>>CEO: MaterialScience Sale to Help Bayer Refocus
By spinning off its MaterialScience business, Bayer will be able to focus more on its moneymakers -- drugs and agricultural chemicals, said CEO Marijn Dekkers. For example, Bayer recently acquired Merck in a $14.2 billion deal, and the $10 billion sale of MaterialScience will help pay for that purchase. Dekkers said he envisions a "venture-capital mentality" for Bayer as the company becomes more nimble. Read More at Forbes

>>2015 ENERGY STAR Award Winners
Each year, EPA honors a select group of organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency. The 2015 ENERGY STAR Award Winners lead their industries in the production and sale of energy-efficient products and services, and in the development and adoption of world-class strategies that provide substantial energy and money savings in the buildings where we live and work. The winners have been chosen from a vast network of 16,000 ENERGY STAR partners. The awards will be presented in Washington, D.C., at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel on April 20. EPA Administrator McCarthy and Jim Gibbons, Goodwill Industries International President and CEO, will provide keynote remarks.  Read More at energystar.gov

>>European Environment State and Outlook 2015
Europe’s environment and climate policies have delivered substantial benefits, improving the environment and quality of life, while driving innovation, job creation and growth. Despite these gains, Europe still faces a range of persistent and growing environmental challenges. Addressing them will require fundamental changes in the systems of production and consumption that are the root cause of environmental problems. 

These are some of the key messages from the European Environment Agency’s five-yearly assessment ‘The European environment – state and outlook 2015’ (SOER 2015), published recently. SOER 2015 is an integrated assessment of Europe’s environment. It also includes assessments and data at global, regional and country levels, as well as cross-country comparisons. Read More at eea.europe.eu/soer 
>>State Energy Program, Energy Efficient Housing Demand, Certified Home Energy Auditors 
Source: bpi.org / Mike Kandel
Senators on both sides of the aisle are making strides to reauthorize the State Energy Program and the Weatherization Assistance Program through legislation re-introduced in Congress on March 11. A recent national poll by the Demand Institute showed that finding an energy-efficient house is a top priority among potential homebuyers, and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's new Missouri Home Energy Certification program recognizes homes that have been audited by BPI certified home energy auditors, who will be qualified by the state to issue homeowners a Missouri Home Energy Certificate.
>>2015 Race to Zero Competition Wraps Up April 18-20
Source: energy.gov / Sam Rashkin
This year about 400 students from 33 multi-disciplinary teams representing 29 universities in U.S. and Canada are competing to design, analyze, and document a Zero Energy Ready Home that is cost-effective and consistent with mainstream builder construction practices. All of the teams are required to take a two-day course by Joe Lstiburek and John Straubbe to provide a solid building science foundation. Who better to learn from? Thus, the key to this competition is that it is facilitating building science education and design integration largely left out of university programs which are constrained by jam-packed curriculum filled with accreditation requirements.
The hope is that the continued growth of this competition makes building science a common component in all major degree programs for architecture, engineering, and construction management. In other words, the Race to Zero is a back-door strategy for breeding next generation professionals. Stay tuned for the big event at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, April 18-20. 

>>Building America Building Science Translator Published
Source: energy.gov
Words are a big deal. A very big deal. With that in mind, DOE has worked extensively with housing industry representatives and building science experts over the past year to compile a new building science glossary that translates technical jargon into an improved consumer experience. Now there is a huge ‘collective impact’ opportunity to more effectively convey the value of high-performance homes to consumers and the media using these ‘power words.’ It’s about time, because this value is too little understood. The final report is now available. More importantly, this content is currently being integrated into the Building America Solution Center for maximum accessibility and as part of a sales tool that will produce customized fact sheets. The fact sheets will itemize long lists of compelling innovations relevant to a specific home or project based on ‘power words’ from the glossary. Look for an announcement about the launch of this important new sales tool in June. Lastly, please recognize that the Building Science Translator will always be a ‘work in progress.’ DOE looks for the community of users to provide ongoing feedback for improvement based on experience and other inspiration. DOE will apply a rigorous review and integration process for all recommended changes.

>>Sprayfoam Insulation Used During Restoration of Building at University of Toronto
Source: dailycommercialnews.com / Ian Harvey
An ambitious plan to restore a 1904 University of Toronto brick building not only made the grade aesthetically but also scores high in energy efficiency and sustainability. Read More at dailycommercialnews.com

 >>Better Buildings Summit, May 27-29 
This year, the Better Buildings Summit is expanding into new sectors and engaging a diverse set of market leaders. More than 800 Better Buildings partners and stakeholders will gather in Washington, D.C., to participate in two and a half days of sessions and meetings focused on the sharing of the most successful strategies for achieving energy savings through energy efficiency. See the Agenda At A Glance and register today.

>>What Have You Done For EE Lately? Updates from the Building Technology Office 
Source: ase.org
Buildings in the United States – from family homes to office buildings to grocery stores – account for over 70% of electricity and 40% of total energy consumed annually. That adds up to about $400 billion spent powering our buildings each year. Read More at ase.org


>>Study Finds That OSHA Underestimated Cost of Silica Rule by $4.5 Billion a Year 
Source: nahb.org
A new report released by the Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) found that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA)  proposed silica standards for the U.S. construction industry will cost the industry $5 billion per year -- roughly $4.5 billion per year more than OSHA’s estimates. The coalition cautioned that the flawed cost estimates reflect deeper flaws in the rule and urged the federal agency to reconsider its approach.  Read More at nahb.org