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Allison A. Bailes III, PhD

Allison A. Bailes III, PhD

Atlanta, Georgia

Allison Bailes writes the popular Energy Vanguard Blog. With a PhD in physics and thousands of hours spent in attics and crawl spaces, he knows houses.

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About the author

With a background in physics and nearly twenty years of experience in many facets of the residential buildings industry, Allison Bailes has a good handle on what’s wrong with residential buildings and how to fix them. In 2001, he built a high-performance home and launched himself into a new career in the world of building science. Since that time, he has worked as an HVAC designer, home performance contractor, regional manager for a green-building program, and building science trainer. For most of this new career, Dr. Bailes has run his own companies. Energy Vanguard, which he started in 2008, is his current firm.

At heart, though, Dr. Bailes is a teacher. He taught high school science for three years prior to earning a PhD in physics from the University of Florida and then taught physics for six years at the college level after his graduate education. Since leaving academia, he has focused his teaching on the principles of building science. Through short presentations, workshops, and extended classes, he has helped thousands of people understand how buildings work.

What Dr. Bailes is most known for is writing the Energy Vanguard Blog, which gets ten thousand page views per day. He also writes regularly for Green Building Advisor and has had articles published in Fine Homebuilding, The Journal of Light Construction, Home Energy Magazine, and other publications. Dr. Bailes is also popular speaker at conferences, presenting keynote speeches, breakout sessions, and extended workshops. In addition, he is a runner, a juggler, and a skier as well as having the honor of being perhaps the only man included in Who’s Who of American Women.
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A House Needs to Breathe...Or Does It? successfully hit 500 pre-orders by Thursday 16 April 2020 5 P.M. UTC, and will be pitched to 14 publishers.

A House Needs to Breathe...Or Does It?

The Myths That Lead to Uncomfortable, Unhealthy, Inefficient Homes and How to Overcome Them

When it comes to how houses perform, professionals and homeowners alike believe many things that just aren’t true. This book lays out the basic science of buildings.

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Popular Science #1 in Popular Science
60,000 words
25% complete
2 publishers interested


Have you ever lived in a home where you just couldn’t feel warm even though you had the heat cranked way up? How about one where you have to turn up the volume on the TV when the air conditioner or heater comes on? Or a home with a musty smelling basement?

These and more are problems common to many homes. Whether you rent or own your home, you most likely have suffered with problems of comfort, indoor air quality, noise, high energy bills, and more. The primary cause of these problems is that many of the architects, builders, and contractors responsible for delivering the final product don’t take the full occupant experience into consideration.

And they operate largely based on myths about how buildings actually work. Let exhibit A be the title of the book: “A House Needs to Breathe.” This statement is usually shorthand for, “I don’t believe the cost of air-sealing a home is justified by the benefits.” It's wrong, though. Random air leaks through the building enclosure can lead to moisture problems, indoor air quality problems, and wasted heating and cooling.

This book will explode the myths, misinformation, and just plain old nonsense that pervades the world of home building, remodeling, maintenance, and operation. You’ll get building science principles in plain English so you can understand why those things you’ve been told are wrong and what are the proper ways to make homes comfortable, healthy, and energy efficient.

Why support this book?

  • The average American spends about 90% of their time indoors, yet few understand the factors that lead to comfort, good indoor air quality, and energy efficiency.
  • The message about how houses really work is spreading, but it hasn’t gotten through to enough of the stakeholders yet.
  • As we adopt new materials and more advanced technology, the effect on home performance can be significant. The more people understand the principles of building science, the better this integration will be.
  • The author has a wealth of content to draw from as he has published more than 900 articles over the past ten years in the Energy Vanguard Blog.
  • The style will be engaging and readable. As Tom White, the former publisher of Home Energy magazine, wrote, “I have to say [Energy Vanguard] is one of my favorite places to read energy tips written in a way that makes learning building science understandable and fun.”

Similar titles

  • “Musings of an Energy Nerd - Toward an Energy-Efficient Home” by Martin Holladay (Taunton Press, 2017). My book will be similar in many ways, as both debunk myths about how buildings work and identify best practices. Holladay’s book, however, is organized mainly by building components whereas this book will focus on the homeowner’s experience of a home. In addition, Holladay’s recommendations focus more on cold climate houses; this book will have plenty to say about warmer, more humid climates.
  • “Buildings Don’t Lie” by Henry Gifford (Energy Saving Press, LLC, 2017). Gifford is one of the smartest people in the world of building science and his book reflects that. It’s a wonderful book and would make a good complement to “A House Needs to Breathe,” since it’s aimed more at professionals who already know the construction terminology. Gifford also puts more of a focus on larger buildings than will be covered in “A House Needs to Breathe.”
  • “Insulate and Weatherize: For Energy Efficiency at Home” by Bruce Harley (Taunton Press, 2012). Similar to Holladay’s book, Harley’s book is organized by building components and deals more with cold climates. One of the big problems with how homes are built is that the homeowner’s experience isn’t front and center in the design choices made. “A House Needs to Breathe” will be organized by factors like comfort, indoor air quality, and noise.


“A House Needs to Breathe…Or Does It?” is targeted at those on the front end of the building science learning curve. Whether you’re a homebuilder, remodeler, trade contractor, architect, real estate agents, home inspector, or homeowner, you’ll benefit from the information in this book.

Advance praise

"Over the years I have learned so much from Allison’s writing. He has a great talent in making dense topics engaging and relevant. In the field of building science, this is a rarity! If you live in a house, pay utility bills, and are concerned about your health, this book is a must!"

~ Amanda Hatherly, Director, EnergySmart Academy at Santa Fe Community College


Dr. Bailes is my favorite writer in building science and HVAC design because of how he simplifies and explains complex topics. This book is sure to be a must read.

~ Bryan Orr, Founder of HVAC School and host of their podcast


Allison Bailes makes the complex world of building science seem intuitive. He combines the penetrating analysis of a physicist with the flowing narrative of a storyteller. And the story he tells is about what your home can and should be doing to make your life better. You're going to want to read this book!

~ Kristof Irwin, P.E., host of the Building Science Podcast


"I am stoked to share my excitement about the upcoming book, “A House Needs to Breathe.” Manufacturers, distributors, trades, and design professionals need to get it right – right now. There’s so much bad BS (building science) floating around, it needs to be sanitized before society moves into more bad houses. Dr. Allison Bailes, a designer’s designer, will clean house with this one - a recommended must-read!"

~ Robert Bean (ret.), ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer, Mechanical and Building Construction Engineering


"If you’re a homeowner or builder who wants to to either avoid comfort and moisture problems when planning a new house, or to fix them in an existing home, this is the book for you. Allison Bailes is a Ph.D with decades of field experience who really communicates with the rest of us. Using real-world case histories, photos and diagrams Allison shows and explains classic, common problems; why they happened, how they could have been avoided and how they can be fixed."

~ Lew Harriman, ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer and author of “Measured Home Performance”


2 publishers interested Express interest

The publishers will be visible after the campaign has ended.

Something or Other Publishing

Something or Other Publishing (SOOP) is a Madison, Wisconsin based independent press dedicated to publishing industrious authors in a wide variety of genres. SOOP has a unique model called author-driven publishing whereby we accept Book Idea submissions rather than completed manuscripts. Authors then work through a self-education program while getting votes. This educational experience combined with the email list built by gathering votes prepares authors for a successful pre-order campaign like those conducted on Publishizer.

When expressing interest in campaigns on Publishizer, Something or Other Publishing is not looking for authors to work through its standard Book Idea Program. Instead, it is looking to establish a relationship with the author and to determine if there’s an alignment of goals and the potential for a close, productive working relationship. If SOOP likes what it sees, it offers a traditional full service publishing contract.

Key advantages to working with SOOP include the level of personalized care our authors receive. Although our Director of Publications worked for big New York publishing companies for over twenty five years and our Director of Editorial Services has decades of experience in print publications, both work closely with all of our authors. We have also become adept at social media marketing, harnessing the power of the crowd to promote authors and get them exposure previously reserved for big name authors published by big name publishing companies.

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  • Update #1 - Eight days in... March 25, 2020

    Good evening, friends.  I wanted to give you a little update about the status of the crowdfunding campaign for my book, A House Needs ...

  • Jon Young
    on March 26, 2020, 2:13 p.m.

    Thank you! Can’t wait to read the book. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge and expertise, and for the time and effort you spent on writing the book