Newsletter #174
Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
July 9, 2019


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

Home Improvement Expert Checklists
US Department of Energy online Home Improvement Expert fact sheets and checklists compile best practices from industry leaders and national laboratories for twenty-one home improvements related to energy efficiency.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

BC Won’t Be Able to Quit Fossil Fuels Any Time Soon
Business Council of BC says market penetration by electric and hybrid vehicles will weigh on the future consumption of refined petroleum products in the transportation sector. But as BC’s population climbs from five million to 6.3 million over the next 20 or so years, the demand for fossil fuels is expected to increase.

Making the Case For Building To Zero Carbon
Canadian Green Building Council report Making The Case For Building To Zero Carbon demonstrates that Zero Carbon Buildings offer meaningful greenhouse gas reductions and positive financial returns.

Do Realtors Get Sustainable Construction?
Insulation Institute says a new report from the National Association of Realtors looks at realtors’ knowledge of sustainability in the industry and provides insights into the extent to which green features appeal to buyers.

Energy Star Canada Recognizes Leaders in Energy Efficiency
NRCan lists their 2019 Energy Star Canada leaders in energy efficiency.

Sustainable Building Challenge to Canadian Municipalities
Built Green Canada has announced its sixth annual challenge to municipalities across the country to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable building practices, to challenge municipalities to encourage green building, and to highlight those builders leading the way.

Canada’s GHG Progress to 2030 Paris Commitment
Smart Prosperity Institute says as the politicization over climate policy rises with the upcoming election, there is an increasing need for a sound information base to unpack Canada’s progress towards its greenhouse gas target.

Per Capita Emissions. What Does It Mean?
Business Council of BC says there is much talk about climate emergency these days, with substantial blame aimed at industry for increasing global greenhouse gas emissions. However, two things rarely are mentioned — the role of consumers and the impact of global population growth.

Can We Prepare for Climate Impacts Without Creating Financial Chaos?
Green Building Advisor discusses if communities can prepare for impacts without scaring away homeowners and investors.

2. Business Management

BC Employers Should Brace for Impact from ESA Amendments
Business in Vancouver says following through on its commitment to modernize the Employment Standards Act, the BC NDP government passed several additional important changes effective May 30.

Can Sustainable Be Attainable? Can Both Be Profitable?
Builder Magazine discusses how corporate responsibility and social impact became core strategic principles for the world’s largest home builder.

Aligning Construction & Technology Sectors
BC Construction Association says new technologies that help us become more productive and efficient are critical to moving the construction industry forward, but can also feel overwhelming at times. They surveyed over 300 construction companies in all eight economic regions of British Columbia to understand the current state of construction technology in the province.

Construction & Carbon, Impact of Climate Policy on Building in Canada
Smart Prosperity Institute says over the next few years, the construction sector is one of the winners of carbon pricing, as escalating carbon prices unleash a wave of business and household investment.

Financial Support for a Vibrant Building Retrofit Market
Canadian Green Building Council says the Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance has released its Mobilizing Finance for Sustainable Growth report suggesting how to support a vibrant Building retrofit market.

Secret to Marketing, Sales, Life
Remodelers Advantage says the secret of life is simple: do one thing. However, don’t mistake simple for easy: finding that one thing is far from it.

4 Signs Your Website Is in Need of a Refresh
Energy Circle suggests how you can know if your HVAC, solar, or home performance website is ready for a facelift. They walk you through the four signs you may need to refresh your content, update your service pages, and upgrade the functionality of your website for increased lead generation.

What is Wrong with Energy Efficiency?
Taylor & Francis article says that far from being a solution, efficiency, as currently constituted, undermines that which it is expected to achieve. It is concluded that if carbon emissions are to be reduced on any significant scale, then it is essential to consider the meanings and levels of service and the types of consumption and demand that efficiency policies support and perpetuate.

3. Building Design & Trends

Kelowna Sets Foundation for Net-Zero Energy Homes
Journal of Commerce says the City of Kelowna has taken the first step towards making new homes net-zero energy ready by 2032.

Alberta’s Biggest Builder Mandates Solar
Home Builder Canada magazine says Alberta's largest home builder, Jayman BUILT, has mandated roof solar panels this year, which it says will lower energy costs, help with home affordability and increase the resale values of new homes.

2019 Energy-Efficient Home Design Trends
Fixr online 2019 Energy-Efficient Home Design Trends Report summarizes interviews with 25 experts in the home design industry. They describe upcoming trends in energy-efficient home features, design, and building trends. (PDF)

Passive House Kitchens
Passive Buildings Canada says creating a passive house kitchen is a balancing act. Designers must maintain airtightness, while not compromising air quality; keep energy down, while ensuring proper ventilation.

Tiny House Converts Benefit the Environment
Green Building Advisor says when people downsize to tiny houses, they adopt more environmentally friendly lifestyles.

Guidance Available for Estimating Embodied Carbon in Mechanical Systems
Engineering News Record says Charles Pankow Foundation has released guidance to building owners, developers, designers and contractors interested in considering the embodied carbon in mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

America’s Largest Net Zero Multifamily Community
Builder Magazine says this new upstate NY property introduces Ecoluxury living.

Zero Energy Design Guide for Small Office Buildings
ASHRAE offers the free Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small to Medium Office Buildings: Achieving Zero Energy. It provides direction for designing and constructing zero energy office buildings in all climate zones.

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Survey on Changes to BC Building Code
BC Building and Safety Standards Branch invites you to review and provide feedback on the following proposed mid-cycle changes to the British Columbia Building Code 2018.

Inside the BC Revolutionary Building Energy Code
Efficiency Canada says the BC Energy Step Code is not a stand-alone code, but a part of the BC Building Code that local governments may use, if they wish, to incentivize or require a level of energy efficiency in new construction that would exceed minimum code requirements.

Lessons from the BC Energy Step Code
Glave Communications report Lessons from the BC Energy Step Code documents the story of how BC developed a building code designed to steadily improve energy efficiency and transform the market towards the ultimate goal of net-zero energy-ready performance. It is intended for any jurisdiction that may be considering a performance-based stepped energy code, or any jurisdiction interested in a market transformation model that is grounded in shared leadership. (PDF)

Different Goals Posts in Step Codes
Canadian Contractor says the BC Step Code established different energy goal posts for regions/climate zones. Therefore, new homebuyers in Climate Zone 4 (Victoria and Vancouver regions), where housing is more expensive, are paying more to achieve a lower energy-efficiency tier than identical homes in Climate Zone 5 (Nanaimo region), despite similar weather conditions.

BC Climate Plan, Energy Roadmap, Clean Economic Development Strategy
Pacific Energy Innovation Association provides an overview of CleanBC and the BC Climate Plan, energy roadmap and clean economic development strategy. (PDF)

Canadian Forward Regulatory Plan for Energy Efficiency 2019 - 2021
Natural Resources Canada, between 2019 and 2021, intends to propose a series of amendments to the Energy Efficiency Regulations, with the approximate timing for pre-publication as noted here.

Energy Efficiency Groups Balk at New US Appliance Rules
Green Building Advisor says critics say a change proposed by the US Department of Energy would undermine efficiency standards for many home appliances.

5. Building Science & Technology

EnerGuide Housing Glossary of Terms
NRCan online encyclopedia that explains terms and definitions used in home energy efficiency and energy performance.

Eco-Friendly Alternative Choices for Greener Home Exterior
Ecohome guides on Eco-Friendly Alternatives for Exteriors cover alternatives to the traditional lawn, native plants, growing food on a balcony, choosing stormwater management systems, building a natural, chemical-free pool, solariums, more durable deck building, natural pools, bee keeping and urban farming, and more.

New Group Promotes Climate-Smart Wood
Green Building Advisor says the Forest Stewardship Council and four environmental advocacy groups in the Pacific Northwest have launched a promotional campaign for forest practices and wood products that help lower carbon emissions.

The Green Paint Myth
Healthy Indoors says it sounds ridiculous, but the surface coatings industry replaced traditional paint VOCs with other VOCs.

New Tool Evaluates Moisture Durability of Envelope
An online tool developed by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory provides architects and engineers a fast and efficient way to assess the performance of a building’s envelope design before construction begins. The Building Science Advisor allows builders to evaluate the moisture durability of the envelope, or exterior, of residential buildings.

Does a Motor Draw More or Less at lower Voltage?
HVAC school says a blower motor rated for 120V draws about twice the amperage of the same horsepower motor rated at 240V. This is different than what happens when you drop the voltage of a motor below its rating.

Rethinking Mechanical Design from Scratch
Passive Buildings Canada online video explores the impact a mechanical system can have on a passive house certification and how mechanical systems are different from regular building HVAC system.

Emissions Reductions with Direct Air Capture
Pacific Energy Innovation Association online slide show presentation covers clean fuels and emissions reductions with direct air capture. (PDF)

6. Building Performance Issues

Evaluating Adequacy of Fiber Cement Siding Attachment
International Institute of Building Enclosure Consultants provides a basic understanding of siding attachment issues that are frequently discussed during construction litigation cases involving fiber cement board siding.

How Green Are Mass Timber Buildings?
Green Building Advisor says advocates say that mass timber could revolutionize the building industry, but some skeptics worry about the environmental impact of logging.

Homeowner Interest in Healthy Home Trends Increases
Homeowners have become increasingly interested in healthy home trends, according to a recent study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. The report also determined that while remodelers are aware of this trend, they are still in the early stages of using health-conscious materials and practices in their work.

Protect Indoor Air Quality from Smoke During Wildfires
Ecohome says outdoor air becomes very polluted during wildfires, and keeping it outside should be the main priority.

Testing Pollution in Homes
Healthy Indoors shows a few consumer air quality monitors and compares their methods and accuracy, and interpretation of results.

Water Waste is Preventable Problem
PHCP Pros says today’s hot water recirculation technology can save water, reduce costs and conserve energy.

The Benefits of Smart Meters
Advanced Energy says smart meter technology is a key component of the smart grid and the modernization of power generation and distribution to improve the reliability, affordability and safety of electricity.

7. Products & Suppliers

Terry Adamson is 2019-2020 Fenestration Canada President
Fenestration Canada has announced that Terry Adamson, Technical Director, Westeck Windows, was formally appointed and announced as the next President of Fenestration Canada for the 2019-2020 term.

Best LED Light Bulbs of 2019
EarthTechling chose their best LED bulbs of 2019 based on price, company reputation, and customer reviews.

5 Best Solar Deck Lights for 2019
EarthTechling presents their choices for the five best solar deck lights for 2019.

Cellulose Rigid Foam Board Insulation
Ecohome describes a new environmentally-friendly rigid foam insulation board made from cellulose nanocrystals.

Hemp Insulation Manufactured in Canada
Ecohome says Nature Fibres, a young company based in Quebec, began manufacturing hemp insulation in the winter of 2018.

Getting More Heat Out of Sunlight
Material developed at MIT can passively capture solar heat for home heating or industrial applications.

AeroBarrier Successfully Seals Old Defense Department Buildings
Builder Magazine says according to a study, using AeroBarrier technology to seal six different buildings located on three different US military bases reduced leakage by more than 30%.

Artificial Intelligence in Construction
ConstructConnect says there is a place for AI in the construction industry, as there are quite a few applications already in use and others in development that will benefit the construction industry in the years to come.

8. Installation & Procedures

How Not to Size an Air Conditioner
Plumbing & HVAC says it is very frustrating when HVAC professionals have no idea how to properly size an air conditioner.

Low Velocity Air Flow in Ducts
Energy Vanguard says bigger ducts and lower velocities are better for static pressure than you might have guessed.

10 Construction Trends Impacting the Industry
Home Energy Magazine looks at some of the biggest construction trends that are currently impacting the industry, and those that will continue to do so in the coming years.

Rise of Prefab Passive House Systems
Passive Buildings Canada says coast to coast, a growing list of Canadian companies are manufacturing high-performance wall panels for passive house buildings.

Constructability of Conventional vs Passive House
Passive Buildings Canada online video tells the story of an existing building aiming for the Enerfit standard, one that had constraints and site conditions that created substantial challenges.

10 Things to Consider When Remodeling a Kitchen
Fine Homebuilding says an updated kitchen can add value and functionality to a house, but the remodeling process can feel daunting. Considering these ten items early on can help ensure a more successful and speedier remodel.

Bluesky Builds Vancouver's First Smart Windows Office Tower
Sustainable Biz Canada says a new Vancouver office building is the first in Canada to feature smart windows to reduce glare and external heat without blinds. BlueSky Properties recently opened 988 West Broadway, the first Canadian office building to feature View Dynamic Glass throughout.

3D Printer Will Produce Homes in Saudi Arabia
Digital Trends says a new 3-D printer that is roughly the size of a small barn, is designed for construction purposes. It is capable of printing entire buildings up to 40 feet wide, 90 feet long and 30 feet high.

9. Fuels, Energy & Transportation

Experiments Show Dramatic Increase in Solar Cell Output
MIT says the method for collecting two electrons from each photon could break through theoretical solar-cell efficiency limit.

Bringing Solar Power to Low-Income Communities
Green Building Advisor says more than a dozen states have adopted community solar programs that lower energy bills for low-income households.

$13.6 Billion Solar Park Rises from Dubai Desert
CNN describes the Dubai project along with 21 pictures of various large-scale solar parks around the world.

Steering Wind Power in New Direction
Stanford study shows how to improve production at wind farms.

Microgrids & Evolving Energy Landscape of Today
Microgrid Knowledge walks readers through the evolving landscape that is bringing about energy independence. This shift involves a reshaping of our approach to producing and delivering electric power and answers the question: Why microgrids?

More Energy Needed to Cope with Climate Change
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis says a new study found that by mid-century climate change will increase the demand for energy globally, even with modest warming.

Reducing Carbon Emissions from Cars & Trucks Will Be Hard
Green Building Advisor says despite cheaper batteries and government subsidies, electric vehicles still run a distant second for car buyers.

Rapid Transition From Fossil Fuels Not Possible
National Post says many of us would rather see more progress on clean energy, but there are some stark realities about the current energy system. It's big and will take more time than most realize to transition. It means oil and gas will continue to be a part of how we power our lives for many years to come.

10. Information Sources

2019 BC Environment Industry Guide
BC Environment Industry Guide 2019 describes an industry sector that is growing faster than the economy as a whole, and lists companies that provide the products and services to protect our natural and social environments. (PDF)

Online Presentation on House As A System
BC Home Performance Stakeholder Council allows access to the online presentation from their recent webinar on House As A System.

Resource Site on Passive Homes
Passive House Accelerator makes it easier to learn about Passive House. It supports the community by allowing them to share ideas and solutions, to continue and expand on conversations and sessions at conferences, and to allow those who are succeeding in creating projects and/ or solutions to share their knowledge. It aggregates content from existing sites while also creating a new platform for people to share new ideas.

Passive House Weekly Newsletter
Passive House Accelerator publishes Passive House Weekly, a new curated newsletter compiled to bring you the perspectives, insights, and lessons learned from the Passive House and high-performance building community.

Building High Performance Homes through LEEP, Series One
BC Housing online videos showcase how the LEEP initiative is helping to drive innovation in the industry and accelerate the construction of affordable energy-efficient homes. This is Series One.

Building High Performance Homes through LEEP, Series Two
BC Housing online videos showcase how the LEEP initiative is helping to drive innovation in the industry and accelerate the construction of affordable energy-efficient homes. This is Series Two.

Home Diagnosis TV Online Videos
Home Energy Pros Forum online videos from Home Diagnosis TV feature Corbett and Grace Lunsford's TV series about measured home performance and building science.

World's Carbon Emissions in One Giant Chart
Visual Capitalist online chart uses the most recent data from Global Carbon Atlas to demonstrate where most of the world’s CO2 emissions come from, sorted by country.

11. Conferences & Shows

Canadian Hydronics Conference
Canadian Hydronics Conference will be held in Ottawa, September 24-25. Produced by the Canadian Hydronics Council, the event features 2 full days of education, networking and access to leading suppliers through a hydronics only trade show.

High Performance Home Summit
Energy and Environmental Building Association 2019 High Performance Home Summit will be held in Denver, October 1-2. Sessions will present the latest in building science, combined with real-world application and problem-solving. Presentations will cover topics of special interest including solutions for healthy, resilient and affordable high performance and Zero-Energy Homes.

Net Zero Conference
Net Zero Conference 2019 will be held in Los Angeles, October 2-4. It is the largest net zero building conference in the US.

Ecocity World Summit 2019 In Vancouver
Ecocity World Summit 2019 is taking place in Vancouver, October 7-11. It is the longest running international conference on sustainable cities. Ecocity 2019’s theme Socially Just and Ecologically Sustainable Cities will be explored through insightful presentations, educational field trips, interactive workshops and collaborative discussions.

Green Building Festival 2019 In Toronto
At the 2019 Green Building Festival, held in Toronto on October 8th, a range of expert designers and builders will look at both simple and complex strategies, techniques and technologies to inspire us to reach for the goal of zero carbon.

Living Product Expo 2019
Living Product Expo 2019 will be held in Nashville, October 8-10. At the Expo, you’ll connect with 700+ industry leaders who are all part of a movement to bring beautiful and healthy materials into the places we live, work, and play.

Passive House Canada Conference 2019
Passive House Canada Conference 2019 will be held in Toronto, October 17-18

12. Education & Training

Summer Construction Workshops Announced
Vancouver Regional Construction Association summer course offerings will focus on skill building fundamentals to better benefit you and your teammates.

Hazard Recognition & Control
ICBA course Hazard Recognition and Control will be presented in Burnaby on July 20th. This session is designed to provide participants the required knowledge to understand the principle of hazard recognition and control as well as the methods used to ensure hazards are identified and adequately addressed in the workplace.

Introduction to Passive House High Performance Buildings
Passive House Canada course An Introduction to the Passive House High Performance Buildings will be presented in Victoria on August 16th. It provides an overview of the core principles of Passive House design and building energy efficiency regulations in Canada. The course also covers the history of energy efficient buildings, energy consumption data and environmental impact, case studies and the economics of creating high performance buildings.

Selling Energy Efficiency Webinar
The BC Home Performance Stakeholder Council webinar Selling Energy Efficiency, will be presented by Gord Cooke on September 26th.

Online Course on Deep Energy Retrofits
HeatSpring online course on deep energy retrofits is presented by energy expert and engineer Marc Rosenbaum.

BC Students Gear Up for Clean Tech Futures with New SFU Facility
BC Government says in September 2019, Simon Fraser University students will be able to train, for the first time, in new state-of-the-art facilities for sustainable energy engineering, a program unique to Western Canada.

Passive House Canada Online Learning Platform
Passive House Canada new online learning platform will give you access to a growing library of educational offerings featuring live webinars, recorded sessions, and online resources to access at your convenience. Topics are customized to meet your learning needs as a Passive House professional working in Canada.

13. Costs & Savings

Solar Energy Costs Trends Over Time
EarthTechling says since 2010, the cost of installing solar has dropped an incredible 65%. While buying a solar installation might’ve been only for the well-to-do just a decade ago, with today’s low prices (and great financing options) anyone can install solar and save some money on their energy bills.

Highlights from 2019 Remodeling Cost vs Value Report
Remodeling Magazine online video walks you through some highlights of the 2019 Cost vs Value Report.

Policymakers Should Drop Magical Thinking on Energy
Fraser Institute says an energy analyst with the Manhattan Institute published a report New Energy Economy: An exercise in Magical Thinking, which pokes many holes in the idea that wind, solar power and energy storage will provide 100 per cent of the power that drives our economy.

Shifting US to 100 Percent Renewables Would Cost $4.5 Trillion
Yale E360 says converting the entire US power grid to 100 percent renewable energy in the next decade is technologically and logistically attainable, and would cost an estimated $4.5 trillion, according to a recent analysis.

Is Green New Deal Just as Dangerous As Climate Denial?
Green Building Advisor says the sweeping but poorly detailed Green New Deal plan bundles an energy transformation with a variety of social goals.

Electricity Consumers Pay for Misguided Energy Policies
Fraser Institute says the $850 million in extra Alberta utility costs paid by consumers in 2018 would have been enough to convert the entire coal-fired fleet to natural gas. Instead, consumers are stuck paying high prices while coal-fired electricity plants continue to emit CO2.

14. Incentives, Financing & Programs

BC Window & Door Rebates
FortisBC is offering up to $1000 in rebates for replacing windows and doors.

BC Indigenous Communities Offer
BC Hydro program for Indigenous communities offers training, free energy-saving products and rebates to implement home energy upgrades for their community members.

Winners Selected in CleanBC Better Buildings Competition
BC Government says eleven building projects have been selected as winners in a juried competition to support the design and construction of energy-efficient buildings.

Canadian Housing Co-Investment Fund for Repair & Renewal
CMHC Housing Repair and Renewal Fund provides $3.46 billion in loans and $2.26 billion in capital contributions to repair and renew the existing community and affordable housing supply.

Innovative Financing Makes Energy Efficiency Affordable to All
GreenBiz says with an innovative financing mechanism, electric utilities are using their borrowing power to finance energy efficiency upgrades in homes at no upfront cost to their customers.

On-Bill Financing Faces Barriers to Wider Adoption
ACEEE says on-bill financing has gained ground but faces barriers to wider adoption.

PACE Financing and Managing Risks for Local Governments
Berkeley Lab issue brief Commercial PACE Financing and the Special Assessment Process: Understanding Roles and Managing Risks for Local Governments is for local governments that are well-positioned to participate in a commercial property assessed clean energy program but are looking to inform a decision about whether to join or create a program.


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ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada

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