News

December 11, 2014

In This Issue:

House Approves Tax Extenders Bill, Energy Efficiency Tax Credits Saved
Become A Florida Water Star Certifier
Green Globes Rating System is 'Greenwash' Groups Say
Siemens, Duke Demonstrate Lower-Cost Smart EV Charging
Dunkin' Donuts Launches Green Building Certification for Restaurants
10 Things Americans Want in Their Homes
Dynamic Glass Opacity Controlled by Your Smart Phone
Pantone Institute Picks Color of the Year for 2015
Member Spotlight
FGBC Welcomes New Members
Education Opportunities
Funding Opportunities
 
Articles of Interest:
 
Miami Names Next Big Development Pocket
Latest Environmental News from UF
The 8 Shades of Greenwash
Siemens, Duke Demonstrate Lower-Cost Smart EV Charging
Fannie & Freddie Approve 3% Down Payment Mortgages
Climate Change Already Showing Effects at Kennedy Space Center
Home Trends to Look for in 2015
 

Features:

House Approves Tax Extenders Bill
Energy Efficiency Tax Credits Saved

The U.S. House of Representatives this week approved H.R. 5771, the Tax Increase Prevention Act, which will renew scores of temporary tax provisions known as "tax extenders" that expired this year, including several of interest to the housing community. The one-year retroactive renewal is through 2014 and dates back to Jan. 1.

Key provisions in the tax extenders package for 2014 (retroactive to Jan. 1) include:

  • Section 45L Tax Credit for Energy Efficient New Homes. Provides builders a $2,000 tax credit for exceeding energy standards by 50%. The base energy code is the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code plus supplements. Section 45L is expected to save home builders $267 million in taxes for 2014 construction activity.
  • Section 25C Tax Credit for Qualified Energy Efficiency Improvements. This is a credit worth up to $500 (subject to a $500 lifetime cap), with lower caps for certain products like windows, for consumers to install qualified energy efficient upgrades. Remodelers often leverage 25C tax credits when working with clients. Section 25C is expected to save homeowners who remodel $832 million in taxes for 2014 improvements.
  • Section 179D Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Deduction. Provides a deduction up to $1.80 per square foot for commercial buildings, including multifamily buildings built under the commercial code, that exceed specific energy efficiency minimums.

The Senate is expected to take up and pass H.R. 5771 next week. [More]

Become A Florida Water Star Certifier
Next Class - January 13, 2015

Add another profit center to your professional credentials by becoming a Florida Water Star(sm) certifier. This class, scheduled for January 13, 2015 in Kissimmee, prepares attendees to take the exam to become a Florida Water Star certifier. The training will be fast-paced and appropriate for those who have both knowledge of inspections and green building strategies. Irrigation system design knowledge is recommended.

After completion of the class, on a date to be determined, there will be a one-day practice field inspection. The exam will take place 1-2 weeks after the field day and at a time and location to suit attendees. There is no charge for the class or exam. [More]

Green Globes Rating System is 'Greenwash'
Say Sierra Club, Greenpeace, NRDC & Others

The Green Globes rating system is "greenwash," according to an open letter to the Green Building Initiative's (GBI) board of directors.

The letter, spearheaded by Greenwash Action, a joint initiative of Sierra Club and Greenpeace, and signed by several environmental and green building groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and International Living Future Institute, urges GBI to stop attacking LEED and calls GBI's Green Globes into question.

"Either strengthen Green Globes so that it embodies the same level of performance (or better) as LEED in the areas in which Green Globes is relatively weak, or reposition it and be forthright about the fact that it is not equivalent to more rigorous rating systems like LEED and the Living Building Challenge," it says. [More]

Siemens, Duke Demonstrate
Lower-Cost Smart EV Charging

Siemens Energy Management Division has teamed with Duke Energy to demonstrate the results of an 18- month effort to reduce the cost and expand electric vehicle charging technologies. Siemens provided the first Underwriters Laboratories approved residential electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) to demonstrate the ability to monitor status, report
energy use, and be controlled locally from the local area network and from the cloud.

Siemens' EVSE was shown to be accessible by web- connected computers, smart phones and tablets, allowing the EV owner to better monitor the status of the EV charging, schedule future charge events, as well as determine the total kilowatt hours consumed and the cost of charging.

Utilities can also take advantage of the technology to offer programs that help manage the time and level of EV charging across the grid to increase grid reliability and efficiency while minimizing peak demand. The Siemens EV charging station also demonstrated a unique, new industry standard interface designed to allow appliances to work with utility demand response programs. [More]

Dunkin' Donuts Launches Green Building
Certification for Its New Restaurants

Dunkin' Donuts has launched a green building certification program to help franchisees build sustainable, energy-efficient restaurants and says it will work with franchisees and construction managers to build 100 new "DD Green" certified restaurants by the end of 2016.

To be recognized as a DD Green restaurant, franchisees, construction managers and architects will follow a five-stage program during the planning, design and construction phases of store development. Those that have met the DD Green criteria will display a DD Green plaque in-store.

The five stages of the DD Green program include site development, store efficiency, healthy indoors, sustainable operations and innovation and community. Each stage includes guidance and metrics to achieve with the design and construction team and focuses on sustainable strategies such as: mitigation of construction pollution and waste recycling, installation of energy-efficient LED light fixtures, mechanical units and water-saving plumbing fixtures, implementation of healthy environments with indoor air quality management and use of zero-VOC paints and a required sustainable building operations training for employees. [More]

(Note: FGBC has contacted Dunkin' Brands corporate headquarters in hopes of persuading them to use the FGBC Green Commercial Building Standard.)

10 Things Americans Want in Their Homes
There's the ideal home. Then there are the homes in which we actually live. The discrepancy between the two is the topic of a new report from the Demand Institute on what it calls the housing satisfaction gap. More than 10,000 households-including renters and owners-participated in a survey about their current homes and their ideal ones. The Demand Institute is a non-profit organization run by the Conference Board and Nielsen. [Read the Full Story]

The following is a partial list of the top housing desires that, for some, aren't being met.

  1. Energy Efficiency
  2. Aging-in-Place Features
  3. Safe Communities
  4. Affordability
  5. Privacy

Dynamic Glass Opacity Controlled by Smart Phone
View, a company headquartered in California's Silicon Valley, has developed glass that can change its tint in response to changes in an electrical control voltage. The technology promises to do away with the need for curtains and blinds, and claims it can save up to 23% of the energy spent on lighting, heating and cooling during peak demand. [More]

Pantone Institute Picks Color of the Year for 2015
Every year since 1990, the Pantone Color Institute has nominated a Color of the Year, which supposedly predicts the single hue that the design world will go nuts about for the next 12 months.

Last week, the color institute chose the 2015 Color of the
Year: Marsala (Pantone 18-438), a naturally robust and earthy wine red. [More]

Member Spotlight:

PCE Americas, Inc. - Jupiter, FL
PCE Instruments is a leading provider for measurement products and solutions. Since its inception in 1999 in Germany, the company has steadily grown its product and service offerings supplying various industries like green construction, manufacturing, and universities among others with high quality instruments and individualized service.

Instruments like PCE' s Photovoltaic Meter PCE-SPM 1, which helps to keep track of how much energy is produced by solar panels, and the Hygro-Thermometer PCE-330 for temperature and relative humidity measurements allow architects and builders to optimize the green building process.  Improving efficiency is key in saving energy, reducing CO2 emissions and cutting cost of buildings in the long run. PCE is a strong supporter of environmentally friendly building and with over 3,000 products offers a vast array of instruments to provide solutions for all measurement needs. We invite you to visit their website to learn about their products and services.
www.pce-instruments.com/English

New Members:

FGBC Welcomes New Members & Certifying Agents

Lisa Webster-Jensen
KW Commercial Elite
Winter Park

Funding Opportunities:

FHFC Multifamily Energy Retrofit Program
National & State Green Building Funding Opportunities
St. Johns River WMD
South Florida WMD Water Programs
Southwest Florida WMD Water Programs

Education Opportunities:

December 18, 2014
Sales and Value Recognition of Zero Energy Ready Homes

12 - 1:15 p.m.
Webinar
[Register]

January 13, 2015
Florida Water Star New Certifier Training

Kissimmee, FL
Registration is Free
[More]

Building America Solution Center