Alert Notice #23
Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
 September 17, 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. Information Sources
9. Conferences & Shows
10. Education & Training
11. Costs & Savings
12. Incentives, Financing & Programs

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  Warren Jones

  Built Green

  Energy Retrofit Conference

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

    Study Shatters Stereotype Of Green Consumers
    GLOBE-Net summarizes a new US national study of green consumers that is busting stereotypes about them: The environment is not their top concern, their kids are not influencing them to be green, and while many know what they should do to save the planet, they often don’t do it.

    Canadian Green Building & Development As Public Good
    Canadian Policy Research Networks paper highlights some key issues facing green building & development as it will – and some would say must – unfold at the local level. Whether tackling risk and liability, financing or the green premium, local regions must set their sights on governance structures that foster, develop and disseminate expertise, and they must do so collaboratively among key agents. (PDF)

    Canadian Small Town Sustainable Neighbourhood Project
    CMHC study describes a development project reflecting principles of sustainability and new urbanism, in the Eastern Ontario Town of Perth. The goal of the project is to create a 24-unit infill neighbourhood on a one-hectare remediated brownfield site, close to both downtown and a main outdoor recreation complex. The study reveals challenges faced by the Town of Perth and suggests approaches that can assist other municipalities considering similar projects. (PDF)

    Sustainable Canada Energy Outlook
    Greenpeace report Energy [R]evolution shows how Canada can cut global warming pollution to levels needed to prevent the worst effects of global warming while also meeting the energy needs of a growing world and phasing out nuclear power. The report outlines how Canada can use available technology to cut the greenhouse gas emissions from its energy sector 34 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050.

    Canadian Wind Vision 2025
    Canadian Wind Energy Association strategic vision Wind Vision 2025 - Powering Canada's Future, cites rapidly rising energy costs, reducing environmental impacts caused by current electricity generation, need to quickly build more electricity generation to keep up with rising demand, and need to build a more robust transmission system, as key drivers for adoption of wind technology. (PDF)

    2. Business Management

    Tips For Builders Of Energy Efficiency Homes
    US National Association of Home Builders offers tips from winners of the EnergyValue Housing Award that can be helpful to builders who have decided to improve the energy efficiency of homes they build.

    5 Ways to Protect Your Remodeling Company From Green Litigation
    Professional Remodeler suggests five general areas remodelers should think about to protect themselves from potential green lawsuits.

    8 Tips For Suppliers To Be LEED Ready
    Wood Digest, a trade magazine for professional cabinet shops, describes how to prepare your business for your first LEED project.

    How To Measure & Manage Your Organization’s Carbon Footprint
    Green Business article offers tips on how to measure, monitor and manage your organization's carbon footprint to gain a competitive advantage.

    3. Building Design & Trends

    Planning A Green Building Lot
    Green Building Advisor online report describes how, in terms of green success, some of the most important planning of a project goes into the surrounding site. In the short term, limiting construction damage to the landscape is high on the list. In the long term, however, success depends on how well the house is integrated into its surroundings.

    Strategies For Resource-Efficient Residential Buildings
    Building Science Consortium, one of five Building America teams, describes its integrated strategy to achieve the Building America goals, incorporating advanced framing, improved insulation, simplified HVAC systems, high performance windows, and details that ensure durability of the homes. (PDF)

    New Affordable Green In Historic Neighbourhood
    Green Building Advisor describes an affordable green neighbourhood of practical homes that fit in with others nearby.

    Passive Design Tool Kit For Homes
    City of Vancouver online Passive Design Toolkit for Homes details strategies for achieving energy efficiency and improved heating comfort through building design. These passive design elements are evaluated for relative cost and effectiveness and can reduce a building’s energy demand by as much as 50 percent.(PDF)

    Green Bathroom Remodeling
    All Buildings describes features and benefits for green remodeling of a bathroom, along with questions and tips on procedures and products.

    Salt Spring Island Sustainability Checklist
    Salt Spring Island Sustainability Checklist for new single family dwellings and renovations is a guide that allows property owners to design in a manner that will save long term costs and lessen damage on the environment. Information about financial incentives and other construction resources is also included. (PDF)

    4. Codes Standards & Regulations

    Code Barriers Affecting Green Building Projects
    Cascadia Region Green Building Council report Code, Regulatory and Systemic Barriers Affecting Living Building Projects presents a case for fundamental reassessment of building codes. It says federal stimulus funds for green building and infrastructure projects are important drivers in the shift in how buildings are designed and constructed, but there needs to be a greening of regulatory systems to fully meet sustainability goals.

    Passivhaus Standard Issues For Colder Climates
    Building Science says the Passivhaus standard, a set of voluntary criteria for an ultra-low energy use home originally developed in Germany, contains many recommendations that are not likely good decisions for cold climate North American housing, and some are very impractical with little or no benefit to the environment or the homeowner.

    New Home Program Guarantee Of Comfort & Energy Use
    US Environments For Living Program provides new homes with energy use and comfort guarantees that promise potential savings, comfort and durability.

    2009 Specification For HRV & ERV Efficiency
    Energy Star specification for HRV & ERV in Canada includes minimum sensible heat recovery efficiency and a minimum fan efficacy requirement. NRCan will release the final specification in the near future. Version 1.0 went into effect July 1, 2009, with a revision of the specification to follow in July 2012. (PDF)

    BC Municipal Green Design Guidelines
    BC Master Municipal Construction Documents Association drafted the MMCD BC Municipal Green Design Guidelines to describe alternative design practices which support environmentally friendly initiatives in municipal infrastructure and land development projects. (PDF)

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    5. Building Science & Technologies

    Proper Drainage For Water Management
    Green Building Advisor describes how the right drainage can keep the house dry and the landscape green, with roof gutters, curtain drains, and slope being key considerations.

    GreenScapes Resources On Sustainable Landscaping
    US Environmental Protection Agency GreenScapes program and Web site provide cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for landscaping.

    Sustainable Landscaping Examples & Resources
    Professional Builder magazine provides examples of sustainable landscaping solutions for various climates that show how home builders are getting up to speed on sustainable landscaping practices such as bioswales, rain gardens and the use of native plant materials.

    Introduction To Pervious Concrete & Pavement
    BC Ready Mixed Concrete Association describes features and benefits of pervious pavement and concrete.

    Using Sun For Passive Heating & Daylighting
    Green Building Advisor describes how to design around the sun to lower heating and lighting needs. How a house is oriented to the sun has a dramatic impact on heating and cooling costs, the largest energy load in most homes.

    6. Building Performance Issues

    Not All Green Buildings Are Comfortable
    Globe Net article provides a summary of several studies into whether all green buildings lead to improvements in user experience, with evidence that suggests not.

    Can Swimming Pools Be Green?
    Green Building Advisor says given the energy and water-use penalties of backyard pools they deserve the scrutiny of the green building community.

    Canadian Resource Site On Chemical Substances
    Government of Canada site on Chemical Substances is a source of information on Canada's chemical substance management under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

    7. Products & Suppliers

    Top 10 Green Building Products 2009 From Sustainable Industries
    Sustainable Industries magazine top 10 green building products of 2009 were judged based on: compatibility with LEED for new construction, environmental performance, value, scalability/market impact, innovativeness, and design aesthetic.

    Storage vs. Tankless Water Heaters
    Green Building Advisor article compares storage tank vs. tankless hot water systems from the standpoint of energy efficiency and green building.

    Search What Various Eco-Labels On Products Mean
    Consumer Reports site Greener Choices allows you to search to find out what the labels on consumer products really mean. The search tools get their expert evaluation of labels on food, wood, personal care products and household cleaners. You can search by product, category, or certifier, and easily compare labels using report cards.

    UL Sustainable Product Certification
    Underwriters Laboratories new wholly owned subsidiary UL Environment now offers Sustainable Product Certification tests and certifies environmentally friendly products, processes and materials to current environmental standards.

    GreenFormat System For Manufacturers To Report Product Sustainability Properties
    Construction Specifications Institute offers GreenFormat, a web-based CSI format that allows manufacturers to self-report sustainability properties of their products in a standard manner.

    Search For Green Computers & IT Products
    EPEAT Electronic Product Assessment and search tool helps purchasers evaluate, compare and select electronic products based on their environmental attributes. The system currently covers desktop and laptop computers, thin clients, workstations and computer monitors.

    Reviews Of Efficient & Green Products
    Meta Efficient reviews efficient or green products, and provides their opinions on results.

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    Energy Retrofits for Houses conference will take place October 28 – 29 in Toronto. It is the first of its kind in Canada and is modeled after the popular Affordable Comfort conferences in the U.S.

    The conference will be of value to all industry professionals who are interested in saving energy in houses without jeopardizing the health and safety of the homeowners.

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    8. Information Sources

    New BC Energy Efficiency Compliant Enhancement Coordinator
    David L. Bruce has been contracted as an Energy Efficiency Compliance Enhancement Coordinator by the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources to support compliance with regulations under the BC Energy Efficiency Act. David will serve as the main contact point for questions from industry and consumers about regulations and standards for windows, glazing, doors and skylights. David can be contacted via email at or phone 604-619-9946.

    Online Videos On Benefits Of Green Building For Prospective Buyers
    US National Association of Home Builders provide online videos showing home owners features and benefits of green building including air quality, energy-efficiency, water efficiency, building materials & appliances, and incentives.

    Purchasable Book On Green Remodeling
    Builder Books sells Green Remodeling: Your Start Toward an Eco-Friendly Home by John D. Wagner. Some of the topics covered include reducing home energy use, selecting non-toxic products, saving water, and supporting the environment through the use of products that support responsible manufacturing and the sustainable harvesting of natural resources. $20 USD

    Industry Resource Site On Biomass & Bioenergy
    Biofiber Business provides online information and resources on a wide range of topics related to biomass and bioenergy.

    Listings Of Green Homes For Sale
    Green Homes For Sale provides paid online listings of green homes for sale in North America, with pictures and descriptions of each.

    9. Conferences & Shows

    Tour Of Vancouver Residential & Commercial Green Buildings
    Cascadia Region Green Building Council is offering three Green Skyline tours of Vancouver residential and commercial green buildings.

    Power Smart Forum For Building Owners & Managers
    Power Smart Forum energy conservation conference, October 13-15 in Vancouver, fosters key information sharing opportunities and provides solutions to BC organizations who strive to put energy-efficient and conservation practices into action.

    Excellence In Building Conference & Expo
    Energy and Environmental Building Association annual Excellence in Building Conference & Expo is being held in Denver, September 28-30. Builders, remodelers, developers, architects, designers and manufacturers come to learn the science behind green and sustainable building practices, to understand new regulations and legislative measures, and to capitalize on increasing opportunities.

    US Conference For Green Buildings
    West Coast Green conference and expo in San Francisco, October 1-3, features state-of-the-art resources, presentations, and opportunities for business development ranging from emerging technologies to new policies, from social entrepreneurship to business innovations, and more.

    BC & Cascadia Region Conferences Events & Workshops
    Cascadia Region Green Building Council online calendar describes all of the major conferences, events, workshops and lectures that Cascadia is hosting in various cities.

    10. Education & Training

    GVHBA Seminar On Six Storey Wood Frame Construction
    Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association seminar on September 23rd features three industry experts discussing different aspects of wood-frame construction as it relates to recent changes to the BC Building Code allowing six-storey wood frame construction.

    Seminar On Waste Management In Construction & Renovation
    Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC seminar on October 23rd covers how to effectively and economically reduce waste by designing for deconstruction and adaptation, reusing and recycling salvaged materials as well as creating and implementing a waste management plan.

    11. Costs & Savings

    Online Calculators For Water Energy Savings
    Sustainable Solutions International provides online and Excel versions of Canadian & US water energy savings calculators.

    Power Monitor Measures Electrical Consumption Of Individual Device
    Kill-a-Watt Power Monitor lets you measure how much electricity is used by appliances or other devices in your home or office. Simply plug the monitor into an electrical outlet, and then plug your device into the monitor. $40 CDN

    Energy Detective Monitor For Whole Home
    TED is a simple, yet accurate, home energy monitor that allows you to see electricity usage in real-time.

    Missing Link Is Energy Savings In Some Green Buildings
    Sustainable Industries article says energy cost results are not inline with the true performance expected out of LEED-certified buildings.

    12. Incentives, Financing & Programs

    BC Green Landlords Program For Rental Housing
    BC Sustainable Energy Association Green Landlords Project is developing ways of enabling both residential landlords and tenants to invest in energy and water efficiency upgrades and encourage more sustainable behaviour.

    ecoENERGY Program Results For 2007/2008
    Canadian ecoENERGY Retrofit program for homes report summarizes the quality assurance homeowner verification for 2007/2008. It includes details on program results, homeowners who undertook work, homeowners planning to do work, and other information. (PDF)

    Finance Energy Efficiency Through Property Tax
    Build It Green describes California Assembly Bill 811that enables local governments to establish regional financing districts that allow property owners to install energy efficiency home retrofits or renewable energy with no money down. The participants would pay for the cost of the upgrades through their property taxes, on a 10- to 20-year loan period.

    Performance-Based Standards Better Than Product Incentives
    Remodeling Magazine article says industry insiders believe the major drivers of home-efficiency improvements will soon shift to performance-based incentives and standards.

    Dittie For Today: On Purpose

    It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived..

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    © Copyright 2009               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved

    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada