Alert Notice #40
Green Building & Energy Efficiency

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

January 10, 2011


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, Energy & 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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    Ken's Top Pick

    Workforce Guidelines for Home Energy Upgrades
    U.S. Department of Energy is developing Workforce Guidelines for Home Energy Upgrades that include: Standard Work Specifications that define the performance requirements for high quality energy efficiency retrofit work and the minimum conditions necessary to achieve the desired outcomes of a given retrofit measure; Technical standards that encompass standards, regulations and codes developed by government, industry or third party standards development organizations; Job Task Analyses that identify and catalogue all of the tasks a given worker typically performs when completing a suite of energy efficiency improvements in a home; Essential KSAs that identify the minimum knowledge, skills, and abilities that a skilled worker should possess to perform high quality energy efficiency retrofit work. (PDF)

    1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

    Top Ten Green Building Trends For 2011
    Building Energy Performance News lists Jerry Yudelson’s top ten green building trends for 2011.

    2010 Winners Of Power Smart Excellence Awards
    BC Hydro lists the 26 individuals and/or organizations that were honoured at this year's Power Smart Excellence Awards.

    Canadian Economic Outlook For 2011
    Canadian Chamber of Commerce 2011 Economic Outlook says the Canadian economy has transitioned into a period of subdued growth. After an initial strong rebound from the recession, Canada’s economy lost some of its swagger, and a number of factors are expected to constrain growth below 2.5 per cent in 2011.

    US Public Perceptions Of Energy Consumption & Savings
    US National Academy of Sciences summarizes a national online survey of 505 participants that reported their perceptions of energy consumption and savings for a variety of household, transportation, and recycling activities. When asked for the most effective strategy they could implement to conserve energy, most participants mentioned curtailment (e.g., turning off lights, driving less) rather than efficiency improvements (e.g., installing more efficient light bulbs and appliances), in contrast to experts’ recommendations.

    USGBC LEED Vs Energy Efficiency Finds Its Way To Litigation
    Green Building Advisor says one of USGBC’s more vocal critics claims in a class-action lawsuit that meeting LEED standards doesn’t deliver as promised on energy efficiency, water efficiency, or air quality. The suit highlights important issues, but will it hold up in court?

    Computing Global Energy Production & Consumption
    Search engine WolframAlpha can produce data on production and consumption of energy resources in every country, and compute comparisons.

    2. Business Management

    Embracing A Green Business Model
    Air Conditioning Contractors of America article from Contractor Excellence describes how some HVAC contractors have embraced green contracting to boost business.

    BC Best Green Business Award
    Best Green Business Award will recognize the top nominee based on nomination votes and who best demonstrates a strong approach to energy management and an ongoing commitment to energy conservation and sustainability in BC.

    BC Consultation On Community Interest Companies Concept
    BC Ministry of Finance is considering amendments to the Business Corporations Act to allow for the incorporation of a new hybrid type of company, the Community Interest Company (CIC), which would both benefit the larger community and allow limited investor returns within the context of a traditional for-profit company.

    REITs Embrace Energy Efficiency in Property Portfolios
    Building Energy Performance News says real estate investment trusts (REITs) are embracing the principles of energy efficiency in their property portfolios, principally as a way to boost their bottom line.

    When Selling Energy Efficiency Don’t Say Retrofit, Say Upgrade
    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study says don’t offer “audits” or “retrofits”, as customers shy away from the negative connotations. Instead try offering “energy assessments” and “upgrades”, but focus messaging on health benefits, improved comfort, community pride or other benefits that consumers tend to care more about. Other suggestions included working with trusted local partners, minimizing the paperwork and hassles that customers face, and following the marketing rule of thumb that it takes three “touches” to convince most people that something is worth buying into.

    Driving Demand For Home Energy Improvements
    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report Driving Demand for Home Energy Improvements explores strategies that can be used to increase the adoption of comprehensive home energy upgrades. (PDF)

    3. Building Design & Trends

    Three Innovative Green Homes In San Francisco
    Builder Magazine describes three San Francisco Bay Area houses that set new benchmarks for green builders to follow.

    Creative Houses From Reclaimed Stuff
    Builder Dan Phillips describes a dozen homes he's built in Texas using recycled and reclaimed materials in wildly creative ways.

    How To Live Comfortably Off The Grid
    Green Building Advisor says to live comfortably off the grid, choose heating and energy systems with care and build a tight house.

    Online Strategy Generator For Green Remodeling
    Regreen online Strategy Generator allows you to enter the scope and goal of your retrofit project and it will generate a list of appropriate green measures to implement, custom-tailored for your project.

    What Is A Deep Energy Retrofit?
    Green Building Advisor podcast describes a deep energy retrofit, which is a remodel that aims to cut energy use by at least 50%.

    Best Construction Details For Deep-Energy Retrofits
    Green Building Advisor energy-efficiency experts share techniques for deep-energy retrofits.

    LEED Standards Shape BC Building Envelope Practices
    Journal Of Commerce describes how LEED standards and other factors are shaping building envelope practices in BC.

    Energy Efficiency In Existing Large Buildings
    ASHRAE BC online slide show presentation describes how energy efficiency in existing buildings is our greatest opportunity for a sustainable future. (PDF)

    4. Codes Standards & Regulations

    New BC Light Bulb Standards Take Effect January 1, 2011
    BC Government new standards for energy-efficient alternatives to 75W and 100W incandescent light bulbs will come into force on Jan. 1, 2011. BC retailers can continue to carry the old incandescent 75 and 100W bulbs until their stock runs out.

    Canadian Standards For Lighting Products Labelling
    Natural Resources Canada's proposing to amend Canadian Energy Efficiency Regulations in order to prescribe a common label for general service lamps, general service incandescent reflector lamps and CFLs, to help Canadian consumers make energy efficient choices.

    BC Performance Standards For Fridges & Freezers
    BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources provides details on proposed performance standards for residential refrigerators and freezers. (PDF)

    BC Building Code Now Allows Portland Limestone Cement
    British Columbia is the first province to permit a new class of cement that will help reduce CO2 emissions by around 10 per cent during the manufacturing process. The BC Building Code has been amended to allow Portland Limestone Cement (PLC) to be used in British Columbia, effective immediately.

    BC Local Government Measures To Reduce Energy Use & GHG Emissions
    Community Energy Association report Modelling High-Impact Local Government Measures to Reduce Energy Use and GHG Emissions for New and Existing Buildings in BC's Lower Mainland describes key policy measures and analytical approaches, such as emission inventories and modelling, which can help BC local governments estimate the impact of proposed GHG reduction actions from the Build to Zero initiative.

    BC Community Energy & Emissions Planning Guide
    Community Energy Association online Community Energy & Emissions Planning Guide describes the purpose and content of a community energy and emissions plan, its benefits, and how to go about creating one. The guide provides practical tips, examples from BC communities, and links to more detailed information.

    Higher Canadian Efficiency Requirements For Package Terminal Air Conditioners
    Natural Resources Canada is proposing to amend Canadian Energy Efficiency Regulations under which dealers in Canada would be required to comply with higher efficiency requirements for package terminal air conditioners and heat pumps.

    Standard For Accreditation & Quality Assurance Of Home Energy Raters
    US Residential Energy Services Network developed the Standard For Accreditation & Quality Assurance Of Home Energy Raters that sets out procedures for accreditation of home energy rating providers and technical standards by which home energy ratings shall be conducted. (PDF)

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    5. Building Science & Technologies

    Green Heating Options
    Green Building Advisor provides an overview of green heating options.

    HVAC Design Trade Offs
    Building Science describes cyclical trade-offs between building envelope improvements, reduced system size, and more efficient systems.

    Reports On High R-Value Wall Assemblies
    Building Science provides free access to their technical documents on High R-Value Wall Assemblies, summaries of results of their ongoing High R-Value Enclosure research.

    Q & A On Passivhuas Standards
    Green Building Advisor Q & A with Passivhaus Institute founder Wolfgang Feist discusses the five elements of a Passivhaus building, and future challenges for Passivhaus proponents.

    Residential Exterior Wall Superinsulation Retrofit Details & Analysis
    Building Science paper focuses on retrofitting very high insulation levels (i.e., superinsulation, or deep energy retrofits). Several cold-climate residential retrofit projects have been completed using an exterior insulation approach on light-frame above-grade walls. This type of retrofit is a reasonable step if a recladding of the building is already being done for aesthetic or ongoing maintenance reasons. The methods demonstrated here result in walls with insulation levels in the R-35 to R-40 range.

    Online Video Of Deep-Energy Retrofit
    Green Building Advisor online video shows the deep energy retrofit during a gut rehab of a 1912 bungalow in Portland, Oregon.

    Building Energy Information Systems
    Building Energy Information Systems: State of the Technology and User Case Studies is a study of energy information systems, broadly defined as performance monitoring software, data acquisition hardware, and communication systems used to store, analyze, and display building energy data. (PDF)

    6. Building Performance Issues

    Waste Management For New Construction & Remodeling
    Green Building Advisor provides information and links to more resources on waste management for new construction & remodeling.

    Waste Prevention & Reuse For Green Building
    Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s Waste Prevention Strategy study evaluated environmental benefits of a number of residential building and design practices that are intended to prevent solid waste by either using less material or reusing materials over the life of a home. Besides solid waste prevention, DEQ evaluated the other environmental benefits of each practice, such as greenhouse gas reductions through material savings and operational energy conservation, toxic emission reductions, and a range of other human health and ecosystem quality related benefits.

    Disposing Hazardous Wastes From Your Home
    BC Environment Industry Association gives descrptions on how to dispose of household hazardous wastes safely. (PDF)

    Radon & Air Tightness
    Green Building Advisor says the relationship between radon gas levels in existing homes and how airtight they are is not well understood but we should be testing homes after energy upgrades.

    Draft IAQ Protocols For Home Energy Upgrades
    US Environmental Protection Agency is developing voluntary Healthy Indoor Environment Protocols for Home Energy Upgrades. The protocols are intended for voluntary adoption by weatherization assistance programs, federally funded housing programs, private sector home performance contracting organizations, and others working on residential retrofit or remodeling efforts.

    Energy Efficiency Analysis For Retrofitting A 1970s Home
    Consortium for Advanced Residential Building identified energy benefits of various retrofit energy efficiency measures for a typical 1970s ranch home in ten cities across four climate zones in the U.S. A tool was developed that enables users to compare a typical 1970s ranch home against an IECC 2009 code compliant home of the same configuration and against the 70s base case plus retrofits. (PDF)

    How Smart Is A Smart Power Strip?
    Green Building Advisor tried out an energy-saving surge protector and got less than stellar results.

    CFL Makers Agree To Lower Mercury Content
    A dozen CFL manufacturers recently agreed to lower the maximum mercury allowed, according to the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. The NEMA members include Feit, GE, Philips, and Sylvania and the bulbs are Energy Star-qualified and already on store shelves. They contain at least 1 milligram less mercury than the current Energy Star caps. For example, a CFL using less than 25 watts, caps the average mercury content at 4 milligrams, and for a CFL that uses 25 to 40 watts, the average content is 5 mg. at most.

    7. Products & Suppliers

    Latest Green Innovations At Construct Canada
    Journal of Commerce gives descriptions of the latest green innovations discussed at the Construct Canada trade show.

    Types Of Lighting
    US Department of Energy describes types of lighting including fluorescent, high-intensity discharge, incandescent, low-pressure sodium, outdoor solar, and LED (light-emitting diodes).

    Green Siding Options
    EcoHome magazine describes exterior cladding and siding options for green homes.

    Air-Sealing Products & Materials
    Green Building Advisor online video describes common sealants, plus a few uncommon options, for sealing up holes big and small.

    KCMA Strengthens Green Cabinet Certification Program
    Builder Magazine says new rules for the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association’s Environmental Stewardship Program require cabinet manufacturers to use products meeting CARB regulations; bonus points added for chain-of-custody certification.

    Foamglas Is New Favourite Insulation Material
    Green Building Advisor says an old insulation material, Foamglas, is back and offers some significant environmental and performance benefits over the insulation materials most commonly used below-grade.

    Recycling Asphalt Shingles
    Fine Homebuilding online video takes you through a shingles' journey from a roof through an asphalt-recycling facility.

    First BC Asphalt Shingle Recycling Service
    Gemaco has opened western Canada's first licensed asphalt shingle recycling facility in Delta, where residential asphalt shingles, either roof tear-off shingles or manufacturer remnants are ground to specification and sold as binder in asphalt paving mixtures, and as fuel for kilns.

    Sustainable Design With Wood
    Woodworks online slide show presentation on Sustainable Design With Wood covers climate change, using wood to mitigate climate change, examples of wood use in commercial buildings, and applications of wood products in commercial buildings. (PDF)

    Online Marketplace For Recycled Furniture & Accessories
    Junk Market Style is a resource site and online marketplace for everyone willing to see creative possibilities in renewed uses for recycled and re-purposed nostalgia as high-style one-of-a-kind furniture and accessories.

    Free & Swap Search Engine
    Ecofreek is positioned as a recycling/green search engine, but it's really more of a metasearch for free stuff and swaps.

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    8. Installation & Procedures

    Blower Door Test Process
    Wx TV online video demonstrates a blower door test from the moment you turn on the manometer. You'll also find out what the major infiltrations of a house are as they search for air leakage.

    Blower Door Testing Row Homes
    Green Building Advisor describes how do you determine air tightness of a row home.

    Introduction To Air Sealing An Attic
    Green Building Advisor online video identifies common air leaks and shows you the best materials and methods for sealing them up right.

    Standard Work Specifications For Attic Air Sealing
    Building Performance Institute provides online access to their Standard Work Specifications for Attic Air Sealing and Other Details. (PDF)

    Wall Air Sealing & Insulation In Existing Homes
    US Department of Energy online guide describes guidelines for wall air sealing & insulation methods in existing homes. (PDF)

    Using Larsen Truss For Retrofit Applications
    Green Building Advisor Q & A gives descriptions of the benefits and considerations for using a Larsen truss system to retrofit an older home for increased wall insulation. Also provided are links to sources of more information.

    How To Save Money On Your Hot Water Bill
    Fine Homebuilding book excerpt describes how to save money on your hot water bill. (PDF)

    9. Fuels, Energy & Transportation

    2011 Most Fuel-Efficient Vehicles In Canada
    Natural Resources Canada lists 2011 winners of its annual ecoENERGY for vehicles Awards, as the most fuel-efficient vehicles for the current model year.

    Could Nuclear Power Fuel Your Car?
    A newly discovered molecular configuration of uranium called uranium nitride could pave the way for reactors small enough and safe enough to power your car and your home. It could also increase the energy efficiency of fossil fuels by stripping hydrogen atoms from their bond with carbon.

    Solar Trees Grow on Parking Structures
    Jetson Green articles describes how abandoned parking lots are getting a new green lease on life. California-based Envision Solar has developed a system of placing solar trees and other shading structures on unused lots, providing a source of clean, renewable energy, especially for electric cars.

    US Green Power Partnership
    US Environmental Protection Agency offers the Green Power Partnership, a voluntary program that supports the organizational procurement of green power by offering expert advice, technical support, tools and resources. they help organizations lower the transaction costs of buying green power, reduce carbon footprint, and communicate leadership to key stakeholders.

    10. Information Sources

    BC Resources On How To Green Your Home
    BC Hydro Power Smart Green Guides and tips for your home offer information on products or services that will help you save money and energy around the house.

    Information & Resources On Passivhaus Homes
    Green Building Advisor offers articles, information, and links to more resources on Passivhaus homes.

    Forums On Infrared Thermography
    Home Energy Pros discussion group is dedicated to knowledge sharing and discussion of infrared thermography for building sciences and energy applications.

    Conference Presentations From Better Buildings Better Business
    Better Buildings Better Business offers online access to past presentations from their annual conference on energy efficiency.

    Presentations From Energy & Environmental Conference
    Energy & Environmental Building Alliance offers online access to presentations from their 2010 Conference & Expo.

    Resource Site On Steel Recycling
    Steel Recycling Institute is an industry association that promotes and sustains the recycling of all steel products. The SRI educates the solid waste industry, government, business and consumers about benefits of steel recycling.

    Blog On Green Building Law From A Lawyer
    Green Building Law blog by lawyer Shari Shapiro, a LEED Accredited Professional, covers topics on green building law, including sustainable project financing, regulatory drafting, land use approvals, contracts, and conflict resolution.

    Canadian Online Videos On Energy Retrofit Measures
    Now House is an Ontario organization that will turn a 60-year-old WWII house into a near zero energy home. These online videos describes key steps including energy audit, air sealing, insulation, heating systems, windows, lighting, and solar energy.

    Online Videos On Alternative & Renewable Energy
    Global Spec offers online videos on alternative & renewable energy from their recent World of Alternative & Renewable Energy trade show.

    Resources For Energy Efficiency Programs
    Consortium for Energy Efficiency offers information and resources for energy efficiency program design.

    11. Conferences & Shows

    Environmental Professional Networking Event In Vancouver
    ECO Canada presents an Environmental Professionals Networking Event in Vancouver on January 27th, bringing together members of the environmental workforce in a casual atmosphere for networking and professional development.

    Sustainable Building & Living Conference In Kimberley
    Sustainable Building and Living Conference in Kimberley, January 28-29, features leading thinkers in the areas of sustainable building and living, plus a full day of workshops, and Sustainable Building and Living Showcase.

    Affordable Comfort Northwest Conference In Portland
    Affordable Comfort presents ACI Northwest 2011 conference covering energy efficiency, home performance, green practices, and building science for new and existing residential buildings. It is held in Portland, Oregon on February 1-2.

    Sustainable Communities Conference In Victoria
    Federation of Canadian Municipalities Sustainable Communities Conference and Trade Show, held in Victoria, February 8-10, offers municipal leaders and sustainability practitioners a unique learning and networking experience.

    Renewable Energy Conference & Trade Show In Boston
    Building Energy 2011 held March 8-10 in Boston, is a trade show for renewable energy technologies. It presents case studies of successful sustainable energy installations from the U.S. and Europe, as well as information on critical energy training for design and engineering professionals.

    Conference On Home Performance For Energy Retrofit Industry In San Francisco
    Affordable Comfort annual US conference for the home performance industry covers a wide range of building science topics, mostly relating to energy efficiency of existing houses and buildings. Conference 2011 is in San Francisco March 28 - April 1.

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    12. Education & Training

    BC Course On Building Green With LEED
    UBC Continuing Studies new LEED professional development course Building Green with LEED: Core Concepts and Strategies begins January 27, 2011. This intensive 36-hour course provides a comprehensive overview of techniques, approaches, materials and technologies used in creating greener buildings and communities. It provides an introductory level of familiarity with the Rating System and prepares you for the LEED Green Associate exam. (PDF)

    Workshop On LEED Canada For Homes In Vancouver
    This one-day workshop held in Vancouver on February 25th will provide a program overview of LEED Canada for Homes.

    Building Operators Online Course In Reducing Energy Use
    Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada is offering an online training course to help building operators reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in commercial and institutional buildings. Upon completion of the course, participants will understand basic energy principles, identify energy reduction opportunities, develop strategies and learn how to influence stakeholders to adopt energy savings behaviour.

    Canadian Workshops On Sustainable Planning For Small Communities
    CMHC workshop, designed for municipal elected officials and planners (those responsible for community planning and development), provides basic, practical information about sustainable development issues for smaller communities.

    Core Competencies For Weatherization Personnel
    Weatherization Assistance Program Technical Assistance Center describes core competencies for those involved in weatherization of existing homes.

    Resources For Educating Green Workforce
    US Sustainability Education and Economic Development Center offers tools and best practices resources designed for community college educators to prepare students and workers for careers in the green economy.

    13. Costs & Savings

    Feasibility Of Achieving Zero-Net-Energy, Zero-Net-Cost Homes
    US Department of Energy describes a green building competition, to be known as the Energy Free Home Challenge (EFHC), that is scheduled to be opened to teams around the world in 2010. This competition will encourage both design innovation and cost reduction, by requiring design entries to meet 'zero net energy' and 'zero net cost' criteria.

    US National Residential Efficiency Measures & Costs Database
    US National Residential Efficiency Measures Database is a publicly available, centralized resource of residential building retrofit measures and costs for the US building industry. It will help users determine the most cost-effective retrofit measures for improving energy efficiency of existing homes.

    Saving Energy By Recycling
    Green Building Advisor article describes how recycling is an easy way to save energy, as well as natural resources.

    14. Incentives, Financing & Programs

    Power Smart New Home Program Incentives
    BC Hydro Power Smart New Home Program provides financial incentives and Power Smart Branding for homes that meet their Gold or Silver Label standards of energy efficiency. The program is available to residential builders and developers of single family homes, town homes, as well as multi-family residential buildings.

    PowerSense Rebates For Energy Efficient New Home
    FortisBC PowerSense offers financial incentives for energy efficiency in new homes. These rebates are available to customers of FortisBC or one of the following municipal utilities: Grand Forks, Kelowna, Penticton, Summerland or Nelson Hydro. (PDF)

    Efficiency Incentive Program Eligible Improvements
    BC Government program LiveSmart BC outlines it's financial incentives for Primary Space Heating, Other Space Heating, Water Heating, Attic Insulation, Exterior Wall Insulation, Basement Insulation, Other Insulation, Windows, Doors and Skylights, Air Tightness and Draft Proofing, Distributed Power Generation, as well as Important Notes on Eligible Improvements and Important Notes for Contractors and Trades People.

    North Vancouver Offers Density Bonussing To Encourage Green Buildings
    North Vancouver is planning to use density bonussing provisions in the Local Government Act to require almost all new types of buildings to meet higher energy requirements.

    Canadian Green Municipal Fund Doubles & Expands Eligibility For Projects
    Federation of Canadian Municipalities announced its Green Municipal Fund is increasing its GMF loan and grant amounts for green capital projects, as well as broadening eligibility criteria and adding flexibility in terms of disbursement and payback. (PDF)

    Victoria Green Advice Program For Small Businesses
    Capital Regional District and City Green Solutions are launching a new pilot program called GreenStart, designed to educate and assist small businesses in reducing their environmental impacts and improving their bottom line.

    2010 Green Building Survey Says Tax Incentives Important
    US Green Building Council & National Real Estate Investor 2010 Green Building Survey shows if a city or state wants to encourage environmentally responsible commercial real estate development, one of the most powerful tools it can use is tax incentives. (PDF)

    Dittie For Today: On Seriousness

    The most important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously and taking one's self seriously. The first is imperative, and the second disastrous. - Margaret Fontey

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    © Copyright 2011               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved

    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada