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>>Ventilation Strategies for High-Performance Homes, Part I: Application-Specific Ventilation Guidance -- Webinar, Aug. 26, 3 p.m.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building America program will be hosting a free webinar as part of its goal to offer information about the latest advances in residential building technologies and practices. The webinar is being presented by Building America research team and national laboratory experts, and DOE Program Managers and is being held Aug. 26, 2015 at 3-4:30 p.m. (EST)

The webinar will include discussion about what makes high-performance homes different from a ventilation perspective and how they might need to be treated differently than traditional construction. The presenter will discuss several topics including: combustion safety, identifying indoor and outdoor key pollutants, pressurization vs. depressurization, filtration, and installation/durability/maintenance issues. Specific guidance will be given for recommended systems based on climate, single vs. multifamily, envelope tightness and the presence of central forced air heating/cooling. The webinar will conclude with a look to the future of high-performance ventilation systems.

The presenter for this webinar is Iain Walker, Staff Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The presentations will be followed by an interactive Q&A session. Questions? Please contact Heather Stafford or reserve your seat now.

Source: ashrae.org
Keeping building occupants comfortable while minimizing energy use is a balancing act for engineers who design HVAC&R systems and buildings. One way they can achieve this balance is through requirements in a standard from an international technical association. ASHRAE’s Standard 55, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy, specifies the combinations of indoor thermal environmental factors and personal factors that will produce thermal environmental conditions acceptable to a majority of the occupants within the space.

>>Obama Administration Takes Historic Action on Climate Change
Source: epa.gov
President Obama announced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s final Clean Power Plan on Aug. 3, which will cut U.S. carbon pollution from the power sector by 870 million tons, or 32 percent below 2005 levels, in 2030. Power plants are the largest drivers of climate change in the United States, accounting for roughly one-third of all carbon pollution emissions, but there were no national limits on carbon pollution. 

- Final rule, fact sheets and details about the Clean Power Plan, the final standards for new, modified and reconstructed sources and the proposed federal plan are available at:http://www2.epa.gov/cleanpowerplan

- Radio Actualities: http://go.usa.gov/3AVsC

- Link to Administrator McCarthy video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8uUKIbaGaI

More information on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan: http://www.whitehouse.gov/climate-change

>>SPF Showcased in Top Designs of Competition for Energy Efficient Homes
Source: americanchemistry.com
SPF was recently featured in a competition for graduate and undergraduate students, along with faculty advisers, to design a high-performance, energy-efficient home that can offset the majority – if not all – of its annual energy consumption. SPF’s versatility and effectiveness was showcased throughout the competition this year as four of the five grand winner finalists incorporated SPF in their designs to combat air leakage and prevent heat transfer. 

>>Preserving and Protecting Cleveland’s Theater District Finds Success with Sprayfoam Insulation
Source: retrofitmagazine.com / Peter Davis 
Downtown Cleveland’s theater district, known as Playhouse Square, is a set of nine performance venues that form the second largest performing arts center in the U.S. Its impressive history dates to the opening of the first five theaters in the 1920s. Currently, the buildings and venues of the Playhouse Square district are seeing growing interest, thanks in large part to recent urban revitalization taking place in the city’s downtown, including substantial renovation and restoration projects on Cleveland’s impressive collection of pre-World War II buildings. This includes the National Register of Historic Places-listed Hanna Building and Annex, which is the home to the 1921 Hanna Theatre and site of some of the most recent upgrades and renovations in the Playhouse Square area. But while the renovations at the building are more recent in the district, the buildings now benefit from a trusted product that has been a staple in the restoration and preservation of the area’s historic gems for the last four decades, versatile spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation.

>>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: osha.org
On May 4, 2015, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a new standard for construction work in confined spaces, which became effective starting August 3, 2015. However, OSHA announced recently that they will postpone full enforcement of the new standard for 60 days from the effective date of August 3, 2015 to October 2, 2015. During this 60-day period, OSHA will not issue citations to an employer making good faith efforts to comply with the new standard, as long as the employer is in compliance with either the training requirements of the new standard.
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.  

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