Newsletter #159
Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
May 22, 2018


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


Here is another special BC Building Info issue on green building and energy efficiency.

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


Ken's Top Pick

BC Energy Step Code Website
BC Government new Energy Step Code website provides information and resources about the BC energy step code.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

VRCA Announces Zero Emissions Building Centre of Excellence
Construct Connect says the Vancouver Regional Construction Association, Passive House Canada and the Open Green Building Society have partnered with the City of Vancouver to create the Vancouver Zero Emissions Building Centre of Excellence, a central platform to encourage the delivery of zero emissions buildings by both industry and public stakeholders.

BC Moving Fast on Green Building Initiatives
Sustainable Biz Canada describes a panel discussion on the rate of change in building energy efficiency in BC.

2018 Winners of Canadian Energy Star Awards
Natural Resources Canada congratulates 17 organizations for winning the 2018 ENERGY STAR Canada Participant Awards for advancing energy efficiency.

9.5% Premium for High Performance Homes Sold in North Carolina
North Carolina Building Performance Association released a report in conjunction with the National Association of Home Builders that found a 9.5% premium for high performance homes sold in three of the state's metro markets, in addition to other benefits, such as improved health, safety, comfort, durability, and lower utility bills.

Another Stupid California Dream, Solar Power, Building Codes
Builder Magazine says the California solar mandate is likely to push more potential buyers out of the new-home market.

Growth in Green Building is Good News for Manufacturers
Home Innovation Research Labs says manufacturers that want to capitalize on the trend toward more green, sustainable homes will want to seize on the opportunity to provide building products and solutions that help builders construct high-performance homes that are eligible for certification.

Green Building Isn't Enough; We Need Green Zoning
TreeHugger says the great hypocrisy is that the single biggest factor in the carbon footprint of our cities isn't the amount of insulation in our walls, it's the zoning.

Courts Are Deciding Who's to Blame for Climate Change
The Guardian says oil companies, the government, and the public all share the blame for climate change.

2. Business Management

Regulations Cost Some Home Buyers Extra $229,000 On Average
Financial Post says buyers in Canada's most overheated markets paid an average of $229,000 extra per home between 2007 and 2016 because of regulations making it difficult for builders to construct more single-family houses.

10 Principles for Sustainability That Sells
GreenBiz says talking about a sustainability initiative using stock messaging and imagery doesn’t often work, but these 10 principles could help your organization reframe its communications.

Add Your Listing to Zero Energy Directory
Zero Energy Project says if you have designed or built a zero energy or zero energy ready home and want potential home buyers or clients to find you, then add your listing to the Zero Energy Project Directory. This directory lists zero energy builders and zero energy designers to help consumers interested in buying or building a zero energy home find experienced zero energy practitioners in their area. There is no charge for a listing.

Emotional Messaging in Marketing Solar
Energy Circle explores which emotions are the most effective for marketing solar services such as solar PV installation, solar water heating and home battery installation.

How Much Should I Charge?
Plumbing and Mechanical says you have to know what it costs you to be in business before you can know how much you should charge. That’s logical, but sometimes, this business is anything but logical.

How Blockchain Could Transform Sustainability Reporting
GreenBiz says the hard-working underlying technology that makes Bitcoin possible - the blockchain ledger system - has potential to revolutionize corporate sustainability and social impact.

5 Steps to Fixing a Bad Online Review
Energy Circle says while a bad review may seem like the end of the world, it actually gives you an excellent opportunity to strengthen your brand image and build rapport with your customers - not to mention improve the service you offer.

Respectful Workplaces Blog
BuildForce Canada online Respectful Workplaces Blog explores issues and provides advice, research, tools, and checklists to help our industry create respectful, welcoming, and inclusive workplaces where everyone can succeed.

3. Building Design & Trends

Top 10 Sustainable Designs of 2018
American Institute of Architects and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) have selected the top ten 2018 examples of sustainable architecture and ecological design projects that protect and enhance the environment.

Nine Award-Winning, Earth-Friendly Homes
Builder Magazine says these Builder Choice & Custom Home Design Award-winning projects showcase the best of innovative, sustainable design.

Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre Passive House Project
Passive House Canada describes a construction site tour of the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre Passive House project.

First Certified Passive House in Saskatchewan
Pembina Institute says Harold Orr, a pioneer of the passive house movement, witnessed the first certified home in Saskatchewan, 39 years later.

Basics of Passive Solar House Design
Clean Technica describes the basics of passive solar house design including orientation, design elements, and materials.

21 Inspiring Green Buildings on Edmonton Eco-Solar Home Tour
Green Energy Futures says the 19th Annual Edmonton Eco-Solar Home Tour in June is a chance to see the latest solar and energy efficiency technologies and talk to owners who installed them.

10 Top Energy Savers Applauded at FortisBC Annual Awards
FortisBC Efficiency in Action Awards recognized customers across all sectors for reducing energy use.

Demand High for Residential Landscapes with Sustainability
American Society of Landscape Architects says native plants, outdoor yoga spaces and charging stations are hot for 2018.

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Vancouver Energy-Efficiency Requirements & Resources for New Homes
City of Vancouver provides information on energy efficiency requirements for new single-family or multi-family homes that are purely residential buildings 1 to 6 storeys tall.

Vancouver Energy Requirements for Single Family Home Renovations
City of Vancouver says the 2014 Vancouver Building Bylaw requires that you perform energy-efficient measures when you renovate your home. Any new work must also comply with the VBBL including ventilation systems, walls, roof, and room additions.

Beautiful Simplicity in Green Building Certification
Green Building Advisor is envisioning a straightforward path to green building certification.

ASHRAE Publishes Energy Simulation-Aided Design Standard
Mechanical Business says the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers has published a new standard describing a methodology to apply building energy modeling throughout the design process.

CSA Z5000-18 Building Commissioning for Energy Using Systems
CSA standard Z5000-18, Building Commissioning for Energy Using Systems is now available for purchase. This new standard provides a comprehensive, integrated, consistent, and managed process to monitor building energy and domestic water use through the commissioning of the monitoring system.

ZERO Code Publication for Large Buildings
Architecture 2030 has published the ZERO Code for new building construction, which integrates cost-effective energy efficiency standards with on-site and/or off-site renewable energy resulting in Zero-Net-Carbon commercial, institutional, and mid- to high-rise residential buildings.

In Norway, an Ambitious New Standard for Green Building
Smithsonian says a coalition called Powerhouse is designing buildings that produce more energy than they use in their entire lifecycle.

Energy Star for Commercial & Institutional Buildings in Canada
Natural Resources Canada launched Energy Star certification program for commercial and institutional buildings on March 26, 2018.

5. Building Science & Technology

Dilution is not the Solution to Indoor Pollution
Building Science online slide show presentation discusses issues and considerations for proper ventilation to provide good indoor air quality.

Resources on Kitchen Range Hoods & IAQ
ROCIS online document Kitchen Range Hoods has a comprehensive list of references on range hood research and cooking emissions.

Understanding & Measuring Mean Radiant Temperature
Green Building Advisor shows how mean radiant temperature, a major component of thermal comfort, is easy to measure.

Real Reason for HVAC Design Is Not Sizing
Energy Vanguard says there is so much more to real HVAC design than simply finding out how much heating and cooling a building needs when at design conditions. And the load calculation does not tell you what size system you need.

Description of Net Zero, Near Zero, Zero Energy
Canadian Contractor asked building science expert Paul Duffy to describe the difference between Net Zero, Near Zero, and Zero Energy.

Guide to Low Energy Demand for Large Buildings
BC Housing online Guide to Low Energy Demand for Large Buildings describes how high-rise residential buildings can meet the next generation of Net Zero ready standards. A new metric called Low Thermal Energy Demand Intensity (TEDI) is used to discuss viable approaches to designing and constructing Net Zero ready high-rise residential buildings.

Clean Trucking Could Require Half of BC Electricity
Climate Examiner says all new trucks need to be electric as early as 2025 if the province is to keep to its legislated emissions targets.

Residents Can Buy or Lease Geothermal in Georgia Community
Builder Magazine says a sustainably designed residential community outside Atlanta is wooing eco-minded buyers with in-ground heating and cooling systems at no extra charge.

6. Building Performance Issues

BC Flood Information for Natural Gas & Electricity Customers
FortisBC provides important flood information for natural gas and electricity customers.

BC Gas & Electrical Precautions as Flooding Looms
Technical Safety BC urges southern Okanagan residents to take gas and electrical precautions as threat of flooding looms.

Using Energy Modeling to Get to Zero
Green Building Advisor explains how computerized modeling allows designers to predict performance based on the specifics of design.

Comparing Heat Pump COPs
PM Engineer says the measure of a heat pump’s heating performance is called coefficient of performance (COP). It’s the ratio of useful heat output divided by required energy input, where both the output and input are expressed in the same physical units.

What Will We Do When Useful Life of Solar Panels Is Over?
Green Building Advisor says as solar power booms, businesses are exploring ways to ensure valuable components don’t end up in landfills.

Facts on Formaldehyde in Bamboo Flooring
Green Building Elements says bamboo is an excellent green building material. But even these sustainable floors contain a bit of formaldehyde.

Ecoflats by Solares Architecture Are a Glorious Failure
TreeHugger says the Ecoflats failed to meet a Passive House target. But the fact that there was a target drove them to find out where every air leak, big and small, came from. It drove serious research, experimentation, testing and designing solutions to problems that come up in every renovation.

New Life for Toxic Land
Green Building Advisor says across the US, Superfund sites are being repurposed as recreational areas, renewable energy facilities and more.

7. Products & Suppliers

Recall of Regency Ultimate U37 and U39 Direct Vent Gas Stove Fireplaces
Health Canada says Fireplace Products International recall involves Regency Ultimate U37 and U39 Direct Vent Gas Stove Fireplaces. The recalled products are freestanding gas fireplaces with an angled glass window. They are black, with either black or brushed nickel features. The U39 unit has a cylindrical vent that extends from the top while the U37 unit has a cylindrical vent that extends from the rear. The pressure release system can fail and cause the gas stove to explode, posing a laceration hazard.

Building Tips for Pressure-Treated Lumber
Journal of Light Construction says there are multiple use categories of pressure-treated lumber and understanding which is best for your project will allow you to build a structure that stands strong.

How Local Energy Efficiency Partnerships Works
Natural Resources Canada says Local Energy Efficiency Partnerships (LEEP) program accelerates energy efficient construction by enabling builders and renovators to reduce their time and risk finding and trying innovations that can help them build and renovate higher performing homes better, faster and more affordably.

PMI Releases Product Category Rules for Bath & Kitchen Fixture Fittings
Plumbing & Mechanical magazine says Plumbing Manufacturers International has issued a Product Category Rule Guidance Document for Kitchen and Bath Fixture Fittings. The document fulfills a growing demand for environmental product declarations, which express the potential environmental impact of a product, and for other transparency information related to plumbing fixture fittings.

Heating a Bathroom Floor
Green Building Advisor says a warm bathroom floor is a something to look forward to on a chilly winter morning and discusses ideas on the best way of accomplishing that.

New Version of HOT2000 Software
Natural Resources Canada new HOT2000 software version is for the general public and building professionals.

Energy Impacts of Smart Home Technologies
ACEEE report Energy Impacts of Smart Home Technologies discusses several smart home technologies that serve the major home energy uses: HVAC, lighting, appliances, and plug loads. These smart systems use energy only where and when it is needed, making homes smart and efficient.

Customer Control, The Future of Home Automation
IE3 article features several leading contractors sharing how they are taking advantage of their customers' desire for ease controls to grow their businesses.

8. Installation & Procedures

Tips for Hand-Nailing
Fine Homebuilding online video describes some hand-nailing tricks.

Five Priority Air Sealing Locations
North American Insulation Manufacturers Association online guide, Five Priority Air Sealing Locations for New Homes, will help builders develop a smarter plan of attack for air sealing. Research shows the five locations identified within the guide are the most critical due to their potential to reduce air leakage. (PDF)

Framing and Insulating an Interior Service Wall
Green Building Advisor describes how dense-packed fiberglass completes the insulation package on an interior service wall.

Presentations from 2018 Building Science Fundamentals
Building Science online slide show presentations from their recent 2018 Building Science Fundamentals includes: Enclosures; Heat, Air and Moisture; Physics; Rain; Air Control; Pressures; Roofs; Foundations; HVAC; Mass Assemblies; Retrofits.

Snake Wire Through Old Walls
Fine Homebuilding online video shows how to run a wire in an old house with narrow walls.

Knowledge Center for Energy Savings in Existing Homes
US Energy Star online Knowledge Center provides information on measures that create energy savings in existing homes, including air sealing & insulating, heating systems, home performance, and energy efficient products.

Online Presentations on Resilience Strategy
BC Construction Association online presentations from the recent UR+BC symposium include recommendations to tackle the challenges of hazard mitigation and increased resilience in the industrial, commercial, and institutional built environment.

Building to Cool the Climate
Architect Magazine says the problem with carbon is not its existence, but our mishandling of it. This realization is the primary focus of the book The New Carbon Architecture: Building to Cool the Climate, in which a collection of environmental experts evaluates our mismanagement of this key element while providing stimulating examples of solutions to our carbon conundrum.

9. Fuels, Energy & Transportation

How Blockchain Is Threatening to Kill the Traditional Utility
Renewable Energy World says there are some utilities that see the future and are trying to use blockchain to their advantage, but others ignoring it may soon start losing business to new hyper-local energy suppliers with a powerful tool to manage billions of data points cheaper and faster.

Widespread Solar Penetration in BC Would Impair Flexibility of Grid
Climate Examiner says a little bit of solar would help to reduce the province's greenhouse gas emissions but a lot of it begins to create problems for the electricity grid, which poses a challenge to the hope that all new buildings could become net zero energy in the next few years.

Electric Vehicle Boom Is Coming
Green Building Advisor says the growing interest in electric vehicles portends big changes in infrastructure, from gas stations to mechanic shops to electric utilities to tax structures and the wiring in our own garages.

Changes in Ontario Electricity Markets & Their Effects
Fraser Institute study, Understanding Changes in Ontario's Electricity Markets and Their Effects, finds that poor energy policy choices-including Ontario's Green Energy Act-have increased electricity prices for residents, cost tens of thousands of manufacturing workers their jobs and produced only minimal health and environmental benefits.

Tribal Microgrid in Ontario Continues Trend of First Nation Installations
Microgrid Knowledge says Ontario Power Generation is partnering with a First Nation government in northwestern Ontario on a tribal microgrid designed to significantly reduce diesel use by the community.

Microgrid Is Biggest Disrupter to Power Industry
Microgrid Knowledge says a rise in microgrid deployment is disrupting today’s power industry.

Map Shows Installed Wind Power Per Country
Greenbyte online interactive map shows the evolution of wind power around the world. It reveals the cumulative installed capacity per country, continent and the world between 1981-2018.

US Onshore Wind Update
Green Building Advisor series of blogs highlights recent progress in onshore and offshore wind energy, and discusses some of the continued opportunities, challenges and threats the industry faces in the near term.

10. Information Sources

Socialization of Building Science, Journey of Ray Cole
Taylor & Francis article celebrates the distinguished research career of Raymond J. Cole, professor at UBC. It contains papers by his colleagues and students and by others who have worked with and been inspired by him, or who have further developed his ideas.

Vancouver Energy Resources & Programs for Multi-Family Buildings
City of Vancouver lists energy resources and programs available for residents or owners of a condo, strata building, townhouse, rental apartment, non-profit, and co-op.

Find Energuide Service Organizations for Existing Homes
Natural Resources Canada online search allows you to find service organizations that offer EnerGuide home evaluations on your existing home using the EnerGuide Rating Service.

Q1 2018 Built Green Canada Newsletter
Built Green Canada online Q1 2018 newsletter provides updates on the Built Green Canada program and related green building industry happenings.

Five Types of Zero-Type Green Buildings
Pembina Institute provides definitions of energy use and carbon pollution for five types of buildings including net-zero energy ready, net-zero energy, net-zero carbon, zero carbon, and zero carbon and grid interactive.

Trends & Projects That Are Getting to Zero Energy
New Buildings Institute online webinar 2018 Getting to Zero Buildings List presents trends in size, types, and locations of Zero Energy commercial buildings. It covers the project trends, provides a snapshot of policy adoptions driving ZE, and a leading designer shares how to get to zero for zero cost increase.

Economic Impact of Improved Energy Efficiency in Canada
Clean Energy Canada online report Economic Impact of Improved Energy Efficiency in Canada summarizes employment and other economic outcomes from the Pan-Canadian framework's energy efficiency measures. (PDF)

Roadmap for Retrofits in Canada II
Canada Green Building Council new 2018 report Roadmap for Retrofits in Canada II sets out a series of comprehensive actions for industry, non-profit organizations and governments to build a world-leading retrofit economy by 2030 that improves the performance of existing buildings and creates new economic opportunities for Canadians.

11. Conferences & Shows

Building Lasting Change 2018
Canada Green Building Council and World Green Building Council conference Building Lasting Change 2018: Driving Global Action toward a Low Carbon Economy, will be held in Toronto, June 5-7. Participants will have access to knowledge and insights from Canadian and global experts in green building design and retrofits, government policy, real estate finance, market transformation and technology innovation.

Prince George Clean Air Forum 2018
Prince George Air Improvement Roundtable presents the North Central Clean Air Forum 2018. Learn about air quality challenges facing BC communities today and strategies to find lasting solutions.

Solar Canada 2018 Industry Conference
Canadian Solar Industries Association presents its annual Solar Canada conference and trade show in Calgary, June 20-21. It is aimed at all sectors of the solar and building industry.

Audio Tours of Vancouver Green Buildings
Open Green Building Society online Green Building Audio Tours describe some of Vancouver's most popular green buildings.

Women in Cleantech Challenge
NRCan online videos describe the Women in Cleantech Challenge.

Bonn Negotiations Stall on Climate Finance
Euractiv says there has been minimal progress on the $100 billion package promised by developed nations to help poorer countries tackle climate change under the Paris Agreement, thereby stalling the preparatory meeting of the COP24.

12. Education & Training

Working with Passive House Planning Package
Passive Buildings Canada course Understanding and Working with the Passive House Planning Package will be held in Victoria, May 24-26. It will enable you to take on your first Passive House project, as it provides step-by-step instruction for using the PHPP energy modelling software, which is essential for designing a Passive House building.

Health and the Built Environment
International Living Future Institute workshop Thriving: Health and the Built Environment, will be held in Vancouver on June 4th. It includes presentations, case studies, and interactive exercises to help participants understand how healthy materials, community building, and biophilic design can be used to create enriching environments.

Limiting Climate Change to 2° Easier Than We Thought
Pacific Energy Innovation Association breakfast meeting in Vancouver on June 6th features Limiting Climate Change to 2° - Easier Than We Thought? This talk will review critical outstanding questions for the energy technology pathways used to frame and assess decisions consistent with climate policy goals.

Spotlight on Communication Skills
Construction Industry Training Network workshop on Communication Skills is designed to improve your communication skills as a supervisor and manager, both in the office and in the field. It is being held in Kamloops, June 13-14.

Solar Photovoltaic Systems
Technical Safety BC Guest Speaker Series presents Solar Photo-Voltaic System in Vancouver on June 14th. It provides an overview of system installations, concerns and general knowledge.

Local Energy Efficiency Partnerships, Innovation Exchange
GVHBA presents LEEP (Local Energy Efficiency Partnerships) Innovation Exchange in Vancouver on June 15. Learn from local builders, who participated in the LEEP Innovation Exchange, as they discuss their technology choices for both wall and mechanical systems, and their key takeaways from building homes that ranged from Energy Star to Net Zero Energy Ready.

Building Smart with Airtightness Testing
BC Housing is presenting Building Smart with Airtightness Testing: Part One, The Essentials in Vancouver on June 26th. This half-day workshop is the first in a series that will focus on airtightness testing of buildings.

Building Better with Energy Step Code Workshop Series
Community Energy Association full-day workshops are an extension of BC Housing’s Building Smart with the Energy Step Code seminars and also include a hands-on component. They serve communities where Building Smart workshops are not easily accessible due to travel distance.

13. Costs & Savings

What Is a Green Home Worth?
Green Building Advisor offers some advice for prospective homeowners on appraising and financing high-performance homes.

Blockchain & Energy Efficiency, A Match Made in Heaven
ACEEE says blockchain technology could transform energy efficiency, and the world as we know it.

Blockchain’s Potential for Managing Impact of Renewables
Renewable Energy World says blockchain has the potential to change the business world as we know it today. Entire value chains can be shortened by it - including in the energy industry.

Solving Energy Poverty
Green Building Advisor says energy costs the same for everyone, making the energy burden up to three times heavier for low-income families.

Building Energy Asset Score for Multi & Commercial
US Department of Energy Building Energy Asset Score is a national standardized tool for evaluating the physical and structural energy efficiency of commercial and multifamily residential buildings. The Asset Score generates a simple energy efficiency rating that enables comparison among buildings and identifies opportunities for users to invest in energy efficiency upgrades. It is web-based and free to use. (PDF)

Verify Operating & Maintenance Savings in Energy Savings Performance Contracts
US Department of Energy report How to Determine and Verify Operating and Maintenance Savings in Energy Savings Performance Contracts describes issues and considerations for savings calculations. (PDF)

14. Incentives, Financing & Programs

Appliance Rebates Until June 15th
Until June 15th, BC Hydro is offering rebates on the most efficient Energy Star clothes washers, dryers and refrigerators.

Rebate on Ductless Heat Pumps
FortisBC is offering an $800 rebate, for electrically heated homes, if you upgrade to an eligible high-efficiency ductless air source heat pump.

Alberta Municipalities to Allow PACE Financing
Calgary Herald says the Alberta government has introduced legislation to let municipalities set up a program that would allow homes, farms, and businesses to repay the costs of upgrades such as solar panels, high-efficiency windows and efficient HVAC systems over time through a PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program using an additional charge on their property tax bills.

California Lenders Sued Over PACE Financing
Green Building Advisor says attorneys claim that contractors pushed loans on California homeowners who can't afford the payments.

When Good Incentives Go Bad
Home Energy Pros says the problem with incentives is that if you get them wrong, you won’t get the result you’re looking for, and you might even encourage behaviors that are counterproductive, costing you time and energy.

Green Leasing Info Sheet
Institute for Market Transformation online Green Leasing Info Sheet describes how a green lease is a tool to help create win-win agreements for building owners and tenants that equitably align the costs and benefits of energy and water efficiency investments for both parties. (PDF)

Successful Practices of Utility Small Commercial Energy Efficiency Programs
ACEEE has examined successful utility program practices in the small commercial segment and finds there are still significant energy efficiency opportunities.

How Cities Can Use Building Energy Data to Drive Efficiency
Institute for Market Transformation project Putting Data to Work, is a three-year effort to explore how cities and their partners can better deploy building performance data to drive action on energy efficiency in buildings in their jurisdiction.


Dittie For Today:

I bought a wastepaper basket and carried it home in a paper bag. And when I got home, I put the paper bag in the wastepaper basket. - Mary Jean "Lily" Tomlin


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