>>Congress Introduces Bill to Raise Federal Minimum Wage 
Source: nacsonline.com
About a quarter of American workers would get a raise under a recently introduced bill on Capitol Hill. Co-sponsored by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), the bill would gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour over five years, and then index it to median wage growth. Read more here

>>BPI Releases 2014 Annual Report
Source: bpi.org
The Building Performance Institute, Inc. (BPI) released its 2014 Annual Report, detailing several initiatives BPI introduced in 2014 in response to a changing market that demands diverse credentialing services in home performance contracting. See full report here

>>New White Paper Offers Tips on Building Successful Projects 
Source: agc.org
The AGC/Alliant Build America awards recognize the nation's most pioneering projects and in turn honor the AGC members who build the nation's most impressive construction projects. In this white paper, "2015 AGC Alliant Build America White Paper: Modeling Excellence," award winners share how they employed various techniques to quickly and efficiently deliver significantly complicated projects in record time. It offers an in-depth report of technological advancement, innovation in project delivery, collaborative and lean strategies, unique material solutions, preeminent customer satisfaction and top-notch project management. For more information about the AGC/Alliant Build America Awards, visit www.agc.org/awards.
>>The Latest Custom Home Trends -- Yes, Foam Is There!
Source: dmagazine.com
It’s funny: Homeowners may be willing to spend $7 million on a house, but they don’t want to spend a lot on utility bills. "Energy efficiency" has become de rigueur in custom homes, but D Magazine wondered what that meant on the most basic level. As in, what are builders using for insulation? While some mentioned fiberglass, cellulose, and blown-in blanket walls, pretty much everyone they spoke to said they use foam. Read more here.  

>>NASEO Highlights
Source: naseo.org
On April 7, NASEO released a new report, "Resiliency through Energy Efficiency: Disaster Mitigation and Residential Rebuilding Strategies for and by State Energy Offices." See report here

>>2015 Race to Zero Winners Announced 
Source: energy.gov
The 2015 Race to Zero Student Design Competition had 33 teams from 27 U.S. and Canadian universities competing to design cost-effective, zero energy homes for mainstream builders. In its second year, the Race to Zero encouraged students to work with builders, developers, community leaders, and other industry partners to meet stringent design requirements and create marketable, affordable concepts. The winners of the annual event were announced at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., April 18-20. The Grand Winner was Opti-MN Impact House – Opti-MN, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn. Follow this link for more information about the Race to Zero competition and the winners.  

>>Homebuilding Magazine's 2015 Award Best Energy-Smart Home -- Open House May 16
Source: buildnative.com
A house collaboratively designed and built by Austin-based Danze & Davis Architects and NATiVE homes won the Fine Homebuilding HOUSES 2015 Award as Best Energy-Smart Home. This zero net energy home is an example of state-of-the-art in energy efficiency, healthful practices, smart-home technology, and end-to-end sustainability. Plus, its design incorporates sprayfoam insulation and a sealed attic! For pictures, videos, and to RSVP for the home tour on May 16 in Austin, Texas, click here
>>ABAA Holding Spray Polyurethane Foam Installer Training -- Registration Deadline Is May 25
Source: abaa.org
ABAA will be holding a Spray Polyurethane Foam Installer Training session, June 9-11, 2015, at Carolinas Roofing & Sheet Metal Contractors (CRSMCA) in Charlotte, N.C. The training will include instruction on everything from substrate preparation, application technology, troubleshooting and hands-on training. This course is designed to teach experienced SPF installers how to create an air barrier using spray polyurethane foam. The registration deadline is May 25. For details, click here

>>Better Buildings Summit Program Slated for May 27-29 in D.C.
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.