Alert Notice #26
Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
 January 11, 2010


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 & 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

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

    Green Buildings Have Better Productivity, Vacancy & Rents
    University of San Diego and CB Richard Ellis Group study found tenants in green buildings experience increased productivity and fewer sick days, and that green buildings have lower vacancy and higher rental rates.

    Why We Should Care About Green Building
    Green Building Advisor article and podcast by Dr. John Straube puts building energy and resource demands into perspective and contemplates why we’ve let them get to the state they're in.

    Public Is Losing Interest In Climate Change
    Green Business article describes how the US and Canadian public are losing interest in climate change as a very serious issue.

    Energy Star Homes Reach Nearly 17% Market Share In US
    Qualified Remodeler says Energy Star qualified homes gained almost 17% of US market share in 2008.

    Vancouver 2020 A Bright Green Future
    City of Vancouver online presentation by Mayor Gregor Robertson describes a 10-year plan to make Vancouver the world's greenest city by 2020. (PDF)

    Are Green Jobs For Real?
    Popular Mechanics Magazine examines whether green jobs are really becoming an important component of the new economy, or if it is just a lot of talk.

    2. Business Management

    Selling Green Based On Energy Efficiency
    Big Builder magazine summarizes a survey that says green builders should sell their homes as energy-efficient, not as environmentally correct.

    San Francisco MLS Adds Green Certifications To Search Criteria
    Build It Green describes how San Francisco Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service added new Green Features to their property profiles.

    Sell More With Home Performance Diagnostics
    Affordable Comfort online presentation describes how to increase your business by using home performance diagnostics. (PDF)

    How To Select Green Builder Or Remodeler
    Green Building Advisor describes considerations for selecting the appropriate builder or remodeler for your green project.

    Climate Change 101 For Businesses
    CSA online presentation Climate Change 101 for Busy Professionals, from CSA Standards, is designed to give businesses a high-level understanding of how to adapt to climate change fundamentals. Topics covered include: climate change science overview; GHG mitigation options for businesses; climate change policy directions. Free registration required.

    Solar Powering Your Community: A Guide For Local Governments
    Solar BC displays the US Department of Energy resource guide that assists local governments and stakeholders in building sustainable local solar markets. It introduces a range of policy and program options that have been successfully field tested in cities around the country. (PDF)

    3. Building Design & Trends

    Best Practices For High Performance Homes
    Building Science information sheet describes some of the basic characteristics that should be met in all high performance homes.

    Pictures Of Canadian EQuilibrium Demonstration Homes
    CMHC EQuilibrium Housing image gallery shows photographs and floor plans of Canadian EQuilibrium demonstration homes.

    Handbook For Conducting Design Charrettes
    US National Renewable Energy Laboratory online Handbook for Planning and Conducting Charrettes for High-Performance Projects presents detailed information for every step of the charrette process, from initial planning, to conducting and facilitating the charrette, to follow-up. (PDF)

    Extreme Home Makeover For Energy Efficiency
    Building Science online presentation describes how to perform deep energy retrofits on existing homes, and offers construction details for each building component and measure. (PDF)

    Photovoltaic Potential & Solar Resource Maps Of Canada
    Natural Resources Canada photovoltaic potential and solar resource maps of Canada offer estimates of the electricity that grid-connected photovoltaic systems can generate without batteries, and the mean daily global insolation for any location in Canada.

    Online Calculator For Reducing Carbon Emissions
    Rocky Mountain Institute online Green Footstep is a free carbon calculator for reducing carbon emissions in building construction and retrofit projects.

    Free Simulation Software For Buildings & Renewable Energy Systems
    Natural Resources Canada offers a number of different free software programs for simulating building performance and a wide range of renewable energy systems.

    4. Codes Standards & Regulations

    BC Energy Efficiency Act Regulations For Windows & Doors
    Building Officials Association of BC online presentation on BC Energy Efficiency Act Regulations for Windows, Doors and Skylights was given by the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources at their recent education seminar. (PDF)

    New Canadian Energy Efficiency Standards For Room Air Conditioners
    Natural Resources Canada proposes more stringent minimum energy performance standards for room air conditioners that are imported or shipped inter-provincially for sale or lease in Canada.

    US WaterSense Labeled New Homes Program
    US Environmental Protection Agency water conservation program for new homes, WaterSense Labeled New Homes, provides minimum standards for water saving features in new homes.

    Sustainability Standard For Product Manufacturers
    Green Seal, the non-profit certifier of green products and services, offers a Company Certification Program that provides a holistic assessment of the company product lines and its business operations. It will certify companies at Gold, Silver and Bronze levels based on corporate-wide practices and environmental impacts, third-party environmental certification of products, and life-cycle assessment of key product lines. (PDF)

    Guidelines For Sustainable Landscaping Practices
    Sustainable Sites Initiative new Guidelines & Performance Benchmarks describes criteria for sustainable land practices that will enable built landscapes to support natural ecological functions by protecting existing ecosystems and regenerating ecological capacity where it has been lost.

    UL To Develop Sustainability Standards For Roofing & Insulation
    UL Environment will develop sustainability standards for thermal insulation and roof covering materials. These standards will establish environmental requirements for products and associated parts based on life cycle assessment of raw materials, production, distribution, use and disposal.

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    5. Building Science & Technologies

    Hot Water Recirculation Systems
    US National Association Of Home Builders article explains the hot water recirculation system that saves energy and water by using a pump to rapidly move water from a water heater to the fixtures, and back again.

    Advanced Housing HVAC
    Building Science Seminars online presentation on Advanced Housing HVAC systems describes functions of HVAC systems, roles of temperature in system choice and efficiency, and common equipment and systems. (PDF)

    Geothermal Heat Pumps
    Renewable Energy World article outlines how different types of heat pumps function and some of their main applications.

    Windows That Perform Better Than Walls
    Green Building Advisor describes how the best modern windows are energy assets. They not only provide a view and a method of ventilation, they also help heat your house. If you choose the right glazing, your windows can gather more energy than they lose.

    Comparing Flat Plate & Vacuum Tube Solar Thermal Systems
    Renewable Energy World article explores the evolution of performance and results of a comparative study of both flat plate and vacuum tube systems to help you select the best system for an application.

    Guide To Greener Electronics
    Greenpeace online Guide to Greener Electronics is a ranking tool that looks at energy issues along with chemical and e-waste criteria. This guide ranks leading mobile and PC manufacturers on their elimination of harmful chemicals and establishing responsibility for their products once they are discarded by consumers.

    6. Building Performance Issues

    Life Cycle Assessment Of Flooring Materials
    Dovetail report Life Cycle Assessment of Flooring Materials: A Guide to Intelligent Selection, examines available life cycle assessment data for a number of flooring products.

    Cabinet Association Supports Formaldehyde Legislation
    Qualified Remodeler says the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association announced its support for formaldehyde emissions standards.

    Fuelwood, Environment, And 21st Century
    Ontario Woodlot Association discussion paper Fuelwood, the Environment and the 21st Century provides federal, provincial and municipal leaders and the general public with key and important facts linking sustainable forestry practices, advanced wood burning technology and good wood burning practices with cleaner air.

    Energy Savings From Industrialized House
    Building Science research on side-by-side energy testing and monitoring was conducted on two houses in Louisville, KY. From the data, it appears that this type of industrialized construction has energy efficiency advantages over conventional construction.

    Effective Solar Shading Devices For Residential Windows
    Canadian Institute for Research in Construction presents research on thermal effects of shading devices in cold-climate houses, and confirms they save energy and improve thermal conditions. (PDF)

    7. Products & Suppliers

    Listing Of High-Efficiency Toilet Fixtures
    US & Canadian Alliance for Water Efficiency and the California Urban Water Conservation Council lists toilets, by manufacturer, tested to meet the maximum performance of UNAR compliant high efficiency toilet fixtures.

    Guide To Purchasing Energy Efficient Products
    Natural Resources Canada online guide was developed to make it easier for you to purchase energy-efficient products. Tools in this guide help address common purchasing barriers, including lack of information, first-cost bias and life-cycle cost-analysis requirements.

    Building Green's Top 10 Green Products 2009
    Building Green, publisher of the GreenSpec Directory and Environmental Building News displays their picks for the 2009 Top 10 Green Building Products.

    Online Calculator For Water Savings
    US Environmental Protection Agency online calculator estimates how much water you can save by installing WaterSense labeled products in your home or apartment building.

    Martin's Ten Most Useless Energy-Related Products
    Green Building Advisor says marketers convince hundreds of people to spend money on useless energy saving gadgets, and this article highlights their ten-worst list. Also included are some comments from others with differing opinions on some of the items included in the list.

    New Direct Venting System For Bio-Fuel Stoves
    Canadian manufacturer Selkirk has introduced a new product designed to make stoves burning eco-friendly bio-fuels less problematic for homeowners and installers. Their Direct-Temp for Multi-Fuel Stoves (DT-M) is designed to address the problem of highly corrosive flue gases produced by burning corn, grain or other bio-fuels by converting any conventional corn-burning or multi-fuel stove into a Direct Vent system.

    8. Installation & Procedures

    Online Guide For Planning & Building A Sustainable Home
    Australian Government online guide provides details of sustainable construction and green building covering design, water, materials, energy, site & other impacts, and more.

    Site Helps Teams In LEED Project Certification
    LEEDuser provides credit-by-credit guidance for teams working on LEED certification. Included are clear descriptions of credit requirements, tips to streamline LEED submissions, online calculators, and online user forums related to specific credits.

    Performance Standard For Deconstruction
    Northeast Green Building Consulting draft performance standard outlines how to deconstruct deteriorated homes, create local deconstruction economy that creates living wage jobs, provides training for sustainable construction careers, divert valuable building resources and historical architectural elements from landfills, and enhance community resilience. (PDF)

    Purchasable Book On Green Home Improvement
    RS Means sells Green Home Improvement, a book covering 65 projects that help homeowners make a difference in their living expenses, health, comfort, and the environment. It describes what each project involves, how much it costs, and what the benefits are. $25 USD

    Online Videos On Air-Sealing A House
    Online videos at You Tube describe where and how to air seal different parts of a house.

    Choosing A Registered Solar Hot Water Installer
    Solar BC provides tips on finding solar hot water installers that will help you access incentives and provide you with knowledge about the system you choose.

    9. Fuels & Transportation

    2010 Most Fuel-Efficient Vehicles In Canada
    Natural Resources Canada lists 2010 winners of its annual ecoENERGY for vehicles Awards, as the most fuel-efficient vehicles for the current model year.

    2010 Fuel Economy & Gas Mileage Guide
    The Fuel Economy Guide published by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency helps consumers in making comparisons of the gas mileage of similarly sized cars and light-duty trucks.

    BC Low Carbon Fuel Requirements Regulation
    The new BC government Renewable and Low Carbon Fuel Requirements regulation amends the 2008 regulation to include new requirements to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels by 10 per cent by 2020.

    10. Information Sources

    Green Building Library
    Oikos provides a searchable archive of past articles from Energy Source Builder, which are listed by category, including building materials, green power, lighting, ventilation, daylightng, insulation, windows and glazing, air sealing, waste reduction and recycling, space heating and cooling, marketing green homes, water heating, building design, appliances, green building community, water and links to related web sites.

    Presentations From Canadian Energy Retrofits Conference
    The Canadian 2009 Energy Retrofits For Houses Conference offers online access to many of the presentations that were made on a wide variety of topics.

    Handouts & Presentations From Conferences On Building Performance
    Affordable Comfort offers online access to a wide range of handouts and presentations from past conferences on building performance.

    Sustainable News & Information Radio
    Mother Earth News Radio is a new weekly show that covers the gamut of sustainable living, including organic gardening, renewable energy, do-it-yourself home projects, eco building and remodeling, modern homesteading, transportation and more.

    Ask An Expert Service On Building Performance Topics
    Building Performance Institute technical staff offers an online Ask The Experts service on topics relating to energy efficiency and home performance.

    Free E-mail Newsletter On Energy Efficiency For BC Homeowners
    BC Hydro free monthly e-mail newsletter for residential customers focuses on energy-saving tips and stories. Content includes conservation issues and questions, Green Guides, customer success stories, popular posts from Unplug this Blog, recent updates from and information about the latest rebates and savings.

    11. Conferences & Shows

    BC Power Conference In Vancouver, Jan 26-27
    Canadian Institute’s 4th BC Power conference will provide a great opportunity for discussion and debate about BC’s power supply mix and to discover where future opportunities lie.

    Global Conference On Business & Environment In Vancouver, March 24-26
    GLOBE 2010, held in Vancouver March 24-26, is dedicated to the business of the environment. It offers three days of sessions presented by sustainability experts, displays of environmental innovations, and global networking opportunities.

    Living Future 2010 Green Building Conference In Seattle, May 5-7
    Cascadia Region Green Building Council present the Living Future 2010 conference in Seattle May 5-7. It is designed to show products and address skills that industry leaders need to effectively transform our built environment.

    12. Education & Training

    Getting To Green Course For BC Real Estate Professionals
    UBS Sauder School of Business course helps real estate professionals recognize the benefits of energy efficient and sustainable real estate. It focuses on green construction and building systems; economic, governmental, and market drivers; tools for advancing green building technologies; and success stories that demonstrate the potential for a greener future.

    Life Cycle Costing For Green Building Design
    Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC workshop will introduce ASTM and ISO Building Economics Standards and impart skills necessary to apply Life Cycle Costing methodology to evaluation and analysis of investments in buildings, specifically in the field of energy efficiency and Green Buildings.

    Certification For Green Globes Assessor & Professional
    Green Building Initiative certifies Green Globes Assessors to perform on-site, third-party building assessments for Green Globes building rating/certification, and Green Globes Professionals who are qualified to complete online evaluations, offer project management and technical support to clients undergoing the building assessment and certification process.

    US Green Lending Specialist Certification
    Porter Works certifies a Green Lending Specialist, a lending professional, educated and certified through the GLS designation program. This individual has attended the comprehensive two-day training, successfully passed the exam, and adopted the principals set out in the GLS Code of Conduct.

    BPI Reports Rapid Growth In Home Performance Certification
    Qualified Remodeler says the Building Performance Institute, a US national standards development and contractor credentialing organization for residential energy efficiency retrofit work, reports the number of individuals who have achieved professional certification credentials from BPI has grown, from 2,737 to 4,666, a 70% increase between December 31, 2008 and August 1, 2009.

    Are You An Energy Nerd?
    Green Building Advisor quiz will test your knowledge of energy efficiency, building physics, and building science trivia.

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    13. Costs & Savings

    Online Tool For Energy Efficient Rehab Advice
    US Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing online tool calculates energy savings, approximate costs, and benefits of completing various retrofits on an existing home.

    Energy Efficiency Costs Only 2.5 Cents Per Kilowatt-Hour
    American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy report shows that the utility cost per kilowatt-hour of energy efficiency has held steady or even slightly declined at about 2.5 cents over the last half decade, even as the costs for new coal, nuclear, and other supply-side energy alternatives have risen.

    LEED May Be Misleading On Energy Savings
    Building Science article Mis—LEED—ing says four hundred years ago an English statistician would have immediately recognized that it is really stupid to compare the median of one set of things to the average of another set of things. The articles adds that we have to start making the right design decisions at the front end, but we also have to be keeping track of how well we are doing on the back end so that we can continue to improve. Right now we are doing neither.

    14. Incentives, Financing & Programs

    Listing Of New Home Energy Efficiency & Green Programs In Canada
    Natural Resources Canada lists the various new home energy efficiency and green programs available across Canada.

    DHW Equipment Qualifying For Canadian Grants
    Natural Resources Canada describes eligible domestic hot water equipment for grants that are available in the Canadian ecoENERGY Retrofit for Homes program.

    Canadian Resource Site For Recycling Cell Phones
    Recycle My Cell allows you to locate a drop-off centre to recycle your old cell phones. Enter your postal code and they generate a list of the 10 closest cellphone recycling drop-off sites. If you can’t visit one of these drop-off locations in person, you can mail your mobile device at no cost using a prepaid shipping label. There are currently 552 drop-off locations in B.C. The website also provides instructions for cleaning your device of all personal data before dropping it off at a recycling site.

    Vancouver City Financial Incentives For Solar Hot Water Systems
    Vancouver City Council approved the Solar Homes Strategy, which will finance up to 50 per cent, about $3500, of the cost of installing a solar hot water system. The incentive will be available for 15 months to 50 new houses on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Oak Bay & Saltspring Time of Sale Home Energy Labeling
    Home sellers on Salt Spring Island and in Oak Bay will receive a $75 rebate off the cost of a home energy assessment when they participate in the new LiveSmart BC Time of Sale Pilot Project.

    Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing
    Vote Solar describes Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing (PACE) where cities set up special clean energy finance districts capable of issuing low-interest bonds. Participating homeowners can opt to use the bond money to pay for renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements, and then pay the loan back through a long-term assessment on their property taxes.

    US Recovery Through Retrofit Report
    US Recovery Through Retrofit is a report that builds on the foundation laid in the Recovery Act to expand green job opportunities and boost energy savings by making homes more energy efficient. It recommends how to use existing authority and funding to lay the groundwork for a self-sustaining home energy efficiency retrofit industry. (PDF)

    Ditty For Today

    People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering. - Augustine

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    © Copyright 2010               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved

    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada