Industry News & Announcements

>>Home Performance Industry Predictions for 2015  
Source: / Peter Troast
A few of the experts in the industry share their take on what 2015 has in store. From economic and political trends, to the impact technology will have on our day to day business, this is a full view of what to expect in the year to come. Some of the topics include: Instrumentation and Technology Working Together, Adjusting to Changing Priorities, Investments in Large-scale Residential, Expanding Market with Access to Financing, Defining Our Terminology To Cut Through the Confusion, Sales & Marketing Skills to the Fore, Technology Will Power the Industry, Important Consumer Upgrades, and more! Read more here.  

>>2014 TRI National Conference Presentation Slides Now Available 
The presentation slides from the May conference of the Toxics Release Inventory and Environmental Conditions in Communities are now available. Presentations include:
- Toxics Release Inventory: A Major Building Block of the Environmental Justice Movement
- Using TRI Data to Identify Patterns of Pollution in Metro Atlanta
- TRI Community Engagement: Four New EPA Pilot Projects Challenge Us to Communicate More Effectively with Communities
- Erasing the Refinery: Industry and Air Pollution as Hidden Environmental Stressors
Click here for slides. Session recordings are coming soon.  
>>EPA Takes Action Related to Toluene Diisocyanates (TDI)
EPA’s proposed action, a Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), would require manufacturers (including importers) to notify EPA at least 90 days before starting or resuming these new uses in consumer products.  EPA would then have the opportunity to evaluate the intended use of the chemicals and, if necessary, take action to prohibit or limit the activity.
These chemicals are currently widely used in residual amounts in the production of polyurethanes and consumer products, such as coatings, elastomers, adhesives, and sealants and can be found in products used in and around homes or schools. Diisocyanates are well known dermal and inhalation sensitizers in the workplace and can cause asthma, lung damage, and in severe cases, death. Details on the proposed SNUR on TDI and related compounds and how to provide comments can be found at: 

>>Moving in the Right Direction 
Source: / Sheryl S. Jackson 
While the economic recovery following the Great Recession is characterized by slower growth than expected - averaging well below the historical average at only 2 percent per year - there are positive indicators for the construction industry in 2015. Read more hereReprinted with permission from Constructor, January/February 2015, a publication of the Associated General Contractors of America.

>>Energy Codes for Ultra-Low-Energy Buildings: A Critical Pathway to Zero Net Energy Buildings
Source: / Jennifer Thorne Amann
Research Report A1403, "Energy Codes for Ultra-Low-Energy Buildings: A Critical Pathway to Zero Net Energy Buildings", was released Dec. 17. A zero net energy (ZNE) building is a home or commercial building that on average produces as much energy as it uses, achieved through energy efficiency and renewable technologies.  Building energy codes can help us transition to ZNE construction for new residential and commercial buildings by 2030. We will need to expand the scope of codes to capture all building energy uses, address whole building systems instead of focusing on individual components, and shift our focus from building design to actual building energy use by adopting outcome-based codes. We should also ensure ZNE performance post-occupancy by considering the impact of building occupants and operators and by incorporating future-proofing measures.  By addressing these areas, we can establish the foundation for ZNE by 2030 while providing energy savings and related benefits in the interim. Complementary policies, targeted research, market transformation, and the coordination of efforts and advocacy will help us achieve these goals. Read more here. 

>>Working for a Living
Source: / Amy Drew Thompson 
For decades, the industry's image suffered as college became the go-to goal for career success. Now, as the products of information age struggle to find work, construction firms battle to find qualified labor. The tipping point, many believe, has finally arrived. Read more here. Reprinted with permission from Constructor, January/February 2015, a publication of the Associated General Contractors of America.

>>Advancing Energy Efficient Buildings: From the Lab to Your Neighborhood 
Accounting for about 40 percent of American energy use and about $400 billion in annual energy costs, buildings are fertile grounds for money-saving and pollution-preventing energy efficiency improvements. U.S. buildings offer hundreds of billions of dollars of investment opportunity that can yield as much as a trillion dollars in energy savings in the next decade. Read more here.