Archive/Subscribe | July 2, 2014

Industry News & Announcements

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>>Polyurethanes Conference Brings Back Popular Workshop on Environmental, Health and Safety
Attendees at the 2014 Polyurethanes Technical Conference can look forward to a pre-conference workshop on the environmental, health and safety (EHS) issues related to diisocyanates. Hosted by the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) of the American Chemistry Council, the conference will take place from Sept. 22-24 at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Dallas.

"Attendees can look forward to gaining a deeper understanding of fundamental topics and ever-changing regulations related to the EHS issues surrounding diisocyanates, which are increasingly important for today’s polyurethane professionals," said Lee Salamone, senior director of CPI.

Titled "Introduction to Environmental, Health and Safety Issues Relative to Diisocyanates," the pre-conference workshop will be held on Sunday, Sept. 21 from 1-5 p.m. At the workshop, industry experts will discuss the fundamental concepts of EHS regulations, industrial hygiene, toxicology, medical surveillance and exposure controls.
Read more here.
>>Alternatives and Risk Reduction Approaches to Trichloroethylene (TCE) Use as a Degreaser
On July 29-30, EPA will hold a public workshop on the use of trichloroethylene (TCE) as a degreaser, availability and efficacy of safer alternatives, and possible risk reduction approaches. The goal is to generate information from experts on TCE when used as a degreaser to better understand the risk reduction considerations when transitioning to safer alternatives and other cleaning strategies. These risk reduction approaches could be regulatory, non-regulatory, or a combination of both. 
This workshop is being held to support risk reduction activities concerning the health risks from TCE exposures to consumers using spray aerosol degreasers and workers using TCE as a degreaser in small commercial shops identified in the final risk assessment that was released on June 25, 2014. 

The workshop will be held at EPA Headquarters’ William Jefferson Clinton East Building, 1201 Constitution Avenue, Washington, D.C., and will also be available via webinar and conference line. For more information, or to register and participate in person, or to register and listen via webinar, visit: 
>> New-Home Sales Up 18.6 Percent in May
Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 18.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000 units in May, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the highest rate since May 2008.

Regionally, new-home sales were up across the board. Sales rose 54.5 percent in the Northeast, 34 percent in the West, 14.2 percent in the South and 1.4 percent in the Midwest. The inventory of new homes for sale held steady at 189,000 units in May. This is a 4.5-month supply at the current sales pace.
Read more here

>>American Chemistry Council Publishes 2014 Comprehensive Economic Profile of $812 Billion Business of American Chemistry
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued its 2014 edition of the Guide to the Business of Chemistry, a detailed economic profile of the chemistry industry and its contributions to the U.S. and world economies. Prepared annually by ACC’s Economics and Statistics Department, The Guide to the Business of Chemistry divides the $812 billion business into more than 30 categories of production, ranging from inorganic chemicals to plastic resins; from adhesives and sealants to oilfield chemicals; and from fertilizers to pharmaceuticals and consumer products. Within each segment the report highlights distinct characteristics, including growth dynamics, markets, new developments, and other issues affecting each sector. Read more here.

>>ASHRAE bEQ Program Qualifies for Florida Rating System under Energy Bill
Under amended legislation recently signed, the building energy rating and labeling program known as Building Energy Quotient (bEQ) now qualifies as an energy rating option for buildings in the state of Florida.

Florida Governor Rick Scott signed House Bill 7147, which qualifies the bEQ program as an approved system, on Friday, June 13. The provisions in the bill amend a 2013 Florida law specifying requirements for energy ratings for all residential, commercial and state-owned buildings. Read more here.

>>Update from the U.S. Department of Energy's Building America
Topics addressed in the current newsletter include: 

-A Top Innovation Spotlight on high-efficiency window air conditioners 
-Apply for the 2014 Housing Innovation Awards by June 30 
-Crafting effective building science power words 
-June 25 webinar on deep energy retrofits 
-Residential building success stories from Florida 
-Upcoming DOE Zero Energy Ready webinars on marketing and sales solutions and building fortified homes 
-The latest publications from Building America: multi-split heat pumps in multifamily retrofits, case studies for deep energy retrofits, and more! 
Click here to access the newsletter. 
>>Spray Foam Coalition Comments on California "Priority Products List" Workshops
The California Department of Toxic Substances Control’s (DTSC) Safer Consumer Products Program held public workshops to gather input on the initial Priority Products list before the official rulemaking process began.The Spray Foam Coalition, a self-funded group of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), released the following statement after the final workshop.
>>Deadline Extended to July 7 for DOE's Housing Innovation Awards
Any registered builder who has certified a DOE Challenge Home or DOE Zero Energy Ready Home between April 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014 is eligible to compete in the Housing Innovation Awards. To ensure that all program partners have the opportunity to adjust to the new application process, the deadline for submissions has been extended one week to July 7, 2014.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Housing Innovation Awards recognize the very best in innovation on the path to zero energy ready homes.  The 2014 Housing Innovation Awards ceremony will be held on September 23, 2014, at EEBA’s Excellence in Building Conference in St. Louis, MO.  

>>Free Monthly Webinars with U.S. Dept. of Energy Building America Program
U.S. Department of Energy Building America program to present monthly webinars that will offer information about the latest advances in residential building technologies and practices. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information on how to join the webinar. 

June 25, noon-1:30 p.m. EDT
Part 1 of this series introduced the basic concepts of building and wind interactions and how the FORTIFIED building programs can reduce property damage and loss. In Part 2, IBHS will discuss the building systems that are most vulnerable and how getting the roof right can reduce as much as 50% of the $20 billion of insured property losses that homeowners experience each year in the United States.
June 25, 3 p.m. EDT 
The webinar will focus on specific Building America projects and case studies that highlight real-world examples of deep energy retrofits (DERs) that are meeting with technical and market success. Presenters will focus on technical strategies, modeled and actual performance results, and project costs.
>>Registration for Race to Zero Student Design Competition Opens Sept. 2
The Race to Zero is an annual competition, open to students and faculty from any interested collegiate institution in the U.S. and Canada. The competition is based upon a real-world scenario where a builder needs to update an existing product line (house plan) to a high-performance house design or is developing a new high performance home product line. Participants in the 2015 Race to Zero Student Design Competition will have the opportunity to provide creative solutions to real-world issues in our nation’s housing industry. Finalist teams will be invited to attend the competition’s judging day and present their proposals to a panel of judges at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The winning teams will be recognized at a national conference and the winning designs will be made available on the DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Homes website. Registration for the Race to Zero will open on September 2, 2014 and will be accessible via the Race to Zero website. 

>>Register Now for BSC Seminar in September with Joseph Lstiburek 
The seminar "2014 Renovation and Rehabilitation" with Dr. Joseph Lstiburek will be taking place September 25, and there are still a few of the 15 spots available. The seminar is a highly personal "boardroom" discussion that will address the specifics of renovation and rehabilitation. It takes place in Westford, Massachusetts. To register or to see the reading material for the seminar, click here.

Lstiburek also hosts a Building Science Summer Camp each year. To see excerpts from the 2013 Building Science Summer Camp at Lstiburek's residence, click here


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