Alert Notice #29
Green Building & Energy Efficiency

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

April 6, 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. 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 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

    US Beazer Homes Expands eSMART Green Home Program
    Beazer Homes USA, Inc. has announced the expansion of its eSMART initiative to include three progressive levels of high-performance homes, all engineered as a whole-house system to achieve greater energy efficiency, conserve water and improve indoor air quality. All newly constructed Beazer homes will include additional air sealing and framing techniques that allow for more insulation per home, and include denser insulation within walls and attic spaces as well as energy-efficient low-e windows, at no additional cost to the consumer.

    Water Efficiency To Play Bigger Role In Residential Projects
    Professional Remodeler magazine article says an exclusive survey of contractors, developers and residential architects shows even with the sluggish housing market and a more budget-conscious consumer base, residential construction professionals expect to see increased investment in water conservation measures in remodeling and home building projects through 2011.

    Overview Of BC Industry Product Stewardship
    The eight stewardship agencies in BC (Encorp Pacific Canada, Tire Stewardship of BC, BC Used Oil Management Association, Product Care Association, Electronic Stewardship Association of BC, Brewers Association of BC, Post Consumer Pharmaceutical Stewardship Association and Call2Recycle) produced this recycling brochure. The Product Stewardship model is comprised of several key players working together to ensure that products no longer being used by consumers are managed in an environmentally friendly manner.

    Wind Turbine Sounds Not Harmful To Human Health
    American Wind Energy Association summarizes a report by a multidisciplinary panel that concluded sounds generated by wind turbines are not harmful to human health.

    Listening To Wind Farm Noise Concerns
    Renewable Energy World article discusses what can and should be the response to those who are reporting sleep disruption, noise that interferes with their enjoyment of the outdoors, or health impacts from wind turbines.

    New US Home Performance Contractor Association
    Efficiency First is a non-profit trade association dedicated to retrofitting US homes, building industry infrastructure to create jobs, and reducing energy consumption, carbon emissions, and dependence on foreign oil. Efficiency First represents the home performance industry including contractors, energy auditors, home energy raters, suppliers, and others associated with the industry.

    2. Business Management

    Green Helps Sell Homes
    According to a survey of Professional Builder readers, despite facing significant barriers to widespread adoption of green, the majority of builders recognize the marketing power of sustainable, high-performance homes.

    Making Room In Your Budget For Green
    Professional Builder magazine describes how home builders can offset cost premiums for going green by following best practices from the NAHB Research Center.

    Canadian Business Seminars & Courses On Climate Change
    CSA Learning Centre offers a number of courses across Canada in various topics relating to climate change and your business.

    Canadian Resources On Corporate Social Responsibility For SME
    Industry Canada online SME Sustainability Roadmap is a modular resource, presented in sections, that provides a guide to sustainable practices for small and medium-size enterprises.

    Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting & Assurance
    Accountability Project is an initiative to enhance sustainability and corporate social responsibility through meaningful accountability. They offer courses & resources to that can help organizations build trust with stakeholders, drive improvements in organizational performance, and earn respect for leaders in sustainable development.

    It’s All In The Marketing For US Green Building Council
    Dovetail Partners commentary provides opinion on how the US Green Building Council has approached the new product innovation process with an appropriate approach to marketing.

    3. Building Design & Trends

    Free Software For Home Energy Efficient Design
    UCLA easy-to-use software program allows you to see how much energy and money you can save by making various design or remodeling changes to your home.

    Affordable LEED Platinum Habitat For Humanity House
    Green Building Advisor online video shows a super-affordable superinsulated house. Building Science Corporation, the architecture and engineering firm that designed this Habitat for Humanity house, thinks that the people who need the highest-performance homes are the ones who can only bear the lowest operating costs: energy, water, and maintenance bills.

    Log Home Systems Are Eco-Friendly & Going Greener
    US National Association of Home Builders article describes how log homes are considered green, and provides examples of what some log home builders around the US are doing to improve their sustainability practices.

    Monitor Green Roof Performance With Weather Stations
    Renewable Energy World article describes how data logging weather stations can help construction executives make wise, money and resource-saving decisions about design, materials and maintenance of green roofs.

    Integrated Community Energy Solutions
    Natural Resources Canada offers information on Integrated Community Energy Solutions that make use of the opportunities that come from treating the built community environment as a system.

    4. Codes Standards & Regulations

    BC Green Building Code & Energy Efficiency Changes
    BC Building & Safety Policy Branch outlines green and energy efficiency changes planned for the BC Building Code. These include: code changes to improve the energy performance of housing to the equivalent of EnerGuide 80 in 2011; participation in a national process to establish an improved energy code for larger, more complex buildings; solar hot water ready homes (where practical) in 2010; code requirement for high-efficiency toilets (including dual-flush) and urinals in new construction in 2010, code requirements to support increased use of non-potable water for toilet flushing, irrigation and cold-water clothes washing in 2011.

    BC Optional Requirement For Solar Hot Water Ready New Homes
    BC Housing and Construction Standards is proposing an optional requirement that would enable local governments to mandate that all new single family dwellings within their communities be solar hot water ready. The proposed requirement for single family homes would apply in the following areas: required roof space for solar collector; mandatory roof loading requirement; conduit specifications.

    BC Solar Hot Water Inspection Checklist
    District of Saanich online Solar Hot Water Checklist is for municipal inspectors . The municipality developed this tool which incorporates all solar hot water related codes and bylaws. Municipal inspectors can use the checklist when inspecting different types of systems installed in residential or commercial buildings. The checklist also helps to clarify installation requirements for installers. (PDF)

    Energy Performance Score Time Has Come
    Oikos blog describes a building rating system called Energy Performance Score which shows consumption directly. As an example, the average home that consumed 78 mmbtu would have an EPS of 78, while the new home that consumed 98 mmbtu would have an EPS of 98. The EPS value is the building’s total energy consumption in Btus without all those pesky zeros.

    Technical Standards For Building Performance Contractors
    Building Performance Institute provides technical standards for residential energy retrofit work completed by its certified contractors.

    New LEED Canada 2009 Rating Systems
    Canada Green Building Council provides the new rating systems for LEED Canada for New Construction and Major Renovations 2009 and LEED Canada for Core and Shell Development 2009.

    ASHRAE Standard 189.1 For High-Performance Green Buildings
    Published by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, in conjunction with the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America and the U.S. Green Building Council, Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, is the first code-intended commercial green building standard in the US.

    Purchasable US National Green Building Standard Commentary
    US National Association of Home Builders sells the National Green Building Standard Commentary, the companion publication to the ANSI-approved National Green Building Standard. It gives valuable insights into the intention and implementation of the practices and provisions found in the standard. $46 USD

    2009 Audit Reports Issues With Management Of Energy Star Program
    US Department of Energy audit of the Energy Star program showed the department had not implemented planned improvements in the ENERGY STAR Program. The audit revealed that officials had not: developed a formal quality assurance program to help ensure that product specifications were adhered to; effectively monitored the use of the ENERGY STAR label to ensure that only qualifying products were labeled as compliant; formalized procedures for establishing and revising product specifications and for documenting decisions regarding those specifications. (PDF)

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    5. Building Science & Technologies

    Glossary Of Green Building Terms
    Seattle City Green Building Program, provides an alphabetical glossary with a brief explanation of common terms used in the design and construction of green buildings.

    Projects & Resources On Water Reuse
    CMHC describes some of their projects and initiatives to promote the residential water reuse industry within Canada.

    Residential Wall Systems Of R-30 And Beyond
    Steven Winters & Associates newsletter article by CARB researchers discusses three builder-friendly wall systems with R-values of 30 or higher: double walls, foam sheathed frame walls, and structurally insulated panels. (PDF)

    Tech Set On Resource Efficient Plumbing
    NAHB PATH Tech Set on Resource-Efficient Plumbing highlights five technologies that are easy to install, result in efficient and speedy delivery of hot and cold water, and allow for future, simplified retrofit of a greywater reuse system.

    Resource Site On Ecologically Friendly Landscape
    Less Lawns provides advice, information and resources on low-maintenance ecologically friendly alternatives and landscaping.

    Resource Site On Recycling & Renewable Energy
    NexPlan Recycling & Renewable Energy offers information on climate change, renewable energy sources, recycling, and practical ways to implement and live a life that is environmentally friendly.

    6. Building Performance Issues

    2007 Survey Of Canadian Household Energy Use
    Natural Resources Canada 2007 Survey Of Canadian Household Energy Use includes data on energy consumption habits of households, dwelling characteristics, usage of appliances, energy efficiency characteristics, and energy consumption.

    Compact Fluorescent Lamps Are Safe
    Underwriters Laboratories results from its compact fluorescent lamp safety study found consumers may be able to use CFLs more broadly and safely than previously believed or understood. UL's CFL Safety Study found no fire or shock hazards in CFLs when used in light fixtures, lighting controllers and switches traditionally used with incandescent light bulbs.

    Online Carbon Calculator For Energy Efficient Windows
    UK Glass & Glazing Federation online Carbon Calculator allows you to find out how much you can save on energy bills and reduce carbon footprint through installation of energy efficient windows, and how much more you could save by installing the highest rated windows.

    Dimming Lights For Demand-Responsive Lighting
    Canadian Institute for Research in Construction report describes, based on prior laboratory studies and a field study, guidelines for dimming lighting as a demand response strategy. (PDF)

    Energy Auditing & Diagnostics Procedures
    RESNET conference slide show presentation describes steps and tools used to complete a home energy audit and diagnostics. (PDF)

    Avoiding Moisture Problems When Weatherizing Existing Homes
    US Weatherization Training Center article describes potential for moisture problems when retrofitting existing homes, and how to avoid them.

    7. Products & Suppliers

    Guide To Choosing Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
    Energy star describes different types of energy efficient light bulbs, and gives tips for choosing the right bulb for various lighting fixtures.

    Consider Your Options For Sustainable Roofing
    Green Business article describes benefits of white roofs, green roofs (rooftop gardens or vegetative roofs) and high-performance roofs. It provides an overview of things to consider in choosing a system for your application.

    New BC Thermal Imaging Services
    City Green has announced they now offer thermal imaging services in Victoria and Southern Vancouver Island, and service will be available in the Lower Mainland soon. Their service includes a comprehensive report with thermograms, digital pictures of the findings, and expert advice from a Certified Thermographer about how to fix the problems.

    Environmental Product Certification Program
    Green Seal is a US nonprofit organization that provides science-based environmental product certification standards. They have established a market among large institutional purchasers, including government agencies, universities, and the lodging and architectural building industries. They also advise and assist these institutions and industry sectors in their efforts to green their purchasing, operations, and facilities management functions.

    Building With Rammed Earth, Adobe, Cob & Soil-Cement
    US National Association of Home Builders describes several soil based materials to build homes. Adobe & cob describe sun dried clay materials. Rammed earth and soil-cement brick use pressure to mold material into blocks or bricks.

    Canadian Forest Products Site On Sustainability
    Canadian Forest Industry Sustainable Building Coalition site helps consumers and businesses understand how they can make a difference by choosing wood products that are harvested from well managed, sustainable forests.

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    8. Installation & Procedures

    NetZero House Deep Wall System
    CMHC describes the Riverdale NetZero House Deep Wall System, a double-stud wall system forming a 406 mm (16”) cavity that is filled with blown-in cellulose insulation to achieve an impressive insulation value of RSI-9.9 (R-56). (PDF)

    Now House Exterior Envelope Retrofit
    Now House is the retrofit of a 1-1/2 storey, 1,496 sq. ft., 60-year-old post-war detached home in Toronto, Ontario. As a winning project in the CMHC EQuilibrium Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative, the developer retrofitted the house to increase energy efficiency, improve indoor air quality, produce energy through renewable sources and recover energy that would otherwise be lost from waste water and exhaust air. (PDF)

    Deep Energy Retrofit Pilot Project
    Building Science describes a pilot project intended to demonstrate Deep Energy Retrofits in existing homes in Massachusetts. The pilot program provides financial incentives and technical support to projects that commit to achieving significant energy reduction and successfully complete a long application process.

    Energy Efficiency In Home Improvement
    Natural Resources Canada explains how your home works, how to improve its energy efficiency and comfort, and sources of financing and incentives.

    GREEN UP Green Building Performance Initiative
    Canada Green Building Council GREEN UP Program provides tools, performance standards and resources to help building owners and operators understand, measure and compare on-going performance of their building portfolio to help them find efficiencies and improvements to achieve deep reductions in energy use, water use and greenhouse gas emissions, together with related environmental and economic benefits for buildings, homes and communities in all parts of the country.

    Installation Basics For Solar DHW Systems
    Home Power magazine describes how to install a rooftop solar domestic water heating system.

    9. Information Sources

    Resources On Energy Efficient Homes
    Fine Homebuilding offers information on how to make your home energy efficient with upgrades to windows, insulation, heating systems, Energy Star appliances, and other cost-effective upgrades.

    Podcasts On Energy Efficiency
    Energy Efficiency Markets online newsletter provides access to their Podcasts on various energy efficiency topics.

    Purchasable DVD On Building Better Homes
    Taunton publishing sells the DVD Building Better Homes that shows you how to apply the latest in green building science ideas to residential construction. Using a whole house systems approach, learn how to design and build high-performance houses that are healthier and more comfortable, more durable and energy efficient, and more affordable to own. $125 USD

    Online Videos On Deep Energy Retrofits
    Jeff Wilson of HGTV presents online Greened House Effect videos on how to complete a deep energy retrofit on an older home.

    Information & Resources On Solar Heating
    Southface offers technical bulletins and information on solar heating technologies and systems.

    Commercial Building Energy Performance News & Info
    Building Energy Performance Information offers information and resources on energy performance and management as it impacts U.S. commercial property. Its goal is to keep commercial real estate professionals and those servicing the commercial real estate industry informed on energy-related issues impacting property and provide a platform to share experiences and learn from each other.

    Resource Site For World Energy Information
    US Department of Energy online Open Energy Information is a new open-source web platform that will make DOE resources and open energy data widely available to the public. The data and tools housed on the free, editable and evolving wiki-platform will be used by government officials, the private sector, project developers, the international community, and others to help deploy clean energy technologies across the country and around the world.

    10. Conferences & Shows

    Conference On Home Performance For Energy Retrofit Industry In Austin April 19-23
    Affordable Comfort annual US conference for the home performance industry covers a wide range of building science topics, mostly relating to existing houses and buildings. Conference 2010 is in Austin, Texas April 19-23.

    US Weatherization Conference In Reno May 3-7
    Washington State University annual Energy Outwest Conference, held this year May 3-7 in Reno, Nevada, features seminars and trade show for the weatherization industry.

    Annual GreenTools Government Confluence In Seattle May 5-7
    Co-sponsored by King County GreenTools and the Cascadia Region Green Building Council the annual King County GreenTools Government Confluence is all about implementing change and creating sustainable communities.

    Regional Canadian Solar Industry Conference In Calgary May 25-26
    Canadian Solar Industries Association presents its regional conference and trade show in Calgary on May 25-26, aimed at all sectors of the solar and building industry.

    Canadian National Green Building Conference In Vancouver June 8-10
    Canada Green Building Council annual conference in Vancouver June 8-10 serves industry members who are helping to advocate and shape the direction of green building in Canada.

    11. Education & Training

    Monthly Vancouver Greentech Exchange
    Vancouver Greentech Exchange is a free monthly networking and learning event held at the SFU downtown Vancouver campus buildings. They feature a presentation, attendee elevator pitches and plenty of networking opportunities for Greentech entrepreneurs, investors, government, students and others. (PDF)

    Canadian Courses On LEED Green Building
    Canada Green Building Council is presenting LEED training courses and workshops in major cities all across Canada.

    Design/Build School For Sustainable Building
    Yestermorrow Design/Build School teaches over 150 hands-on courses a year in design, construction, woodworking, and architectural craft and offers a variety of courses concentrating on sustainable design.

    Online Courses On Green Building
    Green Builder College offers online green building courses including Houses That Work, Advanced Building Science, Insulation that Works, Managing Moisture, Indoor Air Quality, Ventilation that Works, and Selling Better Buildings.

    Sustainable Building Advisor Program
    Brighter Green Consulting delivers the Sustainable Building Advisor Program that is designed for working professionals who want intensive and wide ranging instruction on green building practices. Graduating students will be able to use the designation SBA, Sustainable Building Advisor.

    Weatherization Training Course Presentations
    US Weatherization Assistance Program provides online training materials including Introduction to Weatherization, Communication Skills, House as a System, Building Science Basics, Blower Door Basics, Pressure and Thermal Boundaries, Combustion Safety, Worker Safety, Materials, Tools & Equipment, Typical Weatherization Measures, Mobile Home Basics, Multi-Family Basics, Hands-On Props, and Conclusion.

    Pacific Energy Innovation Association
    Pacific Energy Innovation Association is an independent, non-profit association of energy professionals incorporated under the Societies Act of British Columbia. Its mission is to initiate and promote discussion and action for energy innovation, efficiency and sustainability. PEIA offers objective, thought-provoking dialogue on energy supply, demand and the associated technologies and policies required by sustainable economies in the near and long-term.

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    12. Costs & Savings

    Does Green Building Have To Cost More?
    Green Building Advisor discusses some simple strategies for building green that cost no more than conventional building, and may even reduce costs.

    Online Calculator For Heating Cost Comparison
    Natural Resources Canada has an online Energuide calculator to help you determine which heating system and which energy source will be most cost effective for a home.

    13. Incentives, Financing & Programs

    ecoENERGY Suspends Program Bookings As Of March 31
    Effective March 31, 2010 the ecoENERGY Retrofit For Homes program is no longer accepting bookings for pre-retrofit evaluations. The program will continue to be administered until March 31, 2011. If you have already booked an appointment for a pre-retrofit evaluation, have completed an evaluation or applied for re-entry to the program, you remain eligible to apply for a grant.

    BC 2010 Budget Re-establishes Incentives For LiveSmart Energy Efficient Incentives
    BC 2010 budget includes $35 million in new funding over three years for the LiveSmart BC: Efficiency Incentive Program. The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources is currently working with its utility partners to finalize the structure of the new program.

    Canadian Refunds On Green Home Mortgages Reach $3 Million
    CMHC says that Canadian homeowners have received $3 million in premium refunds through the CMHC Green Home mortgage insurance program.

    US Green Insurance For Commercial & Residential Buildings
    US Firemans Fund Insurance Company provides green insurance for commercial buildings and homeowners. Green insurance is available to homeowners who currently own green homes or those who want to upgrade their residences with green features after a loss using environmental safety and efficiency standards.

    US $6-Billion Incentive Program For Energy Retrofits
    HOME STAR is a proposed US federal program that would provide $6 billion in direct incentives to American homeowners who invest in improving the energy efficiency of their homes.

    Dittie For Today: On Character

    The path of least resistance makes all rivers, and some men, crooked. - Napolean Hill

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    © Copyright 2010               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved

    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada