On December 19, 2012, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and other state and local government officials attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the new field headquarters of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife). The $25 million facility in Westborough, Mass. will include 45,000 square feet of office, laboratory and meeting space. A high-performance building envelope and energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, combined with on-site renewable energy generation, will make the MassWildlife field headquarters the first state-owned zero net energy office building.
“This project will set a benchmark for energy-efficient office buildings, support many engineering and construction jobs and, once completed, be a great place to work and learn about the conservation of our natural resources,” said Gov. Patrick.
The building’s energy needs, compared to those of similar office buildings, have been reduced an estimated 60 percent through the design of a high-performance building envelope and the use of energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, including a closed-loop geothermal well system, radiant ceilings, and outside-air ventilation with heat recovery. A 294-kilowatt rooftop solar panel array will produce the remainder of the building’s annual energy needs.
“This building represents another milestone in the Patrick-Murray Administration’s effort to forge a clean energy future for Massachusetts by boldly addressing energy and climate challenges, while committing state government to ‘lead by example,’” said MA Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia. “This project is a testament to our state’s design and construction expertise. It is appropriate that the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, which is tackling climate adaptation issues, is part of the solution through the use of smart design, energy efficiency and renewable energy at its headquarters.”
The project was selected by Governor Patrick’s Zero Net Energy Buildings (ZNEB) Task Force in 2009 as a demonstration project for zero net energy in a public building. The North Shore Community College (NSCC) in Danvers, Mass., completed the first state-owned zero net energy academic building, also as a result of the ZNEB Task Force’s recommendations.
The Task Force, comprised of architects, energy, building, and environmental experts from government, academia, and the private sector, reviewed 80 planned projects at state agencies and higher education campuses that were at various stages of design.
More information is available here or in the full press release.
CPI Contributes $50,000 to Development of SPFA Certification Program
The Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) Spray Foam Coalition contributed $50,000 toward completion of the SPFA Professional Certification Program in December. This funding is intended to offset considerable developmental costs SPFA incurred in 2012 while developing the program, and support efforts toward completion and roll-out in 2013. “SPFA’s board and staff knew this certification program was just something that needed to be done this year and went at it,” said Kurt Riesenberg, SPFA Executive Director. “We were carrying the entire funding of all the meetings, materials development, ANSI/ISO compliance and much more. This contribution from the SFC will make a big difference in our ability to complete and deliver a true quality service to the industry.”
SPFA Technical Director Presents at Building Science Experts' Session
Well-known building scientist and architect Joseph Lstiburek, Building Science Corp., held a two-day Fall Building Science Experts Session in Westford, Mass., in December. The first day of the event was 100% SPF focused. Many people from SPFA presented various information on SPF, and SPFA’s Technical Director Dr. Richard Duncan presented upon installation, health and safety, and other related information to this essential audience.
SPFA Hosts Pilot Session at SPF Professional Certification Program
Just following Thanksgiving, SPFA held a pilot delivery of the new SPF Professional Certification Program in Wisconsin, hosted by Gaco Western. It was a condensed offering of only the Assistant, Installer and Field Examiner curriculum and testing. Almost 90 exams were delivered covering all four levels of certification and the field examiner. While the materials and jump start on the testing certainly was beneficial for the participants, this session was also intended to help SPFA pressure-test the curriculum and the tests to be certain of the completeness, timing and functionality of the program. One additional pilot session will be delivered at Premium Spray Systems in Atlanta, Ga., Jan. 15-17, 2013, in final preparations for delivery at the SPFA Annual Convention and Expo in Jacksonville, Fla., Feb. 12-15, 2013.
Space in Atlanta is extremely limited. Should you be interested in seeing if there is still room for you or your staff, please contact Kelly Marcavage at email@example.com.
ASHRAE Volunteers Help Achieve Success for Standard 189.1 in National Defense Bill
In one of their last major actions of the year, last week Members of Congress overwhelmingly passed the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013 (H.R.4310).The passage of this bill, which contains no restrictions on the use of U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) funds for ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1 – Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, represented a major victory for ASHRAE and supporters of Standard 189.1. This success was largely due to the efforts of ASHRAE volunteers, who helped educate key Congressional staff on the importance and cost-effectiveness of the Standard. ASHRAE also coordinated its efforts with a number of technical societies and stakeholder organizations to help remove this restriction from the final bill.
If left intact, the restriction on DOD would have directly impacted the U.S. Army, which has been required to begin using Standard 189.1 since the beginning of the 2013 fiscal year, which began this past October.
Reference to Standard 189.1 is specifically mentioned in the joint statement from the managers of the bill; the joint statement is used to help convey legislative intent:
“The conferees note that while there is no prohibition limiting the use of funds for implementation of ASHRAE building standard 189.1, they expect DOD to not provide broad, sweeping policy guidance on the use of ASHRAE building standard 189.1 but rather utilize this standard on a project by project basis to maximize savings based on geographic locations and returns on investment through water and energy efficiencies, among other considerations.”
The final bill also continues the DOD prohibition on the use of funds for LEED Gold or Platinum certifications – but adds a new qualifier – this prohibition ends when DOD provides guidance to the Congressional Armed Services Committees on the Department’s pursuit and use of building rating systems and standards for energy and water efficiency and sustainable design.
The NDAA is one of the few yearly must-pass bills, as it paves the way for funding DOD programs and activities – including military facility construction. The passage of this year's bill represents the 51st consecutive time this has happened. Although President Barack Obama issued a veto threat over provisions in the bill concerning issues such as the transfer of detainees in Guantanamo Bay, the President is expected to sign the bill into law soon.
For additional information, contact Mark Ames, ASHRAE Manager of Federal Government Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-833-1830.
Rep. Peter Welch New Co-Lead for High-Performance Buildings Congressional Caucus
High-performance buildings help create local jobs, while lowering overall costs and enhancing their communities. In recognition of the critical need to improve our nation’s public and private buildings, where people spend about 90 percent of their time, U.S. Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) has taken up the important task of co-leading the High-Performance Buildings Congressional Caucus.
Formed in 2008, the Caucus heightens awareness among federal policymakers about the major impacts that buildings have on the health, safety and welfare of the general public, and the opportunities to design, construct and operate buildings addressing these factors.
Specifically, the Caucus focuses on the eight aspects of high-performance buildings outlined in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007:
- Historic Preservation
- Safety and Security
“This Caucus is about finding practical ways to make progress in Washington,” Welch said. “Despite the heated political rhetoric, common ground does exist. For example, while there are big differences on energy policy, everyone agrees that using less energy is a good thing. So why not work together to make homes and buildings more energy efficient? It’s simply common sense. This Caucus will help identify more areas where we can work together, and I am pleased to serve as its co-chair.”
“The Coalition is delighted with Welch’s new leadership role as the Democratic Co-Chair of the Caucus,” said Doug Read, who serves as both ASHRAE's Director of Government Affairs and Chair of the Caucus Coalition. “His leadership over the years on building energy efficiency and sustainability has resulted in the introduction and passage of several key bills in Congress. The Coalition looks forward to working with him and the rest of the Caucus to continue educating members of Congress on the importance of high-performance buildings issues.”
The Caucus is supported by the High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition (www.hpbccc.org), a broad-based group of over 160 technical societies, associations, and businesses. Since 2008, the Coalition has held over 40 briefings on Capitol Hill to help educate policymakers and bridge the gap between the often highly technical and highly political worlds inhabited by the building community and Congress.
New Year Brings New Grassroots Policy Proposals
As 2013 is arriving, state policymakers have begun crafting their policy agenda for the upcoming biennium. With most state legislatures starting new biennia, new legislators, new ideas, and new challenges will arise.
ASHRAE’s new Grassroots Government Activities Committee (GGAC), which is set to kick off in the 2013-14 Society Year, will be the hub of communicating what is going on policy-wise across the United States. Regional Vice Chairs (RVCs) from each of the Society’s 14 regions will disseminate information to chapters and members and guide them on how to best affect public policy. ASHRAE members are uniquely qualified to provide technical assistance and advice to those making policy decisions in their communities on a number of issues – notably, building energy codes and standards and high-performance, or “green,” buildings.
During ASHRAE’s Winter Meeting in Dallas, the new GGAC RVCs will meet to discuss how:
- Best to work with policymakers
- The new committee fits into the Society’s member services mission
- To zero in on which policy concerns are most important in their respective regions
- Coordinate GGAC-related activities between chapters in their regions
To learn more about the evolution of the GGAC or how you can help in these new ventures, contact Mark Wills, ASHRAE's Manager of State and Local Government Affairs, at email@example.com or 202-833-1830.
ASHRAE's Government Affairs Updates detail information on government affairs-related activities of interest to ASHRAE members and others interested in the built environment. Archives of previous updates are available from the Government Affairs website.
No designer wants to see the unwelcome guests of mold and mildew show up in their building. Guidance on how to prevent moisture that causes their appearance is offered in several sessions at ASHRAE’s 2013 Winter Conference in Dallas.
“Sooner or later, HVAC professionals throughout Texas and the Gulf Coast come up against the problem of preventing or getting rid of mold,” Lew Harriman, a speaker at the Conference and author of ASHRAE’s “ASHRAE Guide for Buildings in Hot and Humid Climates,” said. “In June 2012, the ASHRAE Board of Directors approved a totally revised and updated Position Document on Indoor Mold and Dampness in Buildings. The Dallas Conference includes a comprehensive briefing on what ASHRAE experts have found to be the HVAC-related causes of mold in buildings, and what owners, contractors and designers can do to prevent the problem.”
The 2013 Winter Conference takes place Jan. 26-30 at the Sheraton Dallas. To register and for complete Conference information, visit www.ashrae.org/dallas. The International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Expo, held in conjunction with the Winter Conference, will run Jan. 28-30. The Expo, www.ahrexpo.com, is held at the Dallas Convention Center.
The technical program features more than 200 sessions addressing energy conservation; facility management: operations, technology and energy improvements; large building design; standards, guidelines and codes; HVAC&R systems and equipment; HVAC&R fundamentals and applications; and refrigeration. The full Technical Program offers the opportunity to earn a year’s worth of PDHs, NY PDHs, AIA LUs and LEED AP credits and runs Jan. 27-30.
A seminar, Diagnosing and Fixing Building Moisture Problems – Case Histories from Hot and Humid Climates, takes place 8-9:30 .m. Sunday, Jan. 27.
Moisture and humidity problems are often a complex mixture of decisions made by different professionals at different times about HVAC systems, architecture and building operations. Untangling the causes of problems and planning solutions requires understanding of the typical interactions between the building and its HVAC systems plus an appreciation of the practical aspects of operating buildings with limited budgets.
Case histories presented in this seminar can help building owners and facility managers avoid classic moisture problems and solve them when they occur.
Speakers and presentations are:
-Diagnosing and Fixing a Major Mold Growth Problem in a Health Clinic, Lew Harriman, Mason Grant, Portsmouth, N.H.
-The Unintended Consequences of the New International Green Construction Code on HVAC and Mold Problems in Humid Climates, George Dubose, Liberty Building Forensics Group, Zellwood, Fla.
-Sources and Solutions of Classic Moisture Problems—Lessons Learned in Hot and Humid Climates, Raoul A. Webb, P.E., ENVIRON International Corp., Tampa, Fla.
A seminar, Moisture Control in Commissioning of New and Existing Buildings, takes place 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 27. Moisture control in the commissioning process is based on project requirements for moisture problem avoidance, building assessment, field testing, and building science. This seminar focuses on the interaction of building systems that affect moisture in buildings and demonstrates important lessons learned by use of case studies.
-Providing Moisture Control Solutions in Building Commissioning, Donald Snell and George Dubose, Liberty Building Forensics Group, Zellwood, Fla.
-The Art and Science of Building Enclosure Commissioning, Fiona Aldous, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., Irving, Texas.
A seminar, ASHRAE Position on Limiting Indoor Mold and Dampness in Buildings, Unvented Combustion Devices and Indoor Air Quality: Review of Three Recently Published ASHRAE Position Documents, takes place from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 30. The seminar reviews three recently published Position Documents from ASHRAE, including “Limiting Indoor Mold and Dampness in Buildings.” The paper describes 64 specific decisions that have been observed to either minimize or increase the risks associated with indoor moisture accumulation.
-The Revised ASHRAE Position Document on Limiting Indoor Mold and Dampness in Buildings, Lew Harriman, Mason Grant, Portsmouth, N.H.
-ASHRAE Position Document on Unvented Combustion Devices, Paul W. Francisco, University of Illinois, Champaign, Ill.
-ASHRAE Position Document on Indoor Air Quality, Chandra Sekhar, Singapore.
The Building Codes Assistance Project releases regular updates on building energy codes through its quarterly BCAP Newsletter and weekly Code Alert Bulletin.
BCAP Newsletters are quarterly summaries of what's been happening at the Building Codes Assistance Project and building energy code progress around the nation. To access the full archive, click here.
BCAP Code Alert Bulletins are released weekly by the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP) and its website, the Online Code Environment & Advocacy Network (OCEAN). Code Alert Bulletins are designed to share information and support timely participation in state and local activities related to the adoption and implementation of building energy codes. The bulletins highlight immediate opportunities to influence state and local policy outcomes, indicate code status, and recommend contacts for action. If you know of activity that should be on this bulletin or would like to sign up for this bujlletin, contact Matt Kerns at (202) 530-2252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some of the content featured in recent newletters and bulletins includes:
NASEO Webinar on Strategies for Increasing Building Energy Code Compliance
The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) is hosting a webinar to highlight approaches for achieving higher levels of code compliance while also recognizing the potential impact of compliance strategies on already strained and limited state and local resources.
The webinar will include two presentations from State Energy Office staff. Marilyn Kaplan, Project Manager at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), will present on NYSERDA’s recent and ongoing compliance survey efforts. Jennifer Wilson, State Energy Program Manager at the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA), will highlight the results of a recent report, “Building Department Pilot Study: Guidance on Effective Enforcement of Georgia’s Energy Code.” The report examines building energy code enforcement practices from two jurisdictions in Georgia and identifies best practices related to building energy code compliance, including implementation of the blower door and duct tightness testing requirements of the Georgia code (2009 IECC plus amendments).
For more information, visit the Webinar Registration page or NASEO home page. Contact Chris Wagner of NASEO at email@example.com with any questions.
Town of Vail Adopts the 2012 IECC
The town of Vail, Colorado adopted the 2012 IECC with an effective date of January 2013. Vail, which updates its building codes every three years, help public hearings monthly over the last nine months reviewing the changes from the previously adopted building codes and possible amendments to 2012 IECC. Vail’s Building and Fire Appeals Board, who hosted the hearings, added provisions to the code that address construction practices unique to the community.
If interested in more information, contact Jim Meyers at SWEEP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SWEEP Releases Report on Utility Energy Efficiency Best Practices
The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) released the report, The $20 Billion Bonanza: Best Practice Electric Utility Energy Efficiency Programs and their Benefits for the Southwest, acknowledging the efforts of the region's utilities over the past decade and heralding the potential for growing success over the next decade. ACEEE was a contributing author on the report and worked with SWEEP to analyze a comprehensive set of eighteen best practice electric utility energy efficiency programs for each of the Southwest states' residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. The programs include low-income weatherization, incentives for efficient consumer products, custom retrofits for large businesses, and combined heat and power, to name a few. The report also outlines critical design elements that will allow these programs to reach more customers and savings, such as innovative and effective marketing techniques, financial incentives, and behavioral approaches.
For more Information: OCEAN Story Link | Full Report | Blog Summary
ASHRAE to Hold "Breaking News" Standards Update at 2013 Winter Conference
ASHRAE’s 2013 Winter Conference takes place Jan. 26-30 at the Sheraton Dallas. The International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Expo® (AHR Expo), held in conjunction with the Winter Conference, runs Jan. 28-30 at the Dallas Convention Center.
The technical program features more than 200 sessions and offers the opportunity to earn PDHs, NY PDHs, AIA LUs and LEED AP credits.
Among the sessions is a seminar, “Conference Breaking News on Standards 90.1, 62.1 and 189.1,” 2:30 – 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28. Updates on the activities of the committees overseeing Standards 90.1 (ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings), 62.1 (ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2010, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality) and 189.1 (ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2011, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings) will be shared by the committee chairs.
For details, click here.
In the interest of reducing the training burden on our accredited contractors and programs, BPI will postpone referencing ASHRAE Standard 62.2-2010 - Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low Rise Residential Buildings in BPI's standards and certifications. ASHRAE is expected to publish an updated 62.2-2013 standard, which includes several significant changes, in the spring of 2013.
Last June BPI announced that on January 1st, 2013, we would transition from ASHRAE 62-89 to ASHRAE 62.2-2010 in all our standards and certifications. The decision to postpone is based on the input of BPI's ASHRAE 62.2 Expert Panel. This panel strongly encouraged BPI management to postpone any revision to the current BPI standards until ASHRAE 62.2-2013 is published. BPI will thus implement a two-part transition plan for 2013:
Part 1 will be a soft launch of ASHRAE 62.2-2010 in January. BPI will accept either ASHRAE 62-89 and the BAS, or ASHRAE 62.2-2010 for accredited contractors and programs to demonstrate compliance with ventilation standards. This will allow accredited contractors time to obtain needed training and resources, and programs to meet their goals. BPI written exams will be revised to include general questions regarding ventilation that will not specifically require the use of calculations of referenced ventilation standards. BPI field exams will also be revised to remove the requirement to perform ventilation calculations of referenced ventilation standards and include requirements to demonstrate competencies in relation to blower door set up and testing and mechanical ventilation fan flow.
Part 2. ASHRAE 62.2-2013 is slated to be approved and published by ASHRAE in 2013. Once published, BPI will provide a required date for compliance with ASHRAE 62.2-2013, estimated to be approximately six months after publication. The BPI Standards Technical Committee will immediately begin the process to update and prepare for publication, as per the BPI-1 Standard Procedures Manual, any affected standards. This process will provide a transition period for contractors to obtain training to the new version of the ASHRAE standard and will ensure that revised BPI administrative processes are in place to allow for a full transition.
BPI recognizes the need for updated ventilation standards, and for ensuring that their implementation in the field proceeds with the appropriate support and guidance for contractors, programs and training organizations.
About the Building Performance Institute
BPI is the nation's premier building performance credentialing, quality assurance and standards setting organization. BPI develops technical standards using an open, transparent, consensus-based process built on sound building science. BPI is approved by the American National Standards Institute, Inc. (ANSI) as an accredited developer of American National Standards and as a certifying body for personnel credentials.
BPI offers the following:
-National standards to ensure top quality, consistent protocols are being followed throughout the home performance and weatherization workforce
-Certification of individuals in building analyst, heating, AC/heat pump, shell/envelope and multi-family designations
-Accreditation of contracting companies committed to delivering quality home performance improvements
-Quality assurance to verify conformance with BPI standards and provide feedback for continuing improvement
-Partnership with testing organizations that deliver BPI services in their market
For more information on BPI, click here.
On January 8, 2013, at 3 p.m. ET, the Commercial Buildings Consortium will host a webinar on strategies and technologies to improve the performance of small and medium commercial buildings. Lee DeBaillie, Principal Energy Engineer at the Energy Center of Wisconsin (ECW), will present on ECW’s research and modeling of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems in small commercial buildings. Dr. Xiaohui (Joe) Zhou, Building Energy Efficiency Program Manager at the Iowa Energy Center (IEC), will share information on the research and technology demonstration projects that the IEC is conducting through its Energy Resource Station and other initiatives.
For details or to register for the webinar, click here.
The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the Association of State Energy Research and Technology Transfer Institutions (ASERTTI) will hold the 2013 State Energy Outlook Conference from February 5-8, 2013, in Washington, D.C. The event will bring together Congressional representatives, state and federal officials, corporate executives and industry leaders to focus on state-federal energy collaboration in a new budget and policy era. This year's conference will explore the national energy policy outlook and the state, federal and private sector partnerships that will advance U.S. energy policy. .
More information can be found on the event website
. Early Bird registration ends January 18, 2013.