Alert Notice #84
Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
August 9, 2013


1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends
2. Business Management
3. Building Design & Trends
4. Codes Standards & Regulations
5. Building Science & Technology
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

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Ken's Top Pick

High R-Value Wall Assemblies
Building Science online research summaries on high R-value walls describe features, benefits, issues and considerations for various walls including standard, advanced frame, interior strapping, double stud, truss, SIPs, ICF, spray foam, flash-and-fill hybrid, offset frame, and Exterior Insulation Finish Systems (EIFS).

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

BC HVACR Industry Recycling Update
Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating gives descriptions of a number of issues that have arisen over the last few months in regards to compliance for designated HVACR and plumbing products under the BC Regulation 449/2004 primarily due to the introduction of a new plan by the major appliance sector that includes environmental fees that may affect some of the stewards in the HVACR and plumbing sector. (PDF)

Report To Parliament Under The Energy Efficiency Act 2011-2012
NRCan provided parliament with this report Improving Energy Performance in Canada under the Energy Efficiency Act, for the fiscal year 2011-2012. It describes what NRCan has done in 2011-2012 to help improve Canada's energy efficiency and use of renewable energy. (PDF)

What’s Wrong With Home-Energy Audit Industry?
Mike Rogers says many existing home energy auditors are struggling, and provides his observations about why, and what many in the industry are missing.

Green Buildings Lacking Performance Measurements & Data
Real Estate News Exchange says the main problem realtor brokers and agents face in trying to convince clients to move into the next generation of green buildings is a lack of data and a comprehensive rating system that can justify the building’s extra costs.

Podcast On Seeking Common Ground on Canada’s Energy Future
Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions online podcast of Seeking Common Ground on Canada’s Energy Future discusses how to find common ground on how Canada can fulfill its future energy needs while meeting its legislated obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Achieving Scale With Energy Efficiency
Institute for Market Transformation report Achieving Scale With Energy Efficiency describes opportunities and challenges to wider adoption of energy efficiency. (PDF)

How To Approach Conservatives About Climate Change
Vancouver Observer says Preston Manning, former leader of the Reform Party of Canada, thinks carbon emissions are an externalized cost that should be included in the price of fossil fuel products.

Getting Facts Straight About Weather Related Disasters
Globe Net says it is misleading, and just plain incorrect, to claim that disasters associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or droughts have increased on climate timescales either in the US or globally. The inability to detect and attribute such changes does not mean that human-caused climate change is not real or of concern, but it does mean that some activists, politicians, journalists, corporate and government agency representatives and even scientists who should know better have made claims that are unsupportable based on evidence and research.

2. Business Management

If Only Green Homes Could Be Sold Like Breakfast Cereal
Green Building Advisor says consumers care more about the technical specifications of their shredded wheat than their homes.

Challenges Of Green Manufacturing
Eco Building Pulse asked sustainability representatives from eight companies about the opportunities and challenges they face in moving the manufacturing industry forward on the path to a more sustainable future.

Online Videos On The Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency Business
IE3 TV offers online videos on the business side of indoor environment and energy efficiency.

New App Helps Smaller Companies Rank Sustainability
CK Ranker lets you rank your company sustainability against a screened universe of over 4,000 companies across 24 industry groups.

Benefits Of Benchmarking: Saving Energy and Money
Institute for Market Transformation infographic explains benefits of benchmarking your building.

Is Green Remodeling Catching On With Homeowners?
Remodeling Magazine says the industry needs to understand green Remodeling and start selling it as the right way to do things, not unlike the evolution of design/build in the industry a generation ago.

Two Emerging Business Models For Residential Deep Energy Retrofits
US Department of Energy report The Next Step Toward Widespread Residential Deep Energy Retrofits profiles two emerging business models that seek to resolve many of the challenges, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats common to conventional business models.

Adaptation Services Is A Brand New Industry Thanks To Climate Change
Sustainable Business says adapting to a changing climate and mitigating the risks is already big business and it will only get bigger.

3. Building Design & Trends

Affordable Net-Zero Energy Kit Homes Hit US Market
Builder Magazine describes ultra-efficient SmartHomze panellized kits that will offer owners low or no energy bills.

Meet The Tightest House In The World
Green Building Advisor describes an Alaskan home, a 600-sq. ft. building with three windows and 28-in. thick walls, that set a world mark with a blower-door test result far below the Passivhaus standard.

Top 10 US Cities With The Greenest Homes
Fierce Energy lists Redfin's ranking of the top 10 US cities with the greenest homes. The analysis looked at each city's overall carbon dioxide emissions, as well as the number of homes currently for sale that have green features or eco-friendly ratings.

Awards For Sustainable Construction
The International Holcim Awards seeks leading projects from industry professionals and spirited ideas from the "Next Generation" that contribute to sustainability within architecture, building, civil engineering, landscape and urban design, as well as construction materials and technologies.

US Buildings Performance Database
US Department of Energy provides an online Buildings Performance Database enabling users to perform statistical analysis on an anonymous dataset of tens of thousands of commercial and residential buildings from across the country. Users can compare performance trends among similar buildings to identify and prioritize cost-saving energy efficiency improvements and assess the range of likely savings from these improvements.

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Sustainability Guidelines For APEGBC Members
Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC new Sustainability Guidelines provide a framework, founded on the principle of holding paramount the public’s interest, which will guide APEGBC members in their professional practice. The primary obligation of the guidelines is that members must discuss with their clients or employers the opportunity to incorporate sustainability into the project or work. (PDF)

Interview With Dr Joseph Lstiburek On Ventilation Standards
Green Building Advisor interview with Dr. Joe Lstiburek explains Building Science Corporation new ventilation standard, why tracer gas is a better measure of infiltration than blower doors, and his plans for a ventilation standard for existing homes.

Development of Energy Efficiency Standardization Roadmap
American National Standards Institute is moving to develop a standardization roadmap advancing energy efficiency in the built environment. The roadmap will identify current and forthcoming standards, codes, and conformance programs, pinpoint potential gaps, and articulate what additional standardization activities may be needed to advance energy efficiency relative to the built environment.

New LEED v4 Rating System
US Green Building Council LEED v4 is the newest update to the LEED rating systems. Changes from LEED 2009 are seen in three main categories: new market sectors, increased technical rigor and streamlined services. LEED v4 raises the bar on leadership.

Sustainability Standard For Household Clothes Washers
Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), CSA Group, and UL (Underwriters Laboratories) today announced the release of AHAM 7003-2013/CSA SPE-7003-13/UL 7003, Sustainability Standard for Household Clothes Washers, the first voluntary sustainability standard for home laundry appliances.

CSA & ICC To Develop North American Standard For Rainwater Collection Systems
International Code Council and CSA Group have announced the joint development of a new CSA/ICC 805 Rainwater Collection System Design and Installation standard to help ensure the basic safety and performance of rainwater collection systems.

Non-Energy Benefits Of Energy Codes
Institute for Market Transformation report Non-Energy Benefits Of Energy Codes describes other significant benefits, besides energy cost savings, that come with the purchase of a home built in compliance with current building energy codes. (PDF)

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5. Building Science & Technology

Inside Or Out? Thermal Bridging & Insulation Location
Joe Lstiburek leads a discussion with John Straube and industry experts Achilles Karagiozis, Mac Sheldon and Gary Parsons, on whether or not all insulation should be on the outside.

Finding The Insulation Sweet Spot
Green Building Advisor discusses what the right amount of insulation is to put in a house.

High R-Value Roofs
Building Science research report High-R Roofs Case Study Analysis summarizes research to find optimally designed, cost effective roof insulation systems that can be included with other enclosure details to help reduce whole house energy use by 70%. It gives a comparison of a variety of roof insulating strategies and presents their advantages and disadvantages according to several comparison criteria. (PDF)

Should I Insulate My Garage Door?
Green Building Advisor describes why you should probably not insulate your garage door.

11 Building Science Secrets For Home Builders & Remodelers
Energy Vanguard provides 11 building science tips for builders and remodelers that may not be getting the message, since plenty of houses are being built with problems that shouldn't be that hard or expensive to fix, and some of the fixes even save money.

Overview Of Smart Vapor Retarders
Building Green describes new smart vapor retarders that block most vapor diffusion when you want to eliminate risk of condensation, but allow vapor flow when you want drying potential.

The Masonry Retrofit Project
Building Science special project The Masonry Retrofit goal is for all masonry buildings considering thermal insulation upgrades to have access to accurate risk assessments at a reasonable cost.

Defining Home Performance
Remodeling magazine says the core of home performance is understanding that the home is a system where everything is interdependent.

6. Building Performance Issues

A Real-World Test For Energy Efficiency
Fine Homebuilding gives description on how a Michigan builder and Dow Building Solutions are collaborating on a 5-year study aimed at proving that energy upgrades make for more-comfortable and more-durable houses.

Recommended Approaches To Humidity Control In High Performance Homes
US Department of Energy report on their expert meeting on Recommended Approaches to Humidity Control in High Performance Homes summarizes discussions on residential humidity control to address modeling issues for dehumidification.

Fireplaces & Stoves With Proper Ventilation
Building America online solution center describes how to ensure fireplaces & stoves have proper ventilation including scope, description, ensuring success, climate, training, CAD, compliance, and more info.

Dishwashers & Energy Efficiency
Green Building Advisor says compared to hand washing, an automatic dishwasher saves energy, but discusses whether paper plates and cups save even more.

Radon Venting, Do It During Construction Or Add A Zero
Energy Vanguard describes an easy way to install radon venting, by roughing in sub-slab or crawl space ventilation pipes during construction and once the house is framed extend the vent up through the roof.

PV Durability Initiative
Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems have initiated the Photovoltaic Module Durability Initiative in order to address the challenge that there is no commonly accepted testing standard existing which predicts module performance over its expected lifetime.

Thermal Performance Of Uninsulated Wall To Improve Accuracy Of Energy Simulation
US National Renewable Energy Laboratory report Thermal Performance of Uninsulated Wall to Improve the Accuracy of Building Energy Simulation Tools describes research to develop models of uninsulated wall assemblies that help to improve the accuracy of building energy simulation tools when modeling potential energy savings in older homes. (PDF)

7. Products & Suppliers

Recall Of Lennox & Superior Gas Fireplaces
Health Canada says some models of Lennox and Superior gas fireplaces are being recalled due to defective fireplace gas connectors that can leak, posing a fire hazard.

Launch Of BC Sustainable Building Products Listings
EcoSpex is planning a BC online platform for verification, documentation, specification and knowledge of sustainable construction materials.

New Energy Efficient Appliances
Builder Magazine says when it comes to kitchen and laundry appliances, consumers are getting more for their money: more energy savings, more features, and better performance.

Choosing & Using Appliances With EnerGuide
NRCan provides information on Energuide ratings and energy efficient selection of a wide range of appliances. (PDF)

Innovations In Carpet Tiles
Eco Building provides description of how innovations in eco-friendly carpet tiles expand to the recycling of individual components.

Canadian Electronic Recycling Association
Electronic Recycling Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing electronic waste through the reuse and recycling of unwanted computers. They collect all kinds of IT and electronic equipment (computers, laptops, printers, telephones, wires, switches etc.), then refurbish it and donate to various charities and non-profit organizations.

Green Certified Products For NAHB US National Green Building Standard
US National Association of Home Builders new Green Certified Products site features product photos and more detailed product specs, to further help connect architects, designers, and builders with products that have had points pre-approved for their National Green Building Standard practices.

Man Invents Machine To Convert Plastic Into Oil
This online video gives description of how a Japanese inventor has created a machine to convert plastic back into oil.

Sustainable Purchasing Council Helps Institutional Buyers To Buy Green Products
Sustainable Purchasing Council encourages institutional buyers to incorporate green products into their procurement policies.

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8. Installation & Procedures

Energy-Efficient Framing Detail For Intersecting Walls
Custom Home Magazine describes an energy-efficient framing detail for intersecting walls, where the end of the interior wall doesn't touch the exterior wall.

Zen And The Art Of Grading
Green Building Advisor describes why bulldozers are extremely handy when you need to change the grade of a site. Grading matters, and novice builders who ignore grading will eventually be forced to pay attention to the topic.

Installing Insulation To RESNET Grade 1 Standard
Building America online solution center gives description on how to install insulation to RESNET Grade 1 standard, including scope, description, ensuring success, climate, training, CAD, compliance, and more info.

Indoor Environmental Quality Affects On Productivity & Learning
Healthy Heating says it is becoming clearer to the architectural and engineering community that all design is human factor design, and as such indoor environmental quality will always trump energy and aesthetics concerns. It can be demonstrated that when IEQ becomes the focus of design energy efficiency will naturally follow.

Retrofitting Cape Cod Style & Masonry Homes
Building Science online slide show presentation describes issues, considerations and procedures for energy efficient retrofit of cape cod style and masonry homes. (PDF)

Weatherstripping Existing Windows
Journal of Light Construction describes how to retrofit weatherstripping on existing wood windows for sound and thermal insulation.

Combine Solar Collectors & Wood Gasification Boiler
HPAC magazine describes how to combine solar collectors and a wood gasification boiler.

Rocket Mass Heaters Are Superefficient Woodstoves
United University online manual Rocket Mass Heaters: Superefficient Woodstoves you Can Build, describes their features and benefits, and construction and operation procedures. (PDF)

9. Fuels, Energy & Transportation

BC Electrical Vehicle Training Certification Program
Electrical Contractors Association of BC has announced the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP) that will certify electricians for the installation of Electrical Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE). (PDF)

Report On Transportation In BC
Business Council of BC report Transportation, The Way We Move explores the context, statistics and some key issues around transportation in BC. (PDF)

Plug-In Electric Vehicle Readiness Scorecard
US Department of Energy new Plug-In Electric Vehicle Community Readiness Scorecard helps local and regional leaders assess readiness of their communities for arrival of plug-in electric vehicles. It is a detailed, interactive online assessment tool that collects information about a community’s PEV readiness, provides feedback on its progress, and offers guidance for improvement.

Power For Future: Electricity’s Role In Canadian Energy Strategy
Canadian Electricity Association policy paper Power for the Future: Electricity’s Role in a Canadian Energy Strategy, provides a series of recommendations to Canadian premiers as they make decisions about the future of Canada's integrated electricity system.

Reasons For Smart Meters And Why Utilities Need To Tell Customers
Utility Dive describes why poor communication is holding back true smart grid progress, and what utilities should be doing to explain the real reasons to customers.

Waste To Energy Information & Resources
Metro Vancouver provides information on how waste to energy works, and ongoing Waste to Energy development process including opportunities for your input.

Amory Lovins' 3 Major Energy Trends To Watch
Green Biz provides description of Amory Lovins' three major energy trends to watch including efficiency is accelerating, renewables are making headway but more progress needed, and distributed power is the future.

Introduction To Distributed Generation
Virginia `University provides an introduction to distributed generation, an approach that employs small-scale technologies to produce electricity close to the end users of power.

Community-Driven Biomass Energy Opportunities
Dovetail paper Community-Driven Biomass Energy Opportunities describes case studies of two communities in Minnesota interested in using timber harvest residues, sub-merchantable timber, and waste wood to heat homes, businesses, and government buildings, in either stand-alone or district energy systems.

10. Information Sources

Strategies To Achieve Net-Zero Energy Homes
NIST report Strategies to Achieve Net-Zero Energy Homes: A Framework for Future Guidelines identifies potential strategies to help designers, builders, building officers, realtors and homeowners work towards achieving net-zero energy homes. (PDF)

Hot Water Energy Savings
US Department of Energy infographic describes different types of water heaters on the market and will help you figure out how to select the best model for your home.

Technical Reports On Energy Efficient Retrofits
Building Science Corporation provides online articles and reports discussing a wide variety of materials, situations and techniques that may be encountered when undertaking an energy-efficient retrofit. As well, many case studies are provided to illustrate how to do retrofits right.

Energy Renovations-Insulation: Guide For Contractors To Share With Homeowners
US Department of Energy online Energy Renovations-Insulation: A Guide for Contractors to Share With Homeowners will help contractors and homeowners identify ways to make their homes more comfortable, more energy efficient, and healthier to live in. (PDF)

Energy Efficiency In Commercial & Institutional Buildings
NRCan provides information and resources on energy efficiency for commercial, institutional and federal buildings.

Find Green Buildings Near You
Green Building App free mobile app helps you find and learn about green buildings near you and around the world. View project images, read case studies and listen to audio tours. Search for buildings or companies, with results displayed on an interactive map.

Resource Site On Energy Codes
Institute for Market Transformation provides information and resources on energy codes.

Climate Change & City Hall
US Department of Housing & Urban Development provides links to climate change information, policies and resources for municipalities.

11. Conferences & Shows

ICCE 2013 International Conference & Exhibition On Clean Energy
ICCE 2013 International Conference & Exhibition on Clean Energy, held in Ottawa September 9-11, will gather researchers, scientists, engineers, practitioners, policy makers, from all over the world to present advances in the clean energy technologies.

Canadian Companies Invited To Green Trade Mission
Canadian Trade Commissioner Service is hosting a Trade Mission of Canadian Construction and Green Building companies with the objective of promoting Canadian made products to regional importers in Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama and Costa Rica and to participate in the first regional forum of Green Building Councils. The event will take place in Panama City from September 11-13.

Excellence In Building Conference & Expo
Energy and Environmental Building Association annual Excellence in Building Conference & Expo is being held in Phoenix September 24-26. Builders, remodelers, developers, architects, designers and manufacturers come to learn the science behind green and sustainable building practices, to understand new regulations and legislative measures, and to capitalize on increasing opportunities.

Passive House North 2013 Conference
Canadian Passive House Institute is hosting a North American conference dedicated to cost-effective strategies for reducing building energy in cool climates. Passive House North 2013: Affordable energy efficiency for a changing climate will be held September 27-28 in Vancouver.

Building Performance Forum For HVAC Contractors
Air Conditioning Contractors of America presents the second Building Performance Forum in Austin, Texas, October 1-2. It's purpose is to help contractors and the industry realize the full potential of building performance.

IAQ 2013 Conference On Environmental Health In Low-Energy Buildings
ASHRAE conference IAQ 2013, Environmental Health In Low-Energy Buildings will be held in Vancouver, October 15-18. It will review the state of knowledge on the balance between environmental health and energy efficiency in the pursuit of low energy buildings. It covers a broad range of topics including residential and commercial buildings, new construction and retrofit, active and passive approaches, design and operation.

Zero Waste Conference
Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Conference 2013, held October 16th, showcases efforts to work collaboratively at all levels to move from managing waste to eliminating it, and sets the stage for a broad public conversation and call to action with the launch of the National Zero Waste Council.

Electric Vehicle Conference & Trade Show
EV 2013 Conference & Tradeshow is being held in Gatineau, October 21-23. It's goal is to advance electrification of transport in Canada.

12. Education & Training

An Evening With Joe Lstiburek In Vancouver
BC Building Envelope Council presents an interactive evening session with Joe Lstiburek and leading professionals to discuss building science trends and concepts. Attendees will gather for a two-hour open dialogue on preselected topics, on September 25th, after the 2013 BCBEC Conference & AGM.

Sustainable, Artistic & Affordable Natural Home Building Course
This two-weekend course Sustainable, Artistic & Affordable Natural Home Building covers Insulating with Polystyrene Trays & Applying Solid Base Clay Coat, and Mixing & Sculpting with Finishing Clay Coats. (PDF)

Construction Business Management
Vancouver Regional Construction Association course on Construction Business Management will be held in Vancouver, August 22-23. Participants will learn how to improve the management and business systems of their construction company.

LEED For Contractors
ICBA half-day seminar, held in Burnaby on September 19th is aimed at introducing LEED to general and trade contractors. It provides a concise overview of the different aspects of a LEED project that contractors are primarily involved in. (PDF)

Annual Service Plan Report On BC Industry Training
BC Industry Training Authority online Annual Service Plan Report 2012/13 documents their performance against measures set out in the previous year’s Service Plan, and provides detailed information on their programs, activities and finances. (PDF)

BC Semi-Skilled Electrician Initiative Meets Fierce Opposition
Journal of Commerce says a broad cross section of the electrical industry in BC is urging the provincial government to scrap an initiative allowing semi-skilled workers to perform regulated electrical work.



  more _ _ _ e , less _ _ _ e _ _

the answer...        

13. Costs & Savings

Dehumidifiers & Energy Costs
Green Building Advisor describes why lowering your indoor relative humidity is usually a good idea, with the only downside being energy cost.

Bank Of America Tower & LEED Ratings Racket
New Republic describes how Bank of America, originally billed as New York's greenest skyscraper, is actually its biggest energy hog.

Do Not Hire Someone To Wash Your Dirty Solar Panels
Electrical Business Magazine says you definitely wouldn’t get your money back after hiring someone to wash your rooftop solar panels.

Actual Prices Lower Than Predicted For Higher Appliance Standards
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy report Appliance Standards: Comparing Predicted and Observed Prices, shows the US Department of Energy has overestimated the impact that energy-efficiency standards for appliances and other products have on their price tags. This study found that across nine appliance and equipment efficiency standards, DOE estimated an average increase in manufacturer’s selling price of $148, but on average the actual change in price was a decrease in manufacturer’s selling price of $12.

Sometimes It’s Cheaper to Install PV Than More Insulation
Green Building Advisor says before you decide to add more insulation to your attic, compare the cost of extra insulation with the cost of supplying necessary heating or cooling with solar electricity.

14. Incentives, Financing & Programs

Seattle Trying Innovative Financing Model For Building Efficiency
Xconomy describes how Seattle’s municipal utility and the people behind one of the world’s most-efficient commercial buildings are trying to reinvent the business model for financing so-called deep energy efficiency improvements, which could generate hundreds of billions of dollars of construction activity and energy savings, and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Accelerating The Commercial PACE
Chadbourne & Parke LLP says PACE (or property assessed clean energy) financing is still in its infancy, but could be a vast growth market. It is a form of financing for energy efficiency improvements to buildings.

Tenant Star Label Would Engage Tenants On Energy Savings & Rewards
CoStar Group describes a proposed program that would bridge the engagement gap between building owners and occupiers in sustainability efforts.

Dittie For Today: On Uniqueness

Originality is unexplored territory. You get there by carrying a canoe--you can't take a taxi. - Alan Alda

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ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada


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