Alert Notice #69
Green Building & Energy Efficiency

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

September 12, 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. 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


Ken's Top Pick

Presentations From National Weatherization Training Conference
US Weatherization Assistance Program & Technical Assistance Center provides free online access to conference presentation materials from the 2011 National Weatherization Training Conference.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

Third Annual BC Built Green & R2000 Awards Finalists
Canadian Home Builders Association of BC have announced the finalists for the Third Annual Built Green and R2000 Awards. The awards were created to recognize and honour builders and renovators whose passion and commitment to our environment leads them to create stunning homes that are also sustainable, comfortable, healthy and energy efficient.

2011 LEED Canada Buildings Review
SAB Magazine report LEED Canada Buildings in Review, is a public record of all buildings and interiors in Canada that have obtained LEED certification in 2011. (PDF)

Study Finds Energy-Efficient Homes Command Higher Prices
Washington Post says a new study involving an unusually large sample of 1.6 million homes sold in California between 2007 and early 2012 has documented that, holding all other variables constant, a green certification label on a house adds an average of 9 percent to its selling value.

Measuring Adoption Of Deep Energy Retrofits
Rocky Mountain Institute presents data on how long will it take for deep energy retrofits to catch on.

US Low-Cost Solar Water Heating Research & Development Roadmap
US National REnewable Energy Laboratory report Low-Cost Solar Water Heating Research and Development Roadmap identifies the target market for solar water heaters that will provide the largest U.S. energy savings potential relative to other advanced water heating technologies, and potential technology pathways and cost/performance targets that must be met to enable systems to acheive large energy savings. (PDF)

2. Business Management

Consumers Associate Green Building With High Quality
Green Building Advisor summarizes McGraw-Hill’s SmartMarket Report that affirms the importance of energy savings and clients’ perceptions of durability and value.

It’s Time Green Marketing Grew Up
Business Green says it is time for clean tech firms to shelve the immature and fluffy green communications and PR campaigns that have created plenty of buzz and not much else, and adopt the hard-nosed transactional-focused business-to-business marketing techniques that have proven so effective for other emerging sectors.

Greenwashing More Effective Than Genuine CSR
Environmental Leader article says greenwashing and other sustainable window dressing delivered markedly better market-value results than more sincere, results-focused sustainability campaigns.

Transforming Existing Homes Through New Media
US Department of Energy Report Transforming Existing Buildings through New Media, summarizes an Idea Exchange that was hosted by the Building America Retrofit Alliance. It provided a forum for presentations and discussions on the use of new media to work with remodelers and retrofit projects to improve energy efficiency. (PDF)

3. Building Design & Trends

2012 Canadian Green Building Award Winners
Sustainable Architecture & Building magazine displays winners of their 2012 Canadian Green Building Awards that recognize excellence in design and execution of Canadian buildings of all types, including new construction, renovations and interior design projects.

Sustainable Award-Winning Beauties
Builder Magazine describes five award-winning homes that follow a variety of paths to sustainability.

Design & Construction Of Northern Sustainable House In Yukon
CMHC report Design & Construction Design and Construction of the Northern Sustainable House E/9 Project In Dawson City, describes design and construction of highly energy-efficient houses in the North. Near net zero technology was used in a semi-detached house in the Yukon with the objective of having the house consume 90% less energy than what would be used were the house to be built according to the Model National Energy Code for Houses. (PDF)

Integrated Design Process In Equilibrium Homes
CMHC describes the integrated design process that helped the EQuilibrium homes achieve high levels of performance. (PDF)

Biophilia Becomes A Design Standard
EcoHome magazine describes how the prevalent approach to sustainability is still missing a key ingredient: nature itself.

Passive Solar Strategies For The Home
Buildipedia describes how to take advantage of cost-effective ways to use passive solar heating to warm a home.

Quantifying Environmental Value Of Building Reuse
Preservation Green Lab report The Greenest Building: Quantifying the Environmental Value of Building Reuse says it is unequivocally greener to retrofit an old building than construct a new green building, no matter how many high-tech bells and whistles are in the new construction. (PDF)

Whole Building Energy Modelling Tools To Assess Building Performance
Read Jones Christoffersen describes how modelling tools are increasing being used in quantifying energy performance in new and retrofit construction projects. (PDF)

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

BC Review Requested On Safe Work Practices For Handling Asbestos
WorkSafe BC has made significant changes to their Safe Work Practices for Handling Asbestos publication, and would like your feedback.

Report To Canadian Parliament Under The Energy Efficiency Act 2010-2011
NRCan provided parliament with this report Improving Energy Performance in Canada under the Energy Efficiency Act, for the fiscal year 2010-2011.

Will Plastics Industry Kill LEED?
Green Biz says 20 trade groups announced a new coalition to challenge the LEED rating system as the dominant standard for buildings. The American High-Performance Buildings Coalition members make a wide range of materials and products widely used in buildings, including heat-reflecting roofing membranes, PVC piping and foam insulation.

US Partnership To Certify Zero Net-Energy Ready Homes
US Energy Department partnership between its Challenge Home program and the Passive House Institute will be providing a voluntary certification process for zero net-energy ready homes. It will streamline certifications for homes that can offset most or all of their utility bills with a small renewable energy system.

US National Standard For Home Energy Auditing
Building Performance Institute standard BPI-1100-T-2012: Home Energy Auditing Standard provides protocols to conduct a building-science-based evaluation of existing detached single-family dwellings and townhouses that meet specific criteria detailed in the scope of the standard. The evaluation addresses energy usage, elements of building durability, and occupant health and safety; provides a comprehensive scope of work to improve the home; and includes a cost-benefit analysis. (PDF)

Model Specifications For Multifamily Energy Retrofits
US Department of Energy report Results From Development of Model Specifications for Multifamily Energy Retrofits provides sample specifications that describe the systems and components being installed in the building with details on specific requirements for the products, execution of installation, and standards to reference. (PDF)

Realistic Hot Water Draw Specification For Rating Solar Water Heaters
US National Renewable Energy Laboratory online report A Realistic Hot Water Draw Specification for Rating Solar Water Heaters, proposes a more-realistic ratings draw that eliminates most bias by improving mains inlet temperature and by specifying realistic hot water use. This paper outlines the current and the proposed draws and estimates typical ratings changes from draw specification changes for typical systems in four US cities. Average change in the ratings from the proposed draw is approximately 8%. (PDF)

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    5. Building Science & Technologies

    Combination Forced-Air Space & Tankless DHW Heating Systems
    US Department of Energy report Combination Forced-Air Space and Tankless Domestic Hot Water Heating Systems provides design and application guidance for combination space and tankless domestic hot water (DHW) heating systems (combination systems) used in residential buildings. (PDF)

    How Air Leaks Waste Energy & Rot Houses
    Building Science article from Fine Homebuilding describes how uncontrolled airflow through the shell not only carries moisture into framing cavities, causing mold and rot, but it also can account for a huge portion of a home’s energy use and can cause indoor-air-quality problems. (PDF)

    Performance Of Seven Cold Climate Deep Retrofit Homes
    US Department of Energy report Proven Performance of Seven Cold Climate Deep Retrofit Homes examines seven test homes located in Massachusetts. The homes range in size from 1,868 sq. ft. to 3,484 sq. ft., constructed as early as 1760 and as late as 1953. Most homes underwent substantial or major renovations along with energy efficiency and durability upgrades. The retrofit strategies of each home are presented and compared, along with the pre- and post-retrofit airtightness achieved by the group in relationship to their enclosure areas and volumes. (PDF)

    Cold Climate Multifamily Masonry Building Retrofit
    Building Science report Cold Climate Multifamily Masonry Building Condition Assessment and Retrofit summarizes a retrofit of a three-story brick multifamily row house. Research included finding the combination of measures that are feasible, affordable, and suitable for this type of construction and acceptable to homeowners. (PDF)

    Building Diagnostic Market Deployment
    US Department of Energy report Building Diagnostic Market Deployment describes strategies for implementing automated fault detection and diagnostic tools that provide capabilities essential for detecting and correcting energy consumption problems and eliminating the associated energy waste and costs. (PDF)

    6. Building Performance Issues

    Insulation To Keep Warm, Not Warm The Planet
    Building Green describes issues around the global warming potential of insulation materials.

    Adhesive & Sealant Chemical Materials Matter
    Green Spec says exterior adhesives and sealants are formulated for performance, but some contain chemicals that pose risks to unprotected workers or the environment.

    Damaged CFLs Emit Higher UV
    Building Green describes research that showed most bulbs examined, regardless of brand or store, had defects and UV emissions. Use of the average damaged bulb at a range of about one foot is the equivalent of sunbathing at the equator in terms of UVA, which oxidizes skin cells and penetrates deep into skin.

    Shifting Community Attitudes Towards Water Reuse
    CH2M Hill research report Research To Shift Community Attitudes On Water Reuse used images and approaches to measure people’s responses to drinking water reuse. (PDF)

    Myths vs. Facts On Smart Meters
    Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative fact sheet refutes the most commonly circulated myths about smart meters. (PDF)

    How Sprawl Worsens Impacts Of Drought
    Natural Resources Defense Council describes how sprawl worsens the impacts of drought and how smart growth can help.

    7. Products & Suppliers

    Outdoor Power Equipment Recycling For BC
    British Columbians now have a new recycling option with the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute of Canada recycling program for old or broken electrical outdoor power equipment. The new program accepts products like electric lawnmowers, grass trimmers, and power washers at drop-off locations across the province.

    Searching For Truth Behind Green-Product Claims
    EcoHome Magazine provides guidance to deciphering product specs, avoiding greenwashing, and navigating certification programs.

    4 Steps To Evaluating Products With A Sustainability Scorecard
    Green Biz describes how companies can navigate the inevitable confusion that arises when sourcing and certification programs each define and measure sustainability by a different set of standards.

    Toolkit Approach To Sustainability
    Dovetail report Toolkit Approach To Sustainability describes life cycle, economic and social legs of the basic three-legged stool analogy for sustainability. (PDF)

    Which Low Flow Toilet Is Right For You?
    Home Energy says with over 1,000 models of low flow toilets on the market today, picking the right one for your client can be challenging. They suggest you consider the following questions in selecting the appropriate one for your project.

    Selecting Green & Healthy Interior Finishes
    EcoHome Magazine discusses how to select green and healthy interior finishes.

    Green Kitchen Countertops
    Buildipedia describes green and sustainable options to consider when choosing kitchen countertops.

    LEDs Are Winning Lighting Race To Save Energy & Environment
    Electrical Business magazine says today’s light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs have a slight environmental edge over compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and, according to a new report that gap is expected to grow significantly as technology and manufacturing methods improve in the next five years.

    HVAC Secret On Air Conditioner Refrigerant Loophole
    Energy Vanguard describes a dirty little secret of the EPA and the HVAC industry. As long as manufacturers ship the units dry, they continue to make and sell air conditioners and heat pumps designed to use R-22.

    Laboratory Testing Of Aerosol For Enclosure Air Sealing
    US Department of Energy report Laboratory Testing of Aerosol for Enclosure Air Sealing describes a process for improving the airtightness of a building envelope by sealing shell leaks with an aerosol sealing technology. Retrofit and new construction applications are possible with this process during occupancy changes, the rough-in stage of new construction, or possibly from attics or crawlspaces in occupied homes. (PDF)

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    8. Installation & Procedures

    How To Size Photovoltaics
    Green Building Advisor podcast provides description on how to size a PV array and how to calculate your expected savings.

    Advanced Framing Techniques
    Buildipedia describes some advanced framing techniques.

    Two Options For Weatherizing Existing Attics
    Building Science report Attic or Roof? An Evaluation of Two Advanced Weatherization Packages, examines two distinct strategies for insulating and air sealing the top of houses. One strategy applies best practice air sealing methods and a standard insulation method to the attic floor. The other strategy creates an unvented roof assembly using materials and methods typically available to weatherization contractors. (PDF)

    Large Scale, Cold Climate Affordable Housing Retrofit
    US National Renewable Energy Laboratory report Chamberlain Heights Redevelopment: A Large Scale, Cold Climate Study of Affordable Housing Retrofits, describes a gut renovation of 126 residential units. The affordable housing community comprises 36 buildings in duplex and quad configurations, and the primary goal for the project was long-term affordability, including superior energy performance and durability. (PDF)

    Trees In The Townscape, A Guide For Decision Makers
    UK Trees and Design Action Group report Trees in the Townscape, a Guide for Decision Makers, offers 12 principles of best practice for all those involved in local decision making to ensure that our 21st century towns and cities are underpinned by a 21st century approach to urban trees, for maximum economic, social and environmental returns.

    9. Fuels, Energy & Transportation

    Home Generators 101
    Buildipedia describes the basics of home generators, from selecting the right one for your home, to installation, to routine maintenance.

    Researchers Create Paintable Battery
    Researchers at Rice University have developed a lithium-ion battery that can be spray-painted in layers on virtually any surface. Experiments have demonstrated the battery's capability to power LEDs.

    Auto$mart Online Videos
    NRCan online video series Auto$mart informs Canadians about the environmental, safety and financial impacts of their driving, maintenance and vehicle-purchasing practices.

    Project Tracks How Smart Homes Interact With Electric Vehicles
    EcoHome magazine describes how an Austin, Texas, sustainable community will help to provide real-world driving and charging patterns for electric vehicle owners.

    Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Learning Demonstration Report
    National Renewable Energy Laboratory completed a seven-year project to demonstrate and evaluate hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and hydrogen fueling infrastructure in real-world settings. The National Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Learning Demonstration Final Report shows progress in extending vehicle driving ranges and increasing fuel cell durability. (PDF)

    10. Information Sources

    BC Environment Industry Guide
    BC Environment Industry Guide Spring 2012 describes an industry sector that is growing faster than the economy as a whole, and lists companies that provide the products and services to protect our natural and social environments. (PDF)

    Links To Information & Resources On Wind Energy
    Wind Works is an online archive of articles and commentary on wind and solar energy, community power, feed-in tariffs, and Advanced Renewable Tariffs.

    Online Presentations From 2012 Affordable Comfort Conference
    Affordable Comfort offers free access to their online presentations from the recent 2012 conference. They cover a very wide range of topics related to energy efficiency for new and existing homes.

    11. Conferences & Shows

    Sustainability In Action EQuilibrium Housing Forum In Vancouver
    CMHC EQuilibrium Housing Forum 2012 True Stories: Sustainability in Action, will be held in Vancouver, October 23-24. It will provide in-depth information, analysis and discussion on some of the most sustainable houses ever built in Canada, and share lessons learned from five completed EQuilibrium Housing projects. (PDF)

    Energy Modeling Conference
    ASHRAE's upcoming Energy Modeling Conference is intended to advance practitioners' ability to more accurately model and simulate a building's energy use. It will be held Oct. 1-3 in Atlanta. The conference will feature some 40 presentations, keynote speeches, networking and a modeling tools software developer session.

    2012 Emerging Energy Efficient Technologies Summit
    2012 Emerging Technologies Summit in Pasadena, October 15-17, features workshops and displays of the latest in energy efficient technologies.

    Canadian Waste & Recycling Expo
    Canadian Waste & Recycling Expo in Toronto November 12-15 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.

    International Green Building Conference & Expo
    Greenbuild International Conference & Expo will be held in San Francisco, November 14-16. It features networking, educational programs, speakers and exhibits. Highlights will include LEED workshops, green building tours, poster sessions, plenary and master speakers as well as the annual Leadership Awards celebration.

    Conference On Green Buildings & Health In Vancouver
    Sustainabuild is a one day conference in Vancouver on November 28th that focuses on sustainable buildings and communities of all types.

    2012 Canadian Solar Industry Conference
    Canadian Solar Industries Association presents its annual conference and trade show in Toronto on December 3-4, aimed at all sectors of the solar and building industry.

    12. Education & Training

    Save Time & Money With BC Utility Providers: Rebates, Incentives, Programs & Services
    Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association presents Save Time and Money with Utility Providers: Rebates, Incentives, Programs and Services, on September 13th in Surrey. The session will focus on new-home construction, and will bring together Telus, Shaw, FortisBC and BC Hydro to talk to it's members about the utilities' respective initiatives, rebate programs and how to get the most from your utility providers.

    Webinar On Passive Houses In Canada
    BC Sustainable Energy Association free webinar Passive Houses in Canada and Around the World will be held on September 18th @ 12:00 pm PDT. It features Guido Wimmers of the Canadian Passive House Institute, discussing the experience of Passive House in Canada and showing the fundamental components of Passive House design, with examples and potential contradictions in the current building industry and policy.

    Free Webinar On Advanced Framing
    Engineered Wood Association free one-hour webinar, Advanced Framing: Time to Green up Your Structure, will be offered on September 26th. It will review several advanced framing techniques that you can incorporate into your residential designs.

    UDI Presents Building Technology Into Construction
    Urban Development Institute luncheon workshop Building Technology into Construction on September 27th, describes how new and upcoming technologies can reduce project headaches and increase collaboration and communication.

    BC Environmental Regulations, Permits & Approvals
    Independent Contractors & Businesses Association course Environmental Regulations, Permits and Approvals will teach you the ins and outs of the environmental regulations that apply to your work, how to apply for permits and approvals, the timelines required, and when you need to get a professional involved. It will be held in Burnaby on October 23rd. (PDF)

    Online Sustainable Residential Design Certificate Courses
    Sustainable Design Institute at the Boston Architectural College offers online courses on sustainable building. The Sustainable Residential Design Certificate is designed for students interested in single family and small scale multifamily residential design.

    Effective Training For Small Energy Retrofit Businesses
    Home Energy Magazine provides a guide to home energy upgrade training and coaching, outlining a simple framework for creating a cost-effective training solution.

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    13. Costs & Savings

    Resources On Efficiency & Property Value
    Building Rating provides links to research studies that have proven that many commercial tenants, investors and homebuyers are indeed paying a premium to lease or buy energy-efficient properties, and that owners of efficient commercial buildings are experiencing higher occupancy rates and faster lease-up periods, increasing their operating income.

    Can Simple Payback Justify Building Energy Improvements?
    Automated Buildings article says simple payback may provide some insight into a short-term project’s viability, but when used to analyze a long-term project it will most likely lead to overlooked opportunity which would have resulted in reduced utility costs and an attractive return on investment.

    Appraising The Value Of Home Performance
    Building Performance podcast Appraising The Value Of Home Performance discusses the root of the problem of appraising home performance, energy efficiency, and green features in a home.

    14. Incentives, Financing & Programs

    BC Contractor Orientation Sessions For FortisBC Home Loan Pilot Program
    BC Ministry of Energy and Mines says contractors wishing to give their customers the option to participate in the FortisBC Home Loan Program must attend at one of these orientation sessions. (PDF)

    New Energy Management Program For BC Building Owners & Managers
    Building Owners & Managers Association of BC is assisting its members with energy efficiency initiatives through their new BOMA Energy Management Program (EMP). The program will provide support for BOMA member's energy conservation and sustainability initiatives through education, awareness and direct assistance.

    Limits Of Financing For Energy Efficiency
    Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory report The Limits of Financing for Energy Efficiency says financing is an appealing concept but that does not mean financing is always the solution, and it is certainly not the only solution. Financing can, in some cases, increase the leverage of public dollars but it is not able to drive demand to the same degree as direct incentives like rebates and so cannot be expected to replace other incentives in the current marketplace. Subsidized financing for those who already have access to capital may be a poor use of public funds, and increasing access for those who are currently underserved will likely require ongoing subsidy. Financing is one of many important tools for scaling efficiency and should be employed thoughtfully. (PDF)

    Learning From Seattle's Troubled Deep Green Building Program
    Grist describes challenges that arose after Seattle set out to to create the next generation of cutting-edge green buildings and inspire other forward-thinking cities to follow suit. Three years later, only one of these space-age structures is under construction, with just two more in the planning stages.

    Recognizing Benefits Of Energy Efficiency In Multifamily Underwriting
    Deutsche Bank report Recognizing the Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Underwriting quantifies benefits of energy efficiency retrofits in multifamily housing. It provides empirical data on energy consumption before and after building retrofits, filling the void where the absence of evidence has stifled demand among owners and kept lenders from creating loan products to finance the cost of building improvements. In addition to illustrating how building retrofits can save energy, the study provides a framework for incorporating energy savings into lenders’ underwriting standards. (PDF)

    Dittie For Today: On Life

    Life is a quarry, out of which we are to mold and chisel and complete a character. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada