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Alert Notice #114
Green Building & Energy Efficiency


Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
May 12, 2015

Contents:

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends
2. Business Management
3. Building Design & Trends
4. Codes Standards & Regulations
5. Building Science & Technology
6. Building Performance Issues
7. Products & Suppliers
8. Installation & Procedures
9. Fuels, Energy & Transportation
10. Information Sources
11. Conferences & Shows
12. Education & Training
13. Costs & Savings
14. Incentives, Financing & Programs


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Here is another special BC Building Info issue on green building and energy efficieny.

The regular BC Building Info newsletter covering all industry topics will come your way in a few weeks as usual. Hope you find at least a wee bit of value here somewhere.

Have a “Top Drawer” day.

Ken Farrish
:o)

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Ken's Top Pick

Online Guide To Green Building
US Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing online guide to green building has information and resources on Resource and Waste Management, Energy Efficient System Integration, Resource Efficient Plumbing, Good Indoor Air Quality, and Low Impact Development.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

7 Green Building Trends To Watch In 2015
Triple Pundit says from maximizing the use of renewable resources to minimizing carbon footprint, whether in constructing a new sustainable building or greening existing infrastructure, these seven construction technologies aim to save the planet.

New Integrated Canadian Organization
Canada Green Building Council says Boards of the CaGBC and the Chapters have made a decision, which will now be brought to Chapter members, to create a nationwide organization.

Green Building Makes Inroads In Builder 100 List
Builder Magazine says green building is becoming increasingly important for production builders as climate change and fuel prices come into play.

First California Zero Net Energy Community Opens
Renewable Energy World says Meritage Homes, headquarted in Scottsdale Arizona, revealed California's first and only Net Zero Community on this year's Earth Day, April 22.

Why Green Building Has Hit The Wall
Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce says owners and developers would prefer a certification process that’s simpler, cheaper and more useful than LEED.

Dramatic Increase In Asset Value Seen For Commercial Buildings
Building Energy Performance Assessment News says in an increasingly competitive real estate market, commercial buildings with high energy performance outpace their neighbors on operating expenses, rent premiums, occupancy and asset value. By significantly decreasing utility costs, upgrades like high-efficiency lighting, HVAC systems and solar energy systems result in dramatically increased NOI and drive new cash flows that are capitalized into asset value.

Building Efficiency Now Biggest Business In Advanced Energy
Energy Efficiency Markets says with $199.5 billion in annual revenue, the advanced energy industry is now bigger than the airline industry, equal to pharmaceuticals, and nearly equal to consumer electronics in the United States.

White, Wealthy & Whiny: Environmental Movement In Need Of Makeover
Green Building Advisor offers some words of advice for a movement that's moving into middle age.

2. Business Management

Energy Efficiency & Contributory Value
Colorado Energy Office report An Early Look at Energy Efficiency and Contributory Value says getting a valuation bump for high-performance homes has been elusive for many builders and developers. But the peer-reviewed appraisal study shows that growing levels of energy efficiency in homes have additional “contributory value,” and that trend will continue as data rolls in from the marketplace. (PDF)

Bringing Transparency To Real Estate Transactions
Institute for Market Transformation says in the District of Columbia, they are taking steps to increase the transparency of real estate transactions and ensure that the green attributes of homes are displayed in MLS listings.

Success Of Green Features Used In MLS Listings
Institute for Market Transformation report Greening The MLS examines the market supply and demand for high-performance homes in Washington. Initial analysis suggests that fully marketing the high-performance attributes of a home through the green fields offered by an MLS may be of considerable value to sellers. In general, however, current green field use is inadequate, and outreach is necessary both to increase utilization of existing green fields when a real estate agent lists a home for sale and to encourage MLSs to adopt additional green fields. (PDF)

Client Incentives For Purchasing An Efficient Older Home
BC Real Estate Association describes some useful energy efficiency tools for realtors when attempting to sell their clients an older home in BC.

Think Whole-Home Performance When Selling Energy Efficiency
Replacement Contractor says energy efficiency tops the list of concerns for homeowners, but the real business opportunity for contractors lies in the bigger picture.

Selling Comfort Over Energy Savings
Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency article says if you are just talking energy savings, even though that is what incentive programs and the government focuses on, you are probably losing home performance sales.

Personal Energy Concierge Service For Homeowners
Energy Efficiency Markets says consumers like clean energy, they want it, but they don’t get it. And the industry doesn’t always make it easy for them to do so. Now some well-known energy entrepreneurs think they may have found a solution: a personal energy concierge service for homeowners.

Fossil-Fuel Divestment Not Way To Reduce Carbon Emissions
The Guardian article by Wellcome Trust says it's better to maintain investments in fossil-fuel companies and leverage that ownership stake to encourage responsible business practices.

3. Building Design & Trends

2015 Ovation Awards Winners
Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association lists the winners of their 2015 Ovation Awards.

Green Home Winners Of 2014 CHBA National SAM Awards
Canadian Home Builders Association lists the green home winners of their 2014 CHBA National SAM Awards, recognizing Canadian housing excellence.

BC Efficiency In Action Award Winners
FortisBC provides listing of their Efficiency in Action Award winners, recognized for commitment to energy efficiency.

2015 RAIC Green Building Award Winner
Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and Canada Green Building Council recognized the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability at UBC as winner of their 2015 RAIC Green Building Award.

2015 COTE Top Ten Green Projects
American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) have selected the top ten examples of sustainable architecture and ecological design projects that protect and enhance the environment.

Design & Construction Of Northern Sustainable House In Nunavut
CMHC highlight provides a summary of the design and construction of the Northern Sustainable House in Arviat, Nunavut, designed and built by the Nunavut Housing Corporation. (PDF)

Seattle Gets A Passive-House Town House
Fine Homebuilding says the Seattle developer who built the city's first Passive House single-family home has completed construction of a five-unit town-house project that includes one unit built to the Passive House standard.

Why Tiny Houses Make Sense
Green Building Advisor says going small and dumping unnecessary possessions will help protect us from housing crises in the future.

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Canadian Energy Star For New Homes Standard Version 12.6, April 2015
Natural Resources Canada new ENERGY STAR for New Homes Standard Version 12.6 comes into effect on April 22, 2015. (PDF)

Passivhaus Institute Rewrites Certification Standards
Fine Homebuilding says Germany's Passivhaus Institute has created two new levels of compliance for certification that for the first time set minimums for renewable-energy production as well as limits on how much energy a building can consume.

EnerGuide Evaluation Report, Rating, Label For Existing Homes
Natural Resources Canada describes details of the new EnerGuide evaluation report, rating, and label for existing homes.

Home Energy Labelling Strategic Plan For Part 9 Residential Buildings In BC
Pembina Institute report Home Energy Labelling: Strategic Plan for Labelling of Part 9 Residential Buildings in BC focuses on accelerating the uptake of EnerGuide labelling in BC. (PDF)

NAHB Testifies In Support Of Cost-Effective Energy Legislation
The US National Association of Home Builders testified before both chambers of Congress in support of legislation that would encourage meaningful energy savings for residential construction that are achievable and cost-effective.

BC Large Building Energy Code Compliance Survey
Province of BC & BC Hydro are conducting a province-wide formal survey of industry professionals and building officials that design, build, or review plans for large buildings. Targeted respondent groups include architects, engineers (mechanical/electrical/building envelope), as well as municipal building officials involved with permitting and inspections.

Advanced Energy Efficiency Requirements For Commercial Buildings In BC
Integral Group white paper Advanced Energy Efficiency Requirements for Buildings in BC discusses the future of energy regulation and incentives for commercial buildings in BC. It proposes bold targets for the built environment and a new approach to incentivizing and regulating high performance buildings in BC with potential application in other markets. (PDF)

Sustainable Management Standard
American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) and the Water Quality Association (WQA) standard WQA/ASPE/ANSI S-801: Sustainable Management has been officially approved by the American National Standards Institute. IT can be used to evaluate a company’s sustainability-related governance and management practices.

Carbon Pricing Briefing Notes
Sustainable Prosperity has prepared two briefing notes summarizing the state of knowledge and practice on carbon pricing. These notes are designed to provide a foundational level of knowledge on the basic rationale and design principles of effective and efficient carbon pricing policy.

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5. Building Science & Technology

Introduction To Physics Of Water In Porous Materials
Energy Vanguard looks at the physics of water in porous materials. You'll also learn about the fourth state of water, the one that's not liquid, not solid, and not vapor.

Moisture Transport, Sorption Isotherms
Energy Vanguard looks at the fourth state of water, not liquid, not vapor, and not solid, and how that physics affects the transport of water through porous materials.

Thermal Mass Study For Cold Climates
Cold Climate Housing Research Center online video summarizes their study of thermal mass to determine its effects on occupant comfort and annual heating load for a typical cold climate residence.

Is Ground-Source Heat Pump Best Bet For Energy Retrofit?
Green Building Advisor discusses the cost and suitability of a ground-source heat pump in a house with an energy retrofit on the horizon.

Solar Hybrid System With Seasonal Thermal Storage
Alaska Cold Climate Housing Research Center report Solar Hybrid System with Seasonal Thermal Storage, An Economic and Environmental Case Study weighed the advantages and disadvantages of various heating systems before installing a hybrid solar thermal and pellet boiler system in their new building addition in 2014. (PDF)

How To Cut Your Electricity Bills In Half
BC Sustainable Energy Association describes how a Kaslo couple has reduced their energy bills over a period of time.

Pressure Differences & Airtightness In Tall Buildings
RDH Building Engineering study Pressure Differences and Airtightness in Tall Buildings, Theory & Reality aims to improve the general understanding of factors affecting airflows in buildings and how these factors combine to influence the performance of building mechanical ventilation systems. The results of the study allow for general recommendations with regards to the design of ventilation systems, building enclosure airtightness, and compartmentalization strategies. (PDF)

Energy Efficient Retrofit Of High-Rise Multifamily Building
RDH Building Engineering paper Energy Efficient Retrofit Of A High-Rise Multifamily Building presents a case study of an energy efficient building enclosure retrofit of a 13 story multifamily building in Vancouver, BC. (PDF)

6. Building Performance Issues

Does An Open Fireplace Belong In A Green Home?
Green Building Advisor says an open fireplace makes for a cheerful hearth, but their inherent inefficiencies may make them a foolish choice.

Energy Performance Assessment Of Dawson Northern Sustainable House
CMHC documents the performance of the E/9 Northern Sustainable Duplex in Dawson City, YK. Billing data was utilized to determine the performance compared with a similar house modelled to the 1997 MNECH, and a further comparison was conducted of the energy consumption compared to a similar R-2000 project. (PDF)

White Roofs A Mistake In Cold Climates
Building Green says researchers suggest white roofs in Canada do more harm than good because of steep heating penalties.

Safety Tips & Resources On Carbon Monoxide
The US Environmental Protection Agency describes carbon monoxide sources, health effects, levels in homes, reducing exposure, standards & guidelines, and sources of more information.

Heathy Homes Of The Future
Yahoo describes some cutting-age living space amenities that can make you look better, sleep more soundly and wake up sharper.

Pilots Of Weatherization In Homes With Vermiculite
Efficiency Vermont online slide show presentation describes some pilots they did using a hybrid approach to air sealing and insulating an attic that contains vermiculite. (PDF)

Achieving Low-Energy, Multi-Family Designs In Different Regions Of Canada
CMHC report Energy Simulations of Strategies to Achieve Low-Energy, Multi-unit Residential Building Designs in Different Regions of Canada assessed insulation, fenestration, airtightness and building systems characteristics for a selected multi-unit residential building to achieve very low levels of space heating energy consumption in cities across Canada. (PDF)

7. Products & Suppliers

Seven Water-Saving Products
EcoBuilding describes seven building products that can help cut down water use, and water bills.

Ontario Builder Promoting Use Of Hempcrete
Daily Commercial News says when hemp is combined with lime and water it forms hempcrete, the cornerstone of traditional hemp construction and an excellent insulator.

In Defense Of Inconvenient Truths About Vinyl Siding
Green Building Advisor provides a response to comments posted on the earlier blog, The Counterintuitive Cladding.

Window Screen That Cleans The Air
Wall Street Journal says researchers at Stanford University have have developed a low-cost filter that captures tiny airborne particles while remaining largely transparent. The nanotechnology-based system, the researchers say, might someday be used in window screens that would allow light and air to pass through while improving indoor air quality.

Evolution Of Home Energy Management
Home Energy Magazine says a recently published report is projecting global revenues from home energy management (HEM) products and services to grow from $586.9 million in 2013 to $2.4 billion in 2023. The optimism behind that projection lies in the evolution of HEM products and services.

New, Cost-Effective Take On Vacuum Insulation
Building Green says a modified atmosphere insulation technology may be able to rival the performance of vacuum insulation panels at a more affordable price.

Considerations For Next Generation HVAC Refrigerants
HPAC magazine discusses how to address safety, regulations and other considerations associated with the next generation of refrigerants.

BC Solar Heating & Heat Pump System
BC manufacturer of SunPump says their system combines the cost savings of solar plus the leverage of heat pumps to perform radiant floor heating, cooling, and hot water on demand, summer and winter, day and night.

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8. Installation & Procedures

Air-Sealing Techniques From Passive House Pro
Journal of Light Construction describes some advanced air-sealing methods.

Green Renovations To Bathrooms
CMHC describes how green bathroom renovations present many opportunities to add green features to improve environmental performance and to deal with common bathroom problems.

Commissioning ERVs
Green Building Advisor describes a job of commissioning an ERV that turned into a multi-day time-gobbler that taught a few lessons.

Grow A Beautiful Garden With Ecofriendly Greywater
Houzz describes how to set up a greywater home irrigation system.

Renewable Heating Design With Wood Boilers
PM Engineer describes how wood gasification boilers represent the state-of-the-art when it comes to turning cordwood into heated water.

Walking On Attic Cellulose
Journal of Light Construction says because cellulose tends to spring back after being stepped on, the effect of a few footprints on the overall R-value is minimal, as long as you fill in the places where cellulose has been cleared away to provide access to the ceiling.

Deep Energy Retrofit For Interior Insulation Of Masonry Walls
US Department of Energy report Deep Energy Enclosure Retrofit for Interior Insulation of Masonry Walls describes a retrofit solution for insulating mass masonry buildings from the interior. (PDF)

Bali's Bamboo Architecture Is Sustainable & Spectacular
CityLab says with recent breakthroughs in insecticide treatment, bamboo now appears to be a viable alternative to timber.

9. Fuels, Energy & Transportation

New BC Incentive For Clean Energy Vehicles
BC Government says the Province will offer incentives of up to $5,000 for the purchase or lease of a new battery electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, and up to $6,000 for a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

Solar Electricity Safety Handbook For Firefighters
Canadian Solar Industries Association online Solar Electricity Safety Handbook For Firefighters is designed to educate and protect first responders who may attend an emergency situation where solar energy installations are present. (PDF)

Canadian Energy Storage News
National Research Council Canada newsletter Canadian Energy Storage News which is published quarterly provides updates on developments in the energy storage sector and solutions-oriented research opportunities.

Tesla's Big Battery Announcement
Utility Dive says Elon Musk has revealed two batteries, a possible 250 MW utility project, and his longstanding ambition to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy.

More Builders Offer Solar Arrays As Option
Construction Dive says nearly all of the top 10 US homebuilders include some kind of photovoltaic system, often in the form of rooftop solar panels, in new construction. Some offer it as an upgrade and others as a standard feature.

Smart Meter: Friend Or Foe?
Green Building Advisor says smart meters may be able to help homeowners reduce electricity use, if we can reap the benefits without compromising privacy or safety.

A New Kind Of Utility
Utility Dive says in bid to win the customer relationship, solar companies like SolarCity are expanding their offerings.

Electricity's Un-Natural Monopoly
Renewable Energy Works says the US electricity system is undergoing the biggest change in its 130-year history, undermining the rationale for monopoly ownership and control.

10. Information Sources

New Online BCBEC Magazine
BC Building Envelope Council has launched its inaugural issue of Elements Magazine online.

Online Videos & TV On Sustainability
BC Sustainability Television offers online TV and video productions, member and sponsor content, and online communities.

Purchasable Book On Green Building Strategies: From Plan to Profit
Builder Books sells Green Building Strategies: From Plan to Profit. It explains in plain language what’s happening in the rapidly evolving field of building science, discusses current best practices for designing, constructing, testing, and ensuring longevity for new high-performance homes. It takes you step-by-step from design through site development and construction, quality assurance, marketing, and customer service. $34 USD

GreenWorks Book Club
US Green Building Council and Island Press have launched GreenWorks, a book club that will offer discounts for USGBC members on the newest and best books on green building.

Search For Energy Education Resources
US Department of Energy online Education Toolbox allows users to find energy education resources such as videos, energy basics, lesson plans, and learning activities, which meet their specific needs.

Planning Energy Efficiency Renovations For A Home
Natural Resources Canada describes some steps in planning energy efficiency renovations including the audit, determining which retrofits to undertake, what products to use and whether to do the work yourself or hire a contractor.

US Consumer Site On Home Performance
Building Performance Institute new interactive site for consumers is designed to educate homeowners on the value of home performance energy upgrades and the quality of contractors who have earned the BPI GoldStar credential.

Resources For Clean Energy Entrepreneurs
The Clean Energy Incubator Network provides resources and tools to help entrepreneurs, and the incubators who support them, succeed.

Green Parking Council
Green Parking Council members are visionary businesses and organizations that understand how a global shift towards sustainability presents the parking and related industries with a unique opportunity for innovation and growth.

11. Conferences & Shows

International Waster Reuse Workshop
International Workshop on Water Reuse, being held in Delta on May 25th will feature leading international and Canadian experts from academia, industry and Government, deliberating on best practices, municipal & industrial reuse, treatment technologies, case studies, standards, regulations, management tools, health and environmental issues.

Building Opportunities: Social Purpose Real Estate Conference
Real Estate Foundation of BC says the Social Purpose Real Estate Collaborative is hosting Building Opportunities Conference, June 1-3 in Vancouver. It is designed for anyone interested in sustainable community development, cutting edge financing of real estate projects, efficient operations, quality workspace, and innovative shared services for the nonprofit sector.

12. Education & Training

NEWBuildS Symposium 2015
Woodworks presents Symposium 2015: Knowledge Transfer to Support Wood Building and Design in Richmond on May 28th. The latest research into design and construction of mid-rise and taller wood buildings will be the topic of this educational one-day event, providing you with an opportunity to be among the first to learn from thought-leaders and academics who lead our industry.

Living Building: Materials Five Part Workshop Series
International Living Future Institute is presenting a series of five workshops focusing on the Materials Petal of the Living Building Challenge.

Solar & Renewable Energy Career Training Programs
Canadian Solar Industries Association provides a list of organizations that offer training in solar and renewable energy.

Online Course On Hydronic Based Biomass Heating Systems
HeatSpring online course Hydronic Based Biomass Heating Systems (For Residential & Light Commercial Buildings) is for heating professionals who want to design and install state-of-the-art heating systems supplied by high-efficiency, low-emission biomass-fueled boilers. It focuses on residential and light commercial system applications and how to use modern hydronics technology to complement the operating requirements of biomass boilers.

Options For Greening The Plumbing Industry In Canada
CMHC study Exploration of Options for Greening of the Plumbing Industry in Canada investigated sustainable training options for the plumbing industry, similar to initiatives such as the Green Plumbers program in Australia and the United States. (PDF)

Strategic & Tactical Marketing Plans
Independent Contractors and Businesses Association workshop Strategic and Tactical Marketing Plans will be held in Burnaby on May 25th. The session will work through the basic elements of marketing strategy and explain how senior managers in the most successful companies chart the strategic marketing path of their firms.

Managing Small Projects
VRCA course Managing Small Projects, which is Gold Seal Certified, will be held in Vancouver May 25-26. It provides participants with essential concepts, tools, and techniques to enable them to undertake small-medium size projects using globally recognized methodologies.

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13. Costs & Savings

Call For Proposals For Financing Competitiveness In Changing Climate
Natural Resources Canada is soliciting proposals for cost-shared projects that increase the uptake and use of existing resources, decision-support tools or other adaptation-relevant information. (PDF)

Customer Empowerment Helps Utilities
Utility Dive describes how a partnership between PG&E and Bidgely hints at what's next for DSM, using customer empowerment to help utilities cut energy fat.

Behavior Science In Energy Conservation Sector
Online paper Behavior Science In The Energy Conservation Sector discusses the psychosocial climate in which energy efficiency efforts operate, and suggests research-based approaches and behavioral processes for encouraging homeowners to undertake home energy efficiency projects and to engage in conservation behaviors. (PDF)

Smart Meter Data Predict Propensity To Enroll In Energy Efficiency Programs
Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems paper Smart Meter Data Predict Household Propensity to Enroll in Energy Efficiency Programs describes a new method to predict household propensity to enroll in opt-in behavioral programs. (PDF)

Energy Efficiency Motivations & Actions Of California Solar Homeowners
Center for Sustainable Energy paper Energy Efficiency Motivations and Actions of California Solar Homeowners suggests solar should become a subset of energy efficiency. To get solar incentives, homeowners would sign onto an energy efficiency program. (PDF)

Customer Electricity Savings From US ESCO Projects
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report Estimating customer electricity savings from projects installed by the US ESCO industry says the industry has a well-established track record of delivering substantial energy and dollar savings in the public and institutional facilities sector, typically through the use of energy savings performance contracts. (PDF)

14. Incentives, Financing & Programs

List Of Energy Efficiency Programs & Incentives
BC Homeowner Protection Office lists various energy efficiency programs, incentives and rebates that will save money for builders, developers, and consumers.

Current BC Hydro Rebates & Buy Backs
BC Hydro lists a variety of Power Smart rebates that are available to help you save on products that will help you save on your electricity bill.

Furnace & Boiler Replacement Program
Replace your aging furnace or boiler with an eligible Energy Star or equivalent model that's 95 per cent efficient or higher (94 per cent efficient or higher for boilers) and you could receive an $800 rebate from FortisBC.

BC Hydro & Municipalities Offer Rebates On Appliances
Until the end of June, customers can receive $100 rebates each from BC Hydro Power Smart and various municipalities.

Spring Deals & Rebates
Power Smart lists some spring deals available now at retailers across BC.

Victoria Rainwater Rewards Program
Rain gardens, rain barrels, cisterns, green roofs and permeable paving are examples of rainwater management methods that could qualify property owners for financial incentives under the new Rainwater Rewards program from the City of Victoria.

Best US Solar Policies & How To Emulate Them
Utility Dive says the solar policy that works in one state won't necessarily work in another.


Dittie For Today: On Youth

In order to reap the full possibilities of youth, we must not tie them too rigidly to the theories of an older generation. Their value lies in being a voice, not an echo. - Willett L. Hardin


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© Copyright 2015              Ken Farrish              All Rights Reserved

ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada

 
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