Alert Notice #20
Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
 July 6, 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. 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 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 General Info

Energy Efficiency Audits

Energy Efficient Buildings

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    1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

    Sales Agents & Appraisers Underestimate Value Of Green
    US National Association of Home Builders says those who play a role in the residential appraisal and sales process don’t have enough expertise in green homes to value them correctly or to promote their unique features to prospective buyers.

    More Canadians Incorporating Eco-Friendly Home Technology
    StatsCan 2007 Households and the Environment Survey showed more and more Canadians are incorporating eco-friendly technology in their homes.

    Vancouver Greenest City Action Team
    The city of Vancouver invites your ideas on innovative solutions that tie economic growth to new technology, green solutions, environmental stewardship and vision.

    Pulte Builds Production Homes To LEED Platinum
    Green Building Advisor article describes how US builder Pulte Homes is aiming for LEED certification for the 185 homes in this community, both to set the bar higher and to get the word out that it means business when it comes to sustainable construction.

    Green Building Impact Report 2008
    Green Building Impact Report is an assessment of land, water, energy, material and indoor environmental impacts of LEED. The findings are both encouraging and cautionary, as overall LEED buildings are making a major impact in reducing environmental footprint of individual structures. However, significant additional progress is possible and indeed necessary on both individual building level and in terms of market penetration.

    Transforming The Market For Energy Efficiency In Buildings
    World Business Council for Sustainable Development report demonstrates how to achieve a 60 per cent reduction in the energy use of buildings by 2050 to help meet global climate change targets.

    US R&D Agenda For Net Zero Energy High Performance Green Buildings
    This US Federal R&D agenda contains six major building technology goals that define the major transformational advances needed for energy, water, and material use for Net Zero Energy, high-performance green buildings. Inspired by the building research and owner communities, the goals address R&D needs as well as implementation barriers associated with technologies that could significantly improve building performance and occupant health and productivity. (PDF)

    2. Business Management

    Marketing Green By Selling Benefits Not Features
    Fine Homebuilding article by NAHB Certified Green Practitioner Michael Chandler explains why he believes homeowners don't really care what you do to make their house better than the one across the street. They care that their home uses less energy, is more comfortable, has cleaner indoor air, conserves water, is more durable and requires less maintenance on the weekends.

    10 Builder & Renovator Strategies For Green Marketing
    US National Association of Home Builders offers tips on how green builders and remodelers can become a dominant force in their marketplace.

    Marketing High Performance Homes
    Green Building Advisor article offers tips to help you market and sell more high performance homes that save energy, conserve water, are more durable, cost less to maintain, are healthier for the occupants and are less stressful on the environment.

    Green Not Always An Easy Sell To Skeptical Consumers
    US National Association of Home Builders article says prospective buyers of green homes are more concerned about what sustainable features will do to improve their lives than to save the planet, and at a time when the state of the economy is the leading concern, consumers are looking to save money on energy but also to avoid paying some of the higher prices they associate with green.

    How A Renovation Company Made Transition To Green
    Green Building Advisor describes how Landis Construction Corp, a renovation design/build firm in Washington, made the transition to green.

    Marketing Strategy To Overcome Confusion On Green Products
    Green Business magazine article describes how, if done right, green marketing can help manufacturers uphold their brand promise and increase their market share.

    Legal Risks Of Building Green
    Journal of Light Construction says building green comes with its own particular legal risks, and explains how to avoid problems.

    3. Building Design & Trends

    Award-Winning Examples Of Green Building
    Lifecycle Building Challenge provides examples of green buildings that meet criteria such as material re-use and recovery. 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.

    Best In Green Home Building Award Winners Of 2009
    US National Association of Home Builders honoured the best in green residential design and outstanding advocacy efforts at the NAHB National Green Building Awards, which were presented during the 11th annual National Green Building Conference in Dallas.

    Canadian Green Building Awards
    Sustainable Architecture & Building Awards recognizes excellence in design and execution of Canadian buildings of all types, including new construction, renovations and interior design projects.

    Vancouver Net Zero Energy Home
    Harmony House Equilibrium project in Vancouver is a net zero energy house that features a healthy indoor environment, energy efficiency, low environmental impact, significant resource conservation, affordability considerations, and that produces as much energy as it consumes in a year from on-site renewable energy systems.

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

    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)

    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.

    4. Codes Standards & Regulations

    Q & A On 2009 BC Energy Efficiency Regulations For Windows & Doors
    Building Officials Association of BC displays BC Ministry of Energy answers to questions from industry and general public on the new 2009 energy efficiency requirements for windows and doors. (PDF)

    New Canadian Energy Efficiency Regulations For Boilers
    Natural Resources Canada outlines new regulations for more stringent minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for residential gas and oil-fired boilers, and prescriptive requirements for electric boilers, imported or shipped inter-provincially, for sale or lease in Canada.

    Online Simulator For Energy Consumption & Economic Impact Of Codes
    US National Association of Home Builders online Energy Simulator evaluates annual energy consumption differences and their economic impact resulting from energy code changes. This tool is designed to serve home building associations, building code authorities and administrators, and home energy researchers. Free registration required.

    US Resource Site For New Advanced Code Information
    US Building Codes Assistance Project online Code Builder provides information on advanced codes to architects, builders, and building departments. It explains terminology, references current practice of specific measures, and provides information on applicability, and will also serve as a clearinghouse for next-generation code changes, including advanced & green measures used in high performance homes

    2009 US House Energy Bill Would Create National Building Code
    US National Association of Home Builders says in May 2009 the US House Energy and Commerce Committee approved legislation that would limit greenhouse-gas emissions and create a national building code that completely supplants the national model code development process. The House committee approved new measures to establish a national energy code administered by the Department of Energy that comes complete with enforcement penalties and civil action against home owners and builders occupying non-compliant homes and buildings.

    International Standard On Rating Building Energy Performance
    This Florida Solar Energy Center online report covers the initial year efforts of the International Standards Organization (ISO) in developing international standards for rating the energy performance of buildings. (PDF)

    Appliance Energy Efficiency Standards Should Include Upstream Costs
    US Department of Energy should consider gradually changing its system of setting appliance energy-efficiency standards to a full-fuel-cycle measurement, which takes into account both the energy used to operate an appliance, as well as upstream energy costs -- energy consumed in producing & distributing fuels from coal, oil, and natural gas, and energy lost in generating and delivering electric power.

    First Remodeled Home Certified To US National Green Building Standard
    A recently completed remodeling project in Munster, Ind. is the first home remodel to earn certification under the National Green Building Standard of the US National Association of Home Builders.

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    5. Building Science & Technologies

    Design & Installation Of Slab Edge Insulation
    Building Science describes how the slab edge represents a significant heat loss potential, and how insulating it is important not only to the energy performance of a building but moisture management of the building as well.

    Procedures For Insulation Of Crawlspaces
    Building Science describes how a crawlspace is insulated to control heat flow and to minimize cold surfaces that can condense water and elevate local relative humidity. Crawlspaces should be designed and constructed as mini-basements, and should not be vented to the exterior. They should have their floors uninsulated, the ground vapor sealed, their walls insulated and air sealed, and their air conditioned with indoor air.

    Designing & Installing Basement Insulation
    Building Science explains how basements should be designed and constructed to be dry and conditioned for reasons of indoor air quality, pest control, and durability of the building.

    Installation Of Wall Cavity Insulation
    Building Science information sheet describes installation techniques important to the effective performance of cavity insulation.

    Canadian Research Into Next Generation Building Envelope Systems
    Canadian Institute for Research in Construction is beginning to research next generation building envelope systems for residential walls and commercial roofing. The project will address barriers to wider adoption of these new envelope systems, including issues of buildability, incremental cost of labour and materials, and wall system energy performance assessment.

    6. Building Performance Issues

    Why Energy Matters In Green Buildings
    Dr. John Straube offers his views on the most important things in green building design. He says awareness of the importance of operational energy consumption, prediction of energy consumption, and confirmation that the designed low-energy building is actually built and operated as one, are key.

    Building Energy Quotient Labeling Program For Large Buildings
    ASHRAE Building Energy Quotient building energy labeling program provides the general public, building owners and tenants, potential owners and tenants, and building operations and maintenance staff with information on the potential and actual energy use of buildings.

    Rain Control In Energy Efficient Brick Buildings
    Green Building Advisor podcast on Rain Control in Energy Efficient Buildings features Dr. Joe Lstiburek describing rain control in well-insulated buildings; specifically, how brick is affected by water, how it used to be installed, how it's installed today, how it should be installed, and why.

    Thermal Bypass Inspection Checklist
    Energy Star Thermal Bypass Inspection Checklist must be completed for homes to earn the ENERGY STAR label. The Checklist requires visual inspection of framing areas where air barriers are commonly missed and inspection of insulation to ensure proper alignment with air barriers, thus serving as an extra check that the air and thermal barriers are continuous and complete. (PDF)

    What Is Capillary Tendency Of Concrete
    Green Building Advisor online forum offers opinions on the capillary tendency of concrete.

    Engineering Performance Of Garden Roofs In Canadian Climate
    National Research Council report provides results of research into performance of a generic garden roof system at its Ottawa campus. It covers roof membrane temperature, energy performance, and rain water run off. (PDF)

    7. Products & Suppliers

    Overview Of Tankless Water Heaters
    EcoHome magazine describes features and benefits of tankless water heaters, along with tips for selection and installation.

    Energy-Smart Kitchen Appliances
    Fine Homebuilding article says kitchens consume the most electricity of any room in a house, and it explains how to choose the most-efficient appliances, how to maintain their high performance while cutting energy consumption, plus it describes some appliance-efficiency innovations. (PDF)

    Green Considerations When Selecting Carpets
    Green Building Advisor article describes pros and cons of sustainable carpet choices.

    Choosing Energy Star CFLs
    Natural Resources Canada offers information on ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent lamps for homes.

    Overview Switchable Glazing Windows
    US National Association of Home Builders tech report describes how switchable glazing windows can change light transmittance, transparency, or shading of windows.

    Purchasable Greenspec Guide To Residential Building Materials
    Builder Books sells Green Building Products, that has descriptions and manufacturer contact information for more than 1,400 environmentally preferable products and materials. All phases of residential construction, from sitework to flooring to renewable energy, are covered. Products are grouped by function, and each chapter begins with a discussion of key environmental considerations, and what to look for in a green product. $38 USD

    SAVE Program For Verifying Attributes Of Green Products
    International Code Council offers the Sustainable Attributes Verification and Evaluation Program to provide reliable information about claims made by manufacturers of sustainable products. The end result is a Verification of Attributes Report, which provides technically accurate product information that can be helpful to those seeking to qualify for points under major green rating systems.

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    8. Installation & Procedures

    Advanced Space Conditioning
    Building Science Consulting online booklet describes full HVAC systems for high performance residential buildings, and gives a good understanding of overall system design. (PDF)

    Online Questionnaire To Select Right Adhesive & Sealant
    Adhesives industry site supplies online form to assist designers in selecting the best adhesive or sealant for their applications.

    Repairing Windows Is An Opportunity
    Trowel magazine article by Tony Woods discusses repairing windows rather than replacing them, and depending on age and type of window, window repair has been proven to boost windows to good-as-new performance and costs far less than installing new windows.

    Low Energy Buildings Retrofits
    Building Science Seminars online slide show presentation by Dr. John Straube describes benefits and procedures of completing energy retrofits on existing buildings. (PDF)

    Superinsulation Retrofit Of 80-Year Old Duplex
    Green Building Advisor article describes a retrofit of an 80-year-old duplex that ultimately evolved into part of an ambitious superinsulation pilot program for Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources.

    9. Fuels, Energy & Transportation

    BC Gov: Facts On Independent Power Production
    BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources provides its facts on independent power production, to correct misleading claims about electricity generation in British Columbia.

    Investor Guide To Small Hydro Power
    Leonardo Energy 2006 report covers the basics of small hydro power, types of equipment, turbines and generators in use, selection and assessment of suitable sites, planning and licensing requirements, financing and economic justification. It includes a decision-making checklist and also covers the environmental aspects & requirements for small hydro projects, such as the provision of fish bypasses.

    Photovoltaics Design & Installation Manual
    Renewable Energy World sells this comprehensive manual on the design and installation of PV systems. Written by Solar Energy International it covers critical information needed to successfully design, install and maintain PV systems. $60 USD

    Online Planning Tool For Vehicle Petroleum Reduction
    US Department Of Energy online Petroleum Reduction Planning tool helps fleets, consumers, and business owners create a strategy to reduce conventional fuel use in fleet and personal vehicles. It allows users to evaluate and calculate petroleum reductions from alternative fuels, hybrid electric vehicles, biodiesel blends, fuel economy, vehicle miles traveled reduction, truck stop electrification, idling time reduction, and onboard idle reduction.

    BC Communities Welcome Electric Green Cars
    Following the trend to be green and sustainable, local governments around British Columbia are starting to approve the use of Low-Speed Vehicles (LSV) for travel on their streets.

    10. Information Sources

    Online Videos On Green Building For Builders
    US National Association Of Home Builders online Green Report videos are geared to building industry professionals who are preparing to green their business practices. They cover basic principles of green building, strategies to lower on-site costs, and the ANSI approved Green Building Standard and Certification Program.

    Purchasable Builder Book On How To Build Green & Save
    Build Green and Save: Protecting the Earth and Your Bottom Line, by builder Matt Belcher, is a comprehensive, easy-to-read reference that provides builders with the information they need to build green — and save money at the same time. In the publication, Belcher shows builders how to: identify and select green building materials, implement green construction techniques, explain the benefits of green housing to consumers, offer affordable green building solutions to consumers, use resources wisely and reduce water & energy consumption, and market environmentally sound practices. $22 USD

    Online Presentations From 2009 Living Future Conference
    Cascadia Region Green Building Council offers free access to slide shows from all educational sessions at its 2009 Living Future conference with the continent's deepest-green building professionals.

    Purchasable Book On Green Building & Remodeling For Dummies
    Oikos sells Green Building & Remodeling For Dummies, a step-by-step guide to every facet of this earth-friendly method of construction for building or remodeling conscientiously. $21 USD

    Resource Site On Green Projects, Materials & Design
    Green Building Elements offers information and resources on advances in green and renewable building materials, current projects in sustainable architecture and progressive urban planning, and local guidelines for creating green structures in different regions of the US.

    New Cascadia Communities Coalition Wiki
    Cascadia Region Green Building Council is launching the beta version of its Cascadia Communities Coalition wiki. This website will allow municipal sustainability staff, state and provincial sustainability policy advisors, social and environmental sustainability policy advocates and educators, to share information much more quickly and in a more compressed and focused way than email, listserves or other modes of communication.

    Global News On Green Business
    Reuters online news resource site offers latest news and information on a wide range of green business ideas and innovation.

    11. Conferences & Shows

    Energy Retrofits For Houses: Canadian Industry Conference
    The Canadian conference Energy Retrofits for Houses conference, held 28-29 October in Toronto, is modelled after the popular Affordable Comfort conferences in the US. The conference is for insulators, renovators, building inspectors, auditors, building scientists, and whoever else needs to know how to save energy in houses, and how to do this without jeopardizing the health and safety of the homeowners. There will also be a one day exhibition of products and services.

    US Green Building Council Conference & Expo
    Greenbuild, held Nov 11th in Phoenix, will feature networking, educational programs, speakers and exhibits. Highlights include LEED workshops, green building tours, poster sessions, plenary and master speakers and the annual USGBC Leadership Awards celebration.

    Intersolar North America
    Intersolar North America trade show in California, July 14-16, serves the US solar energy supply chain and provides insight into what the American and international solar markets have to offer and the latest developments in the industry.

    US Conference On Water Conservation
    WaterSmart Innovations conference in Las Vegas Oct 7-9 serves to broaden knowledge of innovations in water conservation including products, programs and outreach.

    12. Education & Training

    BC Green Construction Training Courses For Site Personnel
    Light House Sustainable Building Centre two-day course is designed for site superintendents, supervisors, site safety officers, and managers of trades to gain skills and knowledge needed to coordinate, supervise, and train crews on site.

    Online Training For Green Building & Energy Efficiency
    Green Collar Edu offers online education and training programs that support US national standards from across the green building and green trades industries in areas such as building performance, renewable energy systems, green remodeling, insulation, air sealing, fenestrations and the HVAC/R industry. Online Green Collar education and training is for the green collar workforce including institutions, manufacturers, contractors and individuals.

    York University Green Building Study Program
    World Green Building Council and York University have developed a program open to post-secondary students internationally. This interdisciplinary program will equip post-secondary students with the knowledge and training required to communicate effectively in the field of green building design and development.

    Green Building Certification Institute For LEED
    Green Building Certification Institute oversees development and delivery of LEED Professional Accreditation Exam, and serves as a resource for the building industry providing access to tools, directories and information.

    Accredited Green Roof Professional Program
    Green Roofs for Healthy Cities offers the Accredited Green Roof Professional program that is an indicator that an individual has achieved a specific knowledge level with regard to green roof design, project management, installation and maintenance.

    US Green Designation For Realtors
    US National Association of Realtors Green Designation is an environmental real estate designation addressing multiple specialties. It provides agents cutting edge green real estate education and membership to the Green Resource Council.

    13. Costs & Savings

    Not All LEED-Certified Buildings Save Energy
    Canadian Institute for Research in Construction study shows on average, LEED buildings used 18-39% less energy per floor area than their conventional counterparts. However, 28-35% of LEED buildings used more energy than their conventional counterparts. Further, the measured energy performance of LEED buildings had little correlation with certification level of the building, or the number of energy credits achieved by the building at design time.

    Let's Get Real About Alternative Energy Potential
    CNN article by David MacKay, a physics professor at University of Cambridge, says public discussion of energy options tends to be emotional, polarized, mistrustful and destructive, and focusing attention on the numbers may make it possible to develop honest and constructive conversations about energy.

    Certified Green Homes Sell For More
    Seattle Post Intelligencer article says Seattle-area homes certified by third parties as environmentally friendly sell for nearly 10 percent more than non-certified homes, according to a new report. Some posted comments to the article doubt or dispute the findings.

    14. Incentives, Financing & Programs

    Incentives For BC Okanagan & Kootenay Solar Energy
    Natural Resources Canada supports the Solar Hot Water Heating Program being delivered by FortisBC. It provides $1,000 rebates to help new home developers in the Okanagan and the Kootenays install solar hot water heating systems. The program also provides a $300 rebate for existing homeowners to install a solar hot water heating system. Solar hot water heating systems are also eligible for the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes Grant and are eligible under the Home Renovation Tax Credit.

    British Columbia Green City Awards
    BC Government Green City Awards recognize innovative local governments that are making a difference, designing sustainable and vibrant communities that encourage physical activity, energy conservation, and produce environmental benefits. They profile these leading-edge communities, and provide them with the funds to invest further in initiatives that make their environment even greener and healthier for their citizens.

    Lists Of Canadian Federal & Provincial Incentives To Go Green
    PricewaterhouseCoopers offers lists of Canadian federal and provincial sustainability-related incentives.

    Canadian EQuilibrium Communities Initiative
    CMHC EQuilibrium Communities Initiative will provide financial, technical and promotional assistance to sustainable community projects chosen through a national competition.

    Ditty For Today: On Greatness

    If a man has any greatness in him, it comes to light not in one flamboyant hour, but in the ledger of his daily work. - Beryl Markham

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    © Copyright 2009               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved

    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada