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>>OSHA Publishes Guide to Help Businesses Comply with New Standard
Source: osha.gov
OSHA has posted a 58-page online publication, called Protecting Construction Workers in Confined Spaces: Small Entity Compliance Guide, that is intended to help small businesses and other construction employers comply with the standard.

It addresses the most common compliance issues that employers will face and provides sufficient detail to serve as a useful compliance guide. Also, it includes a sample entry permit and identifies permit spaces. 

For more information on complying with the confined spaces in construction standard, see OSHA’s Confined Spaces in Construction Web page, which includes links to the standard, FAQs, and fact sheets.


Source: osha.gov
Enforcement of the Confined Spaces in Construction standard published on May 4, 2015 for residential construction work has changed. The new standard went into effect on August 3, 2015. A temporary enforcement policy has been in effect for all employers covered by the standard through October 2, 2015. OSHA now further extends this temporary enforcement policy through January 8, 2016, only for employers engaged in residential construction work. Before January 8, 2016, OSHA will not issue citations under the Confined Spaces in Construction standard to an employer engaged in residential construction work if the employer is making good faith efforts to comply with the standard, as long as the employer is in compliance with either the training requirements of the standard, found at 29 CFR 1926.1207, or the former training requirements found at 29 CFR 1926.21(b)(6)(i).


Source: resnet.us
A criticism of the HERS Index is that currently it is more difficult for smaller homes to achieve a low HERS Index Score than larger homes. RESNET has been engaged in discussion with stakeholders, including large production builders, and there has been an acceptance to have a standard that balances the scales for smaller homes.
Stakeholders have concerns with RESNET basing its adjustment on the ENERGY STAR size adjustment. Builders in particular are concerned that the ENERGY STAR size adjustment factor provides no benefit for smaller homes and is overly punitive for larger homes. To address this issue the RESNET Standards Development Committee (SDC) 300 is working on developing an amendment to RESNET’s National Home Energy Rating Standards. 
To provide guidance to SDC 300, the RESNET Board of Directors adopted the following policy on future enhancements to the calculation of HERS Index Scores: The RESNET Board of Directors establishes a policy that all future modifications and adjustments to the RESNET standard for calculating HERS Index Scores shall incentivize energy efficient design and construction. 
Once the SDC has drafted a standard amendment on calculating HERS Index Scores for smaller homes, it will be submitted to the RESNET consensus standards public review and comment process. 

>>EPA’s Pollution Prevention and Toxics Website Has a New Name, Look, Address
EPA’s Pollution Prevention and Toxics website has a new name, look and address. The old website, previously found at http://www.epa.gov/oppt/, is now our new Chemicals under TSCA website. With the new Chemicals under TSCA website, information should now be easier to access. With the transition to the new site completed, Web page addresses will be different. If you have trouble locating information, try using the search feature available on every EPA web page and in the archive (archive.epa.gov). Below are the updated URLs for some of the sites: 

Assessing and Managing Chemicals under TSCA (includes the TSCA workplan, chemical risk assessments, and reporting requirements): www2.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca
Reviewing New Chemicals: www2.epa.gov/reviewing-new-chemicals-under-toxic-substances-control-act-tsca
Chemical Data Reporting: www2.epa.gov/chemical-data-reporting
TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory: www2.epa.gov/tsca-inventory
Safer Choice: www2.epa.gov/saferchoice
Pollution Prevention: www2.epa.gov/p2
Green Chemistry: www2.epa.gov/greenchemistry 

>>Energy Department Announces State Energy Program National Evaluation Results
The Energy Department announced the results of a major national evaluation during a typical year in the State Energy Program (SEP) operations, as well as during the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) period. The purpose of the study was to develop independent key outcomes for program year 2008 and the ARRA time period from 2009–2013.


>>Jacksonville Jaguars Stadium Home Features Covestro SPF Insulation
Source: covestro.us
Football teams say they "must defend their house" during home games. For the Jacksonville Jaguars, that takes on a whole new meaning. The Stadium Home by Dream Finders Homes at EverBank Field is a complete freestanding home, along with a yard, located just steps from the Jags’ home field. The showcase home will be used for special events before games during the 2015 and 2016 seasons, and will then be donated to a local military veteran.

Jacksonville homebuilder Dream Finders Homes built the Southern Coastal style home, and Covestro – formerly Bayer MaterialScience LLC – donated the spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation used to help make it energy efficient.


>>90% of U.S. Homes Are Under Insulated, Study Says
Source: greenbuildingelements.com / Dawn Killough 
Based on new research, the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association estimates that roughly 90 percent of existing U.S. single family homes are under insulated. This estimate is derived from information in the 2009 Residential Energy Consumption Survey, using methods to estimate insulation levels developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and applied by Boston University researchers as part of a study supported by NAIMA into the energy savings and emissions reductions possible with increased insulation levels in U.S. homes.


Source: abc7.com / Eileen Frere, Laura Montenegro
A roofing contractor in Costa Mesa, Calif., was removing shingles from a roof when he suffered between 50 and 75 bee stings, requiring treatment at a trauma center. Responding firefighters found a 6-foot-long hive with about 30,000 to 40,000 bees under the roof shingles. The hive is thought to be about 2 years old.

>>Race to Zero Design Competition – Webinar on Oct. 20
Source: energy.gov
Save the date for the first webinar related to the U.S. Department of Energy Race to Zero Student Design Competition (Race to Zero). First in the Race to Zero series, the webinar titled "Kick Start your Race to Zero Competition!" will be Tuesday, October 20, 3-4:30 p.m. (EST).

Join Sam Rashkin, chief architect of the DOE Building Technologies Office, and Rachel Romero, engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, as they focus on last year’s teams’ successes and challenges through a retrospective of team makeup and management techniques. They will share best practices and tips.

The2016 U.S. Department of Energy Race to Zero Student Design Competition will be held April 16–17, 2016, at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. Registration is open, and the comprehensive 2016 competition guide is available. Up to 10 teams will be selected to compete in each category. Register your team for the 2016 Race to Zero Student Design Competition.  

>>ABAA Field Auditor Training in Texas - Registration Deadline Is Oct. 12
Source: ABAA.org

The next ABAA Field Auditor Training Course is being held Oct. 27-29, 2015, in Irving, Texas. The role of the Auditor is to perform quality assurance audits of air barrier assemblies on new commercial and institutional construction projects during installation. Click here in order to review the auditor requirements and confirm whether this training is right for you. Once you've reviewed these requirements, send your CV or résumé to uportillo@airbarrier.org for review by the Quality Assurance Management department. 

To take part in the training Oct. 27-29 in Irving, Texas, register by Oct. 12


>>Energy Department Releases the Second Quadrennial Technology Review
Source: energy.gov
The Energy Department released its second Quadrennial Technology Review (QTR), examining the current status of clean energy technologies and identifying the hundreds of clean energy opportunities to help modernize the power sector as a whole, while also helping Americans to power their homes, businesses and vehicles more efficiently. In the four years since the last QTR was released, the U.S. energy system has changed dramatically. The second QTR finds that the nation's energy systems are becoming increasingly connected through the Internet and other technologies; that the range of options available to meet the nation's energy needs is increasing; that the nation has embraced energy efficiency, but substantial efficiency opportunities remain untapped; and that breakthroughs in next-generation high-tech tools are helping scientists to innovate in clean energy. See the Energy Department news release and the QTR.



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