Newsletter #165
Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
November 1, 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 Builder Guide
BC Housing online BC Energy Step Code Builder Guide provides information on the key strategies and approaches that builders can use to meet the BC Energy Step Code for houses and low-rise (Part 3 and Part 9) wood-frame residential buildings up to six storeys. It's a companion work to the BC Energy Step Code Design Guide. (PDF)

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

Appraisers See Value in Green-Home Features
Builder Magazine says the Appraisal Institute released a report that claims making energy-efficient improvements to homes pays off for the homeowner.

How Building Experts Find Best Home in Area They Want to Live
RES Talk Podcast features the VP of Energy Efficiency and Sustainability at Meritage Homes, sharing his perspectives on the gaps that exist between the way buyers and experts make choices about the homes they live in. He discusses the new parameter of home choice beyond location, price, and design; the parameter of home performance.

Canadian Centre on Low-Carbon Growth Economy
Centre on the Low-Carbon Growth Economy aims to bring together and build consensus between diverse groups of people to develop a transition road map for the Canadian economy.

Minister McKenna Wrong on Relationship Between Carbon Taxes & Growth
Fraser Institute says federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna tweeted criticisim of the Ontario government’s decision to scrap its cap and trade program. The first sentence in the minister’s tweet is debateable. The last is flatly misleading.

Zero Energy Carries Small--and Getting Smaller--Price to Pay in US
Builder Magazine describes the 5 enclosure and systems technologies builders can use to get to Net Zero.

Zero-Energy Homes Are Ready for Mainstream Markets
Home Energy says zero energy homes have quietly passed cost thresholds that make them not only good for the environment but also cost-effective. As the underlying technologies and design elements continue to improve and scale, these costs will continue to decline.

Saluting Unsung Heroes of Home Energy Performance
Medium says not only do energy advisors help builders produce better homes, they provide local governments with the critical third-party verification that makes the BC Energy Step Code tick.

Green Handwringing Over New North American Trade Pact
Fraser Institute says the new deal reportedly jettisons environmental obligations that were part of the last four US trade deals.

2. Business Management

Draft Policies Around Cannabis Legalization
ICBA has drafted two employment policies on cannabis legalization, one for a small contractor and one for a large contractor.

Small Business May Cut Jobs & Hours to Offset New Health Tax
The Star says with the end of the fiscal year looming, small business owners in BC say they are considering staff layoffs and reduced hours to cope with the added costs of a new provincial employer health tax.

Work Ethic Goes Beyond Timecard
PM Engineer article by Dan Holohan explains why you should take the time to be with someone. Just take the time. We all are so fragile.

Don't Park the Prius on the Roof
Insulation Institute says although the concept of an energy-efficient home is well understood, builders continue to lose sales to older, less efficient homes because they know how to build, but not how to sell the advantages of new homes over resales.

Market Transformation for Windows, Space Heating, Water Heating
NRCan describes the market transformation roadmap for windows, space heating and water heating technologies, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote the adoption of clean technology.

Smart Home & Redefining Home Performance in 21st Century
Home Performance Coalition calls on policymakers, industry leaders, energy program managers and contractors to redefine home energy performance to include smart technology, smart homes. Details are outlined in the report Redefining Home Performance in the 21st Century, How the Smart Home Could Revolutionize the Industry and Transform the Home-to-Grid Connection. (PDF)

Advancing Home Performance Data from Stone Age to Modern Times
Home Performance Coalition describes how HPXML facilitates the building of data connections, networks, and possibilities we’ve never had before.

3. Building Design & Trends

Impact of Design Series, Gradients of Green
American Society of Interior Designers describes Gradients of Green, a LEED-Platinum certified single family home that referenced the WELL Building Standard in its design. The objective was to implement both environmental and health and wellness aspects of sustainability in a residential space for the family.

BC Energy Modellers Discuss Impacts of Future Climate Conditions
Journal of Commerce says designers of large buildings commonly use computer models which use current climate data to support the design of energy-efficient buildings and their heating and cooling systems. Energy modellers say that future climate conditions should be considered as well.

BC Practice Guidelines on Whole Building Energy Modelling Services
Architectural Institute of BC and Engineers and Geoscientists BC have released Professional Practice Guidelines for Whole Building Energy Modelling Services. The document provides guidance on the provision of building energy modelling and analysis services, such as the responsibilities of members of a design team providing building energy modelling services. They also address considerations that apply when hiring or evaluating the qualifications of a Qualified Modeller, which is defined in these guidelines. In addition, they address the importance of quality assurance for projects that involve whole building energy modelling. (PDF)

Financial Analysis of Energy Upgrades To Multi Family Building
CMHC Research Insight, Retrofit of Multi-Unit Residential Building & Impacts on Energy Performance and Greenhouse Gas Emissions analyzes the energy, greenhouse gas, and cost impacts of energy upgrades undertaken at the time of major capital replacements. It looked at a comprehensive retrofit of a typical 1970s rental apartment building located in Victoria, BC.

Achieving Passive House with Affordable Multi-Family Designs
Woodworks online video draws on experiences and insights gained from three multi-family passive house projects in cold climates. It highlights methods of reducing costs—both upfront and long term—that provide the budget containment necessary for the design of affordable housing.

Designing Greener City Streets
Green Building Advisor says the process OD designing greener streets starts with finding room for bicycles and trees.

Green Roofs Could Reduce Heat-Related Deaths
Green Building Advisor says in cities like Chicago, low-income neighborhoods would gain the most with the addition of more green roofs.

Designing & Building with Integrated Project Delivery & BIM
Passive Buildings Canada describes a better way of designing and building highly efficient buildings with Integrated Project Delivery and Building Information Modelling.

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Raising Awareness About Impairment in Workplace
WorkSafe BC is launching an awareness campaign to educate employers and workers about impairment in the workplace, as the legalization of recreational cannabis took effect October 17.

Public Review of CAN/CSA A440.4 Window, Door, Skylight Installation (New Edition)
CSA is asking for public review of their CAN/CSA A440.4 Window, door, and skylight installation (New Edition).

Public Review of Canadian Supplement to North American Fenestration Standard
CSA is asking for input into the Canadian Supplement to AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440-11, NAFS — North American Fenestration Standard/Specification for windows, doors, and skylights (New Edition).

Regulations Amending the Canadian HVAC Energy Efficiency Regulations
Government of Canada describes the proposed amendment to the Energy Efficiency Regulations, 2016 that would introduce or update minimum energy performance standards, testing standards, and reporting requirements to improve the energy efficiency of 12 heating and ventilation product categories.

Federal-Provincial Collaboration on Energy Efficiency Standards
NRCan report Encouraging Market Transformation Through Collaboration on Energy Efficiency Standards, Federal-Provincial-Territorial Action Plans describes plans for collaboration on energy efficiency standards, including joint priorities for new and updated standards, and areas to improve regulatory development, implementation and transparency. This document provides the updated action plan for 2018–2019 and a report on the accomplishments-to-date in implementing the 2017–2018 action plan. (PDF)

Ontario Takes Step Backwards on Home Energy Labelling
Efficiency Canada says Ontario has taken a step backwards on home energy labelling requirements.

New US Water Rating Index
RESNET Standard for the Calculation and Labeling of the Water Use Performance of One- & Two-Family Dwellings establishes a uniform methodology for evaluating, rating and labeling the water use performance of single family and duplex dwelling units.

Course on Understanding WDMA Architectural Door Standards
Hanley Wood says the industry overhauled interior architectural door standards, ANSI/WDMA I.S. 1A-2013 and ANSI/WDMA I.S. 6A-2013, to provide a greater focus on performance-driven specifications. This course will describe the standards, including performance duty levels, aesthetics, construction and finishes for architectural wood doors.

5. Building Science & Technology

Insulated Sheathing in a Cold Climate
Green Building Advisor responds to an owner/builder in North Dakota who is concerned about the R-value of the exterior rigid foam on his walls.

On the Way to Net Zero
Fine Homebuilding says renewables are part of the strategy, but conservation comes first.

Friction Rate Is the Wrong Name
Energy Vanguard says friction rate confuses a lot of people because it's the wrong name. First they tell you why and then what they think we should be calling it.

The Psychrometric Chart
Pro Trade Craft explains the psychrometric chart and how moisture behaves in the air as temperatures rise and fall—rainstorms, flooding, and glaciers in wall cavities are distinct possibilities.

What I Learned with WUFI Modeling Software
Green Building Advisor article by a designer offers some practical advice to architects planning to run thermal and moisture simulations.

Case for Straw-Bale Houses
Fine Homebuilding shows how straw, a sustainable building material, wins favor on multiple fronts.

Building & Construction Digitization Attracts $1.3 billion in Venture Capital
Curbed says in a bid to digitize building trades, investors have already bet big on the transformative power of new startups.

Beauty of Maintenance Programs
Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association says many residential service businesses can start, grow, and profit handsomely by implementing a solid maintenance agreement program.

6. Building Performance Issues

De-Icing Ice Dams
Building Science Corporation says the key to solving ice dams is either to keep heat from the house from getting to the underside of the roof deck or to get rid of the heat once it gets there.

How Stuck is the Stucco?
RCI describes stucco components and a method for measurement and analysis.

Universal Design for Kitchens & Baths
NARI says as more homeowners opt to remodel their current homes for accessibility and safety, those concerns are taken into consideration especially for kitchens or bathrooms.

Common Concrete Anchor Fails
HVAC School says no matter what trade you work in you will need to use a concrete anchor at one time or another. They describe some mistakes that you are going to want to avoid.

Why Some LEDs Last Longer Than Others
BC Hydro says LEDs are celebrated for their excellent energy efficiency and longevity. So it's fair to be frustrated when they fall short. Here's how that can happen.

Visco Elasticity of Construction Tapes
ProTradeCraft podcast features the product director for ZIP Systems leading the conversation about the pressure-sensitive adhesives that are used on construction tapes.

Legionella Growth in Hot Water Systems
PHC Pros says an argument can be made that energy conservation efforts of the 1970s contributed to the rise of Legionnaires disease.

Indoor Environment Impact of Multi Family Rental Energy Retrofit
CMHC online Research Insight summarizes the impact that a retrofit of a multi-unit residential building to improve energy efficiency had on indoor environmental conditions for the occupants.

7. Products & Suppliers

CCMC Registry of Construction Product Evaluations
National Research Council Canada offers a complete list of the current active CCMC product evaluations, with links to the evaluation reports and listings, as well as manufacturers’ websites, product specific web pages, and email addresses if provided. This page is the official version of the CCMC Registry.

Local Energy Efficiency Partnerships For Canadian Builders
NRCan provides the Local Energy Efficiency Partnerships (LEEP) service to builders to help them reduce their time and risk in finding and trying innovations that can help them build higher performance homes better, faster and more affordably.

LEEP Technology Guides
NRCan online LEEP Technology Guides were produced as a direct result of builder experiences, or those developed in response to LEEP builder group requests to help them move forward to use new technologies they pulled through the LEEP process.

Nine Water-Saving Products That Meet Strict Standards
Builder Magazine describes some innovative products the offer comfort and convenience while helping homeowners conserve resources and save money.

Vacuum Insulated Panels Construction & Cold Climate Testing
Cold Climate Housing Research Center worked with Panasonic Vacuum Insulated Panels to develop potential best practices for building with them and to study their performance in a cold climate. (PDF)

Active Solar Heating
US Department of Energy describes types of active solar heating systems that use solar energy to heat a fluid -- either liquid or air -- and then transfer the solar heat directly to the interior space or to a storage system for later use.

Solar Combi Systems Provide Low-Carbon Heating Solution
HPAC magazine discusses how effectively contractors are integrating solar thermal into hydronic systems, what kind of integrated systems are possible, and types of systems being used.

Pine Cones Inspire Self-Adjusting Shades for Houses
Futurity says a new shading system could keep heat out of homes, thereby reducing the need for air conditioning.

8. Installation & Procedures

Thermally Broken Roof Framing
Fine Homebuilding describes how builders of the 2018 FHB House use unique hardware from Maine Deck Brackets helps them to reduce thermal bridging and leave room for exterior insulation.

Concrete Steps & Stairways
Concrete Network says elevating concrete stairs from bland to grand makes them the dramatic focal point of any entrance. Even greater visual impact is possible by combining decorative stairways with stamped or stained concrete walkways and landings that incorporate coordinating colors and patterns.

How to Air Seal an Attic Right & Tight, Part 2
IE3 covers a few of the less common problem building assemblies that can be found in and around attics that also need to be air sealed to provide homeowners with a complete and comprehensive solution to their comfort issues.

Saving Sustainably, Shingling the Roof
Green Building Advisor describes how interlocking aluminum roof shingles should keep out the weather and hold up to a saltwater environment.

Installing Rockwool for Continuous Exterior Insulation
Fine Homebuilding says careful cutting and fitting plus smart flashing details make the job of wrapping the walls and roof of the 2018 FHB House in mineral wool go according to plan.

Ventilation for Passive House Multifamily Projects, Part 1
Green Building Advisor weighs the pros and cons of unitized and central systems for large buildings.

Ventilation for Passive House Multifamily Projects, Part 2
Green Building Advisor weighs in on the pros and cons of heat-recovery vs. energy-recovery ventilators in multifamily Passive House projects.

9. Fuels, Energy & Transportation

UDI & GVHBA Letter to Maple Ridge on EV Charging Infrastructure
UDI and GVHBA are generally supportive of the Maple Ridge electric vehicle charging infrastructure policy proposals but reiterate some specific comments and recommendations they previously provided. (PDF)

Compare 2019 Model Year Electric Vehicles
Natural Resources Canada online tables allow you to compare electric vehicles by model year.

Global Electric Renewables
Business Council of BC says transitioning to a less carbon-intensive global energy system is necessary if the world is to have any prospect of addressing climate change. The process is underway, and although renewables still make up a relatively small percentage of total global energy production and consumption, their contribution is growing at a brisk pace.

How Blockchain Can Save Energy
ACEEE says blockchain is generating a lot of buzz as a promising system to verify and track peer-to-peer transactions in the energy sector. It could have multiple applications although there is still debate about which, if any, will work well. What's clear, however, is that companies are already exploring uses of blockchain to save energy.

2017 US Wind Market Reports Indicate Strong Trends & Falling Prices
US Department of Energy has released three 2017 wind energy market reports demonstrating that as wind installations continue across the country and offshore wind projects move beyond the planning process, technology costs and wind energy prices continue to fall. The reports cover three market sectors: land-based utility scale, distributed, and offshore wind.

Wind Power Requires More Land & Causes Environmental Impact
In two papers published in Environmental Research Letters and Joule, Harvard University researchers find that the transition to wind or solar power in the United States would require five to 20 times more land area than previously thought, and if such large-scale wind farms were built, would warm average surface temperatures over the continental United States by 0.24 degrees Celsius.

Solar Panels Don't Make Good Roads
Green Building Advisor says early test results show that electricity generated by solar roadways is very expensive.

Role of Natural Factors Underestimated on Climate Change
University of Exeter study suggests that the natural phenomena such as solar eleven-year cycles and strong volcanic explosions play important roles in recent climate change which has been underestimated.

10. Information Sources

Canadian Association of Consulting Energy Advisors
Canadian Association of Consulting Energy Advisors exists to meet the need to establish and promote credibility of new home and existing home Energy Advisors across Canada, to educate its members, to leverage opportunities and to help Homeowners, Builders, Developers, Trades, Municipalities, Real Estate professionals, and other stakeholders better understand their industry.

Building Details for Deep-Energy Retrofit
Green Building Advisor provides building details for deep energy retrofits. Site subscription required.

Water Demand Calculator
International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials allows free download of their Water Demand Calculator.

Energy Efficiency 2018 Report
International Energy Agency report Energy Efficiency 2018 underscores efficiency's critical role in meeting greenhouse gas reduction commitments under the Paris Agreement and highlights the disappointing news that efficiency investments have slightly decreased in the United States and China.

Conservation Reports for Modern Buildings
Getty says Conservation and Technical Reports for Modern Buildings are now freely available online. Keeping it Modern is an initiative of the Getty Foundation that supports the conservation of twentieth-century architecture around the world. Experimentation with materials and construction techniques during this era resulted in great architectural innovation, but they were often untested and have presented complex conservation challenges with age. Now the Getty Foundation has launched the Keeping It Modern Report Library with the first 20 completed reports, free to download and use by practitioners in the field or anyone interested in cultural heritage preservation.

Small Business Energy Initiative Action Guide
Institute for Market Transformation online Small Business Energy Initiative Action Guide contains helpful tools, resources, and best practices to energize and inform efforts to establish or enhance a program that will help small business members reap the immense benefits of more efficient buildings and spaces.

New Series on Consuming Responsibly
Dovetail Partners is beginning a series of reports on responsible consumption. This consumer-focused series will provide information that: stimulates thinking about evaluation of consumption choices; provides a rationale for limiting adverse environmental and social impacts of consumption; offers ideas on how to satisfy needs while consuming less.

Energy Efficiency Fundamentals
This Energy Efficiency Fundamentals textbook is a learning tool for senior undergraduate and graduate students in a wide range of organizations. The text is divided into three sections. Theories and policies applicable to all jurisdictions, containing 11 chapters with links to references and further readings. Seven case studies, including BC, Alberta, Ontario and Nova Scotia. Sample course materials, such as templates for Cabinet Submissions, Briefing Notes, Regulatory Submissions, Building Audits, informative videos, articles and mid-term tests.

11. Conferences & Shows

2019 HPC Northwest Regional Conference & Trade Show
Home Performance Coalition presents their 2019 HPC Northwest Regional Conference & Trade Show in Portland, February 11-12. Industry leaders, weatherization professionals, home performance contracting businesses, program administrators, and others in the residential energy efficiency industry can experience a cutting edge educational experience and trade show.

12. Education & Training

Apply for BC Building Excellence Research & Education Grants
BC Housing is now accepting applications for the 2019 Building Excellence Research & Education Grants. This program supports initiatives that improve the quality of residential construction and strengthen consumer protection for buyers of new homes in BC.

Canadian Fenestration Installation Technician, Level 1 Personnel Certification
Fenestration Canada has launched their Fenestration Installation Technician, Level 1 (FIT-1) Personnel Certification. It has been developed with industry stakeholders to provide assurance that an individual possesses the competencies deemed necessary to perform the job function of a Fenestration Installation Technician, Level 1. The certification is designed to complement accreditation programs for verification bodies.

Converting to Advanced Framing, Learn from Experience
APA webinar on November 13th discusses common advanced framing techniques, the benefits of the system and typical challenges that builders encounter during the conversion from traditional framing to advanced framing.

UDI Seminar on Electric Vehicles
UDI seminar on Electric Vehicles will be presented in Vancouver on November 15th. Their expert panel will provide an overview of ambitious construction requirements for new multi-family buildings, and legal and policy insights on them.

Building High Performance Homes with Gord Cooke
GVHBA is bringing Gord Cooke of Building Knowledge to the UBC Robson Square campus for a special two-day event, High-Performance Homes: The Path to Building Success, November 19 & 20. This seminar will provide builders, architects, designers and renovators and anyone involved in supply/services side of the residential construction industry with the tools required to successfully navigate the complexities of building to high-performance standards and how to effectively market this specialized home to consumers.

Net Zero Homes & Green Infrastructure
GVHBA Builders Breakfast Series seminar Net Zero Homes and Green Infrastructure will be held in Burnaby on November 29th. It will take a deeper look at NetZero homes and performance pathways to build a home that leads by today’s standards but will soon become the industry norm.

Bachelor of Construction Management Degree to Include LEED
Partnering with the Canada Green Building Council, the Bachelor of Construction Management degree program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic will now include Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Associate training.

Energy & GHG Management E-Learning
NRCan Greening Government Services recently published its first Energy and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Management e-training modules on NRCan YouTube.

13. Costs & Savings

Richmond Geothermal Condos Come with Costs
Western Investor says residents who are currently living in a geothermal condo in Richmond say the cost they are paying for their geothermal energy is not as cheap as what some developers have marketed it as.

Soft Costs Can Have Major Impact on Builder Willingness to Go Solar
Home Innovation Research Labs discusses how outdated local processes stifle the true solar market.

Where Codes Meet Costs
Home Innovation Research Labs says cost is always a factor that needs to be considered on the road to innovation; in fact, cost is often the primary decision-making factor that stops a great idea from going forward.

Tesla Solar Roof Delayed Over Aesthetics & EV Prioritization
Utility Dive says Tesla solar roof production has been delayed over product aesthetics and electric vehicle EV prioritization.

Tesla Solar Roof Tiles, More Fizzle Than Steak
Canadian Contractor says production delays with Tesla solar roof tiles leave employees and customers in limbo.

Industry Collaboration is New Future for US Glass Recycling
GreenBiz says if a group adopted practices together, it could increase glass recycling and decrease emissions from glass in a significant way.

Passive House Affordability Competes with Mainstream Construction
Passive Buildings Canada says the Dunvegan Passive House in Halifax presents good competition for the code built houses as it is cost comparable while demonstrating cutting edge energy performance.

14. Incentives, Financing & Programs

Rebates on LED Lighting & Controls
Fortis BC is offering instant rebates up to $20 if you upgrade to select Energy Star LED light bulbs, fixtures and compatible controls.

Rebate on Energy Star Bathroom Fans
Visit participating retailers from October 5 to November 30, 2018, for an instant Fortis rebate of $25 on select Energy Star certified bathroom fans.

Rebate on Central Air Source Heat Pumps
FortisBC is offering a $1,200 rebate for upgrades from electric furnace to a high-efficiency central air source heat pump.

Energy Save New West Updates
Ecolighten shares two new videos from Metro Vancouver highlighting innovative projects being implemented by the City of New Westminster and Energy Save New West. The videos describe the Urban Solar Garden, and Lamp Post Electric Vehicle Charging Stations.

Proposal for Energy Efficiency in Federal Budget 2019
In the summer of 2018, Efficiency Canada brought together leaders in the energy efficiency sector to identify the most important investments that could be made in the next federal budget. This proposal summarizes the following three priorities from their consultations: Supporting energy efficiency service delivery throughout Canada; Developing workforce capabilities; Mobilizing private sector finance to improve building infrastructure. (PDF)

Funding for Labelling & Disclosure Projects
NRCan is now providing financial assistance to support energy labelling and disclosure initiatives for the commercial and institutional buildings sector. Provinces, territories, municipalities and key stakeholders have the opportunity to benefit.

Knowing Your Neighbour Cares About Environment Encourages People
University of Exeter says giving people information about how much gas or electricity their neighbours use encourages them to use less energy, research shows.

5 Steps to Unlock Energy Upgrades with Green Leasing
Institute for Market Transformation says there is both a significant need and opportunity to incentivize efficiency upgrades through green leasing to reap more savings and higher performance.


Dittie For Today: On Taking Initiative

The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men. - George Eliot


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ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada

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