Alert Notice #18
Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
 April 29, 2009


1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends
2. Business Management
3. Building Design & Trends
4. Codes Standards & Regulations
5. Building Science & Technologies
6. Building Performance Issues
7. Products & Suppliers
8. Installation & Procedures
9. Information Sources
10. Conferences & Shows
11. Education & Training
12. Costs & Savings
13. 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 couple of weeks as usual. Hope you find at least a wee bit of value here somewhere.

Have a "Top Drawer" day.
Ken Farrish

You will find hundreds more links to online info and resources on green building and energy efficiency in these Directory sections of the BC Building Info site...

Green Building General Info

Green Building Types

Green Products

Energy Efficiency Industry

Energy Efficiency Tools

Energy Efficient Buildings

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    1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

    Statistics & Analysis Of Canadian Energy Use
    Natural Resources Canada offers data and analysis on energy use, energy efficiency, and greenhouse gas emissions in the residential, commercial, industrial, transportation, and agricultural sectors in Canada. You will also find information on policy development in the area of energy efficiency.

    Renewable Energy Potential In Canadian Residential Sector
    CMHC study assesses potential of renewable energy systems, specifically roof-mounted solar photovoltaic, micro-wind turbine, renewable energy-based heating, ventilating and air-conditioning, and domestic hot water, in low-rise housing.(PDF)

    US Builder Opinions Of Green Building & Standards
    Building Online article summarizes 2009 focus group research that shows builders had trouble defining green and sustainable terms, even going so far as to indicate the industry was experiencing "Green-wash" which only served to confuse their potential customers.

    Centex Stays Course With Energy Advantage Homes
    Big Builder magazine article describes how Centex, one of the largest home builders in the US, is staying the course despite the downturn, with Energy Advantage program. Centex Energy Advantage, is a standard package of low-E windows, insulation, high-efficiency HVAC systems, energy-saving appliances, plumbing and lighting, and an energy monitor.

    KB Home To Build New Home Communities to ENERGY STAR Guidelines
    KB Home announced that all new home communities opening in 2009 and beyond will be built to ENERGY STAR guidelines. These new homes will be engineered to heat and cool efficiently, use less energy, and provide substantial savings for homebuyers.

    Energy Efficiency Trends In Residential & Commercial Buildings
    US Department of Energy report outlines key drivers in building construction and use and resulting impacts on energy consumption. It then discusses impacts of that energy — particularly fossil-fuel-generated electricity — on carbon released to the atmosphere. Subsequent sections describe building and energy efficiency trends specific to the residential and commercial building sectors. The report ends with a section on policy efforts, such as taxes and regulation, intended to influence building energy use. (PDF)

    2. Business Management

    Builder Brochure On Selling Solar Systems & Benefits
    US National Technical Information Service free online brochure developed specifically for residential home builders provides information on basic solar facts, selling tips, and important resources when incorporating solar technologies into building plans. Click on "Click to download for free".

    Canadian Energy Efficient Contractors Network
    Energy Efficiency Contractors Network is an organization consisting of contractor associations and partners with an interest in delivering energy efficiency through contractors in Canada. EECN association members include Canadian Hydronics Council, Canadian Urethane Foam Contractors Association, Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario, Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada, National Air Barrier Association, and Ontario Electrical League.

    Canadian Residential Energy Services Network
    Canadian Residential Energy Services Network is a new, national non-profit association of energy service providers, advisors and inspectors who are working to ensure energy efficiency in residential buildings in Canada.

    ECO Canada Environmental Job Board
    Canadian ECO Job Board puts you in touch with over 70,000 environmental practitioners across Canada targeting an audience with environmental education, experience, skills, and dedication to environmental work. Free registration is required.

    3. Building Design & Trends

    Deciding On Energy Priorities When Building New
    Building Science describes how reducing a building’s operational energy requirement is the best protection against an uncertain future.

    Online Calculator For Carbon In Building Materials For A House
    NZ Wood online calculator estimates amount of CO2 that the building materials you choose for your house will either store or emit in their production & manufacture.

    Vancouver "Harmony House" A CMHC EQuilibrium Demonstration House
    A team consisting of Habitat Design & Consulting, a local design and consulting firm, and Insightful Healthy Homes Ltd. has been chosen to design and construct one of three new CMHC EQuilibrium Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative homes.

    Kamloops “Green Dream Home” An EQuilibrium Demonstration Home
    A Kamloops builder and developer team made up of the Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) Central Interior Chapter, and Thompson Rivers University, has been chosen to build one of three new CMHC EQuilibrium Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative homes.

    First US WaterSense House Unveiled
    NAHB article describes the first WaterSense-labeled new US home. Homes built to the WaterSense draft specification are designed to use about 20% less water than conventional homes by including WaterSense-labeled products and Energy Star-qualified appliances, as well as water-efficient features and practices. The homes can potentially save their owners more than 10,000 gallons of water per year.

    LEED Certification For Canadian Townhouse Conversion
    CMHC case study highlights innovative design and renovation features implemented in the LEED certification for a townhouse conversion project that address environmental performance indicators including energy efficiency, space utilization, site features, water efficiency, materials conservation, waste reduction and indoor air quality. (PDF)

    Award-Winning Examples Of Green Building
    Lifecycle Building Challenge provides examples of green buildings. The site aims to contribute to a library of strategies that maximize materials recovery and reduce environmental and economic costs, inspiring the green building movement to conceive beyond a single iteration of a building.

    AIA Top Ten Green Projects Of Recent Years
    American Institute of Architects provides descriptions of their Top 10 Green Projects for each year from 1997, as chosen by the AIA Committee on the Environment from electronic submission of built projects.

    4. Codes Standards & Regulations

    Canadian EnerGuide Rating System For HVAC Equipment
    Natural Resources Canada provides information on EnerGuide rating system & ENERGY STAR qualifications for HVAC equipment including gas fireplaces, heat pumps, furnaces, boilers, thermostats, water heaters, air conditioners, and ceiling/ventilating fans.

    New Canadian Energy Efficiency Regulations For Electronic Products
    Natural Resources Canada is proposing to amend Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations to prescribe certain products that use standby power as energy-using products, and to establish minimum energy performance standards for them. In particular, the amendment will affect compact audio products, televisions, video playing & recording products, computer printers & multifunction devices.

    LEED Canada For Homes
    LEED Canada for Homes is a rating system that promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes.

    Green Building Rating Systems Can Do Better
    Dovetail article says if green building programs are really going to deliver what they promise, they need to promote measurably reduced consumption of materials, energy and water. One simple approach would be to award points on a more holistic approach based on absolute inputs rather than rewarding the details. Such a performance-based system would reward points based on clearly measurable objectives, e.g. the total kilowatts of electricity or volume of water used rather than the kind of light bulb or toilet installed.

    Cost-Effectiveness For US Residential Energy Codes
    Florida Solar Energy Center report reviews options for economic indicators of cost effectiveness and reviews each option’s relevance to determining cost effectiveness of upgrading an energy code. The report concludes with a recommendation on the cost-effectiveness criteria that the State of Florida should adopt. (PDF)

    Green Building Laws & Programs Of US Cities
    American Institute of Architects report Local Leaders in Sustainability examines state of green building laws in American cities. The primary goal of this analysis is to provide a tool for communities as well as other levels of government that seek to design green building programs in the future.

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    5. Building Science & Technologies

    Dr. Lstiburek Presentation On Green Building
    Building Science Seminars offers this online slide show of Dr. Joseph Lstiburek presentation on green building at the 2008 EEBA Excellence in Building Conference. (PDF)

    Building Science In Zero Energy Homes
    Building Science Seminars online slide presentations on residential design & construction cover zero energy homes, overview of heat, air & moisture, enclosure design, walls, roofs, ventilation system design, electrical loads, and high-R wall case studies.

    Enclosure Design Principles Of Energy Efficient Buildings
    Building Science Seminars online slide show covers an introduction to advanced building science relating to enclosure design principles of energy efficient buildings. (PDF)

    Building Science & Structural Insulated Panels
    Building Science online slide show presentation covers structural insulated panel overview, design, installation, and performance characteristics. (PDF)

    6. Building Performance Issues

    Solar Mass Walls Not Feasible For Space Heating In Canada
    CMHC study explores performance of one type of passive solar heating system, the mass wall. Mass walls hold the promise of being able to provide passive solar heating in situations in which direct gain is not suitable, but results of the study are not favourable for Canada. (PDF)

    Canadian Research Into Sustainable Thermal Insulation
    Canadian Institute for Research in Construction has embarked on a new research project whose aims are to: identify eco-friendly high-performance thermal insulation materials, i.e., those that are renewable, energy efficient, biodegradable and indigenous; to develop a thermal insulation selection guideline for users.

    New High-R Wall Systems
    Building Science study considers a number of promising wall systems that can meet the requirement for better thermal control. Unlike previous studies, this one considers performance in a more realistic matter, including some true three-dimensional heat flow and the relative risk of moisture damage.

    Purchasable Book On Prescriptions For A Healthy House
    Prescriptions for a Healthy House is a practical guide on constructing healthier homes for architects, builders & home owners. It takes mystery out of healthy-house building, renovation and maintenance, by walking the owner/architect/builder team through the entire construction process. $29 CDN

    7. Products & Suppliers

    Choosing Green Finish Materials
    Oikos Green Building Source article offers considerations for choosing green finish materials. Additional links at the top right offer more information on countertops, flooring, and paint.

    Greener & Energy Efficient Lighting
    EcoHome magazine article provides an overview of current energy efficient lighting trends and products for the green building market.

    Selecting Residential Window Glazing For Optimum Energy Performance
    Canadian Institute for Research in Construction provides results of a research project that examined the impacts of two types of high-performance window glazing (low solar heat gain and high solar heat gain) on energy consumption in residential applications.

    Green Innovations & Emerging Technologies
    Online presentation by Dr. John Straube provides on overview of energy efficient and green innovations and technologies in building design and products. (PDF)

    North American Energy Efficiency Standards & Labelling
    Natural Resources Canada updates progress on product energy efficiency standards in Canada, US, and Mexico. It describes why standards and labelling programs are effective instruments in meeting energy-efficiency goals, different processes and contexts for these programs, and where commonalities and differences exist. The report will serve as an important reference document and guide for participants in international trade and research.

    Comparison Of Green Product Standards & Certification Programs
    Air Quality Sciences report Primary Green Product Standards and Certification Programs: A Comparison, explores in-depth the following eight certifications: Energy Star, WaterSense, Cradle to Cradle, GreenGuard, Green Seal, GreenSpec Directory, Forest Stewardship Council, and Sustainable Forestry Initiative. (PDF)

    Green Mechanical Council
    Green Mechanical Council offers education to contractors, field technicians, and industry leaders about creating and maintaining environmentally sound residential and commercial mechanical systems.

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    8. Installation & Procedures

    Air Sealing New Homes At Framing Stage
    Journal of Light Construction describes how to get a tight, energy-efficient house by planning your air-sealing strategy at the framing stage.

    Build Very High Levels Of Energy Performance Into New Homes
    Building Science article describes, using this Westford House as an example, how to build very high levels of energy performance into new homes. Use lots of insulation, airtight construction, controlled ventilation, and not a lot of glass. Use real good glass whenever you use glass, use real good appliances, use real good lighting, and after you have done all of this use real good equipment. The real good equipment is now pretty small because you have done the other stuff. And then stop.

    Deep Energy Retrofit Of 1915 Sears Roebuck House
    Building Science describes 1915 Sears house renovations that used systems engineering principles to ensure good indoor air quality and longterm durability while providing deep energy reductions.

    Metro Vancouver Recycling Depots Database
    Metro Vancouver online database contains over 1,300 locations within Metro Vancouver region to donate, recycle or appropriately dispose of items you no longer want.

    9. Information Sources

    Free Newsletter On Green Building
    Green Building Advisor free newsletter offers news, advice, and know-how on latest green building strategies, building codes, green building materials and products, examples of green homes, and business strategies that will improve your work.

    BC Resource Site On Green Building
    BC Construction Association offers information and resources on green building including updates, carbon issues, rating systems, corporate social responsibility, greening your business, and links to more resources.

    Trim Tab Magazine On Green Building
    Cascadia Region Green Building Council new online e-magazine Trim Tab is published every three months. It contains provocative articles, interviews and news on issues, designs, and people that are truly transforming the built environment.

    Online Training Modules For Energy Efficiency Improvements For Remodeling
    US National Association of Home Builders offers online training modules that describe energy efficiency improvements that can be made in the course of any remodeling project.

    Fine Homebuilding Weblog By Green Building Experts
    The Deans of Green is a Fine Homebuilding weblog that offers regular comments and resources from credible green building and design industry experts.

    Presentations From 2009 Energy Auditing Conference
    US Residential Energy Services Network offers online access to 2009 conference presentations on home energy auditing and home energy rating. Click on presenter names to access each document.

    Overview Of BC Carbon Issues & Resources
    Fresh Outlook Foundation guide describes the curious world of CO2 and beyond, specifically as it relates to situations and resources in BC. (PDF)

    10. Conferences & Shows

    Canadian National Green Building Summit
    Shifting into the Mainstream, the national summit of the Canada Green Building Council, will be held in Montreal on June 9 - 11. They expect more than 1,000 delegates, 150 exhibitors, 40 speakers and panelists, and dozens of journalists to attend – experts who are helping to advocate and shape the direction of green building in Canada.

    Living Future 09 Green Building Conference
    Cascadia Region Green Building Council presents the Living Future 09 conference in Portland May 6 - 8. It is designed to address skills--identified by a cadre of dedicated and experienced professionals--that industry leaders need to effectively transform our built environment.

    US National Green Builders Products Expo
    National Green Builders Products Expo will take place May 28-29, 2009 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Serving buyers or sellers of green building products, this trade-only event showcases current and up-and-coming green building products.

    EPIC: Sustainable Living Expo In Vancouver
    EPIC is the Vancouver Sun Sustainable Living Expo green consumer show and eco-marketplace being held at the new Vancouver Convention Centre West May 8-10.

    Canadian Conference On Developments In IAQ Issues
    Air & Waste Management Association conference in Montreal, May 20 - 22, features industry experts on critical issues surrounding indoor air quality including: drivers for indoor air quality management; health impacts; green building; building durability problems; the relationship between indoor and outdoor air quality; and new technologies and approaches to remediation. (PDF)

    Canadian Passive & Low Energy Conference
    Canadian Passive & Low Energy Conference 2009, held in Quebec City June 21 - 24 addresses passive low energy architecture through occupants’ perspective at the urban and building scales.

    Canadian Solar Buildings Conference
    The Canadian Solar Buildings Conference will be held in Toronto, June 25 – 27. Canadian Solar Buildings Research Network & Solar Energy Society of Canada brings together top researchers from 10 Canadian Universities to develop the solar-optimized building of the 21st century.

    Online Web Conferences On Green Energy
    Green Energy Web Conferences offers annual web conferences with speakers and content, and gives you an opportunity to interact and connect with all presenters and attendees.

    11. Education & Training

    Free Webinars On Green Building
    Green Building Advisor offers the building industry free online webinars on green building topics.

    12-Week Green Remodeling Webinar Class
    US National Association of the Remodeling Industry online webinar on green remodeling begins May 7, 2009. The class will meet once a week for two hours, covering 16 topics related to green and sustainable remodeling.

    BC Trainers On Building & Sustainability
    Eco-Sense provides educational opportunities for BC schools and trade professionals, demonstrating ways to build and live in a sustainable manner.

    Canadian Online Courses In Sustainability
    Natural Step offers online courses aimed at businesses, governments, communities and individuals that want to move strategically towards sustainability.

    Online Certificate in Sustainable Design & Green Building
    Red Vector, a provider of online education for the architectural, engineering and construction industries, offers the University of Tennessee Sustainable Design and Green Building Certificate. The certificate program is meant to broaden students' sustainable design and green building knowledge all while giving a comprehensive review of the exam point categories on the LEED AP Exam given by the U.S. Green Building Council.

    LEED AP Credential Program Overhauled
    Environmental News article says the Green Building Certification Institute, the organization that administers the LEED AP credential, has announced substantial revisions to the program. After June 2009, existing LEED APs will have to opt in to an updated version of the program with continuing education requirements, while aspiring LEED APs will find that accreditation requirements have become more rigorous.

    12. Costs & Savings

    Evaluation Of High Performance Residential Housing Technology
    University of Waterloo student Aaron Grin masters thesis reviews a variety of North American green rating systems and contrasts their energy performance requirements with those of the Ontario Building Code. The literature review shows that homes that use 75% less heating energy than a standard house could be built in the 1980s for a mere 5% construction cost premium, and that significantly more can be done to economically reduce house energy consumption. (PDF)

    Cost & Payback Of Living Building Projects
    Cascadia Regional Green Building Council study looked into the cost premium and payback of projects in their Living Building Challenge. (PDF)

    Prices For Rooftop Solar Systems Fall As Supply Grows
    USA Today article says prices for rooftop solar systems, including installation, already have fallen 8% to 10% since October and are expected to drop another 15% to 20% this year.

    13. Incentives, Financing & Programs

    New Terasen Gas Incentive Programs For Energy Efficiency
    Terasen Gas has received approval from the BC Utilities Commission for its new Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EEC) program to provide customers enhanced tools and incentives to manage their natural gas consumption, reduce their energy costs, and lower their greenhouse gas emissions.

    BC Incentive Programs For Energy Star Windows
    BC Hydro Power Smart lists various manufacturer rebate programs that offer rebates for installing Energy Star labelled windows.

    BC Government RFP Posted For Super Efficient New Construction Program
    BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources has posted a Request for Proposals on BCBid that calls for submissions for the construction of net zero or near net zero residential buildings, along with one educational building. The closing date is June 30, 2009. Click on "Browse for BCBid Opportunities", then choose "Browse Using The Advanced Search", then enter EMPR0413 in the "Document Number" box, and you should land on the RFP.

    Modest Financing Plan For Weatherization
    Fine Homebuilding contributor proposes a zero-dollar-down weatherization program that will be applicable to rental properties, fully mortgaged properties on the edge of foreclosure, and light commercial as well as all categories of residential, not just low-income. By keeping the loans small enough, in the $5,000 range, and applying the right fixes to the right projects, the energy saved by the weatherization could balance the cost of the loan.

    Dittie For Today: On Character

    What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do. - John Ruskin

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    © Copyright 2009               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved

    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada