Alert Notice #87
Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
October 2, 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

Deep Energy Retrofit Builder Guide
Building Science online Deep Energy Retrofit Builder Guide provides useful examples of high performance retrofit techniques for the building enclosure of wood frame residential construction in a cold and somewhat wet climate. The examples demonstrate effective management of liquid water (rain and ground water), airflow, water vapor flow and heat flow. Retrofit ventilation approaches are reviewed because mechanical ventilation is taken to be a necessary component in high performance buildings. This guide does not address mechanical heating, cooling or water heating systems beyond outlining basic combustion safety measures. (PDF)

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

Transitioning To High-Performance Homes: Successes & Lessons Learned From Builders
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory report Transitioning to High-Performance Homes: Successes and Lessons Learned from Seven Builders says as these builders have demonstrated, affordable, high-performance homes are possible, but require attention to detail and flexibility in design to accommodate specific regional geographic or market-driven constraints that can increase cost. (PDF)

What We Can Learn From World’s Greenest Buildings
Building Design & Construction offers five valuable lessons for designers, contractors, and building owners, based on a study of 55 high-performance projects from around the world.

Are We Investing Energy Efficiency Dollars In Wrong Buildings?
Energy Efficiency Markets says it’s not easy deciding what buildings merit our energy efficiency dollars. In fact, the obvious choices may be the wrong choices. The Building Energy Efficiency Opportunity Report offers some counter-intuitive advice on how to find the buildings that offer the most potential for energy savings.

Fraunhofer Demonstrates Energy-Efficiency For Existing Buildings
Plumbing and Mechanical magazine describes how Fraunhofer CSE demonstrates how energy-efficient heating and cooling technologies can be adapted for existing buildings.

Policies For Building A Winning Green Building Strategy
Light House Sustainable Building Centre report Building A Winning Green Building Strategy: Successful Policies for Government, Industry and the Environment presents select findings, including examples of policy successes and lessons learned, from a review of more than 200 green building related policies from across Canada, Mexico and the United States. (PDF)

Can Growth And Low Carbon Co-Exist?
EarthTechling says a new study suggests that economic growth and carbon cuts may not be mutually exclusive, offering a chance to keep energy supplies flowing without adding to global warming.

Achieving Energy Efficiency Scale In US
Institute for Market Transformation report Achieving scale in the US: A view from the construction and real estate sectors, investigates challenges and opportunities for scaling up efficiency. It focuses on how companies approach energy efficiency investments, the challenges and opportunities they face, and the role played by innovative financing in scaling up energy efficiency initiatives. (PDF)

2. Business Management

Managing Green Liability Risk Not So Different From Normal Risk Mitigation
Building Design & Construction says liability claims by clients against companies that design, engineer or construct green buildings do not differ all that much from claims involving conventional buildings.

You Can Guarantee Energy Savings
Mike Rogers describes how you can guarantee energy savings.

Recognizing Opportunities With Clients
Green Dream podcast with Gord Cooke of Construction Instruction discusses his beginnings as a home performance expert, and ways to win homeowners and contractors to your side.

Multifamily Building Retrofits Generate $1m Annual Savings
Environmental Leader says multifamily housing real estate firm Peabody Properties has reduced energy use by 5 million kilowatt hours, saving the real estate firm $1 million in electricity costs annually through a building retrofit program led by web-based utility analytics company WegoWise. The company now plans to expand its program with WegoWise to water retrofit projects.

Application Of Construction Quality Process To Existing Home Retrofits
US DOE report Application of a Construction Quality Process to Existing Home Retrofits follows the evolution of the construction quality process from its development for new homes, to its application in the construction of a high performance home with enhanced specifications, and its application in a crawlspace renovation.

Strong Project Management & Commissioning Keys To Green Building Value
Building Design & Construction says an investment company report Creating a Better World, The Case For Green Buildings shows that building green is competitive with conventional techniques and materials, but it takes solid project management to make sure everything follows the plan.

Blueprint To Make Energy Efficiency Improvements Visible In Real Estate Market
CNT Energy and National Home Performance Council report Unlocking the Value of an Energy Efficient Home: A Blueprint to Make Energy Efficiency Improvements Visible in the Real Estate Market, states that greater transparency around energy efficiency in a real estate transaction will encourage more homeowners to invest in these improvements. The paper offers a way to document energy efficiency improvements so appraisers, realtors, buyers and sellers can properly reflect the value of such upgrades. (PDF)

3. Building Design & Trends

Sustainable Design Objectives
Whole Building Design Guide describes the main objectives of sustainable design as those to reduce, or completely avoid, depletion of critical resources like energy, water, and raw materials; prevent environmental degradation caused by facilities and infrastructure throughout their life cycle; and create built environments that are livable, comfortable, safe, and productive.

Archetype Condominium For Energy Efficiency
Sustainable Buildings Canada report Archetype Condominium identifies ways that a condominium building might exceed the energy requirements in the Ontario Building Code (i.e. reduce energy use) by 25% or more. (PDF)

Building The More Energy Efficient Suburb
Earth Techling describes how Rick Harrison’s plans take into account topography and wetlands while offering far fewer streets, less impervious surfaces and generally more parkland than traditional suburbs. The blueprints have no straight-line streets.

Designing Communities That Respond to Climate Change
Perkins+Will design director Brian Healy describes Floatyard: an innovative design concept that would provide multi-family housing in floating complexes situated on the banks of Boston Harbor. Floatyard was conceived as a response to the changing tides resulting from global warming.

BC Carbon Calculator For Harvested Wood Products
BC Ministry of Forests free Carbon Calculator For Harvested Wood Products is a spreadsheet tool that can be used by resource professionals, architects, designers, and people interested in carbon offset projects to determine carbon emissions generated from harvested wood products. Note that the links to this tool and its guide are part way down the page in the In-house Science, Research and Reporting section, first item.

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

CSA Updates Climate Design Data For Windows
Fenestration Association of BC says CSA has provided a new Table A1 for CSA A440S1-09. It has revised Climate Design Data used to compute Performance Grade and Water Test Pressure.

Vancouver Staff Report On New 2014 Building By-Law
City of Vancouver's staff report recommends adoption of the 2014 Vancouver Building By Law. It recommends changes to the Administrative process (including clarification of the use of Registered/Certified Professionals), and energy and water efficiency (including adoption of ASHRAE 90.1-2010 for Part 3 buildings. (PDF)

CSA Public Review Of Standard For Heat Loss & Gain Calculations
CSA public review period is open for amendments to Standard F280-12, Determining the required capacity of residential space heating and cooling appliances. This Standard provides a calculation method for determining the heat loss and heat gain of buildings for the purpose of selecting the appropriate output capacity of a space heating appliance or group of appliances and the output capacity of a cooling appliance or group of appliances.

Green Movement Is Water Conservation Killer
PM Engineer says one of the unintended consequences of all the green codes and green ratings is the reduction in water conservation potential.

UL & ULC Updating Standards For Insulation Products
ULC Standards is beginning the process of updating some insulation standards including CAN/ULC-S770, Standard Test Method for Determination of Long-Term Thermal Resistance of Closed-Cell Thermal Insulating Foams, CAN/ULC-S706, Standard for Wood Fibre Insulating Boards for Buildings, and CAN/ULC-S703, Standard for Cellulose Fibre Insulation (CFI) for Buildings.

The Next Version Of LEED
Construction Business says the newest version of the LEED rating system is set to push the envelope in transforming the market to achieve improved environmental outcomes.

Standard Requirements For Certificate Of Completion For Residential Energy Upgrades
Building Performance Institute standard BPI-2101-S-2013: Standard Requirements for a Certificate of Completion for Residential Energy Efficiency Upgrades was created for the real estate sales process. It is designed to promote accurate valuation of energy efficiency by standardizing the way energy efficiency improvements are represented. It identifies a standard set of data elements for certificates that document the completion of a whole-house energy upgrade or individual energy conservation measures in existing homes. (PDF)

Energy Efficiency Achievable From Improved Compliance With US Energy Codes
Institute for Market Transformation report Assessment of Energy Efficiency Achievable from Improved Compliance with US Building Energy Codes describes the magnitude of the energy code-compliance problems that present a significant opportunity for policymakers and energy efficiency program administrators to save homeowners and businesses billions of dollars in energy costs simply by improving enforcement of existing building energy codes. (PDF)

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5. Building Science & Technology

Moisture Durability With Vapor Permeable Insulating Sheathing
Building Science says uncertainty exists on the effects of inward driven moisture and the interaction of increased sheathing temperatures on the moisture durability of the edifice when using exterior sheathing insulation.

Drain Water Heat Recovery Systems
EcoBuilding Pulse describes how drain water heat recovery systems recover energy that would typically be washed away.

All About Wood Stoves
Green Building Advisor describes how and when it might make sense to heat your home with wood, even though firewood is the least convenient of all common fuels.

Infographic On Home Energy Audits
US Department of Energy online Energy Saver 101 infographic describes features, benefits and procedures of home energy audits.

Manometer Mechanics For Home Performance Professionals
Online video describes the basics behind every dual channel digital manometer, and why the blower door test is wired the way it is.

6. Building Performance Issues

Installing Spray Foam In Cold Climates
Green Building Advisor blog article says before spraying can begin, an insulation contractor must verify that the substrate is warm and dry. If spray foam is installed on a cold, damp surface, the foam won't adhere properly.

Causes & Fixes For Backdrafting Appliances
Home Energy Magazine describes why you need to know that when you replace 70%- or 80%-efficient furnaces with 90%-efficient furnaces and leave standard atmospheric draft water heaters orphaned, old atmospheric water heaters may backdraft, creating CO problems for the occupants.

Can House With Plastic Components Be Considered Green?
Green Building Advisor article says when it comes to an environmental analysis, the bottom line on vinyl is uncertain.

Pilot Light Modeling & Predicted Annual Performance of Residential Gas Water Heaters
US Department of Energy paper Impact of Pilot Light Modeling on the Predicted Annual Performance of Residential Gas Water Heaters describes evaluation of pilot light energy use on the annual energy consumption of gas storage water heaters.

Results Of Backyard Air-Sealing Tape Test
Green Building Advisor article describes results of 11 air-sealing tapes tested by attaching samples to six different substrates mounted on the exterior wall, and exposed to sunlight and wind-driven rain for 10 months.

Small Network Equipment Energy Consumption In US Homes
Natural Resources Defense Council report Small Network Equipment Energy Consumption In US Homes describes energy use of residential small-network equipment and how much can be saved with more-efficient designs. (PDF)

7. Products & Suppliers

Red Lists-The Opposite Of Green?
Building Science conversation between Joe Lstiburek, John Straube, Achilles Karagiozis, Theresa Weston, Mac Sheldon and Gary Parsons discusses whether or not the criteria for excluding building materials actually benefit the environment as they claim to do.

Smart Glass Technology Could Revolutionize Green Design
American Society of Civil Engineers describes how development and increasing availability of smart glass technology could bring significant changes to the design of structures and transportation.

6 Emerging Energy-Management Glazing Technologies
Building Design & Construction says phase-change materials, electrochromic glass, and building-integrated PVs are among the breakthrough glazing technologies that are taking energy performance to a new level.

Green Concrete Floors
Concrete Network describes the top reasons to go green with concrete floors including design versatility, energy efficiency, easier breathing, economy, and durability and resource conservation.

Electric Vs. Solar DHW System
Green Building Advisor discusses considerations for choosing between an electric-resistance water heater and a solar thermal system.

Laboratory Testing Of Advanced Power Strips
US Department of Energy report Results of Laboratory Testing of Advanced Power Strips summarizes laboratory tests of 20 currently available advanced power strip products. (PDF)

Residential Roof Retrofit Using Metal Roofing Panels, Photovoltaics, PCM Heat Sink
Oak Ridge National Laboratory report Sustainable Retrofit of Residential Roofs Using Metal Roofing Panels, Thin-Film Photovoltaic Laminates, and PCM Heat Sink Technology summarizes evaluation of a sustainable re-roofing technology utilizing amorphous silicone PV laminates integrated with metal roof and PCM heat sink. Results show that this reroofing approach can be a very effective way of repairing of the existing roofs without generating solid waste, improve overall performance of existing roofs, and generate inexpensive solar electricity. (PDF)

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8. Installation & Procedures

Application Of Spray Foam Insulation Under Plywood & OSB Roof Sheathing
Building Science report Application of Spray Foam Insulation Under Plywood and OSB Roof Sheathing summarizes hygrothermal modeling of a range of rainwater leakage and field evaluations of in-service residential roofs using spray foam insulation.

Saving Trees During Construction
Journal of Light Construction describes how you can avoid sacrificing trees during construction.

Air Sealing An Attic
Green Building Advisor describes the four basic steps to sealing attic air leaks: inspecting your attic; patching the big holes; sealing the cracks and small holes; weatherstripping the access hatch.

5 Penetrations With Most Bang For Your Air-Sealing Buck
Builder magazine says based on studies in a research lab and a test house, the top five areas in a home that will provide the biggest return on air-sealing investment are: recessed lights; duct boot; top plate to drywall at attic; garage wall; band joists.

Air Sealing Heritage Windows
Home Builder magazine describes how, with clean up and $80 of weatherstripping and air sealing, a heritage window is surpassing the CSA air tightness standards for new vinyl windows in actual blower door testing.

Construction Details For Sealing Thermal Bypasses
Green Building Advisor provides online construction details for methods of sealing thermal bypasses including air & thermal barrier alignment, walls adjoining exterior or unconditioned spaces, floors between conditioned and exterior spaces, shafts, attic/ceiling interface, and common walls between dwelling units. Free site registration required.

Predicting Envelope Leakage in Attached Dwellings
US Department of Energy report Predicting Envelope Leakage in Attached Dwellings summarizes research to investigate an approach for developing a viable simplified algorithm that can be used by contractors to assess energy efficiency program qualification and/or compliance based upon solo blower door test results.

Energy Savings From System Efficiency Improvements
US Department of Energy report Energy Savings From System Efficiency Improvements in Iowa's HVAC SAVE Program support the author's belief that residential heating and cooling equipment should be tested and improved as a system rather than a collection of individual components. (PDF)

9. Fuels, Energy & Transportation

Track & Understand Your Business Electricity Use
BC Hydro online MyHydro energy tracking tools for residential and business accounts allows you to track detailed electricity use. Identify high points, put Power Smart tips into action and track how your electricity use changes over time.

Solar Stats That Strike Fear Into Utilities' Hearts
Utility Dive says the future looks bright for solar and these numbers and graphs show why.

Net Energy Metering Guiding Principles For Solar
US Solar Energy Industries Association document Net Energy Metering Guiding Principles is its official stance in the battle with utilities over distributed solar generation.

Resource Site On Canadian Energy Sources & Use
Energy Information Canada uses data from Statistics Canada to serve as an authoritative source for information on energy production, proven reserves, exports, energy consumption by sector, and key provincial and territorial facts.

Electric Vehicles Available In Canada
Canadian Automobile Association provides a list of the electric vehicles available to purchase in Canada, by postal code.

EV Trip Planner Showing EV Charging Stations Across Canada
Figure out your route with this route planner, it shows you where all of the EV charging stations in Canada installed by Sun Country Highway

Planning Toolkit For EV Charging Infrastructure
Community Energy Association of BC online guide Planning for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure: A Toolkit highlights lessons learned from local government EV planning processes under BC’s Clean Energy Vehicle program. (PDF)

Key Utility Learnings About Electric Vehicles, Customers, Grid Reliability
Southern California Edison studied 12,000 early EV adopters and released a report, Charged Up: Southern California Edison’s Key Learnings about Electric Vehicles, Customers and Grid Reliability, detailing best practices it has developed on the road towards EV grid integration. (PDF)

10. Information Sources

Green Housing Information & Resources
CMHC provides information to help you understand green building and renovating practices, ways to save both energy and water and how to make your home a healthier place for your family.

Database Of Canadian LEED Projects
Canada Green Building Council online LEED Project Profiles database showcases the 4000+ LEED projects currently registered and certified in Canada, including project case studies and high resolution photos, as well as a team list and summary of each certified project and its features.

Green Building Books For Construction Industry
Contractor City sells industry books on green building trends, green building and retrofitting, new technologies, and more.

Purchasable Book On Guidelines For High-Performance Homes
US National Institute of Building Sciences sells Beyond Green: Guidelines for High-Performance Homes, Meeting the Demand for Low-Energy, Resource-Efficient Homes for $38 USD. It covers: Green Principles; Codes and Standards; Community and Site Planning; Renewable Energy; The Building Enclosure; Energy-Efficient Equipment and Systems; Efficient Water Use; Indoor Environmental Quality; Materials; Hazard Resistance; Operation and Maintenance; and Special Considerations for Retrofits. It contains a dozen case studies and more than 40 figures.

SLASH-D Software For Solar Heating Design
Plumbing & Hydronic Contractor describes features and benefits of using SLASH-D software for solar heating design.

Resources For Green Sports
EPA has announced a new Online Green Sports Resource Directory which can help teams, venues, and leagues save money and reduce carbon pollution through increased energy efficiency. The new directory also contains information that can help teams reduce waste and gain recognition for their programs that reduce the environmental impact of their events.

11. Conferences & Shows

New Materials & Sustainable Building Practices Conference
CONVERGE 2013, held in Vancouver on October 15-16, is a meeting of the Canadian materials industries and construction industry leaders to discuss the impacts of materials, new technologies and product choices on sustainable building practices.

US National Summit On Energy Efficiency & Smart Grid
US National Home Performance Council along with National Association of State Energy Officials and Association for Demand Response and Smart Grid will be hosting the first National Summit on Integrating Energy Efficiency and Smart Grid. The event will take place on October 15-16, 2013 in Washington, DC.

US Solar Industry Conference
Solar Power International, in Chicago, October 21-24, is the annual US solar industry conference and trade show.

2013 BC Waste Management Conference
Coast Waste Management Association annual conference, held October 23-25 in Victoria, will bring together waste and recycling professionals to explore leading edge topics that affect their sector today.

Generate 2013 BC Conference On Clean Energy
Clean Energy BC is holding its 11th Annual Fall Conference in Vancouver on October 27-29. Generate 2013: Where Partnerships Meet Innovation brings together all stakeholders involved in the Clean Energy industry in BC.

2013 Canadian Solar Industry Conference
Canadian Solar Industries Association presents its annual conference and trade show in Toronto on December 9-10, aimed at all sectors of the solar and building industry.

12. Education & Training

Professional Builders Institute of BC AGM & Management Forum
Professional Builders Institute of BC is holding their Annual General Meeting and Management Forum on October 9th from 3-8 pm at the Hyatt Regency, Vancouver. Special Guest Speaker is Mayor Richard Stewart of Coquitlam.

BC Affordable Market Housing Pilot Webinar Series
UDI says a group of provincial and industry housing stakeholders is joining forces to pilot a three-part webinar series focused on affordable market housing.

Webinar On Top Government Policies For Supporting Sustainable Buildings
Light House free webinar Top Government Policies for Supporting Sustainable Buildings on October 10th will introduce you to a range of successful policies that have been used by governments to improve the performance of buildings in their communities.

NFRC CMA Program Overview With Ray McGowan
Fenestration BC session in Burnaby on October 22nd features Ray McGowan, Senior Program Manager from NFRC providing a presentation to educate attendees about the NFRC CMA (Component Modeling Approach) program followed by a question and answer period. Ray will discuss the NFRC Commercial Fenestration Rating System, how commercial manufacturers can participate, and how the energy ratings are used for code compliance.

Sustainability Breakfast On Building Energy Benchmarking
Light House presents Building Energy Benchmarking at its next Sustainability Breakfast on October 23rd. Some municipalities like New York and Chicago are now requiring energy benchmarking for large buildings, and this panel discussion will discuss what this means for buildings in the Vancouver region.

Webinar On Ultra High Efficient Solar Ready Homes
Net-Zero Energy Home Coalition webinar Ultra High Efficient Solar Ready Homes on October 24th discusses how Decker Homes, an award-wining Midwestern US custom builder, positioned the company to maximize market share by building at three energy levels: Energy Star, Solar Ready and net zero homes.

Making Resource Recovery From Wastewater Happen In BC
BC Water & Waste Association presents Waste Not, Watt More! Making Resource Recovery from Wastewater Happen in BC, in Vancouver on October 30th. Speakers from across BC and abroad will gather to present research findings, policy information and applied examples of how to best produce and manage energy from wastewater and other water sources.

Alternative Energy; Current Status & Future Possibilities
Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC seminar Alternative Energy, Current Status and Future Possibilities, held in Burnaby on November 6th, covers the need for alternative energy and technologies, energy potential of these sources with their effects on CO2 emission reduction, path and challenges from existing energy technology status and sectors to the future, and potential opportunities for engineering work.

Webinar On Unlocking Value Of Energy Efficient Home: 7 Steps For Energy Efficiency Programs
National Home Performance Council and Appraisal Institute are hosting a webinar on October 2 at 11 a.m. CDT to discuss the seven steps the energy efficiency industry must take to unlock the value of efficiency in the real estate market.

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13. Costs & Savings

Tracking The Sun & Cost Of US Photovoltaics 1998-2012
Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories report Tracking The Sun provides a summary of installed cost of US photovoltaics in the US from 1998-2012. (PDF)

US National Building Competition For Energy Savings
US Environmental Protection Agency has launched the 2013 Energy Star National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings. Teams from more than 3,000 buildings across the country are competing to see who can most reduce their buildings' energy use.

14. Incentives, Financing & Programs

Ontario Local Improvement Charge Financing Pilot Program For Residential Buildings
Clean Air Partnership report Local Improvement Charge (LIC): Financing Pilot Program for Residential Buildings in Ontario outlines an LIC financing pilot program design for small residential properties, as well as a study into the potential for using this financing mechanism for larger multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs). It is intended for Ontario municipalities seeking to implement internally administered LIC financing programs for energy and water saving improvements. (PDF)

Most New Residential PV Projects In California Not Owned By Homeowners
US Energy Information Administration says one of the biggest developments in the US residential solar photovoltaic market over the past few years has been the significant growth of residential solar PV systems not owned by homeowners. These are often referred to as third-party-owned systems.

The Incentive Roller Coaster
OmStout Consulting says if you want to confuse the home efficiency market, overheat demand and then freeze buying, and also undermine the contractors trying to deliver the very efficiency improvements you want to see.

Which Incentives Promote Whole-House Energy Savings?
OmStout Consulting blog post says that to succeed, programs have to think through the consequences, both intended and unintended, of particular incentive approaches and balance the costs against the desired outcomes.

Dittie For Today: On Character

No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true. - Nathaniel Hawthorne

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ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada


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