Industry News & Announcements
>>Top Lobbyists of 2015 Include: NAHB, ASE, ACC, AGC
The top lobbyists of 2015, according to The Hill, were released. Included on that list were quite a few that represent the interests of sprayfoam contractors as well, such as: National Association of Home Builders, Alliance to Save Energy, American Chemistry Council, The Associated General Contractors of America. For full article, click here.
Recognizes California County in Better Buildings Challenge
The Energy Department on October 22 recognized Placer County, California, for its leadership in improving energy efficiency across its 5-million-square-foot portfolio of county-owned buildings and schools by 20% over 10 years. Through the Energy Department's Better Buildings Challenge, the county's showcase project, the Granlibakken conference center and resort, is expecting a 43% reduction in energy use and savings of up to $44,000 each year.
>>USDA Funds 1,100
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects Nationwide
On October 26, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it is awarding loans and grants to help more than 1,100 rural small businesses and agricultural producers reduce energy usage and costs in their operations. The funding is for energy efficiency improvements as well as renewable energy systems. USDA is financing projects in every state, as well as in the Virgin Islands, the Western Pacific and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
>>A Global Effort to Phase Down Hydrofluorocarbons
Hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, are gases used in many air conditioners and refrigerators. HFCs can be up to 10,000 times more damaging to the climate than CO2 -- and absent ambitious action to limit their use, HFC emissions are projected to triple in the U.S. by 2030. Scaling back the use and production of HFCs is a critical part of fighting climate change, which is why the Obama Administration has made it a key component of its Climate Action Plan. Today, the White House announced new private-sector commitments and executive actions that will slash U.S. reliance on HFCs. Taken together with the actions announced by the White House and private sector last year, these actions will reduce cumulative global consumption of these greenhouse gases by the equivalent of more than 1 billion metric tons of CO2 through 2025.
>>BPI and Aeroseal Announce Strategic Partnership
The Building Performance Institute, Inc. (BPI) and Aeroseal LLC announced a strategic partnership. As a result of the partnership, Aeroseal will offer its dealers access to BPI's GoldStar Contractor program, while its home performance training subsidiary, Comfort Institute, will assist dealers in meeting training and certification requirements needed to join the BPI program.
>>ABAA Material Listing Program Update
Source: airbarrier.org / Laverne Dalgleish
The Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) realized very early on the need for determining what would constitute quality air barrier materials and assemblies. In 2001 when the organization was formed there were no existing standards or specifications for air barriers in the USA. Even today, though standards are being worked on, there are no National standards for air barrier materials. ABAA developed a process to evaluate air barrier materials and listed these materials on the ABAA website at www.airbarrier.org.
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 design best practices and tips. The Race to Zero Webinar: What is Good Housing Design? will be Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, at 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET.
The DOE Race to Zero Student Design Competition (Race to Zero) inspires collegiate students to become the next generation of building professionals who know how to integrate critical building science principles in their construction projects.
>>ASHRAE LowDown Showdown Modeling Challenge Highlights
ASHRAE’s LowDown Showdown was featured at the Society’s "Energy Modeling Conference: Tools for Designing High Performance Buildings," held Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, 2015, in Atlanta, Ga. Eight teams with 45 people participated in the modeling challenge and presented their models to conference attendees. The Showdown challenged teams to model a net zero or better than net zero building. It gave team members the opportunity to work with the vendor/developer of their choice to showcase their abilities using the vendor’s simulation tools, innovative workflows and creative problem solving to model a high performance building while having fun.
>>ICC Public Comment Hearing Results Now Available
Click here for a summary of the actions taken at the 2015 Public Comments to the ICC Group A International Codes at the hearings held in Long Beach, Calif. The start date for the Online Governmental Consensus Vote has been delayed beyond the projected Oct. 21 date. The new date will be announced online and on cdpACCESS.
>>Cold Climate Challenges Addressed in New Publication from ASHRAE
Buildings in arctic and subarctic climates face not only challenges related to cold but also remoteness, limited utilities, permafrost and extreme temperature shifts. Designers must meet these challenges while keeping occupants comfortable and minimizing impact on the environment. The newly published "Cold-Climate Buildings Design Guide" from ASHRAE provides information on the issues commonly faced by designers in these climates.
>>OSHA Publishes Guide to Help Businesses Comply with New Standard
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.