Seminars cover California building code changes

California utilities have benefitted from strong building efficiency codes that have helped keep energy use constant in the state for decades. Power providers also appreciate the challenges building owners and developers face in complying with the toughest efficiency codes in the nation. Green Technology Training is offering a seminar You are leaving Western's site. that can help construction and real estate professionals, as well as utility key account staff and program managers, get up to speed on the latest revisions.

2016 Building Efficiency Standards: Changes and Challenges will cover the Title 24 changes that go into effect January 2017 for both residential and commercial buildings, from high performance walls and attics to lighting and lighting controls. With each round of revisions, the state’s Energy Code moves closer to the goal of zero net energy for all new construction. Staying up to date with its evolution will help utilities as they design new efficiency programs, update preferred contractor lists and advise commercial customers on retrofits.

For convenience, Green Technology is offering the seminar on multiple dates at locations throughout the state:

Attendees will be eligible to receive five Health, Safety and Welfare Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from the American Institute of Architects You are leaving Western's site. and .5 International Code Council You are leaving Western's site. CEUs for the course. Sessions will also offer Build it Green CEUs (one credit per hour) and Construction Management Association of America You are leaving Western's site. renewal points (one per hour). All registrants will receive a certificate of participation.

This training is a good opportunity to prepare your staff to support customers as they work toward creating the most efficient building stock in the country. Knowledge is power, and knowledge of the California Building Code is the power to become an indispensable resource your customers can rely on.

New OSHA Regs for Confined Spaces Safety

New confined space regulations from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) taking effect Jan. 8, 2016, have significant implications for home performance companies and weatherization professionals.

This rule is designed to help prevent tragic situations like a recent one where a construction foreman died from asphyxiation after entering a manhole with an uncontrolled hazardous atmosphere.

Under the new rule (29 CFR 1926 Subpart AA), permits to access specific confined spaces are granted by the general contractor or lead contractor on each job. There are numerous safe entry procedures that require the contractor to plan and prepare ahead of time. The rule will apply to any space that meets three criteria:

  • It is large enough for a worker to enter it
  • It has limited means of entry or exit
  • It is not designed for continuous occupancy

A space may be a permit-required confined space if it has a hazardous atmosphere, the potential for suffocation, a layout that might trap a worker through converging walls or a sloped floor, or any other serious safety or health hazard.

Employers will be required to train workers to ensure they know about the existence, location and dangers posed by each permit-required confined space.Report - Protecting Construction Workers in Confined Spaces

To help small businesses become compliant, OSHA has published The Small Entity Compliance Guide (pdf). This is plain language explanation covers all aspects of the Confined Space in Construction Rule, including how eliminating or isolating hazards can allow the contractor to reclassify a permit-required confined space as a non-permit confined space.

Learn more about the new regulations on OSHA’s Confined Space website, or check out The New Confined Spaces in Construction – The Big Picture, You are leaving Western's site. a free archived webinar from the National Association of Home Builders.

Also, if you have found a good resource for training energy auditors, customer program representatives and preferred contractors to comply with the new regulation, please share it with Energy Services. Safety always comes first!

Water conservation strategies topic of California seminar series

CalWaterSeminarsIn response to the historic mandatory restrictions on potable water use enacted by the California State Water Resources Control Board, Redirecting to a non-government site the nonprofit Green Technology initiative Redirecting to a non-government site is presenting seminars throughout the state for utility and construction industry professionals.

Reducing Potable Water Use: Understanding Opportunities in Recent Plumbing Code Changes will explore how changes to the California Plumbing code can help to reduce potable water use. The new codes open the door to establishing standards and guidelines for greywater systems, on-site water recycling and rainwater catchment systems.

Low-flow fixtures and other common water-saving measures cannot reduce water consumption enough to meet the required reductions. This five-hour seminar will introduce building owners and water utility employees to the non-potable water strategies that will take conservation programs to the next level.

Featured speaker Greg Mahoney has more than 25 years of experience in building code enforcement, and is currently the chief building official for the city of Davis, California. In addition to being a certified combination inspector and plans examiner, he is a certified building official, certified access specialist, Leadership Energy Efficient Design accredited professional, Building Performance Institute building analyst and certified Home Energy Rating System rater.

Get an in-depth look at the code specifications and learn how to successfully navigate the design, permitting and inspection process. Mahoney will also cover emergency water conservation regulations Redirecting to a non-government site found in CALGreen that were approved May 29 and went into effect June 1.

Facility managers and design and construction professionals who attend can earn five continuing education units, or CEUs, from the American Institute of Architects. Sessions will also offer renewal points for Build it Green Redirecting to a non-government site (one credit per hour) and Construction Management Association of America Redirecting to a non-government site (one per hour).

To make it easier for busy professionals to attend the seminar, Green Technology is presenting it at five different locations in California:

The $265 registration fee includes lunch, and discounts are available for groups of four or more. Please call 626-577-5700 if you have any questions.

Source: Green Technology, 6/17/15

Construction guidebook points way to efficient new buildings

Building energy efficiency into new construction is easier than teaching an old building (or building owner) new tricks. But many designers and builders still need schooling in energy-efficient construction—lessons that can be found in the New Construction GuideRedirecting to a non-government site.

The New Construction Guide from the New Building Institute offers a whole-building approach to achieving deep energy efficiencies in new building projects. (Art by New Building Institute)
The New Construction Guide from the New Building Institute offers a whole-building approach to achieving deep energy efficiencies in new building projects. (Art by New Building Institute)

The latest offering from the New Building Institute’sRedirecting to a non-government site (NBI) Advanced Buildings tool suite is a whole-building, step-by-step approach to new commercial construction projects that result in efficiencies up to 40 percent higher than conventional buildings. Building design and construction professionals can reference the New Construction Guide to define high performance in building envelope, lighting, HVAC, power systems and controls.

Learn from experts
The people behind the guide know how to achieve efficiencies without adding costs. The primary authors include NBI’s Technical Director Mark Frankel, Program Manager Sean Denniston and Project Manager Mark Lyles. Collectively, they bring decades of experience in improving building performance and strengthening building codes nationwide.

Technical contributions came from experts across the construction and building systems industry. The fields of energy efficiency and resource conservation, design, research and policy are well represented along with specific systems such as lighting, heating and cooling and building controls. The ASHRAE 90.1 standardRedirecting to a non-government site, the International Energy Conservation CodeRedirecting to a non-government site and the Consortium for Energy EfficiencyRedirecting to a non-government site were referenced for lighting and mechanical equipment performance levels. The guide also ties the measures to utility energy efficiency programs.

Modeling methodology
Underpinning the New Construction Guide is an extensive energy modeling protocol. The authors evaluated energy-efficiency measures using eQuest building energy use analysis software to conduct more than 100,000 modeling runs on prototype buildings.

They applied three to five measures to each building prototype and ran energy use analysis in ASHRAE’s eight identified climate zones represented by 16 US cities. Measures were only included if they offered savings beyond the baseline buildings in most scenarios, or significant savings in specialized cases. Once the most effective individual measures were identified, they were all applied as a package to each building prototype in each climate scenario to get predicted savings for the program as a whole.

Power providers get involved
The New Construction Guide has several utility sponsors who independently modeled the measures and validated the approach and methodology.

Ralph DiNola, NBI executive director, would like to see utilities incorporate the guide into commercial building incentive programs. “For example, some of our utility partners are offering builders dollars per square foot for implementing the guide,” he said. “Those programs have delivered cost-effective energy savings at a lower cost than other utility incentive programs.”

Utilities including ComEdRedirecting to a non-government site and NSTAR Electric and GasRedirecting to a non-government site have worked with builders in their territory to implement measures from the Core Performance Guide, the previous edition of the new guide, in local projects. Energy program administrator Efficiency MaineRedirecting to a non-government site and the transmission and distribution network National GridRedirecting to a non-government site both have building projects in the pipeline that implement the New Construction Guide.

Municipalities that have LEED [Leadership in Energy Efficient Design] requirements for new public buildings will find yet another use for the guide. The United States Green Building CouncilRedirecting to a non-government site allows the program to be used to achieve energy prerequisites and credits for LEED certification, on the version of LEED. 

About NBI
Established in 1997, the New Building Institute is dedicated to improving the energy performance of commercial buildings by providing policy and program direction, and promoting best design practices and available technologies. NBI’s board of directors comprises leaders in the energy efficiency and green building industries, including representatives from utilities like Pacific Gas and ElectricRedirecting to a non-government site.

The Advanced Building program promotes high performance buildings with technical tools and educational resources such as case studies, webinars, reference guides and research findings. Sponsors and supporters include the Department of Energy, Energy Center of WisconsinRedirecting to a non-government site and New York State Energy Research and Development AuthorityRedirecting to a non-government site.

NBI welcomes involvement from utilities. To learn more, contact NBI at 360-567-0950, or visit the speakers bureau for links to presentations.