Industry News & Announcements

>>Legalization of Marijuana - Feeling the Effects in a Zero-Tolerance Industry 
Source: / Katie Kuehnew-Hebert
Using marijuana – whether for medical or recreational reasons – is becoming legal in more and more states, causing contractors to double-down on their zero-tolerance policies. Read more hereReprinted with permission from Constructor, January/February 2015, a publication of the Associated General Contractors of America. 

>>ASHRAE Recognizes Outstanding Industry Achievements
Sixty-six people were recognized for their contributions to the Society and the built environment industry at ASHRAE’s 2015 Winter Conference, Jan. 24-28, Chicago, Ill.  Read more here.
>>Solar Foundation Report: Solar Energy Jobs Surged in 2014
The U.S. solar industry added more than 31,000 jobs in 2014, according to the National Solar Jobs Census, which was released on January 15 by The Solar Foundation. The annual total represents a nearly 22% growth in solar industry employment since November 2013, according to The Solar Foundation, a nonprofit focusing on education about the solar industry. Overall, the solar industry now supports more than 173,000 U.S. solar energy jobs. The report, derived from data collected from more than 7,600 U.S. businesses, measured employment growth in the solar industry between November 2013 and November 2014. See The Solar Foundation website for the report and census, and the Energy Department news release

>>2014 Ranks as Earth's Warmest Since 1880
The year 2014 ranks as Earth’s warmest since 1880, according to two separate analyses by NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists. The 10 warmest years in the instrumental record, with the exception of 1998, have now occurred since 2000. This trend continues a long-term warming of the planet, according to an analysis of surface temperature measurements by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) in New York.

In an independent analysis of the raw data, also released Friday, NOAA scientists also found 2014 to be the warmest on record. Read more here.
>>DOE to Address High-Performance Enclosure Strategies
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building America program will be hosting a free webinar on Feb. 12: High-Performance Enclosure Strategies, Part I: Unvented Roof Systems and Innovative Advanced Framing Strategies. The webinar will focus on methods to design and build roof and wall systems for high performance homes that optimize energy and moisture performance. Presenters for this webinar include Joe Lstiburek, Building Science Corporation, and Vladimir Kochkin, Home Innovation Research Labs. The presentations will be followed by an interactive Q&A session where participants will have an opportunity to submit questions. Click here to register.
Date/Time: February 12, 2015; 3-4:30 p.m. Eastern.  

>>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.  

>>Introducing the Attachments Energy Ratings Council
In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) has launched the Attachments Energy Ratings Council (AERC). Fenestration attachments are a cost-effective way to reduce energy use in residential and commercial buildings. Attachments have the potential to save a significant amount of energy due to their low cost and the rapid turnover of the installed base. 
DOE has awarded WCMA cost-shared funding to develop a certification and rating program for residential and commercial fenestration attachment products. To that end, WCMA has established the AERC, which will design and administer a new energy rating and certification program for the fenestration attachment products. AERC will gather market and technical data that will be used to develop credible rating, certification, labeling, and performance verification procedures that will be adopted by the window attachments industry. This information will help consumers understand how well different window attachment products conserve energy. To learn more,visit