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>>Industry Mourns Loss of Gabe Farkas
Gabe Farkas, founder of Icynene and creator of the SPFA Low Density Committee (eventually merged into the Building Envelope Committee) passed away July 25, 2015. 

"Gabe was always known to be a strong proponent of his product" said Kurt Riesenberg, Executive Director of SPFA.  "Shortly after I came onboard at SPFA I had a chance to work closely with him to establish the SPFA Low Density Committee, which today is part of the overall SPFA Building Envelope Committee. It was an honor to work with him and his vision, and to a great extent the SPF industry has him to thank for their structure and home in SPFA."

A celebration of his life will be held Thursday, July 30 from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at the Turner & Porter Butler Chapel in Etobicoke, Ontario.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program has released two reports surrounding the national energy and cost impacts associated with the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC): 
-- National Cost-effectiveness of the Residential Provisions of the 2015 IECC
-- Energy & Energy Cost Savings of the 2015 IECC for Commercial Buildings
In both cases, the underlying analysis was conducted and published by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). 
The PNNL report, National Cost-effectiveness of the Residential Provisions of the 2015 IECC, evaluates changes in the code based on the DOE methodology for assessing energy & cost impacts 
The PNNL report, Energy & Energy Cost Savings Analysis of the 2015 IECC for Commercial Buildings, assesses whether buildings constructed to meet the 2015 IECC would save energy compared to the previous editions.   

>>ICC, ASHRAE Outline Roles to Consolidate IgCC and 189.1 in Response to Call from Industry
Source: ashrae.org
In a deal nearly two years in the making, the International Code Council (ICC) and ASHRAE have signed the final agreement that outlines each organization’s role in the development and maintenance of the new version of the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) sponsored by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), ASHRAE, ICC, the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The code, scheduled to be released in 2018, will be powered by ANSI/ASHRAE/ICC/IES/USGBC Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildingsdeveloped using the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved ASHRAE consensus process. The joint Standing Standards Project Committee 189.1 (SSPC) will serve as the consensus body that will work to ensure the standard is consistent and coordinated with the ICC Family of Codes. 

Source: energy.gov
The Buildings of the Future research project will culminate in a "concluding workshop" at the American Institute of Architects headquarters in Washington, DC on July 31. Space for the workshop is limited, but the morning plenary session will be broadcast as a webinar. The plenary will include an overview of the Buildings of the Future vision development process, two keynote speeches, and key takeaways from past panel discussions. Register online for this webinar, which will be held July 31, 8:30-10:30 a.m. (EDT).
DOE has updated its original California-specific requirements for the program, with the release of DOE Zero Energy Ready Home California Requirements – Revision 5, which goes into effect for homes permitted after August 10, 2015. Revision 5 for California adds numerous clarifications which have also been added to the national Rev.05 specifications. The CA spec revision also offers more flexibility in terms of air tightness requirements (attached dwellings have a higher ACH50 spec), and alignment with upcoming Title 24 provisions such as the High Performance Attic (HPA) design strategy as a method for optimizing the duct system (see End Note 15 H).
Source: osha.org
On May 4, 2015, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a new standard for construction work in confined spaces, which will be effective starting August 3, 2015. Confined spaces can present physical and atmospheric hazards that can be avoided if they are recognized and addressed prior to entering these spaces to perform work. The new standard, Subpart AA of 29 CFR 1926 will help prevent construction workers from being hurt or killed by eliminating and isolating hazards in confined spaces at construction sites similar to the way workers in other industries are already protected. 
More Information: 
Frequently asked questions about the new standard are addressed on OSHA's website.
SPFA's Richard Duncan sheds some light on the topic in the Health & Safety section of this newsletter. 
NAHB.org posts a summary of the new standard.
Dean McKenzie, deputy director of OSHA's Directorate of Construction, discusses the new standard at the 2015 Remodeling Leadership Conference.
ForResidentialPros.com provides a short summary of the new standard.
BPI.org provides some guidance on being compliant. 
For compliance assistance regarding application of the final rule contact: Directorate of Construction, Room N3468, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210; (202)-693-2020.  
Source: agc.org
Construction employment held steady in June at the highest level in six years, while the number of unemployed workers with construction experience fell to the lowest total since 2001, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said that the new data indicates contractors are having a hard time finding enough qualified workers to meet growing demand in many parts of the country. 


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