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Alert Notice #117
Green Building & Energy Efficiency


Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
July 21, 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

Housing Foundations & Geotechnical Challenges
BC Homeowner Protection Office online guide Housing Foundations and Geotechnical Challenges promotes best practices for builders with respect to geotechnical issues when selecting a site and constructing single and multi-family residences. (PDF)

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

BC Climate Discussion Paper Open For Public Review
BC Government invites your review and comment on a newly released discussion paper that considers the ideas, values and priorities for a new climate action plan.

Accelerating Energy Efficiency In BC's Built Environment
Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions paper Accelerating Energy Efficiency in BC's Built Environment, Lessons from Massachusetts and California compares the policy framework for advancing building energy efficiency in BC with MA and CA. (PDF)

Net Zero Homes Becoming Mainstream
Home Builder magazine says ground has just been broken on the last of a series of projects being built across the country to demonstrate that commercial home builders can build net-zero energy homes.

What Homeowners Think About Clean Energy
Green Building Advisor says survey respondents say that solar and wind are the most important energy sources for the future, but most aren't planning any purchases.

Darker Side Of Solar Power
Globe and Mail says solar power surely has a role to play in combating climate change. But it is not the angelic solution to the world's energy problems its backers suggest. It could even create a whole new set of environmental woes that will require a new set of elusive global protocols to tackle.

Energy Efficiency Is Cheapest Way To Reach US Climate Goals
Energy Efficiency Markets says six different climate studies all point to the same conclusion: Energy efficiency is the cheapest way for the US to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. And some models show consumer costs actually falling as the nation ramps up energy efficiency to meet the EPA's Clean Power Plan.

Sustainable Leaders Rethink The Chase For Green Points
REMI Network says rating systems for the design, construction and maintenance of green buildings, which ultimately lead to the realms of certification, now readily empower and differentiate buildings from others with less sustainable ambitions. Yet, in the race to move from one building certification level to another, some industry leaders wonder if subscribers of such programs are truly being green.

Energy & Real Estate Are Colliding
NASDAQ article gives explanation on how a wave of technology and innovation is fundamentally changing the way that building owners and other real estate investors are thinking about the role of electricity in real estate investments.

2. Business Management

Webinar On Website Marketing For Sustainable Builders
Energy Circle webinar Website Marketing For Sustainable Builders will be held on July 29th. It covers latest developments in website functionality from creating compelling and relevant project case studies to best practices on how to reach the top 3 most common target audiences in the sustainable building arena. It will also look at design/build companies who are successfully reaching these audiences.

Marketing Zero Energy Homes
US Department of Energy case study shows marketing Zero Energy homes requires a tailored, easy to understand campaign that focuses on their high-performance benefits, not the technical details behind them. (PDF)

Remodelers Play Critical Role In Driving Energy Savings
US National Association of Remodeling Industry says research clearly shows that US homeowners want energy savings, but without help from professional remodelers, few projects would actually happen.

Comfort Is Homeowner's Home Performance Metric
Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency says comfort is a primary benefit of home performance from an HVAC contractor standpoint.

What Building Industry Can Learn From Fitbit
GreenBiz says as the number of smart buildings grows and the technology matures, we can learn some lessons from wearable fitness trackers.

Selling Home Performance Solution To Customers
Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency article says solution selling is 100% necessary when selling home performance.

Duct Cleaners Face Fines For Improper Telemarketing
Mechanical Business says a number of Canadian duct cleaning companies are paying a price for improper telephone solicitation tactics.

Skills Squeeze Drives Up BC Construction Salaries
Business in Vancouver says corporate perks include extra vacation time, company cars as commercial and residential builders compete for top-end workers in shrinking talent pool.

3. Building Design & Trends

CCI Renovations Mid-Century Modern Contest Winner
Remodeling Magazine has chosen our own local CCI Renovations as winner of their Mad Men-inspired mid-century modern contest. Congratulation to long time industry leader John Friswell. You deserve it!

Winning Design Trends From 2015 Gold Nugget Awards
Builder Magazine says 2015 Gold Nugget Award winners had prominent design trends including open layouts, seamless interior/exterior transitions, and sustainable integration.

Latter Net Zero Home In Nova Scotia
CHBA Net Zero Housing Council online slide show presentation describes the Latter Net Zero Home built in Nova Scotia. (PDF)

Kit Turns Old Houses Into Zero-Energy Homes
Fast Company describes how, in slightly more than a week, a clever kit of parts can transform an old rental house into a net-zero energy home, at no extra cost to tenants or building owners.

Countdown To Quality
Construction Instruction tells you how to avoid the five most common errors builders make when it comes to energy, health, and resource efficiency. (PDF)

Link High-Performance Outcomes To Integrated Design
Building Green says project teams appear to function better, and their buildings end up greener, under collaborative project delivery.

10 House Plans For Single Buyers
Builder Magazine describes some plans that are sure to delight the single buyer.

Constructing A 57-Storey Building In 3 Weeks
Engineer online video shows how a company in China constructed a 57-storey office and residential building in less than three weeks. The tower was assembled at the rate of three floors per day using 2,736 pre-assembled modules. It has 19 atriums, 800 apartments and office space for 4,000 people. The first 20 floors were built last year, and the remaining 37 were assembled early this spring. The tower is earthquake resistant.

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

BC Code Changes For Doors, Windows, Skylights
BC Building and Safety Standards Branch online slide show presentation summarizes their webinar on the topic of proposed code changes for doors, windows and skylights. (PDF)

Public Review Of Canadian Standard For Radon Mitigation Options
Canadian General Standards Board has released the proposed draft of the new National Standard of Canada for radon mitigation options for existing low rise residential buildings. The period of public review will be open for comments until September 1st.

Canadian National Codes & Water Conservation
Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating says the 2014 Canadian Advisory Council on Plumbing looked at the proposed changes to the National Plumbing Code on Water Use Efficiency, specifically on the reference of flowrates that did not match with the current referenced standards.

2015 Canadian Municipal Sustainable Water Priorities Report
Canadian Water Network report 2015 Canadian Municipal Water Priorities Report discusses what municipalities need, want and can address in order to collectively move forward as sustainable water communities. (PDF)

ANSI/BPI-1200-S-2015 Standard Practice For Basic Analysis Of Buildings
Building Performance Institute online ANSI/BPI-1200 Standard Practice for Basic Analysis of Buildings has been published as an ANSI standard. It defines the minimum criteria and specific procedures for building science-based residential energy audits and related diagnostic tests that address energy usage, and limited aspects of building durability and occupant health and safety. The audit provides a comprehensive report with a list of prioritized recommendations to improve the home, and includes a cost-benefit analysis. (PDF)

Could An Energy Code Really Be So Simple?
Energy Vanguard says there are many pathways for energy codes compliance: prescriptive, UA tradeoffs, performance, or HERS Index. But what if all you needed to do was to hit two numbers?

Database Of Renewable Energy Patents & Standards
International Renewable Energy Agency created the International Standards and Patents in Renewable Energy platform, also known as INSPIRE. It helps users search through, locate and analyse 400 international standards and more than 2 million patents for renewable energy technology.

Window Attachments Energy Ratings Council
Window Covering Manufacturers Association new Attachments Energy Ratings Council mission is to create a consistent set of third-party energy performance-based rating and certification standards and program procedures, oversee the implementation of rating, certification, labeling, and performance verification procedures, and develop and maintain a publicly available, searchable electronic database of fenestration attachment product performance.

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5. Building Science & Technology

Venting Vapor
Building Science describes issues, considerations and best practices for venting roof and attic spaces.

Ventilation Doesn't Happen In A Vacuum
Green Building Advisor describes why an exhaust fan or a supply fan won't bring in as much outdoor air into your home as you may think.

Building Science-To-Sales Translator
Building America Solution Center online Building Science-to-Sales Translator provides a new glossary of sales themes that can be used across the industry to consistently reinforce the value of high-performance homes.

Thermal Metric Summary Report
Building Science online Thermal Metric Summary Report describes a number of important and interesting observations that have come out of their reference wall tests. (PDF)

How Heat Flows And How To Stop It
Construction Instruction describes how heat flows and how to stop it. The three mechanisms of heat flow work together at all times and under different circumstances, each takes turns being the dominant force. (PDF)

Encapsulating Framing In Spray Foam
Fine Homebuilding says it is not a problem to fully encapsulate framing members with high-density closed cell foam, regardless of your climate.

Energy Modelling Of Energy Efficiency Retrofits In Northern Housing
CMHC report Energy Performance Modelling of Energy Efficiency Retrofits in Northern Housing evaluated three representative housing archetypes, in five Northern Canadian communities. The scope of EEMs included building envelope, mechanical equipment, lighting and electric appliances. Energy savings at both the system/equipment and whole-building levels were generated for each EEM and packages of EEMs were customized to deliver whole-building energy savings of 10% and 25% for each housing archetype in each location. (PDF)

Energy Modelling Old Homes
Home Energy magazine says the biggest errors occur in modeling estimates of energy use in older homes; usually post-retrofit energy use is pretty close to modeled estimates, but pre-retrofit use is dramatically overestimated because of poor assumptions, biased inputs, and bad algorithms.

6. Building Performance Issues

Life-Cycle Environmental Study Of Six CMHC EQuilibrium Net Zero Homes
CMHC research demonstration project A Life-Cycle Environmental Assessment Benchmark Study of Six EQuilibrium Housing Initiative Projects assessed the extent to which targeting net zero annual energy consumption in houses can increase the material, technology, and related embodied energy intensity and environmental impacts relative to more conventional housing designs over a 20 year life cycle period. (PDF)

Radon Mitigation With Interior Perimeter Drains
Fine Homebuilding says you can integrate a radon-mitigation system with your basement floor, but the details might be tricky.

Air Sealing & Insulating A Cantilevered Floor
Building America Solution Center online resource guide describes how to air seal and insulate a cantilevered floor.

Always-On Inactive Devices May Devour $19 Billion Of Electricity Annually
Natural Resources Defense Council. report says approximately $19 billion worth of electricity, equal to the output of 50 large power plants, is consumed annually by US household electronics, appliances, and other equipment when consumers are not actively using them.

How To Clean A Water Heater
Remodeling magazine provides online video showing how to clean a water heater to help extend its life. This could save you a headache when trying to diagnose exactly what's wrong with your or your client's water heater.

Home Water Recycling Creates Value
TecHome Builder gives description on how to build value in a new home by cutting the home's overall water budget.

Sunshades And Their Effects On Building Performance
Building Research Information Knowledgebase online slide show presentation A Detailed Study of Sunshades and their Effects on Performance demonstrates how sunshades can affect the following six critical design components for a high-performing building enclosure: energy consumption, daylighting and glare, thermal bridging, thermal comfort condensation, and structural integrity. (PDF)

Factoring Hazard Resistance Into Life-Cycle Costs
Portland Cement Association says construction methods that enhance resilience and disaster-resistance are common sense in hazard-prone regions of the country. Less clear is how such measures impact the life-cycle cost of buildings and homes.

7. Products & Suppliers

Green Building Materials 101 Syllabus Supplement
Building Green offers a curriculum module for introducing students to healthier and lower-impact products and materials using their BuildingGreen articles. Subscription required to access all articles.

Top Products At PCBC Are Energy Efficient
TecHome Builder says at the 2015 Pacific Coast Builders Show it wasn't fancy home automation systems that took the top prizes at PCBC. Energy efficient products were spotlighted.

Low Flow In The Home
Plumbing & HVAC magazine says water conservation doesn't tend to be a priority for many Canadian homeowners, but that is starting to change.

Right-Sizing HVAC Systems For High Performance/Low Load Homes
Home Builder Canada magazine says HVAC systems can now be designed to take advantage of the energy conserving features of new low-load types of construction.

Zero Energy Furniture Table
Business Insider says a French design team has developed a way to turn a simple-looking table into a means of climate control that does not use electricity.

2015 BC Environment Industry Guide
BC Environment Industry Guide 2015 describes an industry sector that is growing faster than the economy as a whole, and lists companies that provide the products and services to protect our natural and social environments. (PDF)

Green Building Programs & Wood Products
Woodworks online continuing education course Green Building and Wood Products examines key green building rating programs and how wood building materials and components are rated within each. Increased reliance on LCA and environmental product declarations (EPDs), and the implications for wood construction, are also explored. (PDF)

Evaluating Carbon Footprint Of Wood Buildings
Rethink Wood continuing education publication Evaluating the Carbon Footprint of Wood Buildings covers the natural cycle of carbon absorption and storage, the role of wood products sourced from sustainably managed forests, low embodied energy of wood products, and the carbon benefits of example buildings based on the results of two calculators. (PDF)

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8. Installation & Procedures

Air Sealing & Insulating Ceilings
Building America Solution Center online guide describes how to air seal and insulate a ceiling.

How To Insulate And Air Seal An Attic Hatch
Green Building Advisor describes how to insulate and air seal an attic hatch using multiple layers of rigid foam insulation, high quality weatherstripping, and several secure latches.

Air Sealing Bathroom & Kitchen Exhaust Fans
Building America Solution Center online resource guide describes how to air seal bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans.

Nailing Tips For Trim With Advanced Framing
Journal of Light Construction describes some tips the framing crew can use to provide better nailing for trim over top of advanced framing.

Insulated Footings For Passive House
Journal of Light Construction says in a high-performance home, heat loss through the foundation footing may be higher than you'd think. The crew of Auburndale Builders show one way to shut it down.

Adding Insulation To Basement Walls
Fine Homebuilding describes how to install interior insulation on basement walls.

Air Sealing Doors
Building America Solution Center online guide describes how to air seal doors that are next to unconditioned spaces.

Outdoor Reset Controls In Renewable Heating Systems
PM Engineer magazine describes how outdoor reset controls allow a renewable energy heat source to operate at the lowest possible water temperature that can satisfy the heating load of the building based on current outdoor conditions.

9. Fuels, Energy & Transportation

Vancouver Bulletin On Electrical Vehicle Charging For Buildings
Vancouver City bulletin Electrical Vehicle Charging For Buildings provides clarification of requirements of Vancouver Building By-Law with respect to Electric Vehicle Charging for Building and Electrical Rooms. It provides explanation and clarification of application of the Canadian Electrical Code in respect of installation of the electrical equipment related to the VBBL. (PDF)

Solar Co-Op To Power Homes & Businesses
Automated Buildings says new analysis from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory finds that shared photovoltaic (PV) solar systems, also called community solar gardens, could account for one-third to one-half of all solar PV power in the United States by 2020.

US Utilities Are Embracing Community Solar
Utility Dive says the biggest trend for solar at utilities is community solar, according to the report Expanding Solar Access Through Utility-led Community Solar.

What Community Microgrids Offer To Cities & Towns
Microgrid Knowledge article says towns and cities are awakening to the importance of community microgrids; to the value of gaining control over their energy supply, and ensuring that it is clean, efficient and secure.

Four Good Reasons For Community Microgrids
Energy Efficiency Markets says city leaders are turning their attention to community microgrids because energy is the lifeblood of any contemporary community, and severe storms in recent years have revealed the vulnerability of the central grid.

The Case For Nuclear Power, Despite The Risks
Green Building Advisor says nuclear power is likely the least well understood energy source. In US just 99 nuclear power plants spread over 30 states provide one-fifth of America's electricity. They have provided reliable, affordable, and clean energy for decades, and they also carry risk to the public, to the environment, and to the financial solvency of utilities.

10. Information Sources

Online Videos On Building Science & Technology
US Department of Energy online Building America Solution Center provides free access to a wide range of online videos on building science and technology

Reports On High R-Value Wall Assemblies
Building Science provides free access to their technical documents on High R-Value Wall Assemblies, summaries of results of their ongoing High R-Value Enclosure research.

Technical Tips For HVAC Contractors
Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency site offers technical tips and resources for HVAC contractors.

Advancing Sustainable & Affordable Housing in Canada
CMHC online video Advancing Sustainable and Affordable Housing in Canada offers CMHC's current knowledge on tactics, technologies, and practices that can improve the performance of housing.

My EnerGuide Consumer Resource Site
NRCan provides information and resources for homeowners who are planning an EnerGuide energy evaluation or renovations.

Tour Of Zero Homes
US Department of Energy site Tour of Zero allows US consumers to see how the home of the future offers a better experience and is available today. This includes the ability to virtually visit great examples of Zero Energy Ready Homes in their climate zone.

Leadership In Brownfield Renewal Program
Leadership in Brownfield Renewal program (LiBRe) is a network of Canadian municipalities that are committed to bringing brownfield sites back into productive use. Offered through FCM's Green Municipal Fund, the program aims to help municipal practitioners develop knowledge and skills to facilitate brownfield redevelopment.

Valuing Energy Efficiency Retrofits In Multiple Building Types
Valuing Energy Efficiency is a series of case studies from the Institute for Market Transformation that show building owners how addressing energy efficiency in a wide range of building types, such as smaller mixed-use office buildings, laboratory and educational spaces, affordable housing, and manufacturing spaces, is a critical step to achieving major energy savings.

11. Conferences & Shows

Solar Power International
Solar Power International, held in Anaheim September 14-17, is the annual US solar industry conference and trade show.

North American Passive House Conference in Vancouver
North American Passive House Network presents their NAPHN15 conference in Vancouver, October 1-2. It brings together a global community of architects, designers, builders, suppliers, government officials and policy analysts to experience a world-class program of Passive House presentations and workshops, plus networking opportunities.

Excellence In Building Conference & Expo
Energy and Environmental Building Association annual Excellence in Building Conference & Expo is being held in Denver, October 6-8. It offers resources, educational seminars, expert presenters and hands-on tours to help builders tap into profit-building possibilities.

12. Education & Training

Webinar On Life Cycle Assessment & Environmental Product Declarations
Living Future webinar Life Cycle Assessment & Environmental Product Declarations: What You Need to Know, held on July 28th, will explore the promise and pitfalls of LCA and EPDs, compare how the Living Building Challenge, Living Product Challenge, LEED and Green Globes address them and examine related advocacy opportunities.

Energy Modelling For Building Professionals
BCIT course CESA 7100 Energy Modelling for Building Professionals introduces the principles, procedures and benefits of energy modelling to enable building professionals to usefully and efficiently incorporate energy modelling into the design process.

Training Survey For Net Zero
Blue House Energy online survey will gauge industry interest in online training/education services relevant to the zero-energy community.

Premiers Commit To Apprentice Mobility
Canada's Premiers have signed a Protocol that will facilitate the mobility of apprentices across Canada. The Protocol will enable mutual recognition of technical training, work experience, and examination results for apprentices moving between provinces and territories in Canada.

Online Course On Deep Energy Retrofits
HeatSpring online course Deep Energy Retrofits provides ten weeks with Marc Rosenbaum and focuses on existing buildings up to 45,000 square feet. It's a course designed for professionals who are serious about transformative energy upgrades in residential and commercial buildings. As a capstone project, you will generate a deep energy retrofit strategy for a building of your choice with the help of Marc and your classmates.

Online Courses On Renewable Energy Technology Applications
US Federal Energy Management Program provides free online courses on Renewable Energy Technology Applications.

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13. Costs & Savings

Austin Energy Gets Record Low Solar Bids At Under 4 Cents/kWh
Utility Dive says Austin Energy is being offered to buy solar power from developers at record low prices.

Sometimes Less Water Means More Energy
Home Energy magazine says water and energy consumption are becoming more and more closely connected, and the situation is not likely to improve.

Does Nest Learning Thermostat Save Energy?
Energy Vanguard says study results provide a lot of evidence that the Nest Learning Thermostat does indeed save energy. It saves on heating energy with both gas furnaces and heat pumps, and it saves on cooling with air conditioners and heat pumps.

Problems With Tracking Energy Efficiency Savings
Greentech Media describes how the efficiency industry grapples with the lack of transparency in monitoring and verification of energy savings.

Rumors Of Efficiency Demise Greatly Exaggerated
Utility Dive says in case you missed it, the case for energy efficiency died last week. Actually it didn't, but if you looked at some headlines around the country you might have thought it had.

How Green Lease Can Bring Landlords & Tenants Together On Efficiency
Institute for Market Transformation infographic highlights some key examples of energy-saving clauses that are typically included in a green lease, including; regularly commissioning building systems, installing advanced lighting controls and motion sensors, submetering spaces, and training asset and leasing managers about green building benefits.

Tenant Star Is Next Frontier In Building Efficiency
Green Biz article says a new initiative, which EPA is calling Tenant Star, is being hailed by a wide range of industry stakeholders as the next great tool for driving energy savings in commercial buildings.

Energy Retrofits Become Investment Vehicle
Toronto Star says energy savings has suddenly become a commodity that investors believe is a hot market with money to be made. Efficiency Capital Corp. has just launched as a for-profit company, with the goal to finance $100 million in energy efficiency retrofits over the next five years.

14. Incentives, Financing & Programs

New Home Program Incentives From FortisBC
FortisBC is offering incentives for building Energy Star certified new homes. Choose rebate for either whole home performance, or individual rebates on high-efficiency natural gas fireplaces, dryers and water heaters.

Mortgage Loan Insurance Refund For Energy Efficient Houses
CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance enables Approved Lenders to offer borrowers more affordable financing choices when purchasing an energy-efficient home or making energy-efficient improvements.

First Nations Home EnergySave
Fraser Basin Council is working with First Nations communities and support organizations to reduce energy use, share success stories, and build local capacity and economic development through the Home EnergySave program.

How BC Real Estate Foundation Supports Sustainable Built Environment
Real Estate Foundation describes why and how it has invested millions in sustainable built environment projects across BC.

Switzerland Promotes Neighborhood Exchange Boxes
Environmental News Network says the Neighborhood Exchange Boxes program in Switzerland allows passersby turned salvagers and recyclers to sift their way through other people's unwanted discards, and also add their own unwanted items to the box.

Local Climate & Energy Program Model Design Guide
US EPA online Local Climate and Energy Program Model Design Guide for local climate and clean energy program implementers helps create or transition to program designs that are viable over the long term by considering how programs create and deliver value for target audiences and partners, how they raise revenue, and how they can operate cost effectively. (PDF)

Local Climate Action Framework: A Step-By-Step Implementation Guide
US EPA online Local Climate Action Framework: A Step-by-Step Implementation Guide provides step-by-step guidance and resources for local governments to plan, implement, and evaluate climate, energy, and sustainability projects and programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change impacts.

Principle Of Targeting In Energy & Environmental Policy
Fraser Institute study The Principle of Targeting in Energy and Environmental Policy finds that many of the applied regulations, such as bans on plastics bags, prohibitions against 100-watt incandescent light bulbs, household appliance standards and ethanol blending mandates, are inefficient, costly and do little to improve the environment. (PDF)


Dittie For Today: On Humanity

Humanity is more important than national citizenship. - Albert Einstein


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ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada

 
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