Alert Notice #60
Green Building & Energy Efficiency

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

March 8, 2012


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. 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

    Deep Energy Retrofit Of Cold Coastal Climate House
    Building Science describes solutions to a deep energy retrofit for a house in a cold coastal climate.

    1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

    Ten Green Building Predictions For 2012
    Custom Home magazine summarizes what Earth Advantage Institute believes will be the top 10 green building trends for 2012.

    Green Jobs BC
    GreenJobs BC is an alliance between BC’s Environmental and Labour movements to build a green economy in BC. The Columbia Institute is the Secretariat for the project in it's initial stages.

    Vancouver Greenest City 2020 Action Plan
    City of Vancouver Greenest City 2020 Action Plan outlines how the city plans on becoming the greenest city in the world by 2020. (PDF)

    Canadian Environmental Indicators, Air Quality
    Fraser Institute report Canadian Environmental Indicators, Air Quality looks at the state of air quality in Canada and examines air quality data, as well as standards and regulatory mechanisms already in force in Canada to determine whether local air quality is getting better or worse, and how it compares to the clean-air targets in place across the country. (PDF)

    Study Shows American Dream Homes Turn Green
    Yahoo Real Estate survey of current and aspiring homeowners indicates unlike bullish years gone by, the so-called American dream home isn’t a supersized McMansion. It is a green, energy-efficient home built with sustainable materials that yield a lower carbon footprint. Or, more often, it is a home remodeled with energy-efficient appliances and eco-friendly home products.

    Consumer Support For Clean Energy Has Declined Significantly Since 2009
    Pike Research survey finds that consumer support for clean energy concepts, ranging from renewable energy to alternative fuel vehicles to smart grid technologies, has declined significantly since 2009.

    2. Business Management

    11 Steps To Mainstream Your Green Products
    Green Biz summarizes research by OgilvyEarth into who is really committed to buying green, what are their motivations, and how can we reach them.

    Risks & Liabilities Of Green Building
    BC Construction Association research report A Study on the Risks and Liabilities of Green Building takes an in-depth look at the inherent risks and potential liabilities that may emerge as a result of the added complexity & scope alteration associated with green building & 3rd party rating systems. (PDF)

    Is Low-Profit LLC The Next Big Label For Responsible Businesses?
    GreenBiz describes a new social enterprise structure emerging in the United States, called the low-profit limited liability company, also known as the L3C. This new corporate model may help advance more businesses toward sustainability in the coming years.

    3. Building Design & Trends

    2011 BC Georgie Award Winners
    Canadian Home Builders Association of BC displays winners of the 2011 BC Georgie Awards for the home building industry.

    Profile Of Burnaby EQuilibrium Net Zero Energy Home
    The Harmony House in Burnaby, built by Habitat Design & Consulting and Insightful Healthy Home, is part of the CMHC EQuilibrium Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative. It features a healthy indoor environment, energy efficiency, renewable energy systems, low environmental impact, significant resource conservation and affordability considerations. The house is predicted to produce more energy from on-site renewable energy systems than it consumes in a year. (PDF)

    100 Mile House Open Ideas Competition For Vancouver
    Architecture Foundation of British Columbia is launching an international design competition to create a house design using materials and technology sourced within 100 miles of the city of Vancouver.

    5 Sustainable Homes That Don’t Skimp On Style
    Builder Magazine describes 5 homes that show high-performance living comes in all sorts of packages.

    The Pretty Good House
    Green Building Advisor says finding the right balance between construction cost & energy performance is crucial. Many programs with different metrics can help you to determine how green your home is, but what elements of green building are important when you are designing and building a home?

    EnergyValue Housing Awards: 2012 Winners
    US National Association of Home Builders describes winners of their 2012 EnergyValue Housing Awards, presented to builders who voluntarily incorporate energy efficiency in the design, construction, and marketing of new homes.

    Seattle Development Focuses On Advanced Energy & Water Conservation
    EcoHome magazine describes a Seattle-area development of zero-energy townhomes that also are a WaterSense-certified multifamily community in the US.

    Resilient Design With Passive Solar Heat
    Green Building Advisor describes how passive solar design is a key element of creating resilient homes.

    Weighing Benefits Of Sustainable Concrete Duplex
    Journal of Commerce says many eyes will be on a two-storey, precast concrete duplex in Edmonton to see if the prototype can serve as a model for sustainable housing.

    Environmental Value Of Building Reuse
    Preservation Green Lab of the US National Trust for Historic Preservation study The Greenest Building: Quantifying the Environmental Value of Building Reuse shows building reuse almost always offers environmental savings over demolition and new construction. It shows their findings after performing a life cycle analysis on the environmental impacts of various buildings located in four cities around the country. (PDF)

    4. Codes Standards & Regulations

    2010 Canadian Model Code Requirements Windows, Doors, Skylights & Sealants
    Canadian National Codes describes 2010 National Model Construction Codes requirements for windows, doors, skylights and sealants. (PDF)

    Comparison Of LEED NC & Build Green For Part 3 Buildings
    Light House Sustainable Building Centre study Comparative Analysis of Green Building Rating System LEED NC vs Build Green provides a comparative analysis to examine the relative effectiveness of the LEED-NC Canada 2009 Gold standard and Built Green Gold standard for Part 3 buildings, and how they deliver on the City of Vancouver's sustainability goals. (PDF)

    Municipal Role In Building Canada's Green Economy
    Sustainable Prosperity report Building Canada’s Green Economy: The Municipal Role makes a range of policy recommendations aimed at building a green economy at the municipal level and recommends governments work together, particularly as cities face critical funding challenges.

    Are FSC & LEED Killing Jobs?
    Building Green discusses whether FSC and LEED, with its certified wood credit, are hurting the economy, as claimed by the governor of Maine, a U.S. Senator, and SFI.

    BC Electrical Power Facility Code of Practice
    BC Ministry of Environment intends to establish a code of practice addressing discharges to the environment from small biomass-fired electricity generating facilities that generate power for commercial applications. The proposed code of practice would apply across the entire province and serve as the primary means for regulation of discharges to the environment from this type of facility, supplanting site specific or individually issued air and effluent permits. (PDF)

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    5. Building Science & Technologies

    Shuswap Wins National Award For Innovative Landfill Project
    Federation of Canadian Municipalities gave a 2012 Sustainable Communities Award to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District for its innovative work at the Salmon Arm Landfill.

    Carbon 101
    Dovetail report starts from square one of the carbon cycle to explain this and other aspects of the carbon debate and what it all means.

    R & D Roadmap For Water Heating Technologies
    Oak Ridge National Laboratory report Research & Development Roadmap For Water Heating Technologies establishes a set of high-priority RD&D activities for water heating systems. The proposed activities address the major unfulfilled needs regarding the latest equipment and equipment-related advancements, critical gaps in knowledge and tools related to efficient distribution systems, and market transformation activities related to these areas. (PDF)

    Extensive Vegetative Green Roofs
    Whole Building Design Guide provides information and resources on extensive vegetative green roofs.

    Wireless Technologies & Applications For Buildings
    Automated Buildings online articles and information from their March issue offer insight into wireless technologies and applications in buildings.

    6. Building Performance Issues

    Thermostat Setbacks Save Energy
    Energy Vanguard says fundamental principles of physics are well established, and research shows that thermostat setbacks can save energy.

    Home Remedies For Energy Nosebleeds
    Fine Homebuilding describes how with a little detective work, you can correct construction mistakes and cut energy bills by a third or more.

    Cost/Benefit Analysis Of Smart Appliances For Peak-Load Shifting
    US DOE report Use of Residential Smart Appliances for Peak-Load Shifting and Spinning Reserves Cost/Benefit Analysis presents results of an analytical cost/benefit study of residential smart appliances from a utility/grid perspective. (PDF)

    Pre-Disaster Planning For Permanent Housing Recovery
    US Department of Housing and Urban Development offers four online guides for Pre-Disaster Planning for Permanent Housing Recovery including an overview of the permanent housing options, a summary of the national disaster housing strategy, the House Capacity Calculator, and basic plant design requirements for manufactured, modular, and panelized housing.

    7. Products & Suppliers

    New Green Building Products Of February 2012
    Green Building Advisor describes some new green building products including photovoltaic shingles, three new insulation products, high-performance windows and skylights, and HVAC register covers for duct tightness tests.

    New & Notable Green Building Products
    EcoHome Magazine describes a selection of sustainable products, including ventilation fans, thin-film solar roofing, low-flow faucets, and energy monitoring.

    Cool Economy Encourages New HVAC Products
    Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency describes how changing consumer behavior is leading to different kinds of heating and cooling products.

    LED Lighting Colour Characteristics
    US Department of Energy describes light and color basics and summarizes the most important color issues related to white-light LED systems. (PDF)

    Life-Cycle Energy Consumption Of Incandescent, CFL, LED Lamps
    US Department of Energy report Review of the Life-Cycle Energy Consumption of Incandescent, Compact Fluorescent, and LED Lamps, assesses the life-cycle environmental and resource costs in the manufacturing, transport, use, and disposal of LED lighting products in relation to comparable traditional lighting technologies. (PDF)

    Emerging Hot Water Technologies & Energy Efficiency Savings
    American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy report Emerging Hot Water Technologies and Practices for Energy Efficiency as of 2011 shows energy-efficient water heating technologies and practices can save residential and commercial buildings on average 37% more energy than conventional technologies. The study examines a suite of 16 products and services including heat pumps and high efficiency gas water heaters, as well as various maintenance practices for multifamily buildings.

    Buy & Sell Surplus Building Materials
    Zam Ray is an online marketplace for contractors to buy, sell and exchange surplus material while earning LEED points.

    Exchange Stuff For Free
    Freecycle, a movement of people who are giving & getting stuff for free in their own towns, was formed to reduce the accumulation of waste in communities.

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    8. Installation & Procedures

    Air Sealing A Basement
    Fine Homebuilding describes five places to check for air leaks in your basement and some advice on how best to seal them.

    How To Use A Blower Door To Test Homes
    YouTube online video by Southface demonstrates correct blower door set-up and use in locating and quantifying the air leakage between the conditioned and unconditioned space in a home.

    Sealing & Insulating Ducts In Existing Homes
    US National Renewable Energy Laboratory guide Insulating Ducts in Existing Homes discusses potential cost and performance benefits of duct sealing and insulating, gives reviews of typical duct materials and components, and describes overall procedures for assessing and improving the duct systems. (PDF)

    Advanced Energy Retrofit Guide For Office Buildings
    US Department of Energy online Advanced Energy Retrofit Guide for Office Buildings provides general project planning guidance as well as financial payback metrics for the most common energy efficiency measures. It provides a practical roadmap for effectively planning and implementing performance improvements for existing office buildings. (PDF)

    9. Fuels, Energy & Transportation

    BC Natural Gas Strategy 2012
    Province of British Columbia describes their Natural Gas strategy that focuses specifically on the development of a new LNG sector and the vision of becoming a global leader in secure and sustainable natural gas investment, development and export.

    2012 Winners Of Excellence In Renewable Energy Awards
    Winners of the Excellence in 2012 Renewable Energy Awards for Project of the Year Award represent facilities that signified excellence in five technologies: Solar, Wind, Biomass, Geothermal and Hydro.

    Fuel Economy Guide For Vehicles
    US Environmental Protection Agency US Department of Energy produce the Fuel Economy Guide to help car buyers choose the most fuel-efficient vehicle that meets their needs. This Guide provides annual fuel cost estimates for each vehicle, and the 2012 Guide also features sections on plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.

    What Will It Take To Bring EVs To Mass Market?
    Green Biz describes what is missing to take electric vehicles to the mass market.

    Charging Station Installation Handbook
    Advanced Energy online Charging Station Installation Handbook provides guidance for electrical contractors and inspectors. (PDF)

    Off-Grid Energy Generation & Fuel Choices
    Propane Training Academy online course Choosing to Live Off-Grid: Energy Generation and Fuel Choices provides construction professionals with a solid understanding of off-grid living and the key drivers behind its growing popularity. It covers selecting a fuel source, choosing appliances, integrating a standby generator with renewable energy systems, and other topics. The course also offers an overview of new innovations in standby generators and double-duty appliances that can serve as a water heater and provide heat for radiant flooring.

    CHP, Cogeneration & On-Site Power Production
    Cogeneration & On-Site Power Production offers information and resources on the generation of power through decentralized generation and combined heat and power.

    10. Information Sources

    Green Building In BC From The Ground Up
    Tyee Solutions Society 19-part series of articles, Green From the Ground Up, covers past, present and future of green building in Canada and sustainable building solutions in BC and beyond. (PDF)

    Purchasable Book On Principles & Practices Of Green Building In Residential Construction
    Cengage sells Green Building: Principles & Practices in Residential Construction. It provides a current, comprehensive guide to the construction of green homes. It covers core concepts, innovative applications of cutting-edge technology and the latest industry trends. $85 USD

    Purchasable Book On Home Performance Diagnostics
    Building Performance Workshop sells Performance Diagnostics: the Guide to Advanced Testing. It is a step-by-step, photographed technical manual for performing home performance testing.

    Research In Sustainable Building
    Cascadia Green Building Council research department provides research and technical consulting services to support their mission of leading a transformation towards a built environment that is socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative. their research helps further the adoption and understanding of the Living Building Challenge and other high performance policies, programs and standards throughout North America and beyond.

    Sustainability Community Resource Center
    US Department of Housing and Urban Development online Sustainable Communities Resource Center provides information that supports local and regional strategies, with emphasis on sustainable housing and planning. It offers access to best practices, cutting edge research, new reports and resources, and spotlights innovation in the field.

    BC Alternative Solutions Resource Initiative Research Society
    Alternative Solutions Resource Initiative Research Society is a not-for-profit society based in Victoria, BC. It was founded by a group of natural builders, designers, engineers and home-owners with a shared belief that the way we currently build houses is simply unsustainable.

    BC Resource Site On Climate Change
    Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, hosted and led by the University of Victoria, provides information and resources on climate change.

    11. Conferences & Shows

    Innovation In Renewables & Energy Efficiency Tour In Vancouver
    Das Haus is a traveling pavilion, a North American tour and an ongoing international dialogue about advanced technologies for home construction and solar energy use. The purpose is to share German innovations that have achieved sustainable construction and operational energy savings. It will be in Vancouver March 12-21, presenting various seminar and tour options.

    International Conference For Civil Engineers
    Institution of Civil Engineers 2012 Americas Convention will be held March 22-24 in New York. The conference provides a forum for knowledge-sharing, discussion and networking, bringing together engineers from across the region and is open to both ICE members and non-members. It will include a technical conference day on Friday 23rd March under the theme The Challenges of Urbanisation.

    US National Green Building Conference
    US National Association of Home Builders presents the annual National Green Building Conference in Nashville, April 29 to May 1. Here you will find the latest information about the green building market, technical expertise, product developments, and educational sessions lead by some of the most successful builders in the industry.

    Living Future 2012 Green Building Conference
    Cascadia Region Green Building Council present the Living Future 2012 conference in Portland May 2-4. It is designed to show products and address skills that industry leaders need to effectively transform our built environment.

    Solar Ontario 2012 Conference and Tradeshow
    Canadian Solar Industries Association presents its Ontario regional conference Solar Ontario 2012. It is Ontario's largest and most influential solar industry event, taking place in London, Ontario on May 14 and 15, 2012.

    12. Education & Training

    Ecological Planning & Sustainable Design
    Simon Fraser University course Ecological Planning and Sustainable Design, held in Vancouver March 16-17, covers integrating ecological planning and sustainability into the urban design process. It examines ecological planning through three themes: process, systems, and change.

    Alternative Building Materials Seminar & Tour In Victoria
    Alternative Solutions Resource Initiative presents Alternative Materials & Systems in Victoria on March 24th. It includes a series of three modules that examine the rationale for using alternative building materials in construction, and present solutions to the technical, regulatory and logistical challenges of stepping outside of conventional practice.

    Free Web Forum On Secondary Suites
    CMHC free web forum on secondary suites on March 22nd discusses benefits, as well as overall requirements and things to be considered before creating secondary suites.

    Product Assessment & Selection Seminars
    Construction Specifications Canada seminar Product Assessment and Selection will be offered in Victoria on March 26, and Vancouver on March 27. It will be of interest to specification writers, design professionals, product representatives contractors, owners' reps, and other industry participants who may select products or have an interest in product selection.

    Leading With LEED?
    BC Construction Roundtable seminar Leading with LEED, held at UBC on April 19th, covers the difference between sustainability and LEED, is LEED working to create better, more energy efficient buildings and at what cost, along with a tour of the CIRS building at UBC.

    Online Courses In Green Building
    Canadian Green Building Council offers online on-demand courses that are delivered to your desktop at your convenience. 1.0- to 1.5-hours in length, these sessions are co-developed and delivered by experienced professionals.

    Training & Awareness For Commercial & Institutional Organizations
    Natural Resources Canada lists various training and information resources for energy efficiency in commercial and institutional organizations.

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    13. Incentives, Financing & Programs

    Provide Input Into Proposed BC Pay-As-You-Save Financing Plan
    BC Ministry of Energy and Mines and Responsible for Housing is proposing a Pay-as-you-save (PAYS) financing model that enables homeowners to invest in energy efficiency improvements through loans that are repaid on their utility bills. The ministry is seeking comments and suggestions from British Columbia citizens prior to finalizing and implementing the framework. You can view the Intentions Paper and submit comments here.

    US Outlook For Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing
    Mintz Levin Strategies article PACE-ing in Purgatory: Outlook for Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing provides background on the PACE concept.

    Lease Option Increases Rooftop Solar’s Appeal
    Oak Ridge National Laboratory says rooftop solar panels are attracting a new demographic of customers who are choosing to lease rather than buy, and enjoying the low upfront costs and immediate savings.

    BC Commercial Custom Design Program
    FortisBC, in collaboration with the BC Hydro Power Smart New Construction Program, offers the Commercial Custom Design Program for New Construction. It offers incentives towards the construction of new high performance buildings including commercial, institutional, and multi-unit residential.

    Recognizing Benefits Of Energy Efficiency In Multifamily Underwriting
    Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation instigated this project to encourage the financial industry to scale up financing of building energy efficiency retrofits. They analyzed the 230+ building dataset to assess total savings achieved and savings as a percentage of projections. These data-driven findings suggest a rationale and methodology for underwriting against fuel savings projections.

    Energy Retrofit Financing Options For Commercial Real Estate Market
    Sustainable Real Estate Solutions whitepaper Energy Efficiency Retrofit Financing Options for the Commercial Real Estate Industry discusses innovative, market-ready financing mechanisms that are supported by new tools that significantly reduce the financial underwriting risk. It also describes how these solutions solve the underwriting issues that have delayed large scale market adoption of commercial property energy efficiency investment. (PDF)

    Dittie For Today: On Attitude

    Life offers no obstacles, only challenges. - Author unknown

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    © Copyright 2012               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved

    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada