Alert Notice #99
Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
June 17, 2014


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

Guides To BC Code Energy Efficiency Requirements
BC Homeowner Protection Office new illustrated guides have been developed to assist residential builders and industry stakeholders in understanding and complying with the new requirements in Section 9.36. of the 2012 British Columbia Building Code for housing and small buildings.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

More Single & Multifamily Builders & Remodelers Expect To Go Green
EcoBuilding says survey respondents in McGraw Hill's latest SmartMarket Report show growth in green building from 2006 and 2011, and project a continued upswing in widespread adoption.

Modular Builders Get In On The Green
TecHome Builder describes how in modular homes, construction waste is reduced drastically while energy efficiency can increase.

5 Ways To Boost Housing Affordability In Vancouver
UDI says there are many reasons why Vancouver’s housing market is expensive, and offers five ideas that could help boost the supply and bring down the prices.

5-Year Strategic Plan For BC Home Performance Industry
Globe Advisors developed the 5-Year Strategic plan for developing a sustainable BC home performance industry. (PDF)

25 Years Of Power Smart
BC Hydro celebrates the 25th anniversary of Power Smart, and says today, efficient use of power and changes in behaviour in BC save the equivalent amount of electricity to meet the annual needs of more than 440,000 homes.

Canada LEEDs Way In Green Construction Outside Of US
Real Estate News Exchange says Canada took top spot on the US Green Building Councils recently released list of the top 10 non-U.S. countries for LEED.

2013 Environmental Markets In Canada
Sustainable Prosperity report 2013 Environmental Markets in Canada looks at 52 Canadian markets in the categories of Air and Carbon; Water; and Habitat and Biodiversity.

Economic Freedom & Air Quality
Fraser Institute paper Economic Freedom and & Air Quality examines a multicountry data set for over a hundred countries spanning a period from 2000 to 2010 to identify the relationship between economic freedom and two environmental indicators (concentrations of fine particulate matter and carbon dioxide emissions). (PDF)

2. Business Management

Should We Green The Gross Domestic Product?
BC Business Council says the income and output generated from resource production is counted in Canadian GDP, but the depletion of these resources and the broad environmental effects of their development are not. (PDF)

HVAC Contractors Can Sell Home Performance
Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency describes how home performance contractors can sell air sealing, added insulation, and better ductwork to improve the many comforts of home.

Green MLS Implementation Guide
US National Association of Realtors new Green MLS Implementation Guide is designed to serve as a blueprint for MLS staff and software vendors to implement green MLS fields that are compliant with industry standards. (PDF)

Remember People When Retrofitting Owner-Occupied Housing
Building Research & Information says what is significant about owner-occupied homes is that those initiating the retrofitting and those living in the house before, during and after the retrofitting are the same people. In most cases, these people do not have specific technical knowledge or an interest in retrofitting. (Large PDF)

Study Spotlights Fastest Growing Jobs In Construction
Journal of Commerce says CareerBuilder Canada recently put out a list of jobs that saw massive growth in the industry during 2013 and 2014. Right at the top was administrative officers with a change of employment of 5.1 per cent and a median hourly wage of $21.63.

Understanding Canada's New Anti-Spam Law
Canadian Property Management magazine shares three crucial facts that property managers and real estate professionals need to know about Canada's new anti-spam law.

3. Building Design & Trends

TecHome Builder: Anatomy Of A KB Home's Net Zero Home
TecHome Builder describes how KB Home’s Double ZeroHouse 2.0 contains both energy and water-saving innovations.

Zero Energy Ready Home Checklist
Building America Solution Center online checklist manager provides links to technical guides that align with each measure included in the checklists for DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Home.

Top Green Features For Affordable Housing
Housing Finance describes what five developers share as sustainability priorities that are musts for their latest communities.

Green Globes Sustainable Interiors
Green Building Initiative new Green Globes for Sustainable Interiors program focuses exclusively on the sustainable design and construction of interior spaces in nonresidential buildings and can be pursued by both building owners and individual lessees of commercial spaces.

National Performance Based Design Guide
National Institute of Building Sciences online National Performance Based Design Guide establishes performance-based requirements to be used in the programming, design, and documentation of new buildings, major and minor alterations and work in historic structures of all kinds.

Is Green Design Ready To Take Root In Neighborhoods?
Green Biz reports that the green design community is repeatedly saying it's ready to move from single buildings to community scale, resilient development. Yet in a roomful of some of the deepest green design professionals in North America last week, just a quarter of the audience was working on a district project. Only about 10 percent of them have seen these projects actually get underway.

Sustainable Development For Canadian Consulting Engineers
Association of Consulting Engineering Companies report Sustainable Development for Canadian Consulting Engineers guides consulting engineers and owners in creating sustainable projects. (PDF)

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Coquitlam Extends Setbacks In Climate Change Preparation
Business in Vancouver says Coquitlam, one of the three Canadian cities involved in an insurance-industry backed pilot program to access threats of climate change, has ruled that new developments on the Fraser River must be set further and higher back from the water.

Public Comment On BC Flood Hazard Area Land Use Management Guidelines
BC Ministry of Environment is inviting comments on their Flood Hazard Area Land Use Management Guidelines that have been prepared to help local governments, land-use managers, and approving officers develop and implement land-use management plans, and make subdivision approval decisions, in areas subject to flood hazards. The consultation draft amendment for sections 3.5 and 3.6 is now available for review and comment by July 25, 2014.

LEED v4 In Canada
Sustainable Architecture and Building Magazine describes how LEED version 4 is about taking the next step towards market transformation and raising the ceiling of building performance.

Green Globes Shakes Up Building Certification
Arch Daily says LEED, with its advantages and disadvantages, has dominated the green building certification market for a long time. But now alternatives like the GBI's Green Globes, the Living Building Challenge, and Build It Green are beginning to emerge.

Analysis Of Prescriptive, Performance-Based, Outcome-Based Energy Codes
Alaska Housing Finance Corporation report Comparative Analysis of Prescriptive, Performance-Based, and Outcome-Based Energy Code Systems provides an overview of the pros and cons of various energy code systems and how they compare in their ability to predict and measure actual energy performance. (PDF)

New Passive Building Standards Needed For North America
Green Building Advisor discusses why the European Passivhaus standard isn’t appropriate for North American climates.

New Energy Star Clothes Dryers Specification
The new Energy Star Version 1.0 Specification for Clothes Dryers was finalized May 19, 2014 and will take effect on January 1, 2015.

Green Garage Certification
Green Parking Council created the Green Garage Certification Standard, the world’s only rating system that defines and recognizes sustainable practices in parking structure management, programming, design, and technology.

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5. Building Science & Technology

Improving New Home Efficiency, Comfort, and Durability In Mixed-Humid Climate
US Department of Energy online Builders and Buyers Handbook for Improving New Home Efficiency, Comfort, and Durability in the Mixed-Humid Climate is a resource to help build high-quality, energy-efficient homes that achieve 30% energy savings in space conditioning and water heating in the mixed-humid climate. (PDF)

Air-Source Heat Pumps
Natural Resources Canada describes types, features and benefits of air source heat pumps.

Mini-Split Heat Pumps Multifamily Retrofit Feasibility Study
US Department of Energy report Mini-Split Heat Pumps Multifamily Retrofit Feasibility Study investigates whether mini-splits are able to live up to their potential for the multifamily retrofit market segment. (PDF)

Stockton Project Demonstrates Huge Home Energy Savings
Energy vanguard says retrofits done on these homes to reduce their energy consumption were standard retrofits that many homes need: air-sealing, duct-sealing, improving duct air flow, adding insulation, and replacing crappy windows. The three older houses are now using about a quarter of the energy they formerly used for heating and cooling.

Practical Residential Wall Systems Of R-30 & Beyond
US Department of Energy report Practical Residential Wall Systems Of R-30 & Beyond describes three approaches that use readily available materials, and are buildable by contractors without substantial additional equipment or sub-contractors: Double framed walls with blown or sprayed insulation; 2x4 or 2x6 insulated, framed walls with exterior rigid foam insulation; Structural insulated panels (SIPs). (PDF)

Earth Tube Story
Green Building Advisor describes why buried ventilation ducts represent an absurdly simple and cheap source of limitless free energy.

Landscaping Energy Saver 101
US Department of Energy infographic describes features and benefits of energy-saving landscaping.

Energy Star Windows Guide
Building America Solution Center online guide provides criteria and installation guidance for Energy Star windows.

6. Building Performance Issues

Beware These 3 Expensive Ventilation System Scams
Energy Vanguard blog article says if you put a fan in a semi-attractive package, create some fancy marketing materials, and target people who don't know much building science, you can charge very high prices for it.

Bathroom Fan Ratings
Building America describes issues and considerations around ratings for bathroom fans.

Why Is This Obsolete Supply-Only Ventilation Method Still Used?
Energy Vanguard blog article says a small duct running from an outdoor wall cap to the return plenum of the HVAC system used to be commonly recommended as the easiest and least expensive way to ventilate a home in a humid climate. However many have made the transition away from it for some very good reasons.

Fireplaces & Stoves With Proper Ventilation
Building America describes why and how to ensure that ventilation air is provided directly to the fireplace and conduct combustion safety testing to ensure the fireplace will not be backdrafted by other exhaust fans in the home.

Five Common Energy-Saving Myths
US Residential Energy Services Network describes five of the most common energy-saving myths.

Electricity Use Slashed With Efficiency Controls For Heating & Cooling
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory study shows that commercial buildings could cut their heating and cooling electricity use by an average of 57 percent with advanced energy-efficiency controls.

Green Buildings Don't Create Happier Workers, Yet
People working in buildings certified under LEED’s green building standard appear no more satisfied with the quality of their indoor workplace environments than those toiling in conventional buildings, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom.

Disaggregating Hot Water Use & Predicting Hot Water Waste
US Department of Energy report Disaggregating Hot Water Use and Predicting Hot Water Waste in Five Test Homes shows how the hot water distribution system affects overall system performance and energy use. (PDF)

7. Products & Suppliers

Weil-McLain Recalls Ultra Series Gas Boilers
Health Canada and Weil-McLain have issued a joint recall naming Weil-McLain Ultra 80, 105, 155 and 230 MBH gas-fired boilers, which were manufactured between June 2012 and March 11, 2014.

Choosing Sustainable Building Materials & Resources
Inhabitat walks you through choosing materials wisely, and ensuring that those you select are a part of the whole picture of a sustainable home.

Five Ways To Work In Wood
EcoBuilding Pulse says you can warm up or cool down traditional spaces and contemporary interiors with these wood seats, finishes, and flooring.

How To Buy An Energy-Efficient Ceiling Fan
Green Building Advisor says when buying an energy efficient ceiling fan reading the label helps, and so does avoiding bad advice.

Resource Site On Energy Efficient Residential Furnaces
NRCan provides information and resources on energy efficient residential furnaces.

Heat Pump Water Heaters Conserve Energy
Plumbing and Mechanical describes how heat pump water heaters can conserve energy and save homeowners money.

Plastic Foams For Concrete Homes
Portland Cement Association describes types, features and benefits of ICF systems for homes.

BPI Product Listing Program For Home Performance Products
Building Performance Institute online BPI Product Listing Program is a system that will evaluate and list the home performance tools, products and materials that meet product specification industry standards. Manufacturers whose product has met the relevant standard will be listed on BPI's website and authorized to use BPI's Product Listing Mark on their product and its collateral marketing materials.

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8. Installation & Procedures

How To Diagnose & Repair Duct Leakage
Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency says there are obvious areas, but in no way are these the only areas that require sealing in order to have an efficient duct system.

Podcast On Blower Doors
Building Performance Podcast features Colin Genge, founder and CEO of Retrotec, discussing the history of air leakage testing, how the tests really work, and what they don't actually test.

Planning & Installing Heat Pump Water Heaters
Building America online Solution Center describes considerations for planning and installing heat pump water heaters.

Don't Forget DHW Tank When Upgrading Furnace Or Boiler
Plumbing & Mechanical magazine describes why, when installing a new furnace or boiler, it is recommended to upgrade to a high-efficiency water heater at the same time.

Multifamily Retrofit Certification To NGBS
US National Association of Home Builders describes benefits for multifamily retrofits that get certified to their National Green Building Standard.

Open Source Standard Energy Efficiency Data Platform
US Department of Energy free, open-source, standard software application for the management of building performance data is the first such software of its kind. The Standard Energy Efficiency Data platform (SEED) can be used by city governments, researchers, utilities, and others to manage, validate, and share large amounts of data on the energy performance of buildings.

9. Fuels, Energy & Transportation

2014 BC Community Renewable Energy Snapshot
Community Energy Association of BC online report Community-Based Renewable Energy in BC provides a snapshot of community-based renewable energy projects in BC at the end of 2013. (PDF)

How To Get Half Of Your Heating For Free
Green Energy Futures blog article describes how you can get half of your heating for free from passive solar energy.

Building-Integrated Solar Air Heating Systems Proving Popular
Renewable Energy World says according to new industry data, a growing sector of the US solar energy industry has reached a major new milestone, with 5 million square feet of building-integrated solar air heating collectors now installed in North America. These systems represent 250 megawatts of thermal energy and displace nearly 100,000 tons of CO2 each year from the atmosphere.

Signal The Microgrid Market Is About To Pop
Energy Efficiency Markets says the formation of not one, but two microgrid policy advocacy groups, signals that the microgrid market is about to pop.

Find US Wind Farms In Interactive Map
U.S. Geological Survey uses high-resolution aerial imagery and data from the Federal Aviation Administration to create this very cool interactive map that shows location of around 47,000 ground-based wind turbines.

BITES Energy Analysis Tool For Future US Energy Use Scenarios
US National Renewable Energy Laboratory provides an online energy analysis tool to help individuals and educators experiment with future energy use scenarios. The interactive Buildings, Industry, Transportation, Electricity, and Transportation Scenarios (BITES) allows users to explore how changes in energy demand and supply can impact carbon dioxide emissions and how they affect the current US energy trajectory.

10. Information Sources

Online Videos On Green Housing
CMHC provides YouTube online videos describing features, benefits and considerations of various green housing components.

Zero Energy Ready Program
US Department of Energy site provides information and resources on their new Zero Energy Ready Home program.

Find Passive Houses & Buildings
Passive House Database, a project of the Passive House Institute and International Passive House Association, allows you to search from a worldwide database of Passive Houses.

Online Videos On Sustainable Development
You Tube channel Sustainability Illustrated offers free access to sustainability concepts, principles, knowledge and processes.

Canadian Coalition for Green Schools
Canada Green Building Council formed the Canadian Coalition for Green Schools that urges Canadian schools to pursue sustainable building programs.

2009 Canadian Commercial & Institutional Consumption Of Energy
Natural Resources Canada presents results of the 2009 Commercial & Institutional Consumption of Energy Survey that collected data on the energy consumption of establishments in the commercial and institutional sector. (PDF)

Environmental Effects Of Renewable Energy From The Sea
Tethys is an online resource that gathers, organizes, and provides access to information on the environmental effects of marine and hydrokinetic and offshore wind development.

11. Conferences & Shows

Excellence In Building Conference & Expo
Energy and Environmental Building Association annual Excellence in Building Conference & Expo is being held in St. Louis, September 23-25. 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.

Listings Of Energy Efficiency Industry Events
Energy Efficiency Markets provides a comprehensive listing of upcoming industry events.

12. Education & Training

Zero waste, Use It Then Re-Use It
Light House workshop Zero waste, Use It Then Re-Use It will be held in Vancouver on June 25th. The workshop is designed to help your business reduce your waste management costs and get on the path to Zero Waste.

Partnership To Bring Green Trades Training To Canada
Daily Commercial News says the Greater Toronto Chapter of the Canada Green Building Council is partnering with the New York-based Urban Green Council to offer the Green Professional Building Skills Training program that will teach those who build, renovate and maintain buildings the principles of sustainability combined with trade-specific green construction knowledge.

Net Zero Builders Innovations, Part One
Build it Green and Net Zero Energy Coalition free July 14th webinar Net Zero Builders Innovations, Part One will feature builders sharing their reasons for building NZE, project costs, new technologies, and business implications.

Free Online Training Courses On Energy Modelling
NRCan RETScreen software offers free online training courses on energy modelling including Introduction to Clean Energy Project Analysis, Energy Efficiency Project Analysis, Heating & Cooling Project Analysis, Power Project Analysis, Cogeneration Project Analysis, and Energy Performance Analysis.(slides only)

Project Management (Gold Seal Certified)
Vancouver Regional Construction Association course Project Management (Gold Seal Certified) will be held in Abbotsford, June 19-20. Participants will develop skills and knowledge of how to manage a construction project, and gain an understanding of the project processes and constraints encountered by project managers.

Project Planning & Cost Control
Independent Contractors and Businesses Association workshop Project Planning & Cost Control will be held in Burnaby, July 7-9. This course describes the processes used plan, schedule and control costs in the context of established best practices for successfully managing construction projects. This includes some basic principles regarding the structure of construction project, the project life cycle, and Canadian construction law.

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13. Costs & Savings

Solar Hot Water System Maintenance Costs
Green Building Advisor says when you have to shell out a few hundred dollars every time your solar thermal system needs repairs, the maintenance costs will eat into your energy savings.

Estimating Appliance Energy Consumption
US Residential Energy Services Network describes a formula which you can use to estimate appliance energy consumption.

Cost Premiums For Net Zero Buildings
New Buildings Institute report Net Zero and Living Building Challenge Financial Study: A Cost Comparison Report for Buildings breaks down the incremental cost premiums for transforming three LEED Platinum-designed buildings into net-zero energy, net-zero water, and living Buildings. (PDF)

14. Incentives, Financing & Programs

BC Multi-Unit Residential Rental Pilot Program
Multi-Unit Residential Building Program from BC Hydro Power Smart and FortisBC offers personal expertise and support by an energy advisor, access to financial incentives through existing utility programs, in-suite incentives exclusive to this program, and communication materials. If you live in a market rental building with 15 suites or more in New Westminster, City of North Vancouver, Surrey or Vancouver, ask your landlord or property manager to visit this webpage for details. The offer expires on March 1, 2015 or when all the funding has been allocated.

How To Calculate & Present Deep Retrofit Value
Rocky Mountain Institute practice guide How to Calculate and Present Deep Retrofit Value describes how to calculate and present the true value of a highly efficient and sustainable building.

How To Phase Out Incentives & Grow Solar Energy
Renewable Energy World says over the next decade, solar electricity will let consumers get cheaper energy from their rooftop than from their utility. Among the upheaval in the electricity system, the coming of solar grid parity means re-thinking incentives.

Financing Energy Improvements On Utility Bills
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report Financing Energy Improvements on Utility Bills: Market Updates and Key Program Design Considerations for Policymakers and Administrators provides an overview of the current state of on-bill programs and provides actionable insights on key program design considerations for on-bill lending programs.

Political Economy Of California & Quebec Cap & Trade Systems
Sustainable Prosperity report Political Economy Of California and Quebec Cap and Trade Systems aims to improve understanding of the political and economic factors that have led to the adoption of a linked cap-and-trade system in California and Québec.

US National Review Of Cost Of Utility Energy Efficiency Programs
American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy (ACEEE) report The Best Value for America’s Energy Dollar: A National Review of the Cost of Utility Energy Efficiency Programs shows energy efficiency programs cost only about 3 cents/kWh, compared with two to three times more for generating the same power. (PDF)

Dittie For Today: On Materialism

A rich man is not one who has the most, but one who needs the least. - Unknown

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ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada


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