Speakers from the highest-attended seminars at the 2013 SPFA Convention & Expo share more insight related to the sprayfoam industry in this new series, Speaking Sensibly.
Mac Sheldon of Demilec (USA) LLC wrote the series' first article: "Are You Ready to Grow with the Improving Economy?" In this article, read about how the top 5 percent of small business owners embrace some basic rules in their operation, which they adamantly abide by in order to grow through the challenges in the market. See his expo presentation here
and his article here
To access and download all of the presentations, click here
The Spray Foam Coalition of CPI has recently released a new document, Guidance for Best Practices for Installation of Spray Polyurethane Foam
. The SPF Installation Guidance, which SPFA provided significant review and comment on, is intended to provide an overview of best practices to help professional installers use SPF effectively and efficiently to insulate homes and commercial buildings. It discusses considerations for the use and handling of materials as well as steps that help make the jobsite safe and secure. It also addresses health and safety hazards and offers steps to avoid potential issues. Steps and tips for installing, measuring, and inspecting SPF are included to supplement those offered by manufacturers. The document is posted here
The Spray Foam Coalition is finalizing a new Guidance on Ventilation for Interior Applications of High-Pressure Spray Polyurethane Foam
. This new resource is intended to provide general guidance on ventilation of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) applications in new residences and during renovation and weatherization projects. Information is presented on workplace containment, ventilation design, considerations for fan size and exhaust and supply ventilation, as well as a discussion of considerations for how long to ventilate. The document is posted here
"Designing Spaces," the award-winning home improvement television series, aired as part of its annual "Think Green" series a segment highlighting the energy efficiency of spray polyurethane foam. The episode of "Designing Spaces" featuring spray foam insulation aired on April 26 and May 22.
"Designing Spaces" partnered with the Spray Foam Coalition of the American Chemistry Council to help homeowners learn about the benefits of spray polyurethane foam. In the segment, homeowners Andy and Anitra Kitfield, along with their three children, welcome "Designing Spaces" as they update and insulate an upstairs room and their basement with spray polyurethane foam.
"It’s been really windy, so when it blows outside, we feel a draft inside. It stays cold," says Anitra, describing the challenges the family has had maintaining a comfortable temperature indoors before the spray polyurethane foam is applied. Nova Spray Foam Insulation, a spray polyurethane foam contractor, comes to the rescue to help make the Kitfields’ home more comfortable and energy efficient. "Designing Spaces" shows how these professional contractors install the insulation, which also acts as an air barrier, to dramatically reduce the drafts that have been making the Kitfield’s house so chilly.
"Homeowners should choose spray foam because it’s highly effective and it’s energy-efficient. It’s going to keep your house warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, and overall, homeowners will find that they’ll save some money," says Allyson Wilson of the American Chemistry Council, who helps detail the many benefits spray polyurethane foam offers to the homeowners in the episode.
The Spray Foam Coalition (SFC) of the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) has established a quarterly statistical data program
that provides historical data on spray polyurethane foam (SPF) sales. This program provides relevant, comprehensive and extensive business statistics for the industry.
In this program, participating Systems Houses manufacturing high-pressure SPF provide quarterly statistical data to a third party for compilation. The data provides a historical perspective and tracks the growth of the SPF market since 2008. The statistics include comprehensive information, including pounds of SPF sold per quarter, reported regionally within the United States and Canada.
The data, which is released quarterly and available with an annual subscription, can be used as a tool for analyzing and understanding the business climate. All statistics are electronic and provided in a spreadsheet. All annual report subscriptions are sold on a calendar year basis only, with no prorating.
California Proposal to Eliminate Flame Retardants in Foam Plastics
A group of SPFA stakeholder members in California have been very active in opposing a new proposal in the California Assembly to reduce or eliminate flame retardants in foam plastic insulation. This proposal, AB127, can have a significant impact on the use of foam plastic insulation across the State, and is being promoted nationally by a group called Safer Insulation Solution.
Working with Tim Shestek of the American Chemistry Council, more than a dozen SPFA contractor members co-signed a letter to the proponent, Assemblywoman Skinner of the California Legislatureâ€™s Natural Resources Committee (NRC). Many of our SPFA members also contacted the members of the NRC within their respective legislative districts. Although AB127 did pass through the NRC on April 29, it now moves to the Appropriations Committee, where the financial implications of the bill will be reviewed. SPFA will continue supporting the ACC and the Energy Efficient Foam Coalitionâ€™s grass-roots efforts in California, read here
. Interested SPFA members should contact Rick Duncan for more information firstname.lastname@example.org
Industry-Level Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for SPF in Progress
In November 2012, SPFA released final reports that documented the SPF industryâ€™s Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study. This announcement and detailed report can be found by clicking here
. This study documents the detailed results of the overwhelmingly net-positive environmental impacts of generic LD, MD and roofing SPF products from cradle to end-of-life. The six impacts studied include primary energy demand, global warming (carbon footprint), ozone depletion, eutrophication (nitrogen release), smog and acidification (acid rain). While the study met all requirements of ISO-14040 and 14044, the results need to be summarized in a third-party environmental product declaration (EPD). EPDâ€™s, following the Product Category Rules (PRC) for insulation, provide an important verification of the results that assist in product selection under sustainable building programs such as USGBCâ€™s LEED, IgCC, GreenGlobes and other similar programs. UL Environments will be the most likely developer of the SFPAâ€™s industry-level EPD. For more information on the EPD development, please contact Rick Duncan, Technical Director of SPFA at email@example.com
Other Technical Activities
- During the ASTM Spring meetings in Indianapolis, SPFA was very active. Mason Knowles, workgroup leader for ASTM C1029, is actively working to update this material specification for closed-cell SPF. In addition, Peter Birkbeck of Icynene is leading the workgroup to finalize a new material specification for low-density, open-cell SPF.
- Material and installation specifications are needed for the new SPFA Professional Certification Program. In addition, Mr. Knowles has initiated the development of a new SPF Installation standard within ASTM. For more information on these standardization activities, please contact Mason Knowles firstname.lastname@example.org or Peter Birkbeck email@example.com.
- In April and May, three of SPFAâ€™s Technical Committees held the first of their three meetings for 2013. On April 22, the Building Envelope Committee (BEC) met to update and outline projects and activities. One important project for the BEC is to complete the cold-climate guide for hybrid insulation systems. On April 24, the Roofing Committee held their first meeting. This year the RC will be working to update several roofing-related AY documents. On May 20 the new SPFA Safety Committee (SC) will hold their first meeting and develop a list of 2013 goals. For more information on the work being done by these committees, as well as upcoming meetings, please contact the respective committee chairs:
>>Building Envelope Committee (BEC) â€" Chair: Mark Fortney, Gaco-Western firstname.lastname@example.org
>>Roofing Committee (RC) â€" Chair: Roger Morrison, Deer Ridge Consulting email@example.com
>>Safety Committee (SC) â€" Joe Bolduc, Masco Contractor Services firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations to all the winners in the 2013 Annual SPFA National Contractor Excellence Awards
. These projects are examples of SPF’s unique performance, applicability and appeal. In upcoming issues of SPRAYFOAM Professional, various winning projects will be spotlighted. In the Summer 2013 issue, read about the projects completed by Insulate SB and Arizona Foam & Spray. In the Fall 2013 issue, West Roofing Systems, Inc. and Southwest Spray Foam LLC projects will be highlighted.
Here is the full list of winners:
>>Arizona Foam & Spray: Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
>>Spray-Tec Inc.: Bluegrass Community and Technical College Newtown Pike Campus
>>Southwest Spray Foam LLC: Television Personality Steve Thomas
>>Smart Choice Insulation & Roofing, Inc.: The Flour Tower
>>West Roofing Systems, Inc.: Boulevard Terrace & Neal Terrace Apartments
>>Honeywell Building Envelope Solutions: 206,000 sq.ft. re-roofing over BUR with extensive removal
>>West Roofing Systems, Inc.: Playhouse Square 14th Street Theatre Roof Reconstruction
>>Insulate SB, Inc: The Book House
>>J. Calman Industries: Coastal Progress – Marine Vessel
Thank you for your consistent and unwavering support of SPFA, allowing us to do so many critical things for you and the industry. It’s your membership that makes it happen. It is our highest priority to serve you as our member, bring value to you and the industry, and represent the product and our members’ services accurately, positively, and completely.
I invite you to visit our SPFA YouTube page
to view a short commentary recapping some of the information shared below -- the highlights of 2012 and looking ahead to the higher priority items for 2013.
>> Completion and deployment of the SPF industry’s first ever, comprehensive, professional, ANSI/ISO Accredited Sprayfoam Professional Certification Program (PCP) for roofing and insulation. Rolled out at the SPFA Annual Convention, over 800 individual tests have been administered since the rollout. SPFA members get a major discount.
>> Completion and publishing of the SPF industry model Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), representing the first and only insulation/roofing industry LCA to be published. In many cases LEED credits require an LCA, and the third-party validated results prove the energy and environmental performance claims of SPF. Short and full-reports available for members for bid-package inclusion.
>> Record-setting attendance at the 2012 Annual Convention and Expo. The most exhibitors, most attendees ever, a robust speaker offering, Contractor Excellence Awards, and invaluable networking and business opportunities. Significant member discounts on exhibiting and attendance.
>> Advocated in a state that approved a bill effectively banning sprayfoam to obtain veto by the governor.
>> Participated in several meetings with EPA and other federal agencies to review certification and health and safety practices of the industry.
>> Created and published SPRAYFOAM Professional magazine, the quarterly publication of SPFA and the SPF industry.
2013 ACTIVITY HIGHLIGHT FORECAST:
>> Already in 2013 SPFA presented upon SPF health, safety, PCP certification and quality issues at the NAHB IBS show to national builders looking for consistent and credible information leading to comfort and adoption of the technology. SPFA exhibited and presented upon the LCA and certification at the 2013 RESNET conference. These are just two examples of how SPFA is getting out the good word on sprayfoam to our industry partners and extending the reach and influence of SPF among our constituents and stakeholders. This will continue throughout 2013.
>> Already in 2013 the SPFA Annual Convention and Expo held in Jacksonville, Fl offered the most SPF breakout sessions ever for an SPFA show. Attendance broke all previous records for an east-coast convention, new winners were named in the annual Contractor Excellence Awards program, and the most exhibitors ever filled booths in the exhibit hall.
>> SPFA will be creating an SPF Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) which complements the LCA and is recognized as further environmental and energy efficiency validation among the design and construction trades.
>> SPFA will be further rolling out the PCP certification, increasing participation and delivery sources, and garnering support and recognition among our partners, the federal government, and all stakeholders. The PCP will also be developing an accredited status for companies to participate and demonstrate their participation in the program.
>> SPFA will be engaging new committees, such as the SPFA Safety Committee, to continue putting in place the elements needed for growth and success in the industry.
>> SPFA will be updating SPF-related ASTM standards for both roofing and insulation.
>> Several states have efforts in place to pursue some type of licensing or certification requirements for SPF contractors.
SPFA will remain vigilant of these efforts and keep members informed. SPFA will also maintain our working relationship with the EPA and other federal agencies as they continue their efforts to produce sprayfoam-related materials that will affect your business. And SPFA will continue to monitor and inform you on issues of energy efficiency, tax incentives and other legislative and regulatory issues.
SPFA has worked extremely hard to address all of the areas of need for the industry throughout 2012 and will continue to do so on your behalf throughout 2013. The association is enacting our strategic plan as directed by the Board comprised of representatives from the full value chain – contractors, distributors, manufacturers and consultants.
It is admittedly difficult to squeeze a year end wrap up and a look ahead into a short summary. SPFA has done the things contained in this letter and so much more. The elements you see here are the progress related to major milestones. SPFA works hard every day to advance the interests of the SPF industry and represent you as well as we possibly can.
Thank you again for your continued support. If you have any questions about the activities SPFA engages in, about your membership or anything related to SPFA, please do not hesitate to contact us.
U.S. Reps. McKinley & Welch Introduce HOMES, Better Buildings Acts
Representatives David McKinley (R-WV) and Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced two bipartisan bills designed to catalyze energy efficiency investments in residential and commercial buildings -- the Home Owner Managing Energy Savings (HOMES) Act (H.R.2128), and the Better Buildings Act (H.R.2126)
In its simplest sense, the HOMES Act would establish a rebate program for residential energy efficiency retrofits. The amount of the rebate would range from $2,000 for a 20-24% reduction in home energy use, to $8,000 for a 50% or greater reduction in home energy use. The rebate would be provided to the owner of an owner-occupied home or a tenant-occupied home. Owners would have the option of transferring their rebate to the contractor performing the retrofit.
In contrast, the Better Buildings Act seeks to improve commercial building energy efficiency by facilitating greater cooperation between building owners and occupants through the development of model commercial leasing provisions that encourage the use of cost-effective energy efficiency measures, enhanced data collection, sharing of best practices, and the creation of a voluntary new Tenant Star certification system that is based on the widely successful Energy Star program for buildings that would help commercial building occupants demonstrate their commitment to energy efficiency.
The Better Buildings Act may be offered as an amendment in the House or Senate to the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (H.R.1616/S.761).
Representatives McKinley and Welch are the Republican and Democratic Co-Chairs of the High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus. The Caucus is supported by High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition - a private sector coalition of over 160 building community stakeholders that works with the Caucus to educate federal policymakers on the importance of high-performance buildings and how to achieve and promote them. ASHRAE helped found, and currently chairs the Caucus Coalition.
For details on any of the above, contact Mark Ames, ASHRAE's Senior Manager of Federal Government Affairs, at email@example.com. For details on the Caucus Coalition, contact Doug Read, ASHRAE's Director of Government Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
U.S. Sen. Alexander Lays Out Energy 'Grand Principles' -- Includes Green Buildings
Demonstrating that many building issues truly are bipartisan, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) gave a speech in which he outlined several principles and grand challenges to improve U.S. energy policy -- including making new buildings green buildings. To view his prepared remarks, visit here.
Sen. Alexander sits on several powerful committees, including Energy and Natural Resources, and is the senior-most-Republican of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, which is responsible for providing funding to federal agencies such as the Department of Energy and Energy Information Administration.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Announces Resignation
Jon Wellinghoff announced that he will step down as chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), but will stay in office until a replacement is named and confirmed. FERC is an independent federal agency charged with regulating the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil.
ASHRAE's Senior Officers Hold Meetings in Washington, D.C.
ASHRAE's President, President-Elect, Treasurer, and Executive Vice President were all in Washington, D.C. recently for their twice-a-year round of meetings with technical society and federal agency leaders. Below is a list of organizations they met with:
Air Conditioning Contractors of America
American Institute of Architects
Army's Office of Installations, Energy & Environment
Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Radiation and Indoor Air
General Services Administration's Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings
National Association of Home Builders
National Association of State Energy Officials
Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association
U.S. Green Building Council
For details on any of the news items listed above, contact Mark Ames, ASHRAE's Senior Manager of Federal Government Affairs, at email@example.com.
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.
Sens. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., and David Vitter, R-La., introduced a bipartisan bill
to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act. Among other things, the bill would require that all commercially used chemicals are evaluated and labeled based on their potential health and environmental risks, with further assessment by the Environmental Protection agency for high-priority chemicals. "Our bill strikes the right balance between strengthening consumer confidence in the safety of chemicals, while also promoting innovation and the growth of an important sector of our economy," said Vitter.
But, introducing this bill was one of the last political actions for Sen. Lautenberg, who died June 3
from complications from viral pneumonia, according to his office.
"Frank was a real statesman, and his knowledge and strong spirit will definitely be missed in the Senate, especially on the Environment and Public Works Committee," Vitter said. "Wendy and I are keeping Bonnie and the Lautenberg family in our prayers."
Demilec USA, LLC is now offering a preparatory seminar
to assist contractors and installers to certify under the SPFA Professional Certification Program. The goal is to prepare the attendees to take the SPFA examinations for the various levels of installer (applicator) certification, plus there is a day of business training and a full day of hands-on training including spray technique, troubleshooting and equipment maintenance. On the final day of training, all students have the opportunity to take the tests for any of the SPFA certifications.
The next class is June 25-28 in Arlington, Texas.
Since SPFA completed development of the SPF Professional Certification Program (PCP) and publicly rolled it out at its annual convention and expo in February, already almost 800 tests have been administered. SPFA members and partners, including Gaco Western, Premium Spray Systems, Demilec, Bayer Material Science, and the ABAA Conference have all hosted testing sessions. More sessions are scheduled over the next several weeks at locations including CertainTeed, Sprayfoam Nation, Conklin, Premium Spray Systems, Quadrant Urethanes, and NCFI, with more getting scheduled all the time. SPFA is working presently on the development of a Contractor, Distributor and Manufacturer Firm Accreditation program to complement the new certification program. To find out more about the program, enroll, register for a test, or get set up for one of the upcoming testing locations, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
or (866) 222-5000 and simply state what you want to do. They will either process you or get you with the right people.
DuraTite™ 2.0, a closed cell spray polyurethane foam insulation, is now available from Rhino Linings Corp., a global provider of polyurethane and polyurea systems for more than 25 years.
"DuraTite 2.0 is part of our new line of sprayfoam products that complement the BioBased Insulation® product line that we have offered since December 2012," said Pierre Gagnon, president and CEO of Rhino Linings Corporation. "Our goal is to continue expanding our presence in the spray foam insulation and roofing market. DuraTite 2.0 is the first of many new products planned for the DuraTite™ brand."
DuraTite 2.0 is a 245fa-blown sprayfoam insulation for buildings. The product has been formulated so that it can be applied on substrates with a wide temperature range, which means it can easily be applied in extremely hot and extremely cold climates. Because it is a closed cell insulation, DuraTite 2.0 spray foam insulation is an ideal choice for these climates and for specific applications where vapor drive is a concern.
DuraTite 2.0 spray foam seals and insulates in one step, providing an installed R-value of 6.3 at one inch and an installed R-value of 26 at 4 inches. In addition to helping reduce the amount of energy it takes to heat and cool your building, DuraTite 2.0 sprayfoam insulation also integrates 3% bio-based content and 3% pre-consumer recycled content in the finished foam.
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. Here are some of the recent alerts:
>>New State Alerts
Louisiana - State Legislature Approves Bill to Adopt IRC with 2009 Version of Part VI - Energy Conservation
>>New Locality Alerts
Las Vegas, NV - Proposed Ordinance Would Exempt Buildings Built Before 2009 From Energy Code
Boston, MA - City Council Approves Benchmarking Orridiance Requiring Annual Energy and Water Reporting
>>Ongoing State Alerts
Virginia – Less Efficient 2012 IECC Approved for Residential Buildings, 2012 Commerical Code Intact
North Carolina - House Committee Approved Legislation to Roll Back Energy Efficiency Requirements in Newly Constructed Commercial Buildings
West Virginia - Governor Signs 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007 Into Law
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 bulletin, contact Matt Kerns at (202) 530-2252 or email@example.com.
Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan announced that the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA), the Alliance’s wholly-owned subsidiary created to advance energy efficiency in the Southeast, will become a standalone entity on January 1, 2014. Callahan made the announcement about the future of SEEA during the Alliance’s EE Global Forum held in Washington, D.C.
"When the Alliance started SEEA in 2006, the Southeast lagged behind the rest of the country in advancing energy efficiency policy and actions," said Callahan. "Today, SEEA is a best-in-class organization that is making a difference home by home in more than a dozen communities across the region, driving policy in many state legislatures, and helping to cut energy use in businesses and industrial plants across the Southeast."
During the SEEA announcement at the international forum, Callahan recognized other efficiency organizations that were started with the Alliance’s assistance including the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE), the Australian Alliance to Save Energy (A2SE), and the Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy in India.
Commented SEEA President Mandy Mahoney, "SEEA has worked hard to make a strong impact for energy efficiency across the Southeast. This is an important milestone for the region, one that highlights considerable progress toward an economically vibrant, energy secure and environmentally sustainable Southeast.
"Recognizing there is still much work to be done, we look forward to a strong ongoing partnership with the Alliance, and to the continued teamwork and collaboration of all our valued partners. Today is a proud moment for the Alliance whose support we appreciate, for SEEA, and for the many organizations who share our vision of an energy-efficient Southeast."
SEEA Work Crucial
According to a 2009 report by the Georgia Institute of Technology, the South accounts for 44 percent of the nation’s total energy consumption. If the region could achieve the substantial energy efficiency improvements that have occurred in many other parts of the country, this would significantly reduce carbon emissions across the region, improve air quality, and reduce the need for building new power plants.
In April, the Alliance and SEEA boards approved the spin-off after determining that SEEA had built a track record of success that solidified its reputation as a leader, and had secured the vital member support necessary to succeed as a standalone organization. SEEA counts these accomplishments among its many successes:
BetterBuildings and State Energy Program Leader
SEEA remains the third-most productive of the Department of Energy’s 41 BetterBuildings Neighborhood Program grant recipients nationwide, reflecting innovative practices in marketing and outreach, workforce training, retrofit finance and more. As of the end of March 2013, the programs had reached 28,055,953 kWh of energy savings and $2,096,606 in utility cost savings. SEEA also manages the State Energy Programs for Virginia and Alabama.
Policy Wins and Energy Code Implementations
SEEA’s policy team has built strong partnerships that led to the passage of building
codes legislation in Alabama, South Carolina and Mississippi. The team also helped the State of Mississippi craft its first comprehensive statewide energy plan, and supported the Louisiana Public Service Commission in its efforts to work toward statewide energy-efficiency rules. Through ongoing support from the Energy Foundation, the Department of Energy and the Hewlett Foundation, SEEA continues to champion codes implementation efforts across the Southeast.
Continued Stakeholder Engagement
SEEA’s Associate Member program provides unique networking, educational and business development opportunities for a range of private sector organizations, service providers, academics, consultants and others. In addition to its growing membership, SEEA successfully launched the Utilities of the South Coalition, and in partnership with the Alliance, continues a variety of industrial sector efforts funded through the U.S. Department of Energy and Georgia Institute of Technology.
In 2012 the Alliance and SEEA co-sponsored EE Global in Orlando, and this year SEEA is participating in the D.C.-based event to share its successful strategies alongside other regional energy efficiency organizations.
A building energy labeling program that allows the industry to zero in on opportunities to lower building operating cost and make informed decisions to increase value has been expanded to include an As Designed label.
The program is now two labels in one: an As Designed label that rates the building’s potential energy use under standardized conditions—independent of the building’s occupancy and usage — and an In Operation label that rates the building’s actual measured energy use as influenced by the building’s occupancy and usage.
A building’s utility costs are some of the largest, yet most controllable, operating expenses; therefore, managing a building’s energy efficiency is an integral part of the building’s operational and financial performance.
As the marketplace, the built environment industry and the government look at reducing energy use and saving money, the Building Energy Quotient (bEQ) is an easily understood, yet technically sound, tool for understanding a building’s energy use and identifying opportunities to reduce that use is needed. ASHRAE, a building technology society with more than 50,000 members worldwide, is the developer of bEQ.
"Owners, tenants, potential owners and tenants and building managers need to have the information necessary to make informed decisions about the energy use of the existing buildings where we live, work and play," Amy Musser, Ph.D., P.E., a consulting engineer in Ashville, N.C., and volunteer chair of the bEQ Committee, said. "bEQ allows commercial building owners to zero in on opportunities to lower building operating cost and make informed decisions to increase value. It also allows potential buyers or tenants to gain insight into the value and potential long-term cost of a building."
"What makes bEQ unique is the depth of the analysis upon which each rating is based," Musser said. "Each label requires an ASHRAE-certified professional to perform either an energy assessment or standardized model; this brings a highly qualified individual to the building’s energy management team."
The As Designed label is based on the results of an energy model with standardized inputs as compared to a baseline median EUI. The rating is based on simulated energy use—independent of operational and occupancy variables. Since the label compares a building under a standardized set of operating assumptions, it is a useful tool for tenants who want to compare different buildings without including effects of the current occupants as well as for operators to know whether they are achieving the full designed potential for a particular building. To receive an As Designed rating, a standardized energy model must be performed by an ASHRAE-Certified Building Energy Modeling Professional (BEMP).
The key component of the In Operation label is the in-operation assessment, which includes an ASHRAE Level I Energy Audit—the industry standard for determining a building’s energy use—conducted by an ASHRAE-Certified Building Energy Assessment Professional (BEAP), along with recommendations for energy improvement measures. The rating focuses on the building’s actual energy use for the preceding 12 to 18 months and is based on actual operating data. This helps building owners and operators see how their building’s energy usage compares to the energy usage of a median baseline building and highlights their building’s potential for energy performance improvement.
"bEQ is a voluntary program that draws on successful features from other U.S. and European building labeling and certification programs." Musser said. "Building energy use disclosure is already mandatory in the states of California and Washington; the cities of Washington, D.C.; Austin, Texas; Boston, Mass.; Philadelphia; Pa.; New York City, N.Y.; San Francisco, Calif.; and the European Union and Australia."
Buildings that participate in the program will receive a displayable label or plaque with an easily understood rating scale to allow a comparison of the building’s energy use with similar buildings, as well as demonstrate the building owner’s commitment to energy efficiency. Buildings can be labeled using both labels or just one.
The building owner will also be given a dashboard that provides a quick overview of the buildings energy usage, and a certificate that contains additional technical information to explain the score on the label and that could be used to satisfy compliance with state and local disclosure requirements.
Finally, documentation accompanying the label and certificate provides the background information useful for engineers, architects and technically savvy building owners or prospective owners in determining the current state of the building and opportunities for improving its energy use.
Alliance to Save Energy's Efficiency News
Some of the topics that are addressed in the newest update from Alliance to Save Energy include:
Energy Efficiency Driving Tips for Summer
The Alliance calculated that the average U.S. household will spend $3,300 on transportation energy costs this year. Check out our tips for vehicle maintenance and smart driving that can help you keep a little more of that money in your pocket.
Support Grows for Energy Efficiency Policy Adoption
Around the same time that we released Energy2030, three other influential organizations the National Association of Manufacturers, the Business Roundtable, and the Bipartisan Policy Center also released policy recommendations that included energy efficiency. The Alliance has reviewed these recommendations and developed a side-by-side comparison.
EEB Hub Gets New HQ
Last month, the EEB Hub celebrated the groundbreaking of two buildings that will serve as the organization's headquarters. The construction and renovation are expected to be completed by spring 2014.
DOE Publishes Methods for Estimating Energy Efficiency Savings
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published a series of protocols for estimating savings from energy efficiency programs titled Methods for Determining Energy Efficiency Savings for Specific Measures.
The protocols, developed in collaboration with leading technical experts, provide a straightforward method for evaluating gross energy savings for a number of the most common residential and commercial measures and programs offered by utility ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs in the United States. They will also be useful for non-ratepayer energy efficiency programs. The Alliance to Save Energy serves on the Steering Committee for this effort.
Energy 2030 in Action: Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Taking the Lead on Energy Efficiency
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, an association of 300 elected officials and 22 local governments in the metropolitan Washington area, has created a vision - Region Forward - to transform the region to become more accessible, sustainable, livable and prosperous.
This vision aligns with the Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy's plan to double U.S. energy productivity by 2030 and make more efficient use of our energy resources. To achieve this ambitious goal, the Commission urges Americans to invest, modernize, and educate—and metropolitan Washington is on its way to doing just that.
For complete list of articles, click here.
Papers are being sought for a conference focused on the design, construction and operation of buildings in developing economies.
Organized by ASHRAE along with the Philippines Chapter, the "Efficient, High Performance Buildings for Developing Economies" Conference will take place April 24-25, 2014, in Manila, Philippines. It is co-sponsored by the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and endorsed by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO).
Abstracts (400 or less words in length) are due July 12, 2013. If accepted, papers are due Oct. 18, 2013. Submittal information can be found at www.ashrae.org/Developing2014
The conference addresses the challenges developing countries face in sustainable construction, such as rapidly growing energy demand, population density and urbanization, and focuses on aspects relating to design, construction and operation of high performance buildings, including the HVAC&R industry’s role in meeting this objective.
The Conference seeks to bring people from diverse cultures and climates together to share building design approaches that are responsive to local needs, said Ashish Rakheja, conference co-chair. A key motivation behind the conference is to utilize traditional construction practices.
"The papers and presentation will provide examples of how to apply the latest technology to achieve cost effective solutions to support high performance buildings in developing economies," he said.
Papers are sought on the following themes:
>>Design criteria for developing countries
Hot and humid climates
Thermal comfort preferences and cultural expectations Impact of thermal design criteria on >>Indoor air quality
Impacts of outdoor air quality issues
Potential application of natural ventilation
Indoor environmental quality constraints on energy efficiency
Reductions in emissions of global warming gases through use of renewable energy
Energy impacts associated with water use
>>Standards and government regulations
Green building programs in developing countries Energy efficiency standards Indoor air quality >>Refrigeration
Refrigerants: Limitations and Opportunities Applications, e.g. improved food preservation
Lack of energy infrastructure
Combustion using low-grade fuels
In addition to paper presentations, invited speakers from around the world will focus on the most critical challenges facing developing economy countries.
ASHRAE is seeking papers for its 2014 Annual Conference in Seattle, Wash., June 28-July 2, 2014.
The Conference addresses broad topics in the application of technology to practice, specific applications in ground source heat pumps, O&M and indoor environmental quality, as well as new reports on research taking place worldwide.
The second annual Research Summit seeks papers that report on HVAC&R research with particular emphasis on high performance building design and its role in a clean energy economy, and brings together researchers to present and discuss the latest research. Papers describing ASHRAE-related research are encouraged as well as papers from societies and associations worldwide.
The complex relationship between indoor and outdoor environmental conditions, coupled with the impacts of climate change, requires buildings that are comfortable and healthy for the occupants yet also energy efficient. The Indoor Environment—Health, Comfort and Productivity Track seeks papers highlighting the state of knowledge of the balance of environmental health and energy efficiency in buildings and research directions.
The Ground Source Heat Pumps State of the Art: Design, Performance and Research Track requires papers addressing all aspects of design that lead to optimally performing systems in addition to avoiding common pitfalls that lead to poorly performing systems.
With low energy and zero energy buildings becoming more prevalent, there are many issues that arise with installation, startup, commissioning and operations and maintenance (O&M). The Installation, Commissioning, Operation, Maintenance of Existing Buildings Track seeks papers focusing on lessons learned, improvement of process and team communications and efforts to improve the installation, startup, O&M and commissioning of HVAC systems.
The Refrigeration Track has an emphasis on global perspectives on new refrigerants, variable refrigerant flow applications, magnetic bearing compressors and refrigerant management. Papers on non-comfort cooling applications in food preservation and medical cryogenics are sought, also.
ASHRAE is known for its standards – their development and their adoption worldwide. The Standards, Guidelines and Codes Track seeks papers highlighting the applications of ASHRAE’s standards to practice as well as European (CEN) and ISO standards that support building performance.
As with past ASHRAE Conferences, the Seattle Conference also seeks papers addressing advances and practices across HVAC&R systems, equipment, fundamentals and applications.
In addition, the Conference features a Professional Skills Track.
Conference paper abstracts are due Sept. 23, 2013. Upon acceptance, papers will be due Jan. 9, 2014. These papers undergo a single-blind review.
Full technical papers are due Sept. 23, 2013. Papers submitted for review must be both technically accurate and clearly written. These papers undergo a rigorous double-blind review and will be published in ASHRAE Transactions.
A proposed guideline that will establish a uniform procedure for transmitting design, construction, testing and operational information to building owners and operators is open for public comment.
Guideline 1.4P, The Systems Manual for Facilities, provides procedures for producing a systems manual as a resource for training, operations, maintenance and upgrading of facilities. The guideline applies to information from planning, commissioning process, design, construction, testing and training activities and operations planning for new, renovated and existing facilities, equipment and assemblies.
The proposed guideline is open for an advisory public review until June 2, 2013. To read the draft guideline or to submit comments, visit www.ashrae.org/publicreviews
ASHRAE Standard 202P, Commissioning Process for Buildings and Systems and other ASHRAE guidelines on commissioning require development of a systems manual, as do several other standards and energy- and sustainability-related codes. However, no document or guideline outlines how to assemble a systems manual to current requirements. Guideline 1.4P provides these procedures, according to Gerald Kettler, chair of the Guideline 1.4P committee.
“Establishing a uniform procedure for transmitting the design, construction, testing and operational information to building owners and operators is critical to the proper and efficient operation of facilities,” Kettler said. “Guideline 1.4P provides the structure and procedures for the transfer and maintenance of that information. It also is intended for use as operator and occupant training information.”
Other commissioning guidance from ASHRAE includes Guideline 0-2005, The Commissioning Process; Guideline 1.1-2007, HVAC&R Technical Requirements for the Commissioning Process; and Guideline 1.5-2012, The Commissioning Process for Smoke Control Systems.
ASHRAE also is working on several other guidelines and a standard related to commissioning: Guideline 0.2P, The Commissioning Process for Existing Systems and Assemblies; Guideline 1.2P, The Commissioning Process for Existing HVAC&R Systems; Guideline 1.3P, Building Operation and Maintenance Training for the HVAC&R Commissioning Process; and Standard 202P.