Alert Notice #46
Green Building & Energy Efficiency

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

May 16, 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 Industry

Energy Efficiency Tools

Energy Efficient Buildings

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    Ken's Top Pick

    Presentations From 2011 National Home Performance Conference
    Affordable Comfort offers access to presentations from the many sessions at their 2011 National Home Performance Conference.

    1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

    Pardee Builds Community To National Green Building Standard
    Builder magazine says Pardee Homes announced that all 124 houses in its new LivingSmart Homes at Fair Oaks Ranch in Santa Clarita, California will be certified to the Gold level of the National Green Building Standard.

    Meritage Homes Unveils First Net-Zero Production Home
    Meritage Homes has unveiled the first net-zero production home built in the United States in the Verrado community of Buckeye, Ariz. A net-zero home produces as much energy as it consumes, thanks to its array of extreme energy-efficient features.

    Update On Vancouver Greenest City Initiative
    Urban Development Institute online presentation by City of Vancouver provides the vision and an update on their Greenest City Initiative. (PDF)

    2011 Winners Of Excellence In Renewable Energy Awards
    Renewable Energy News describes 2011 winners of the Excellence in Renewable Energy Awards for Project of the Year.

    Zero Net Energy Myths & Modes Of Thought
    University of Michigan and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory paper Zero Net Energy Myths & Modes Of Thought outlines myths commonly discussed in the energy efficiency and renewable energy communities related to ZNE and describes how each myth is a different way of expressing the truth. It concludes that the organizations involved in ZNE should work together to create a collaborative rationality for ZNE. (PDF)

    Market Update On Small Wind
    Renewable Energy World magazine market update on small wind says big prospects are opening up for small-scale turbines.

    US & Canadian Public Opinion On Climate Change
    Public Policy Forum report Public Opinion on Climate Change in the United States and Canada examines the public perceptions of climate change in both countries, respectively. The report outlines and compares findings from polling survey's taken in both countries on the belief in climate change and global warming. (PDF)

    US Energy Efficiency Organizations For Industrial Buildings
    California Energy Efficiency Industry Council report Energy Efficiency Industry Organizations in the United States looks at the different organizations working on energy efficiency on buildings in the industrial sector. (PDF)

    2. Business Management

    Priorities for Developers & Builders for Sustainable Residential Developments
    CMHC research paper How-to Information Gaps and Priorities for Developers and Builders for Sustainable Residential Developments contains results of interviews with development industry representatives from across the country, offering their experience with accessing how-to information, the gaps they have found and the priorities they place on filling those gaps. (PDF)

    What’s The Difference Between A Green Building And A Loaf Of Bread?
    Dovetail says to a certain extent housing is facing the Wonder Bread dilemma. That is, there is a significant push by a small, and rapidly growing, segment of the population for more energy efficient, healthy, and homeowner-friendly housing.

    Green Multiple Listing Services Are Key To Residential Energy Efficiency
    US National Home Performance Council and Association of Energy & Environmental Real Estate Professionals report Unlocking the Full Value of Green Homes: Why Green Multiple Listing Services are a Key to Residential Energy Efficiency uses case studies and examples to highlight the need for states to lead the development of the Green MLS. (PDF)

    Call For Providers From LEED Canada For Homes
    LEED Canada for Homes program continues to see success with Canadian Providers working with builders, architects and project teams. In response to feedback from projects who would like the opportunity to get a number of quotes in western Canada the CaGBC is putting out a call for additional Providers. Typically a suitable organization is one that is primarily involved in verifying the performance of homes with raters.

    Job Board For Canadian Solar Industry
    Canadian Solar Industries Association Solar Job Board provides a listing of available jobs within the solar energy industry.

    3. Building Design & Trends

    Getting To Zero Cost-Effectively Part 1
    Building Science online slide show presentation describes various options and considerations for building zero energy homes cost effectively. (PDF)

    Getting To Zero Cost-Effectively Part 2
    Building Science online slide show presentation covers different techniques to reduce a homes energy usage by about 60%, how point source heating systems work, how to produce the last 40% of a home energy with solar electric panels, and how to go beyond Zero Energy Homes and produce energy. (PDF)

    Sustainable Laneway Living In Vancouver
    West House is a first-of-its-kind, sustainable-living home. Formerly a star attraction at the City of Vancouver’s Yaletown Live Site during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, it now occupies a corner lot on Stainsbury Avenue in East Vancouver. West House’s living area of 610 square-feet with an additional garage of 226 square-feet will produce more energy than it uses through insulation, a heat recovery ventilation system and two types of solar energy. The garage features an electric car-charging outlet.

    Real Home Of The Future Is Passivhaus
    The Tyee describes the history and evolution of the Passivhaus concept and standard.

    Small House Society
    The Small House Society is an outreach of Resources for Life Housing Resources Group. They are a cooperatively managed organization dedicated to the promotion of smaller housing alternatives which can be more affordable and ecological.

    Overviews Of EQuilibrium Communities Projects
    CMHC provides information on key features for the six EQuilibrium Communities projects.

    Challenges For Integrated Design & Delivery
    Canadian Institute for Research in Construction report Integrated Design and Delivery Solutions says implementation requires step changes in many project aspects including collaborative processes, workforce skills, integrated information, and knowledge management. (PDF)

    Built Green BC Awards Call For Entries
    Canadian Home Builders Association of BC has announced the Call for Entries and Online Entry Form for the Second Annual Built Green BC Awards. Projects built, developed, created and/or marketed for the period of September 1, 2009 to March 31, 2011 are eligible.

    4. Codes Standards & Regulations

    Policy Case For Regulating Energy Efficiency In Canadian Housing
    Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes has determined that a building regulatory response related to energy efficiency is justifiable to effectively address an overall policy goal related to the environment with a series of possible policy goals related to resource conservation, reduced emissions, infrastructure capacity and energy security, as well as a policy goal of harmonization. (PDF)

    Existing Residential Building Performance Improvement Standard
    RESNET & Air Conditioning Contractors of America has drafted an Existing Residential Building Performance Improvement Standard that establishes minimum criteria by which deficiencies in existing residential buildings are identified by audit, improvement opportunities are assessed, scopes of work are finalized, and work is performed in accordance with industry recognized procedures. (PDF)

    EnerPHit Standard For Residential Refurbished Buildings
    Passive House standards state that buildings that have been modernised using Passive House components and that do exceed the Passive House boundary values (for existing building substance reasons), can receive the EnerPHit Quality-Approved Modernisation with Passive House Components certificate. (PDF)

    Quality Approved Passive House Certification
    Passive House provides their Quality Approved Passive House Certification criteria for new residential passive houses. (PDF)

    New Energy Star Requires Quality HVAC Installation
    Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News says the new Energy Star label Version will require that the HVAC systems in all homes that earn the Energy Star label be installed according to the Quality Installation guidelines established in ANSI/ACCA Standard 5 QI.

    Model Municipal Green Building Ordinance
    Model Green Building Ordinance by the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School is for use by municipalities looking to promote the construction and design of new buildings that make efficient use of energy, water and materials.

    Overview Of Changes In US Lighting Regulations
    US Department of Energy describes new efficiency standards for light bulbs that will take effect from 2012 to 2014, as many traditional incandescent bulbs will not meet the new standards and will no longer be available for purchase.

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    5. Building Science & Technologies

    Are Tankless Water Heaters Really Green?
    Green Building Advisor discussion says instant water heaters don't have the standby losses of storage units, but when the result is an endless supply of hot water real savings are dubious.

    What Saves Energy & Why
    Michael Blasnik online slide show describes what saves energy and why, when looking at retrofitting existing homes.

    Solar Hot Water & Space Heating Systems
    Green Building Advisor describes solar collectors and how they can heat water and living spaces.

    Solar Thermal Types, Cost, Investment
    Green Building Advisor podcast discusses logistics, benefits, and challenges of solar thermal design for the home.

    Best Practices For Decentralized Sourcing & Treatment Of Water
    Cascadia Region Green Building Council report Toward Net Zero Water: Best Management Practices for Decentralized Sourcing and Treatment, offers best management practices for designing safe, efficient and effective net zero water systems at the single family, multi-family/commercial and neighborhood scales. It contains an overview of best practices and technologies for decentralized and distributed water systems, with special focus on rainwater harvesting for potable and non-potable uses, greywater reclamation, and onsite wastewater treatment including composting toilets. Case studies illustrate best-in-class examples of innovative water systems used by actual projects from around the globe. (PDF)

    Working Lands Conservation Offers Path to Sustainable Land Use
    Dovetail report highlights recent trends toward the integration of resource conservation with other land uses and the benefits of a multi-functional approach to land use.

    Utilizing Urban Forests For Fruit Production
    Dovetail report seeks to showcase organizations around the U.S. that promote urban fruit tree production, inform readers of urban fruit tree possibilities and benefits, as well as develop a greater awareness among city dwellers about an existing, underutilized resource that our country’s urban forests can provide.

    6. Building Performance Issues

    Energy Efficiency Trends In Canada 1990 To 2008
    Natural Resources Canada report includes data and analysis on energy use, tracks trends in energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions in the residential, commercial, industrial, transportation, and electricity generation sectors in Canada.

    Global Resource Site On Building Rating Information
    Building Rating is a gateway into building energy performance rating and disclosure intelligence. It has an online library of resources, including information on global policies, programs, impact analyses, and rating systems and tools.

    Reducing Electrical Loads
    Michael Blasnik online slide show describes how to reduce electrical loads. (PDF)

    Lighting Audits As Subset Of Energy Audits
    Home Energy Pros discusses the possibility that everyone would benefit from having a lighting audit done as part of an overall energy audit.

    How To Calculate The Value Of Energy Improvements
    Green Building Advisor discusses the challenge of measuring energy savings when justifying the cost of retrofit measures with so many variables at play.

    Sample Quality Control Plan For Home Performance
    Advanced Energy sample quality control plan for a home performance company establishes the minimum requirements for the development and maintenance of defect prevention, work standards and training programs within a company. (PDF)

    Civil Engineers Study Energy Efficiency For Older Apartments
    Journal of Commerce says a team of civil engineering researchers is working on a plan to increase the efficiency of aging apartment buildings by creating an outer perimeter whose temperature varies between the inside and outside temperature.

    REALpac 2010 Energy Benchmarking Report For Office Buildings
    Canadian Property Management summarizes the REALpac 2010 Benchmarking Report which contains the results of the first annual Benchmarking survey to establish a baseline of office building energy use across Canada.

    7. Products & Suppliers

    10 Products, Technology, Systems For The Future
    Builder Magazine says it’s hard to predict what products, technology, and systems will be important in the next 10 years, but green experts say the looming energy crisis can give us a pretty good idea.

    Architect’s Toolkit On BC Wood Products
    Naturally Wood online Architect’s Toolkit provides detailed information about the latest innovations in green building, inspirational ideas, highlights of 11 different species of British Columbia wood, as well as a variety of technical, product and species specific information on building with wood.

    Canadian Sustainable Architectural Woodwork Certification Program
    Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada manages the Sustainable Architectural Woodwork Certification Program, that encourages use of environmentally sustainable materials and processes within the architectural woodwork industry.

    Spray-On Latex Sealants Are New Tool For Air Barriers
    Building Green describes how spray-on latex sealants provide a new tool for airtight construction.

    Recycled Denim Reborn As Sustainable Insulation
    Journal of Commerce says old blue jeans are collected by textile recycling companies, which return the 100 per cent cotton material back to its loose fiber form and resell it to insulation manufacturers to make a green, clean and effective insulation product.

    Greener Grass & Other Eco-Landscaping Products
    GreenSpec briefly describes some landscaping products that use recycled content, save water, reduce stormwater runoff, and even look good.

    Resources For Green Landscaping
    US Environmental Protection Agency provides information and resources on green landscaping procedures and products.

    Low-E Storm Windows Cost Effective For Weatherization Programs
    US Department of Energy used Weatherization Assistant energy audit software to evaluate the impact of low-e storm windows in 37 reference homes, and found that they were selected as a qualified measure, with SIR values substantially higher than 1. (PDF)

    Efficient Home Ceiling Fans
    GreenSpec picks three residential ceiling fans lines that outperform others on performance & efficiency.

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    8. Installation & Procedures

    Air Sealing & Insulating Existing Attics
    Fine Homebuilding describes a comprehensive approach to attacking insulation and moisture problems, by examining procedures, special equipment, and materials to weatherize an old house. (PDF)

    How To Insulate An Existing Wall From Outside
    Green Building Advisor says the right combination of cavity insulation and rigid foam will ease worries about condensation.

    Green Roofs Resource Manual For Municipal Policy Makers
    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation online manual is an overview of international and Canadian green roof policies and programs, featuring 12 jurisdictions green roof policy development, and shows how other Canadian and U.S. cities are developing supportive policies. (PDF)

    Energy Performance Techniques For Historic Homes
    US Department of Energy online guide Energy Performance Techniques and Technologies: Preserving Historic Homes is a resource to help contractors renovate historic houses, while addressing issues such as building durability, indoor air quality, and occupant health, safety, and comfort. (PDF)

    Low-Energy Building Retrofits
    Building Science online slide show presentation describes how to retrofit a house for low energy consumption. (PDF)

    Google SketchUp For Home Energy Measurements
    Energy Vanguard describes how to use Google SketchUp to get the wall area or the volume of a multi-pitched roof for home energy ratings without the need to calculate a single algebraic formula.

    How To Choose A Company To Do A Home Energy Audit
    Energy Vanguard describes things to consider when choosing a company to do a home energy audit.

    9. Fuels, Energy & Transportation

    Preparing For Impacts Of Alternative Fuel Vehicles
    Conference Board of Canada report Are We Ready to Step Off the Gas? Preparing for the Impacts of Alternative Fuel Vehicles, covers five broad categories of technologies: conventional vehicles using petroleum-based or renewable fuels; hybrids; plug-in hybrids; battery electric vehicles; and hydrogen electric vehicles. Free registration required for full report.

    Charging Station Installation Handbook
    Advanced Energy online Charging Station Installation Handbook for Electrical Contractors and Inspectors includes information to help contractors and inspectors deal with the influx of requests for charging stations. (PDF)

    Discussions About Energy & Our Future
    Oil Drum provides discussions about energy and our future, with a combination of engineering and societal insights.

    Clean Energy For A Green BC Economy
    Community Energy Association guide Clean Energy for a Green Economy provides an introduction to the wide range of clean energy strategies and green economy opportunities for rural communities in British Columbia.

    How To Get To 100 Percent Renewables Globally By 2050
    The Energy Report by WWF is a provocative vision of a world run entirely on renewable energy by 2050. The first part seeks to generate a discussion around the comprehensively researched scenario that is presented in the 2nd part, conducted by project partner consultancy Ecofys.

    10. Information Sources

    Passive House Resource Site
    Passipedia provides Passive House relevant research, articles, information, insights, and new Passive House findings from around the world. Members of the International Passive House Association (iPHA) receive special access to the more in depth sections.

    Online Self Scoring Tool For LEED For Homes
    The online LEED for Homes Scoring Tool helps you assess your project. By answering a few simple questions, you’ll learn how close you are to earning certification, various steps you might take to get there, plus important insight on the LEED for Homes rating system.

    Non-profit Project Development
    US Department of Energy online Guide to Community Solar: Utility, Private, and Non-profit Project Development, is designed as a resource for those who want to develop community solar projects, from community organizers or solar energy advocates to government officials or utility managers. (PDF)

    Links To Solar Information & Reports
    Solaris provides links to information & reports on solar hot water heating systems and the industry.

    Solar Home Installations Around The World
    SolaMaps shows home solar installations from around the world on an interactive map. A social network website, it also connects solar power users around the world.

    Driving Demand for Home Energy Improvements
    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Energy Analysis Department's work on driving demand for home energy efficiency improvements explores strategies that can be used to increase the adoption of comprehensive home energy upgrades.

    Free Newsletter For Home Performance Industry
    Building Performance Institute free Performance Matters newsletter provides news, business planning tips, and more.

    Toolkit To Green Your Office Workplace
    David Suzuki Foundation free toolkit offers tips on how to green your office workplace, including how to get started, how to motivate coworkers and get management support, sample activities, and setting clear goals and objectives, and how to deliver on them. Free registration required.

    Global Blog Content On Environmental & Green Building
    EcoPressed site highlights the best environmental blogging across the WordPress community. It updates with the latest and greatest posts from WordPress bloggers focusing on environmental topics like clean tech, renewable energy, and eco-friendly innovation, along with posts from other independent green thinkers from across the Web.

    Global Leadership for Our Built Environment
    Global Leadership in Our Built Environment (GLOBE) Alliance will work globally to raise awareness among policymakers, financial institutions, and United Nations bodies of the benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through sustainable design, construction, and energy-efficient building operations and to increase support for cost-effective investment in sustainable building practices.

    11. Conferences & Shows

    Growing Old In A Changing Climate
    Growing Old in a Changing Climate, to be held in Vancouver May 25-26, features experts in gerontology and climate science sharing their knowledge and experience through keynote lectures, plenary panels , symposia and posters. Topics to be addressed include special vulnerabilities of older populations to climate change health impacts, implications of climate change for housing, care and social support of older persons, risk assessment, health and social services preparedness, resiliency and adaptation.

    2011 Metro Vancouver Sustainability Congress
    Metro Vancouver is holding the 2011 Sustainability Congress on June 25. Against a backdrop of two divergent future visions of their region, distinguished community leaders and congress participants will weigh in on the impact of five global uncertainties including energy, food, climate change, dematerialization and security.

    Conference On Sustainability Transparency & Public Disclosure In Real Estate
    Urban Land Institute conference The New Transparency in Real Estate: Sustainability Metrics, Asset Performance, and Public Disclosure, held in Chicago June 27-28, will focus on how new practices of public disclosure are changing the way the marketplace evaluates the environmental and social performance of buildings.

    Intersolar North America Trade Show
    Intersolar North America trade show in San Francisco July 12-14 serves the US photovoltaics and solar thermal industry including manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers and service providers.

    Multifamily Building Conference On Energy Efficiency
    The Association For Energy Affordability presents the Multifamily Buildings Conference in Chicago, August 8-10, that is dedicated to energy and resource efficiency, and related issues of health, safety and comfort in multifamily buildings.

    12. Education & Training

    LEED Canada Documentation Course
    Canada Green Building Council one-day interactive workshop on May 18th in Vancouver addresses LEED certification process and tools in place to assist applicants in seeking CaGBC LEED project certification for New Construction. This workshop discusses a number of the more complex documentation requirements for the LEED NC 1.0 + addendum.

    BC Opportunities For Renewable Energy Projects
    BC Construction Roundtable presentation by Clean Energy BC on May 19th in Vancouver will provide a broad perspective of where clean energy is going in the province and how this translates to opportunities for the design and construction industry.

    Fraser River LEED Platinum Home Talk & Tour
    Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association presents Fraser River LEED Platinum Home Talk & Tour on June 3. It features a tour of a LEED Platinum-rated home, a 2,200-square-foot house designed as small as possible but allowing for maximum flexibility, including adaptability of use with aging residents and subsequent reduced mobility.

    Symposium On Implications Of Going Green
    International Property Tax Institute presents a Symposium On Implications Of Going Green in Vancouver June 21-23. It covers current programs and developments, valuation and taxation, and challenges and issues.

    Career Resources For Home Performance Industry
    Home Performance Resource Center career resource site provides job profiles and additional resources for self assessment and job training.

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    13. Costs & Savings

    Green Standards Can Make Construction Unaffordable
    Journal of Commerce Green believes that green standards can make construction unaffordable, and Instead of relief, Vancouver city council is headed in the opposite direction with its ideological Greenest City policy.

    Builders Fight For Value Recognition For Energy-Efficient Homes
    Builder magazine says US government agencies say the benefits of energy-saving construction are recognized by private lenders, but builders say otherwise.

    Dehumidifier Cost Metering Study
    Home Energy Magazine summarizes a Wisconsin metering study to figure out just how much energy typical Wisconsin households use to dehumidify their homes.

    Effects Of Residential PV Systems On Home Sales Prices In California
    US Department of Energy report Effects Of Residential PV Systems On Home Sales Prices In California finds strong evidence that homes with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems sell for a premium over homes without solar systems. (PDF)

    14. Incentives, Financing & Programs

    Incentive To Replace Older Oil Heating Storage Tanks
    Canadian Oil Heat Association is encouraging homeowners across Canada to upgrade their storage tanks with their incentive program Retire Your Tank that gives homeowners a $125 rebate on the purchase of select models. The program runs May 15 to December 31, 2011.

    Property Assessed Payments For Energy Retrofits
    David Suzuki Foundation report Property Assessed Payments for Energy Retrofits examines how local improvement charges can be used to finance energy retrofits, reduce energy use, lower greenhouse gas emissions and save homeowners money on their energy bills. (PDF)

    Economic Impacts From Using Property-Assessed Clean Energy Financing
    US Department of Energy case study Economic Impacts From Using Property-Assessed Clean Energy Financing examines the economic effects of PACE for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at the local level, including job growth, economic activity, and energy savings. (PDF)

    US Sensible Accounting To Value Energy Act For Mortgages
    SAVE (Sensible Accounting to Value Energy) Act, is a new proposal supported by energy efficiency advocates and leading U.S. homebuilders. It seeks to correct this blind spot in mortgage underwriting and home appraisal, and would require federal loan agencies to assess the expected energy costs for mortgage loan applicants.

    US Residential Energy Efficiency Retrofit Programs
    National Home Performance Council study US Residential Energy Efficiency Retrofit Programs gives an overview of the universe of whole-home energy efficiency retrofit programs in the U.S. The study reviews information on the 126 programs across the U.S. that promote whole home approaches to residential energy efficiency. (PDF)

    Tax Credits Make Lousy Renewable Energy Policy
    Energy Self Reliant States says tax credits make lousy renewable energy policy.

    Dittie For Today: On Wisdom

    History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives. - Abba Eban

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    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada