Alert Notice #32
Green Building & Energy Efficiency

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

June 22, 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 Building Survey Of Construction Industry
    Allen Matkins/CTG/Green Building Insider 4th Annual Green Building Survey of green building professionals in the construction industry summarizes current attitudes toward green building, and it's risks, costs, certification processes, and trends. (PDF)

    Homebuyer Demand Spurs Increase Solar Communities
    Oikos Green Building News says US homebuilder, PulteGroup, is expanding its offering of solar power in its new home communities in response to consumer interest and demand.

    Home Building Industry Looks Even Greener
    US National Association of Home Builders says there are increasing signs that residential green building and remodeling are speeding into the mainstream.

    Green Jobs In Residential Energy Efficiency Industry
    Home Performance Resource Center report Green Jobs in the Residential Energy Efficiency Industry provides home performance industry perspective on training and workforce development. (Large PDF)

    Power Smart BC Employment Impacts To 2037
    BC Hydro study shows that BC Hydro's electricity conservation and efficiency activities will create 193,000 jobs in the province over 30 years, an average of 6,400 jobs annually. (PDF)

    HST For Purchasers Of New Housing In BC
    Canada Revenue Agency info sheet Harmonized Sales Tax: Purchasers of New Housing in British Columbia provides information for purchasers of newly constructed or substantially renovated housing in BC including single unit housing that is not a condominium (e.g., detached houses, semi-detached houses, units in a rowhouse), residential condominium units, mobile homes, floating homes, duplexes and other multi-unit residences such as traditional apartment buildings, co-operative rental buildings and long-term residential care facilities. (PDF)

    2. Business Management

    How To Sell Green Homes
    Big Builder magazine says green features can be the deciding factor in a home purchase, as buyers learn to translate green into cost savings and a quality of life advantage.

    Americans Practice Accidental Environmentalism
    Custom Home magazine article says most purchases of green home improvement products and projects are not driven by a desire to save the planet or live more sustainably, but by a need to save energy and money.

    Canadian GHG CleanStart Registry To Showcase Carbon Neutral Commitments
    Canadian Standards Association new GHG CleanStart Registry provides web-based tools to measure, report and manage your GHG emissions, reductions, and removals, plus a registry to help you showcase carbon neutral commitments and actions.

    3. Building Design & Trends

    BC Infill Earns LEED For Homes Platinum
    East Hill Infill, a LEED for Homes pilot project in Vernon, has recently achieved a platinum designation. It is the first such building in the Okanagan and only the second home in B.C. to achieve this standing. The building’s design includes sustainable principles and features; simplicity and durability in construction and detailing; adaptability to different configurations of use and form; and continuity with the scale and character of the neighbourhood.

    6 Prefab Houses That Could Change Home Building
    Eco Homes magazine says more architects and builders are offering prefab homes and prototypes to solve issues, turn heads, and, more importantly, fill a need.

    Gold Nugget Awards Reflect Shifts In Housing Landscape
    Builder Magazine presents some features of the Gold Nugget housing award winners which demonstrate that good looks still matter in annual design competition, but the winning homes are also contextual, affordable, and energy-efficient.

    Could Passive House Revolutionize Way We Build?
    Environmental Building News says the Passive House standard, imported from Germany, sets a high bar for energy performance in buildings. But some see it as inflexible and inappropriate for the North American climate.

    Commercial Buildings Energy Modeling Guidelines & Procedures
    Commercial Energy Services Network has developed a draft set of Commercial Buildings Energy Modeling Guidelines and Procedures. The COMNET energy efficiency calculation process serves three distinct purposes: Establishing eligibility for US tax deduction; Calculating percent savings for point eligibility related to green and sustainable rating systems; Estimating annual energy use for a building in the design phase for the purpose of energy labels.

    Sustainable Planning & Development
    Partnership for Sustainable Communities report Beyond Green Building: How to Get Deals Done in the New Era of Sustainable Community Planning and Development, gives practical information on and analysis of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by changing the way communities are planned and buildings are constructed. (PDF)

    4. Codes Standards & Regulations

    Vancouver City Proposed Green Renovation Bylaw
    City of Vancouver staff are planning to go to Council with a proposed green renovation by-law in the summer of 2010.

    New BC Energy Efficiency Regulations For Doors
    Window & Door Manufacturers Association of BC describes new Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources standards for doors under the provincial Energy Efficiency Standards Regulation. These new standards apply to all products manufactured, sold, leased or otherwise disposed of in British Columbia. (PDF)

    Interconnecting Solar Power Systems
    Electrical Business magazine describes Canadian Electrical Code considerations when interconnecting solar power systems. (PDF)

    New BC Clean Energy Act
    The new British Columbia Clean Energy Act sets the foundation for electricity self-sufficiency, job creation and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, powered by investments in clean, renewable energy across the province.

    Steps In Updating Canadian National Energy Code For Buildings
    Canadian Institute for Research in Construction describes direction to be taken by Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes in updating the 1997 National Energy Code for Buildings.

    June 2010 Amendments To Canadian Energy Efficiency Regulations
    Natural Resources Canada outlines the June 2010 amendments to energy efficiency regulations for certain building products including electric motors, residential gas boilers, residential oil boilers, dry-type transformers, large air-conditioners and heat pumps, commercial self-contained refrigeration, room air-conditioners, general service incandescent reflector lamps, standby for electronic products, external power supplies, electric boilers, portable air-conditioners, single package vertical air-conditioners and heat pumps, and more.

    Federal Sustainable Development Strategy For Canada
    Environment Canada consultation paper is looking for guidance from Canadians on the basic structure of a government-wide strategy that will do a better job of incorporating environmental considerations into policy and program decisions in departments and agencies.

    New ANSI Standard For Green Commercial Buildings
    Green Building Initiative has developed an American National Standard, as approved by the American National Standards Institute. The standard, officially named ANSI/GBI 01-2010: Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings is intended for use by building owners, design teams, developers, contractors, lenders, institutions and various levels of government, and can be applied to a broad range of commercial building types such as office, multi-family, health care, schools, universities, labs, industrial and retail.

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    5. Building Science & Technologies

    Heating Tight, Well-Insulated Houses
    Green Building Advisor says for most superinsulated homes, a furnace is overkill, and that if you build a small, tight, well-insulated home (in other words, a green home) it won’t need much heat.

    Should Green Homes Burn Wood?
    Green Building Advisor discusses the pros and cons of burning wood, and suggests that in certain cases it may be the greenest solution.

    Understanding Embodied Energy In Building A Home
    World Changing online video describes how considering embodied energy of building materials and energy use can reduce ecological impact when building a new home.

    Basics Of Solar Power Systems To Produce Electricity
    12 Volt Solar Panels site offers information and resources on photovoltaic solar systems for producing electricity for residential use.

    Planning Residential Rainwater Collection For BC Lower Mainland
    Light House Sustainable Building Centre online presentations focus on what homeowners in the Lower Mainland can do to harvest rainwater, and integrate this practice with today’s green living.

    Feasibility & Tools For Large-Scale Rainwater Harvesting In Ontario
    CMHC Research Highlight describes a project carried out by University of Guelph School of Engineering in partnership with CMHC, the Canadian Water Network and several other private and public partners. The goal of the two-and-a-half year project was to investigate the feasibility of widespread residential rainwater harvesting in Ontario. (PDF)

    6. Building Performance Issues

    Ceiling Fans Do Nothing For Empty Rooms
    Green Building Advisor says if you don’t have air conditioning, ceiling fans can save energy. But turn them off when you leave the room.

    BC Community Energy & Emissions Inventory Reports
    Province of BC provides online Community Energy and Emissions Inventory reports for all BC local governments that will assist them in creating community-wide GHG emissions baselines for their official community plans.

    UV & EMF Safety With CFLs
    Switzerland Federal Office of Public Health provides information resulting from a Swiss study that measured the magnetic and electric fields of eleven energy-saving lamps and calculated the current densities induced by these fields in humans. The study shows that medium-frequency electric fields are primarily responsible for these currents. Depending on the type of lamp, the current densities in the immediate vicinity of the lamp reach between 10 and 55% of the exposure limit. The currents weaken rapidly with increasing distance from the lamps, and are only between 2 and 10% of the exposure limit at a distance of 20 cm. By contrast, the low- and medium-frequency magnetic fields are small and do not cause any significant exposure.

    Testing & Reports On Performance Of Solid-State Lighting
    US DOE Commercially Available LED Product Evaluation and Reporting (CALiPER) program supports testing of a wide array of SSL products available for general illumination. DOE allows its test results to be distributed in the public interest for noncommercial, educational purposes only.

    Resource Site On Micropollutants In Fresh Water
    Texas Tech University Center for Water Law and Policy online Micropollutants Clearinghouse provides a publically accessible, research resource on the legal, regulatory, institutional, policy and related scientific aspects of micropollutants in fresh water systems.

    Dimming For Peak Demand Reduction
    National Research Council studies indicate that temporarily dimming lighting could be a viable means of achieving peak demand reduction in large buildings. (PDF)

    Green Building Raises Some Construction Defect & Claims Concern
    Building Energy Performance News says new insurance products to protect innovative green construction products such as wind turbines, fuel cells and vegetative roofs are on the rise. But even those closest to the situation admit to being a bit, well, green, about the risks behind some of these environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient products and about some of the promises green builders are making.

    7. Products & Suppliers

    Greenwashing & Green Product Marketing & Selection
    Seven Sins Of Greenwashing is a resource site to assist consumers in selecting green products, and offers suggestions to companies who market green products.

    Online Selection For Green Building Products
    Green Wizard free web-based software platform allows users to analyze and select green building materials based on a wide array of preferences and inputs.

    US WaterSense Certification For Products
    US Environmental Protection Agency manages the WaterSense Product Certification program that provides consumers with confidence in both the water efficiency and performance of WaterSense labeled products.

    Ground Source Heat Pumps For Residential Heating & Cooling
    Building Science updated digest on ground source heat pumps provides some basic information and definitions, offers advice on how to compare the carbon emissions, and defines the climate regions and operating conditions for which GSHP systems are best suited.

    Choosing Triple-Glazed Windows
    Green Building Advisor describes how to balance U-Factor and solar heat gain considerations when choosing triple-glazed windows.

    Best Water Filters
    Consumer Reports provides information on the best water filter for your home. Membership required to access some content.

    Canadian Energy Management Services Directory
    Energy Management Services Directory is a searchable list of consultants, engineers and other professionals that offer products and services to help organizations manage and measure their energy use. Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency hosts this site as a service, but does not pre-qualify, endorse or guarantee any of the firms, their work or the information provided.

    Winners Of 2010 GLOBE Awards For Environmental Excellence
    GLOBE Foundation announces the winners of the 2010 GLOBE Awards for Environmental Excellence.

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    EMBERS is a charity that provides people with a second chance, to help create, change and rebuild their futures through employment and self-employment. EMBERS 2nd Annual "Against All Odds" Golf Tournament Fundraiser will be held on Thursday, August 5, at Newlands Golf & Country Club to raise funds


    8. Installation & Procedures

    Deep Green Retrofits For Cold Canadian Climates
    Canadian building scientist and researcher Rob Dumont provides online presentation describing rationale, considerations, and procedures for planning and implementing deep energy retrofits in cold Canadian climates. (PDF)

    Case Studies Of Deep Energy Retrofits
    Building Science online slide show describes case studies of deep energy retrofits for existing single family homes. (PDF)

    Deep Energy Retrofit Of 70 Year Old Cape Cod House
    HGTV Pro describes how homeowner Jeff Wilson performs a Deep Energy Retrofit on his 70-year old Cape Cod house with the goal of making it energy neutral by producing as much energy as it uses.

    Metrics Of A Blower Door Test
    Ecohome magazine describes the metrics of a blower door test for measuring a home's performance.

    Guide To Air Sealing An Existing Home
    US Department of Energy online guide identifies steps to take, with the help of a qualified home performance contractor, to seal unwanted air leaks while ensuring healthy levels of ventilation and avoiding sources of indoor air pollution. Contractors can use this document to explain the value of these air sealing measures to their customers. The references in this document provide further explanation of air sealing techniques and technologies. (PDF)

    Installing Spay Foam On Exterior Walls Of Existing House
    Green Building Advisor describes a deep energy retrofit of an old house done by furring out the walls and applying spray foam to the exterior.

    9. Fuels & Transportation

    Canada Government Resource Site On Clean Energy
    Clean Energy provides information and resources on Canada’s involvement in the clean energy sector, both at home and abroad, and contact information on over 1100 clean energy companies.

    District Energy System For Downtown Prince George
    Prince George approved the next steps towards development of a wood fibre-based downtown district energy system that would provide carbon neutral green energy to buildings in downtown.

    Utilities Must Prepare For Coming Wave Of Electric Cars
    Renewable Energy World says with almost every major car company developing a plug-in hybrid or all-electric model for the U.S. this year, utilities and consumers must be able to handle new challenges that electric vehicles pose to the grid.

    10. Information Sources

    Canadian Resource Site For Energy Retrofit Of Homes
    Natural Resources Canada offers information and resources that can help you complete energy efficient retrofits and renovations.

    US Resource Center For Energy Retrofit Programs
    Home Performance Resource Center provides research and intelligence for the design and implementation of successful energy retrofit programs and initiatives.

    Weatherization Reports & Manuals
    Pennsylvania College of Technology provides information and reports on home weatherization issues and procedures.

    Resource Site For Building A Better Future
    World Changing is an online magazine and resource site covering tools, models, and ideas for building a better future. Featured sections include shelter, cities, community, business, politics, and planet.

    Interactive Online Green Community
    Green Expo 365 in an online green building community where industry members can participate in discussions, find blogs, network with others, and view a virtual tradeshow featuring manufacturers and service providers.

    Resource Site On Energy Efficiency News
    Energy Efficiency News offers up to date news and comment on all aspects of energy efficiency, from power generation to transport, building design and policy.

    Green Building Industry Newsletter
    Green Building Insider delivers industry news on the green building marketplace, including information on energy efficiency, certifications, case studies, technologies and products, reports and studies, legal matters and legislation, international happenings and competitions and awards. Membership required.

    International Journal of Global Warming
    International Journal of Global Warming brings all disciplines together for both local and global solutions to combat global warming and its consequences. IJGW focuses around nine main pillars: better remediation, better avoidance, better efficiency, better cost effectiveness, better design, better resource utilization, better environmental quality, better energy security, and better sustainable development.

    11. Conferences & Shows

    Solar Industry Trade Show In San Francisco July 13-15
    Intersolar North America trade show in San Francisco July 13-15 serves the US photovoltaics and solar thermal industry including manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers and service providers.

    2010 Geothermal Energy Conference & Trade Show In Vancouver August 8-10
    Canadian Geothermal Energy Association presents CanGEA 2010 Geothermal Energy Conference & Trade Show August 8-10 in Vancouver.

    Conference On IAQ, Ventilation & Energy Conservation In Buildings In Syracuse Aug 15-18
    The 7th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality, Ventilation & Energy Conservation in Buildings held in Syracuse August 15-18 includes presentations of original research work and findings, demonstration and displays of innovative technologies, as well as providing discussions of future challenges and opportunities.

    Responsible Bathroom Tour
    American Standard Responsible Bathroom Tour will visit more than 300 plumbing wholesale locations in Canada, the United States, and Mexico through November. Open to the public, the warm-paneled walk-through mobile plumbing showrooms are expected to attract plumbers, specifiers and other construction professionals, along with environmentalists, researchers, housing authority and utility personnel. Visitors will experience product demonstrations, giveaways and water conservation education.

    12. Education & Training

    Air, Water & Moisture Management Through Building Envelopes Seminar In Vancouver
    Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association presents Air, Water & Moisture Management through the Building Envelope, sponsored by DuPont Building Innovation. This seminar will review the fundamental physics of heat, air and moisture management through the building envelope and the role of water, air and vapour barriers in achieving moisture-managed envelope design.

    Summer Institute In Sustainable Urban Design At UBC
    UBC Continuing Studies presents the Summer Institute In Sustainable Urban Design on Natural Systems and the Built Environment. This week-long event is designed for architects, landscape designers, urban planners, developers and government policy makers. Learn to develop a practical understanding of how to utilize sustainability concepts into the planning & design of urban environments.

    Courses On Green & Sustainable Homes
    Earth Advantage Institute offers a variety of educational opportunities. From introductory green building knowledge for homeowners to technical certifications for appraisers, builders, designers and real estate professionals, their various classes feature updated information from industry experts.

    Continuing Education Module For Green Building
    National Center for Construction Education and Research curriculum Your Role in the Green Environment has been approved by the United States Green Building Council for 15 hours of continuing education under the Green Building Certification Institute Credentialing Maintenance Program.

    Certified PV System Installer Program
    UL University offers a Certified Photovoltaic System Installer program.

    Online Course For Weatherization Energy Auditor
    Saturn Resources online course is tailored specifically for DOE Weatherization Program and similar utility-funded programs. This course is based on the Core Competencies for the Weatherization Assistance Program developed by the Weatherization Trainers Consortium.

    Online Video Training For Weatherization
    US Wx Workforce Training offers online video courses on weatherization including fundamentals, installers, crew chiefs, and auditors.

    Search For Home Performance Trainers & Courses
    Home Energy magazine provides a search service for finding home performance trainers and courses. Listings are displayed by state/province, with contact information for the training organization.

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    13. Costs & Savings

    Residential Lighting Use & Potential Savings
    US Energy Information Administration study shows the overwhelming majority of lights in residential households are incandescent, the least energy efficient of all light types. The total U.S. household energy that would be saved by replacing all incandescent bulbs used 4 or more hours per day would be 31.7 billion kilowatthours (kWh) annually, or 35 percent of all electricity used for residential lighting.

    Home Energy Monitors May Not Save Much Energy
    Home Energy Magazine says recent studies on home energy monitors show energy savings were not statistically different from zero.

    14. Incentives, Financing & Programs

    BC Incentive Programs For Energy Efficiency
    Terasen Gas provides customers with incentives to manage their natural gas consumption, reduce their energy costs, and lower their greenhouse gas emissions.

    $25 Million For BC Public Sector Energy Retrofits
    BC Government has announced that schools, universities, colleges, hospitals and Crown corporations will receive $25 million in energy retrofit investments to create jobs and cut carbon pollution.

    BC Programs & Incentives For Efficiency Of Commercial Buildings
    Building Owners & Managers Association of BC provides information and links to programs and financial incentives for energy efficiency in commercial buildings.

    Integrating Energy-Efficiency Programs & Financial Instruments
    Milken Institute report Financing the Residential Retrofit Revolution, finds that various government programs and private-sector financing options, if properly integrated, can jumpstart the transition to a cleaner, more efficient use of energy in houses.

    US Best Practices In Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
    Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership report describes more than 20 energy efficiency & renewable energy programs and practices and their effective implementation by states or cities across the United States. It is designed to share successful program and policy models that can be easily replicated around the country, as well as adapted for implementation in emerging markets.

    How Green Retrofits Could Save The World
    Solve Climate article says retrofitting existing buildings to make them more energy efficient is by far the most effective way to dramatically reduce the CO2 emissions associated with the built environment. It explores various financing strategies and business models that have been floated as solutions to the problem of scaling the building industry, including Energy Services Companies (ESCOs), Clean Energy District Financing, and direct loans from utility companies to finance energy upgrades.

    Dittie For Today: On Choice

    Where others fight facts, you can welcome them. Where others wish to be impressive, you can wish to be real. Where others cling to self-defeating opinions, you can seek self-enlightening principles. Where others prefer bitterness over the past, you can choose liberty in the now. - Vernon Howard

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    © Copyright 2010               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved

    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada