Newsletter #162
Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
August 7, 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

Impact Residential Energy Conservation Measures on Airtightness
BRIK online slide show presentation summarizes the study Impact Of Various Residential Energy Conservation Measures On Airtightness. It confirmed that prairie houses tend to be tighter than those in more temperate regions, partial story houses are generally leakier than full story houses, and older houses experience more air leakage than newer houses. It confirmed that all of the energy conservation retrofits affected airtightness, whether through deliberate attempts to seal potential leakage sites or inadvertently as the result of other actions such as blowing insulation into wall cavities. (PDF)

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

PHC & Vancouver ZEBE Join International Powers
Passive House Canada and Vancouver Zero Emissions Building Exchange participated in the UNECE High Performance Building Initiative at UN Headquarters in New York to establish the International Centres of Excellence on High Performance Buildings.

Changing Government Policies Challenge Residential Solar
Canadian Contractor says changing government policies in Canada and the US are challenging the residential solar industry.

Generation Energy Council Advises on Canadian Low Carbon Economy
Generation Energy Council, using results from the in-person and online engagements across Canada, is advising on how it thinks Canada should transition to a reliable, affordable, low-carbon economy in the future.

An MPG for Homes
Rocky Mountain Institute report An MPG For Homes, Driving Visible Value for Home Energy Performance in Real Estate says that real estate platforms have begun including energy information in their listings, and this is a significant step toward reducing the barrier to the transparency of energy use in the home-buying process. (PDF)

Certification Schemes Offer False Promise of Sustainability
Green Lodging News says many certification schemes which supposedly help consumers make environmentally friendly decisions are standing in the way of greater sustainability and should undergo serious reform, according to a new report.

Electrifying Buildings for Decarbonization
Green Building Advisor discusses a new report from the Rocky Mountain Institute that examines the role of electric space and water heating.

8 Takeaways from Green Climate Fund Meltdown
Climate Change News says the UN flagship climate finance initiative had a public setback. What went wrong, what are the political implications and what happens next?

Home Values Grew Most in Markets with Strictest Land Use Regulations
Zillow Research presents the findings of a study that showed higher home price increases in cities with restrictive land use regulations.

2. Business Management

Provide Your Input into BC Clean Growth Intentions Papers
BC is developing a strategy for clean growth, and is inviting you to share your thoughts and ideas on a clean growth future. Public consultation on the first elements of the strategy starts with these four intentions papers: Towards a clean growth future for BC; Clean, Efficient Buildings; Clean Transportation; Clean Growth Program for Industry.

Elevator Pitch for Home Performance Companies
Building Performance Institute created this elevator pitch to assist home performance companies in telling their story.

Digital Marketing Terms & Acronyms for HVAC & Home Performance
Energy Circle provides a list of terms, acronyms and other digital marketing phrases and what they mean in relation to your HVAC, Home Performance or Solar business.

Seal the Deal with a Killer About Us Page
Energy Circle says the About Us page often gets buried underneath all of the other important pages on your website. Of course your potential customers want to know what services you provide, but just as important is why you want to provide those services for them.

Benefits of Using Videographics
Energy Circle says a simple animated videographic explainer video can educate your customers about complex concepts and give your SEO a boost. As more websites move towards video content, you can learn how video can benefit your website in the better building sector.

Insights from Successful Net-Zero Builders
Green Building Advisor says to increase the number of net-zero energy homes beyond niche status, we need to learn how forward-looking builders broke into this market.

Job Task Analysis for Energy Auditor
US Department of Energy Job Task Analysis For Energy Auditor provides a foundation for a credentialing program and helps identify the core knowledge areas, critical work functions, and/or skills typically found across a representative sampling of current practitioners or job incumbent workers. (PDF)

How Will Energy Storage Impact Utilities
Advanced Energy says energy storage has a number of benefits: it can increase grid reliability and resiliency, reduce the need for capacity and infrastructure development, and regulate frequency and voltage. For these reasons, it is a hot topic and a central component of the smart grid of the future.

3. Building Design & Trends

Island Home is Steady, Deliberate Approach to Sustainable Building
Built Green Canada describes a new home on Vancouver Island that show how Città Construction Ltd. is focused on how they've approached sustainable building.

Winnipeg Builder Offers Prefab Net-Zero Energy Homes
Sustainable Biz Canada says Eric Bjornson wants to be the Ikea of home construction. The Winnipeg-based, environmentally-friendly homebuilder has garnered a reputation in the province for designing and constructing custom, net-zero energy, single-detached homes. Now his company developed a prefabricated, highly energy-efficient home specifically designed to be affordable.

Straw Bale Hybrid Home in Ontario
Passive Buildings Canada describes this Ontario home that is a hybrid between conventional and straw bale building for ultimate performance, comfort and healthy living.

Passive Solar Design
Fine Homebuilding describes the Net Zero Escape project, and architect Peter Pfeiffer shares his thoughts on climate-responsive design.

Taking a Tour of Flatrock Passive
Green Building Advisor describes how this house is more than a set of plans and a bunch of numbers on paper.

Balancing Preservation & Energy Efficiency in Building Retrofits
Building Research Information Knowledgebase presentation paper Balancing Preservation and Energy Efficiency in Building Retrofits says common retrofit strategies are found throughout the industry that lend themselves to improving the energy performance of an existing building. Each of these strategies must be balanced with the preservation of the existing building, specifically when the building has historical significance.

Community Wellbeing, A Framework for the Design Professions
Conference Board of Canada report Community Wellbeing: A Framework for the Design Professions summarizes that the design features of cities, communities and buildings can create conditions that promote and foster individual and community health and wellbeing. Free site registration required.

Canadian Green Building Leader Profiles
Canadian Green Building Council describes projects that have gone above and beyond what we knew to be green building and are pushing the boundaries of what thought possible for zero carbon and LEED v4 certifications and their teams.

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

BC Energy Compliance Reports, Performance Paths for Part 9 Buildings
BC Government bulletin provides a plain-language description of the BC Energy Compliance Reports Performance Paths for Part 9 Buildings. It is intended for building officials or others who would like a short explanation of what the reports are, who they are for, and how they can be used. (PDF)

Vancouver Looks to Limit New Buildings Embodied Emissions
Rabble says the City of Vancouver is moving forward with plans to incorporate policies into rezoning applications that would require developers to limit embodied greenhouse gas emissions associated with their building projects.

UDI Letter on Vancouver Mandatory Green Roofs Motion
UDI sent this letter to the City of Vancouver in response to their mandatory green roofs motion. (PDF)

Relief for Alberta Hydronics Industry
Plumbing & HVAC says Alberta hydronic heating contractors will soon see relief from onerous slab insulation requirements that have virtually put the industry out of business.

Two Updated ANSI Fenestration Standards
National Fenestration Rating Council says two NFRC documents completed the mid-cycle ANSI public review and have officially earned the American National Standard designation. The two documents are: ANSI/NFRC 100-2017 [E0A2]: Procedure for Determining Fenestration Product U-factors, and ANSI/NFRC 200-2017 [E0A1]: Procedure for Determining Fenestration Product Solar Heat Gain Coefficient and Visible Transmittance at Normal Incidence. (PDF)

US Developing a Water Efficiency Rating Index Standard
US Residential Energy Services Network is partnering with the International Code Council to develop a national consensus standard for a HERS water efficiency rating index.

Issues with California Solar Panel Edict
Green Building Advisor discusses why the new California rooftop mandate isn’t good enough for some solar power enthusiasts.

Advancing Home Energy Labeling Through Data Standardization
Home Performance Coalition says a Building Performance Institute working group is planning to update and expand BPI-2101-S-2013 Standard Requirements for a Certificate of Residential Energy Efficiency Features and Performance.

5. Building Science & Technology

Urban Solar Garden in New Westminster
Ecolighten describes the Urban Solar Garden project in New Westminster. It is a 50 kW solar array that allows local residents, businesses and non-profit organizations who’ve invested in the project access to renewable energy.

Online Calculator for Effective R-Value of Walls
Canadian Wood Council online calculator for effective R-Value will provide designers with climate zone-appropriate insulated wall assembly solutions that are easily comparable with national and provincial energy efficiency prescriptive provisions.

Understanding Continuous Air Barrier Systems
Canadian Contractor says as codes across the country begin to mandate higher levels of energy efficiency, the direct implication are building envelopes that must become tighter in terms of air changes per hour (ACH). In order to reduce the tightness of the envelope, every building envelope needs an effective air barrier system.

Installing an Airtight Attic Hatch
Green Building Advisor says the right attic hatch product and careful installation preserve the air barrier and save energy.

What Exactly Is a Low-Load Home?
Energy Vanguard discusses issues and considerations for deciding what a low-load home actually is.

Tackling a Basement Water & Radon Issue
Green Building Advisor advises a homeowner looking for comments on a plan to upgrade perimeter drainage.

7 Things You May Not Know About Ceiling Fans
Energy Vanguard describes seven things about ceiling fans that a lot of people seem not to know.

Is All Electricity Storage Created Equal?
PHCP Pros describes some off-peak thermal storage methods for heating and cooling.

6. Building Performance Issues

2018 Canadian Radon Awareness Survey Results
Environics research report 2018 National Radon Awareness Survey Results provides insights into the knowledge, awareness, attitudes and behaviours of Canadians regarding radon. (PDF)

Single-Family Quality Control Inspector Job Task Analysis
US Department of Energy report Single-Family Quality Control Inspector Job Task Analysis is meant to provide the foundation for quality training programs and trainers. (PDF)

Pinless Moisture Meters
Green Building Advisor describes pinless moisture meters and how to use them and not use them.

Cool Vs Non-Reflective Roofing
RCI says while there are advantages to using a reflective roof membrane, there are also disadvantages. The roof consultant should determine the effect a reflective roof membrane has within a given roof assembly and weigh the pros and cons of the membrane’s use when making design decisions. (PDF) Free Google sign-in required.

New Canadian Survey of MURB Energy Consumption
NRCan says a new national survey of energy use for Multi Unit Residential Buildings (MURBs) will begin in July 2018.

Building Attribute to Impact Algorithm
CSHub developed the Building Attribute to Impact Algorithm that allows building designers to understand which design attributes will ultimately have the most significant environmental and economic impacts during the building’s life including the use phase, which comprises the operation of the building throughout its life. (PDF)

7. Products & Suppliers

Cascadia Windows Wins Green Building Product of Year Award
Canada Green Building Council announced that Cascadia Windows is the winner of the 2018 CaGBC Green Building Product of the Year Award for their Universal Series product line.

Researchers Develop New Super Window
Green Building Advisor says the flatscreen TV industry advances thin glass technology, making a new type of window possible.

Today’s Residential Faucets
Plumbing & HVAC says innovation is ongoing and constant in the residential faucet industry as manufacturers work to balance code mandated water conservation requirements while ensuring that flow from lavatory and kitchen faucets along with showerheads doesn’t feel inadequate to the user.

New Water Conservation Technologies
PHCP Pros describes some conservation technologies that will help keep you above water.

Fiber Glass & Mineral Wool Health & Safety
Insulation Institute says fiber glass and mineral wool insulation consists of man-made vitreous fibers and are safe to manufacture, fabricate, install, and use when certain common-sense work practices are followed.

High-Efficacy LED Luminaires
US Department of Energy evaluated performance of several new light-emitting diode (LED) lighting products with claimed efficacies near or exceeding 200 lumens per Watt (lm/W). The purpose of the study was to validate the claimed efficacy, determine the features or characteristics the products had in common, and identify any performance tradeoffs in luminaires reaching this very high efficacy level.

Is Greener Concrete the Key to Sustainable Construction?
Construct Connect provides a few examples of how stronger and more environmentally friendly concrete is being researched and developed.

8. Installation & Procedures

High R-Value Walls Without Exterior Rigid Insulation, Cold Climates
US Department of Energy report High R-Value Walls Without Exterior Rigid Insulation, Cold Climates presents techniques that have been shown to reduce the likelihood of mold growth and moisture-related damage. (PDF)

Simple Air Sealing with OSB & Plywood Sheathing
Engineered Wood Association bulletin Simple Air Sealing with OSB and Plywood Sheathing says plywood and OSB sheathing of 3/8 category or thicker are both code-recognized air barrier materials. They detail 10 common sources of air infiltration that should be checked and sealed during construction. Free site registration required.

Determining the Zones in Duct Design
Energy Vanguard describes issues and considerations for determining duct zoning.

Frugal Happy in Demolition
Green Building Advisor says before any new work can begin, the old must come out.

Canadian Guide on Going Solar
Canadian Solar Industries Association online Canada's Go Solar Guide & Directory will help you navigate various solar options and identify the right solutions for you and your energy needs. Whether you're buying a solar system outright or entering a long term agreement with a solar company, this guide will help you understand the basics of solar energy, investigate important considerations for items such as home insurance, and identify what questions to ask their solar professionals. (PDF)

How to Install Solar Hot Water
Fine Homebuilding online video shows how to install temperature-activated collector panels, and a solar heat exchanger and conventional water heater that work in tandem.

Solar DHW In-Tank Heat Exchangers
PHCP Pros says even coated with minerals from hard water, this in-tank heat exchanger equipment continues to provide hot water with low maintenance.

Do Solar Panels Need to be Cleaned?
Green Building Advisor discusses how the accumulation of dust, pollen, and bird droppings affects the energy production of a PV array.

9. Fuels, Energy & Transportation

Canadian Electric Charging Stations Locator
NRCan online interactive map helps you find EV charging stations across Canada.

EV Charging in Cold Temperatures Could Pose Challenges
Environmental News Network says new research suggests electric vehicle drivers could face longer charging times when temperatures drop. The reason: cold temperatures impact the electrochemical reactions within the cell, and onboard battery management systems limit the charging rate to avoid damage to the battery.

Alternative Solar Systems for Houses of the Future
Builder Magazine says following California's new mandate requiring solar-powered systems for residential construction, here are some technologies likely to get a bump.

Are Public Objections to Wind Farms Overblown?
Green Building Advisor says new research shows that most people living even within a half-mile of an industrial wind turbine are not concerned about it.

Residential Microgrids Likely to See Boost in California Under New Code
Microgrid Knowledge says California has opened the door for residential microgrids in all new homes with the recent approval of building standards aimed at improving energy efficiency.

Challenges & Advances in Renewable Energy Integration
US Department of Energy data book sheds some light on common questions about how grid operators handle the uncertainty of variable renewable energy sources.

10. Information Sources

Net Zero Service Organizations, Energy Advisors, Trainers
CHBA lists their Qualified Net Zero Service Organizations, Energy Advisors and Trainers.

Climate Change Survey Findings from BC Engineers
Engineers and Geoscientists BC 2017 Climate Change Survey gathered information on how they can support registrants to consider the impact of their work on the climate, and the impact of climate on their professional activities. (PDF)

Q2 2018 Built Green Canada Newsletter
Built Green Canada online Q2 2018 newsletter provides updates on the Built Green Canada program and related green building industry happenings. (PDF)

July 2018 Passive House Canada Newsletter
Passive House Canada online July 2018 newsletter provides updates and information on the passive house industry.

The Sustainable City, A Book Review & Exploration into Living Systems
Green Building Elements says The Sustainable City is a must-read for anyone who is interested in the future of the built environment.

Forum 2018 Presentations on Materials & Resources
Globe Forum 2018 online presentations on materials and resources describe how the circular economy and emerging trends such as digitalization could help us reduce waste and increase resource efficiency.

Common Ground for Action, Online Tool
National Issues Forums Institute online tool Common Ground for Action, is a simple but sophisticated platform for public deliberation online. It allows small groups to learn more about an issue, examine options for dealing with the issue, weigh tradeoffs, and find common ground, with beautiful visuals that let participants actually see their conversation evolve.

United States Wind Turbine Database
US Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory online database lists US wind turbine locations and characteristics.

11. Conferences & Shows

Better Buildings Summit
Better Buildings Summit will be held in Cleveland, August 21-23. It is for energy professionals to engage with one another and explore and share innovative strategies, emerging technologies, financing trends, and more.

High Performance Home Summit
Energy and Environmental Building Association 2018 High Performance Home Summit will be held in San Diego, October 16-18. 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.

Making The Links 2018: Climate Change, Community Health & Resilience
SHIFT Collaborative conference Making the Links 2018: Climate Change, Community Health & Resilience will be held in Kelowna from November 5-6. Join leading thinkers and community leaders for two days of learning and creating strategies for collaborative action on some of the most pressing issues of our time: climate change, health, and resilience.

Passive House Canada Conference 2018
Passive House Canada Conference 2018 will be held in Vancouver, November 7-8.

International Green Building Conference & Expo
Greenbuild International Conference & Expo will be held in Chicago, November 14-16. It welcomes a community of professionals, advocates and practitioners, students and teachers, designers and builders, and everything in between to show and discuss new technology, new ideas and new ways forward.

12. Education & Training

Passive House Design & Construction for Architects
AIBC says the Passive House Design and Construction for Architects course will be presented in Vancouver, August 8 - 10. Open to all, this course is tailored to architects and associates interested in learning about Passive House building projects.

Passive House Needs More Than Labeled Window Energy Performance Values
Fenestration Canada webinar on August 15th will explain where and how to get more detailed information on your products that goes beyond the labeled energy performance.

Free Webinar on Five Priority Air Sealing Locations for New Homes
On August 16th RESNET and the Insulation Institute are hosting a free webinar on Five Priority Air Sealing Locations for New Homes. It covers air leakage from five specific locations and their estimated potential contribution to ACH50 reductions.

Upcoming Course in BCIT High Performance Building Lab
Here is the fall calendar of courses from BCIT High Performance Building Lab.

Solar Panel Installation Training in BC
Stardust Solar is hosting solar installation training across BC this August. They cover how to design a system, procure the correct parts, mount the solar array, optimize the system for maximum yield, connect the modules in a circuit, and start producing clean energy.

Cellulose Insulation & Building Design
Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association next Builders Breakfast Series will cover Cellulose Insulation and Building Design. Held in Vancouver on August 30th, the presentation defines what cellulose insulation is, and how it helps to achieve the new requirements under BCBC and the code changes related to the BC Step Code.

Fire Regulatory Considerations for Low-Rise Residential Buildings
BC Housing workshop Building Smart with Fire Regulatory Considerations for Low-Rise Residential Buildings will be presented in Vancouver on September 11th. It addresses the Part 9 regulatory requirements applicable to fire and life safety in low-rise residential buildings across BC.

Construction Industry Ethics
ICBA course Construction Industry Ethics will be presented in Vancouver, September 12. By maintaining high ethical standards, and being consistent in our practices, we thrive both personally and professionally. This course will help you navigate the ethical grey areas you face every day.

Passive House Design & Construction
Passive House Design and Construction is a four-day course that will be held in Vancouver, September 13-16. It covers the technical, economic and policy elements of Passive House buildings. Participants will learn how to apply Passive House principles in the context of building physics, windows and mechanical systems.

Economic Impact of Energy Efficiency
BC ACE luncheon presentation Economic Impact of Energy Efficiency will be held in Vancouver on September 21st. It covers the results of a national study that looked at the residential, commercial and industrial sectors, all fuels: electricity, natural gas, heating fuels and estimated the impacts on GDP, employment and GHGs.

Selecting Windows for Step Code
BCBEC luncheon seminar Selecting Windows for Step Code will be presented in Vancouver on September 27th. It covers the technology behind the glass and the frame, how window U values and solar heat gain can impact code compliance and specific steps of the energy step code.

13. Costs & Savings

Online Energy Savings Calculators
NRCan has two Energy Star calculators that will estimate energy, cost and emissions savings on your Energy Star certified equipment.

Mining Smart Meter Data Paying Off
Home Builder Canada magazine says smart electrical meters have been installed in many homes across Canada and now the massive data they collect is being collated and monetized.

Building Environmental Product Declarations & Life Cycle Assessment
MIT online Primer on Building Environmental Product Declarations and Life Cycle Assessment is intended to clarify the scope of different LCAs, their purposes, and when they can be used for comparisons. (PDF)

When Investing in Energy Retrofits Makes Sense
Rocky Mountain Institute report Capturing Value Through Portfolio Energy Optimization offers advice on optimizing and prioritizing energy retrofits across the whole building portfolio to achieve maximum returns. (PDF)

Economics of Electrifying Buildings
Rocky Mountain Institute report, The Economics of Electrifying Buildings, analyzes the economics and carbon impacts of electrifying residential space and water heating both with and without demand flexibility—the ability to shift energy consumption in time to support grid needs. It compares electric space and water heating to fossil-fueled space and water heating for both new construction and home retrofits under various electric rate structures in four cities: Oakland, California; Houston; Providence, Rhode Island; and Chicago.

14. Incentives, Financing & Programs

BC Rebates on Natural Gas Furnaces & Boilers
FortisBC is offering up to a $700 rebate on a furnace or $500 on a boiler (conditions apply).

Current Investments in Clean Energy in Canada
NRCan lists Canadian government investments in energy innovation.

Few Tears Shed Over Ontario GreenOn Rebate Cancellation
Canadian Contractor says the Ontario residential energy incentive program was flawed from the outset.

Increasing Connection Between Energy Efficiency & Real Estate
US Department of Energy online Better Buildings Residential Network Peer Exchange Call discusses ways energy-efficiency programs can leverage real estate transactions and various aspects of home improvement to promote energy efficiency opportunities and encourage upgrades.


Dittie For Today: On The Environment

What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on? - Henry David Thoreau


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© Copyright 2018     Ken Farrish     All Rights Reserved

ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada

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