi-Fi embedded sensors (see my article ‘Clearing Up the Gray Areas’ in the December 2023 issue of Green Energy Times ( I also offer basic project embodied carbon calculations using the online BEAM tool.

3. Why did you chose to start your own business?

N.G.: There were many reasons for starting my own company — I had been with SMC for a full decade, so in some ways it was a natural time for a change. I also was taking on more consulting work, and I wanted to separate myself from any specific products (e.g. AeroBarrier) and companies, in order to be able to function as a fully independent consultant. Finally, the BECx and consulting work that makes up my bread and butter of what I do now isn’t really what SMC [did] I was taking things in my own direction. So it made sense to formalize that separation and go my own.

4. Do you still work for/with Silver Maple Construction or Aerobarrier?

N.G.: I’m no longer doing any AeroBarrier installation but I’m still collaborating happily and regularly with Silver Maple Construction. GMEC performs consulting and testing work for their projects.

Editors’note: As readers of Green Energy Times would be aware, building efficiency is of prime importance to us. To help to achieve a low-carbon society, efficient buildings are needed as a top priority to achieve our goal to get our carbon emissions down. Nate Gusakov has been submitting his Building Science articles for G.E.T. for many years. His knowledge, background, training and experience make him a prime candidate to help all he consults with, to enable them to attain their own high-performance buildings. And in the end, the costs to operate efficient buildings will be so much more affordable. We wish Nate the best with his new business model.

If you want to see this article as it is in the pdf file, please click HERE.

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