Alert Notice #35
Green Building & Energy Efficiency

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

September 27, 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

    Profile Of Canadian Environmental Employment 2010
    2010 Profile of Canadian Environmental Employment study provides an estimate of environmental employment and use of environmental skills in Canada. It is the first study performed by ECO Canada that measures the number of workers employed in specific environmental occupations. (PDF)

    2010 Canadian Cleantech Industry Growth Report
    Canada Cleantech Report offers a framework and analysis with which to understand a complex industry. Written for policy makers, investors, procurers, and company managers, it provides key industry growth figures, enabling benchmarking exercises.

    Global Report Says Renewables Growing Fast
    Renewable Energy World summarizes the Renewables Global Status report from Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century that provides a great snapshot of where and how renewables are being developed around the world. It provides an upbeat picture for renewables, despite the murky outlook for the global economy.

    Energy Efficiency In Home May Not Save Energy
    UK Construction Industry Council says researchers from the Carbon Reduction in Buildings Consortium shows new evidence on how people actually use energy in buildings. The researchers overturn beliefs surrounding technical improvements in the home by suggesting that energy efficiency measures seem to encourage householders to turn up the heat, leave the heating on for longer, and heat more rooms.

    2. Business Management

    How To Sell Green Homes
    Green Building Advisor online video shows a special room that Pulte Homes Las Vegas adds to each of its sales offices to give potential buyers a closer look into these hidden features.

    Sustainability Communication At Point Of Purchase
    Stratos report summarizes research that will assist Canadian companies in their efforts to communicate sustainability information at point of purchase and adopt innovative practices. (PDF)

    Green Home Appraisal Woes
    Green Building Advisor says appraisers who set values for bank loans may not know enough to give due credit for energy efficiency and green features. Even if they do, banks making the loans may not allow the practice.

    Feed-In Tariff Guide
    National Renewable Energy Laboratory report A Policymaker's Guide to Feed-in Tariff Policy Design examines the growth and efficacy of FITs and focuses on how these policies can be used in the U.S. It offers policy makers a guide to the best practices worldwide, as well as what are the advantages and disadvantages of each design element. (PDF)

    Study On Customer Participation In Home Energy Retrofit Programs
    Build It Green study takes a look at the behavioural barriers and incentives underlying homeowners' decisions to take part in home energy retrofit programs. The study, which makes use of Community Based Social Marketing techniques, including literature review, focus groups and telephone surveys, hones in on the specific behavior around the decision to make contact with a home energy retrofit program and investigate making energy upgrades to one's home. (PDF)

    Home Performance Software For Energy Retrofit Contractors
    Recurve has created an industry-specific software application designed to speed up the process of auditing homes, crunching the numbers, and generating reports and estimates. Recurve Software will enable your team to complete more energy audits every week; generate fast, high-quality reports at the job site; quickly spec out customized whole-home retrofit solutions; and produce accurate pricing estimates that reflect available financing, incentives and rebates. (PDF)

    3. Building Design & Trends

    2010 ecohome Design Award Winners
    ecohome magazine describes ten award-winning projects that explore the critical balance between beauty, sustainable materials, and high performance.

    Community Scale Evaluation Of Affordable Energy Efficient House
    Building Science project goal was to create a home with a high R-value enclosure, a right-sized mechanical system, energy efficient lighting, appliances, windows and doors, and also have the possibility of adding site-generated power at some point in the future. This summary includes whole-house performance and systems engineering, construction support, source energy savings and quality control requirements and integration.

    Sustainability Charrette For Green Multi-Family Housing
    Multi Housing News article gives description on how New York developer Full Spectrum held a sustainability charrette for its Old Capitol Green project. The charrette was meant to share information to enable cross-disciplinary integration, and to establish the sustainability priorities and goals for Old Capitol Green.

    First EQuilibrium Communities Project In Edmonton
    Station Pointe neighbourhood development in Edmonton, Alberta is one of six winning projects under the EQuilibrium Communities Initiative. It is to be the first redevelopment within the Fort Road community renewal project initiated by the City of Edmonton on former industrial lands northeast of downtown. The project developer is The Communitas Group Ltd. This project is being planned as a transit-oriented development located within walking distance of a light rail transit station & bus terminal.

    Sustainable Community Best Practice Guides For Canadian Housing
    CMHC study Inventory & Assessment of Sustainable Community Best Practice Guides for Canadian Housing Sector developed an inventory of resources of how-to guidance information on achieving more sustainable residential communities and identified the gaps in the resources. The inventory is intended to be useful to residential sector stakeholders, namely, municipalities, builders/developers and housing professionals such as planners, architects and engineers. (PDF)

    Definition Of A Zero Net Energy Community
    National Renewable Energy Laboratory report says a net zero-energy community is one that has greatly reduced energy needs through efficiency gains such that the balance of energy for vehicles, thermal, and electrical energy within the community is met by renewable energy. The paper begins with a focus solely on buildings and expands the concept to define a zero-energy community, applying the ZEB hierarchical renewable classification system to the concept of community. (PDF)

    Comparing Canadian New Urbanist & Conventional Suburban Neighbourhoods
    CMHC study of four Canadian New Urban Developments says there is considerable evidence they achieved their specific objectives more successfully than their Conventional Suburban Neighbourhoods counterparts. These objectives include travel decisions, mixed uses, mixed housing, better streetscapes, and public amenities. (PDF)

    High-Density Housing Has Little Impact On Greenhouse Gases
    US National Association of Home Builders research shows that creation of higher-density communities is likely to alter travel behaviour only modestly and have a similarly modest impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. (PDF)

    4. Codes Standards & Regulations

    BC Energy Requirements For Multi-Family Building Enclosures
    BC Homeowner Protection Office bulletin describes energy performance requirements for the building enclosure and compliance paths for multi-unit residential buildings under ASHRAE 90.1. (PDF)

    Resource Site For Supporters Of Home Energy Labelling For BC
    BC Sustainable Energy Association and City Green created this site where you can add your name to the list of supporters to help demonstrate that BC is ready for home energy labelling at the time of sale.

    Roadmap To Assist Review Of Changes To Canadian National Energy Code for Buildings
    Canadian Home Builders Association has prepared this roadmap to assist industry members in the review of proposed changes to the National Energy Code for Buildings. (PDF)

    Canadian EnerGuide Rating System For New Houses
    Natural Resources Canada outlines administrative and technical procedures for the EnerGuide for New Houses rating system.

    Industry Issues With New Canadian Standards For DHW Heaters
    Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating says while the they support the intent of the proposed higher energy efficiency standards for DHW tanks, the proposals will drive a major fuel shift from natural gas to electricity and create many unintended results including a failure to achieve the primary objective of reducing GHG emissions. (PDF)

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

    Canadian Guidelines For Household Reclaimed Water For Toilets & Urinals
    Health Canada document Canadian Guidelines for Household Reclaimed Water for Use in Toilet and Urinal Flushing provides guidelines for reclaimed water quality, as well as guidance on potential elements of a management framework and an overview of the scientific basis for the guidelines that are applicable to on-site or decentralized treatment of household wastewater for reuse in residential or commercial toilet and urinal flushing.

    Energy Efficiency Enforcement Penalties Against 27 Companies
    US Department of Energy issued 27 proposed penalties against companies selling products in the United States without certifying that they comply with energy efficiency or water conservation standards.

    US National Standard For Home Energy Auditing
    Building Performance Institute standard’s goal is to direct the energy auditor to develop a comprehensive list of measures which lead to whole-building, science-based energy improvements to existing low-rise single-family and multifamily residential buildings. (PDF)

    Interim Guidelines for Thermographic Inspections of Buildings
    US Residential Energy Services Network new Interim Guidelines for Thermographic Inspections of Buildings standard provides guidance on the use of infrared thermography for the inspection of low rise, three stories or less, wood or steel frame, residential and light commercial buildings. (PDF)

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    5. Building Science & Technologies

    Five Things That Have Changed In Buildings
    Building Science describes five fundamental changes to building construction that have occurred in the last 50 years that happened so gradually, so insidiously that we missed their enormous significance.

    History Of Insulation
    Green Building Advisor article and podcast by Dr. John Straube talks about the history of insulation, how different materials work, and where they make sense.

    Overview Of Insulation
    Green Building Advisor provides information and resources on insulation purposes, types, applications, and considerations for selecting the right product for your application.

    Tech Set On Durable Building Envelope
    US National Association off Home Builders Research Center online Tech Set on Durable Building Envelope: Details for New Construction and Additions, shows builders the components of an affordable and durable building envelope including the foundation, walls and roof that separate conditioned and unconditioned spaces.

    Simple Ways To Understand & Calculate Dew-Point
    Green Building Advisor demystifies the psychrometric chart and gives some simple rules of thumb for reliable, easy ways to avoid condensation in walls. It shows how you don't really have to perform dew-point calculations.

    Best-Practices Guide for Evaluating Intelligent Buildings Technologies
    Continental Automated Buildings Association online Best-Practices Guide for Evaluating Intelligent Buildings Technologies consists of criteria by which intelligent building technologies can be evaluated. The topics in this guide are important for various audiences, such as building owners and managers, intelligent building designers, installers. (PDF)

    6. Building Performance Issues

    Building Energy Performance Metrics
    Building Science describes common types of building energy performance metrics, and their strengths and weaknesses. They say all of them can be distorted, but they can also all provide useful information, assuming that the problems are understood. They recommend the use of a “mileage box”, which presents all the relevant information in one place.

    LEED-H Clarifications Raise More Questions Than They Answer
    Green Building Advisor says for its LEED for Homes program, the USGBC needs to step back and look at the big picture instead of arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

    Post-Occupancy Evaluation Of Green Buildings
    Canadian Institute for Research in Construction report says early data suggests that green buildings perform well in many areas, but there are some things in green building performance that need to be improved. This is true of buildings in general of course, but green buildings may be held to a higher standard as explicit and implicit claims about their universal benefits are often made. (PDF)

    Avoiding Global Warming Impact of Insulation
    Green Building Advisor says new data from Environmental Building News shows that the high global warming potential of certain foam insulation materials counteracts a lot of the environmental benefit of high insulation levels.

    ERV Problems With Formaldehyde
    Home Energy Magazine says some energy recovery ventilators ERVs can recover formaldehyde in the same way that they recover water.

    How Wood Stacks Up In Green Building
    McGraw-Hill article says green building rating systems credit wood, but do not recognize its full potential as a sustainable building material.

    Switch The Stat Program For Recycling Thermostats With Mercury
    Summerhill Impact & the Heating, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Institute of Canada offer the Switch The Stat program that encourages installation of programmable thermostats to increase the energy efficiency of homes, while offering of a free service to properly dispose of older mercury-containing thermostats. The program currently operates in Ontario and may expand into British Columbia.

    Online Household Carbon Calculator
    Oregon Department of Environmental Quality online Household Carbon Calculator will show how your household contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, and some of the ways you can improve your carbon footprint.

    Endangerment Findings For Greenhouse Gases
    US Environmental Protection Agency finds that the current and projected concentrations of the six key well-mixed greenhouse gases in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations. These are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).

    7. Products & Suppliers

    Hardwood Flooring vs Bamboo
    Builder Magazine provides product pros and cons for hardwood flooring vs. bamboo.

    Siding Choices For Green Building
    Green Building Advisor says siding has both decorative and functional purposes, but some options come with a heavy environmental price tag. Choose a durable product that is low in toxicity and can be manufactured sustainably. The layers you don't see, such as housewraps, drainage mats, and insulated sheathing panels, are just as important for durability and weatherization. Getting siding details right may be the most important step in creating a durable home, especially where roofs, decks, and porches make penetrations.

    Urbanite Is Reusing Old Concrete
    Concrete Network describes Urbanite, broken pieces of unwanted concrete leftover from a demolition project, that can be used for patios, walkways, flower beds, fire pits, and more.

    Resource Site On Home Energy Meters
    Home Energy Metering provides information and resources to help homeowners understand different types of meters they can use to reduce their utility bills. They also offer various products for sale.

    Software For Selecting Cost-Effective Green Products
    BEES (Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability) software selects cost-effective, environmentally-preferable building products.

    Directory Of Green Industry Professionals
    Green Professional Directory connects you to local green builders, remodelers, architects, contractors, insulators, landscapers, appraisers, inspectors and more.

    Certification Program For Programmable Thermostats
    National Electrical Manufacturers Association administers Energy Aware, a certification and labeling program for high-performance programmable thermostats for residential use. The program is intended to assist distributors, contractors, installers, and homeowners in choosing programmable thermostat models that will best meet individual and family needs to manage and reduce energy usage while maintaining comfortable indoor temperatures.

    Resource Site On BC Forestry & Sustainable Construction
    Naturally Wood offers information and resources on BC forests and sustainability including wood design ideas and options, products and certified suppliers, and tools to determine environmental impacts.

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    8. Installation & Procedures

    Insulated Headers For Cold Climates
    Fine Homebuilding describes a simple method for framing insulated headers for cold climates.

    Deconstruction Versus Demolition
    Green Building Advisor says with dumpster fees and material costs on the rise, deconstruction may be more affordable than demolition. It provides tips on doing your research and how to make some money off of your old debris.

    Should Your Old Wood Windows Be Saved?
    Fine Homebuilding article describes how to weigh the options with cost, complexity, efficiency, and preservation in mind when deciding if your old wood windows should be saved.

    Re-Glazing Old Wood Windows
    Dennis Brown demonstrates how to re-glaze an old wood window in this 10-minute online video from the Kansas State Historic Preservation Office.

    Is Bubble Wrap Duct Insulation A Good Idea?
    Green Building Advisor says although reflective layers can be effective when installed correctly, they aren't the best way to insulate ducts.

    How to Remove Shingle Siding To Insulate Walls
    Oikos Green Building Source describes an environmentally friendly and effective way to remove shingle siding to allow for the blowing of insulation into walls.

    Online Video On Rebuilding A Sink Trap
    Fine Homebuilding video describes how to rebuild an entire sink trap assembly.

    Managing Job Site Waste
    Green Building Advisor says you don't have to generate the tons of trash typical of most job sites, and green job sites have less waste and more recycling.

    Purchasable Video On Performing Home Energy Audit
    Clean Edison online video by training experts Cliff Babson and Scott Harris demonstrates how to perform a whole house energy audit assessment according to BPI standards. This video describes exterior walk through, blower door setup and diagnostics, introduction to infrared imaging, air leakage in the building envelope, combustion appliance zone testing and worst case depressurization, and developing a work scope. $60 USD

    9. Information Sources

    Canadian Web & Mobile Apps For Climate Action
    BC Government site displays winning apps in their Apps for Climate Action Contest that challenged Canadian software developers to raise awareness of climate change and inspire action to reduce carbon pollution by using data in new applications for the web and mobile devices.

    Canadian Blog On Green Building
    Inside The Housing Evolution, a blog from Ottawa homebuilder Urbandale Construction, follows the latest trends in high performance housing from an insider's perspective.

    Online Presentations From Green Guilds Sessions
    Build It Green offers free access to online slide shows from their various presentations at their Green Guilds workshops.

    Online Videos On Weatherization
    WX TV provides free access to online videos of their previous TV shows covering various topics relating to weatherization of existing homes.

    Home Performance Resource Site For Remodelers
    Remodeling Magazine site offers home performance information as well as many resources for the remodeling industry.

    Purchasable Book Toward A Zero Energy Home
    Taunton Press sells Toward A Zero Energy Home in which authors David Johnston and Scott Gibson explore the design and construction of self-sufficient houses from start to finish. $25 USD

    Resource Site On Recycling
    My Recyclopedia contains online listings of household products and items with the environmental story behind each item, recycling facility listings, and tips on how to reduce and reuse in daily living.

    Smart Growth Online Community
    New Urban Network is an online publication and community providing news, research, and implementation tools for citizens and professionals interested in New Urbanism and smart growth.

    10. Conferences & Shows

    Gaining Ground: Sustainable Urban Development Summit In Vancouver
    2010 Gaining Ground urban sustainability conference, titled Eco Logical: The Power of Green Cities to Shape the Future, takes place October 4-7 in Vancouver. This three-day conference is themed around three crucial subjects: policy and industry buy-in; green economy; and complete community design and human health and well-being.

    GreenLink 2010: Sustainable Communities, Investment Capital, Technology, and Government In Vancouver
    The GreenLink 2010 international conference on sustainable development brings how-to information, utilizing world-class subject matter experts and showcasing elite projects from around the globe. Held in Vancouver, October 5-6, this event will offer delegates an opportunity to see, step by step, how these award winning projects have achieved their success, and it will also provide business to business matchmaking for environmentally focused venture capitalists.

    Solar Power International: US Solar Industry Conference In Los Angeles
    Solar Power Conference and Expo, in Los Angeles Oct 12-14, is the annual US solar industry conference and trade show, organized by the Solar Electric Power Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association.

    Power Smart Forum For Building Owners & Managers In Vancouver
    Power Smart Forum conference Building The Green Economy, October 25-27 in Vancouver, fosters key information sharing opportunities and provides solutions to BC organizations who strive to put energy-efficient and conservation practices into action.

    Canadian Waste & Recycling Expo In Toronto
    Canadian Waste & Recycling Expo in Toronto November 3 & 4 is the national tradeshow serving the waste, recycling and public works market. Focus areas include collection, hauling, processing and disposal of waste; materials recycling; municipal recycling programs including blue box programs, MRFs, scrap metals, C&D, wood, plastic, paper, auto, tires, fiber and more.

    BC Conference On Building Sustainable Communities In Kelowna
    Fresh Outlook Foundation is hosting its third annual Building SustainAble Communities conference November 15th-18th in Kelowna, featuring more than 100 speakers from the public, private, non-profit and academic sectors. (PDF)

    Conference On Green Buildings & Health In Vancouver
    SustainaBUILD is a one day conference in Vancouver on November 23rd that will address myths and misconceptions surrounding sustainable green buildings and health in the context of the building envelope and ventilation.

    Green Roof & Wall Conference In Vancouver
    Cities Alive Green Roof & Wall Conference in Vancouver Nov 30th to Dec 3rd offers speakers, tours, training, and networking opportunities.

    Canadian Solar Industry Conference In Toronto
    Canadian Solar Industries Association presents its annual conference and trade show in Toronto on December 6-7, aimed at all sectors of the solar and building industry.

    11. Education & Training

    Canadian Courses On Geo-Exchange Systems
    Canadian GeoExchange Coalition lists their training dates for the CGC Global Quality GeoExchange Program courses across Canada.

    Roofing Seminar In Vancouver
    Roofing Consultants Institute seminar in Vancouver on October 12 covers fastener-free low slope roofing systems, need for integrated design and investigation protocols, wind calculations for roof cladding, waterproofing copings and historic buildings, and waterproofing parking decks & foundation walls. (PDF)

    BC Workshop On Alternative Energy; Current Status & Future Possibilities
    Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC course on October 26th, Alternative Energy, Current Status and Future Possibilities covers the need for alternative energy and technologies, energy potential of these sources with their effects on CO2 emission reduction, path and challenges from existing energy technology status and sectors to the future, and potential opportunities for engineering work.

    Introduction To Solar Hot Water Systems
    Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC course on November 8th provides overview of SolarBC’s programs, proliferation of solar hot water systems internationally, developments in the solar hot water industry in BC, types of solar hot water systems, and installation methods for residential, commercial, and institutional buildings.

    Courses On Green Building Topics
    US Green Building Council lists their various courses on a wide range of green building and energy efficiency topics.

    US National Certifications For Energy Efficiency Retrofit Work
    Building Performance Institute offers certification programs for home energy auditor, envelope, HVAC. Home Star and Home Performance with ENERGY STAR qualified.

    Purchasable Training Video For Home Energy Retrofit Building Analyst
    Building Science Tech sells the 90-minute Building Analyst Field Training Video. The BPI Recognized Training video takes you through an existing home energy audit, and will help prepare you to take the Building Performance Institute (BPI) Building Analyst and Envelope field examinations. $100 USD

    Online Course On Performing Blower Door Test
    Advanced Energy online course describes fundamentals of performing a blower door test. $50 USD

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    12. Costs & Savings

    Effects Of Thermostat Setting On Energy Consumption
    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation provides this study on energy savings from thermostat set-back which demonstrates the benefits of this relatively simple energy conservation measure. (PDF)

    Programmable Thermostats Can Save You Money
    Energy Star says homeowners can save about $180 a year by properly setting their programmable thermostats and maintaining those settings.

    When Are Triple Glazed Windows Worth The Extra Cost?
    Green Building Advisor discusses whether or not triple-glazed windows are really worth the added cost.

    Are Energy-Efficient Appliances Worth It?
    Green Building Advisor says price premiums for Energy Star dishwashers, clothes washers, refrigerators, and freezers are small and pay for themselves in no time.

    Community Solar Is New Model For Local Ownership
    Renewable Energy World describes a new report by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Community Solar Power: Obstacles and Opportunities, that examines nine community solar projects, the policies that made them possible, and the substantial barriers that remain.

    Building Performance Partnership Monitors LEED Buildings
    U.S. Green Building Council Building Performance Partnership engages commercial and residential LEED building owners and managers in an effort to optimize the performance of buildings through data collection, analysis and action. This will result in the population of a comprehensive green building performance database, enable standardization of reporting metrics and analytics, and establish new performance benchmarks.

    13. Incentives, Financing & Programs

    Bigger Power Smart Rebates For Energy-Efficient New Homes In BC
    Power Smart has increased its incentive for single family homebuilders. For a limited time, they will provide an improved rebate of $1,500 to builders of single family detached homes who achieve an overall rating of EnerGuide80 rating on their builds.

    Funding Your Community Energy & Climate Change Initiatives
    Community Energy Association guide Funding Your Community Energy and Climate Change Initiatives is intended to assist British Columbia local government staff and elected officials find appropriate funding and information to support local government energy planning, efficiency and renewable energy projects.

    Leasing Programs Put Solar Systems On More Roofs
    Builder Magazine describes a provision calling for the US federal government to insure loans made by qualified lenders for renewable energy systems leased for residential use.

    Solar Financing From City Repaid Through Tax Bill
    Berkeley FIRST solar financing program offered by the City of Berkeley provides property owners an opportunity to borrow money from the City’s Sustainable Energy Financing District to install solar photovoltaic electric systems and allow the cost to be repaid over 20 years through an annual special tax on their property tax bill.

    Dittie For Today: On Perspective

    If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen. - Henry David Thoreau

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    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada