News

April 13, 2015

In This Issue:

Recent FGBC Certifications
Climate Change Semantics Affect Leadership in Florida
First Clothes Dryers Earn Energy Star Label
DOE Tool Helps Communicate Value of High-Performance Homes
Foam Board Insulation Achieves R-12 Per Inch
Interesting Read: Building Products Will Soon Be Sold as 3D Blueprints, Not Physical Objects
Tesla's Mystery Product: Battery Power for Homes?
May Release Planned for Revision 5 of the Zero Energy Ready Home Program
Yudelson Steps Down from Green Building Initiative
Building Energy Data Exchange Launched
FGBC Members Receive ENERGY STAR Awards
Tallahassee's First All Green Community Breaks Ground
FGBC Welcomes New Members
Education Opportunities
Funding Opportunities
Job Opportunities
 
Articles of Interest:
 
New 'Super Termite' Developing in Florida
From Coastlines to the Everglades, Researchers Tackle Sea Level Rise
Florida Cities Expand Solar Offerings
California Plumbing Code Allows Grey Water Treated to NSF/ANSI 350
New Mexico Creates New Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS)
Doral Redevelopment Creating Walkable, Shopable City
The Way We Power Our Homes May Be on the Verge of A Major Change


FGBC Recent Certifications:

Markham Regional Water Treatment Plant
Seminole County's Markham Regional Water Treatment Plant-Operations Building has been awarded green designation by the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) after it successfully met the sustainability standards established in the FGBC Florida Green Commercial Building Certification program.

The project achieved certification through exemplary performance in both water conservation and the use of local/regional materials. The building also extensively utilized non-toxic adhesives and paints, and implemented an indoor air quality management plan during construction to achieve a healthy indoor environment. [More]

Gables Ponce Phase II High-Rise
Located in Coral Gables, Phase II of Gables Ponce offers 119 apartment homes and 24,000 square feet of office space. With a certification score of 67, it is the highest scoring high-rise project in FGBC history!

The project was designed to be 25 percent more energy efficient than typical code-compliant buildings and will purchase at least 75 percent of its energy needs for two years through green power agreements.

Water conservation efforts include the use of drought- tolerant plants for 75 percent of its landscaping, reduction of potable water use for irrigation on 75 percent of area irrigated, installation of ultra-low-flow toilets, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and water-efficient washing machines.

For improved indoor air quality, healthy building materials were used, such as low VOC paints, stains, and adhesives; carpet and composite wood products free of harmful formaldehyde; and insulation products that do not off gas toxic chemicals.

A construction waste management plan was implemented that diverted a minimum of 75 percent of the waste from the landfill. To minimize the parking area footprint, vertical parking lifts were installed. [More]

Features:

Climate Change Semantics Affect Leadership in Florida
In Governor Rick Scott's world, the perils of a warming planet somehow seem to be diminished simply by changing the words we use to refer to them.

According to the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, Scott, recently re-elected to a second term, commanded environmental officials at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) - the very agency in charge of setting the state's conservation policy and enforcing environmental laws - to stop using the terms "climate change," "global warming," and "sustainability" in official communications, reports, and emails - an immensely ironic action considering that Florida is precariously positioned on the front lines of climate change.

Even "sea level rise" was under temporary siege (provisionally replaced by "nuisance flooding") despite the fact that rising sea levels are expected to submerge up to 30% of the Florida coast over the next 85 years.

When asked about his stance on climate change and his banishment of related terms, Rick "I am not a scientist" Scott simply responded that he is not convinced that climate change is caused by human activity - as if that matters one way or another in scenario planning for the future.

Whether climate change has been created by humans or not, Scott needs to be preparing his state and protecting his people. [More]

First Clothes Dryers Earn Energy Star Label
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that Energy Star certified clothes dryers are now available nationwide through major retailers. At least 45 models of dryers earning the Energy Star label, including Whirlpool, Maytag, Kenmore, LG, and Safemate, are at least 20 percent more efficient and now available at prices comparable to standard dryers. [More]

DOE Tool Helps Communicate Value of High-Performance Homes
Words are a big deal. A very big deal. With that in mind, DOE has worked extensively with housing industry representatives and building science experts over the past year compiling a new building science glossary that translates technical jargon into an improved consumer experience. Now there is a huge 'collective impact' opportunity to more effectively convey the value of high-performance homes to consumers and the media using these 'power words.' It's about time, because this value is too little understood. [More] [Glossary]

Foam Board Insulation Achieves R-12 Per Inch
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and industry partners say they are on track to create a foam board insulation that achieves R-12 per inch and is cost effective. If they pull it off, it would more than double the R-value of the best rigid foam insulation today.

Adding R-20 insulation to the walls of new homes and U.S. existing homes built before 2010 would have an annual primary energy-saving potential of 769 trillion Btus, according to the project's impact study. [More]

Interesting Read

Building Products Will Soon Be Sold as 3D
Blueprints, Not Physical Objects

"We saw this coming, yes, but had no idea how quickly it would take shape," says Green Builder Editor-In-Chief Matt Power. "It's sort of a ninja attack on the manufacturing industry, one that I don't think most of them yet see coming."

Power notes that the media is distracted by stories of 3D printers being used to print whole houses, and that's not the most obvious and practical use for personal 3d printers, he says. Why use a printer to replace plywood or bricks or metal roofing? That's overkill. But a faucet - now you're talking." As evidence, he points to hundreds of household objects already being offered as 3D blueprints. Some are still toys at this point, but you get the idea.

The only big challenge still remaining for 3D printing to explode into the manufacturing realm is developing the right composition and management of raw materials. This will allow for objects built with different materials on the same printer. But this, too, may be just a speed bump.

Already, you can buy stainless steel 3D printing filament, with which to create robots, jewelry and other metal objects. It's not much of a leap to the kitchen sink or custom lighting. Can 3D-printed solar panels be far off? [More]

Tesla's Mystery Product: Battery Power for Homes?
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said recently his electric car company is unveiling a new product that's "not a car" on April 30. It isn't clear exactly what's up Tesla's sleeve - but there's a strong case the new product will be a large battery that can power homes or businesses.

Tesla has already been supplying home battery technology to its partner SolarCity, which has made them available in small parts of California. But Musk's Monday tweet could be teasing greater availability for Tesla's home battery technology.

If Tesla is indeed taking the lessons it has learned in battery design and applying them to home power, it could prove disruptive for utility companies. A Tesla- made home battery could help homeowners go "off the grid," decreasing their reliance on local utilities. [More]

May Release Planned for Revision 5
Of the Zero Energy Ready Home Program

In early May 2015, DOE will release an update of the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home National Program Requirements . . . "Revision 5."  This update establishes how the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home program operates in states with the 2012 IECC, defines a phase-in period for the new ENERGY STAR windows specs, and adds a few details to the duct location provisions.

Perhaps most significant for many of our partners, Revision 5 establishes the solar hot water-ready provisions as encouraged, rather than a mandatory specification.

The PV-ready provisions will still apply, subject to the exceptions already found in the program specs. The Revision 5 specs go into effect for homes permitted on or after August 10, 2015, although the change to the solar hot water-ready can be implemented immediately.

A webinar to review the new requirements is scheduled for May 13 at 12 p.m. EDT [More]

Yudelson Steps Down from Green Building Initiative
GBI announced that Jerry Yudelson would be stepping down as the organization's President after a 15-month tenure and that Vicki Worden has been appointed Executive Director. Worden was part of the original launch team that brought Green Globes?? to the United States and served as Vice President of Commercial Programs for the organization from 2005 to 2010. [More]

Building Energy Data Exchange Launched
The Building Energy Data Exchange Specification (BEDES, pronounced "beads" or /bi:ds/) is a dictionary of terms, definitions, and field formats which was created to help facilitate the exchange of information on building characteristics and energy use. It is intended to be used in tools and activities that help stakeholders make energy investment decisions, track building performance, and implement energy efficient policies and programs.

The Department of Energy has already begun to utilize the BEDES data dictionary in its array of publicly available building energy efficiency tools. [More]

FGBC Members Receive ENERGY STAR Awards
Congratulations to the following FGBC members for recognition by ENERGY STAR in its Certified Homes Market Leader Awards. This award recognizes organizations for promoting energy efficient construction and ENERGY STAR certified homes.

  • All Elements Mechanical Corp - Orlando
  • Cardel Homes - Tampa
  • Cool Green Consulting - Apollo Beach
  • ES Green & Company - Tallahassee
  • E3 Building Sciences - Bonita Springs
  • Florida Solar Energy Center - Cocoa
  • Infinite Energy Solutions - New Port Richey
  • Jacksonville Building Sciences - Jacksonville
  • KB Home - Tampa
  • Masco Home Services - Daytona Beach
  • M/I Homes - Tampa
  • Minto Communities - Coconut Creek
  • SkyeTec - Jacksonville
  • Two Trails, Inc. - Sarasota
  • William Ryan Homes - Tampa

Tallahassee's First All Green
Community Breaks Ground

Call it the second groundbreaking for Tallahassee's first totally green neighborhood, the Southern Oaks subdivision off Mahan Drive. Tallahassee developer Mike Rogers had a vision of a community built to the highest standards of sustainability. But the real estate downturn and a deep recession put those plans on hold. Today, the Tallahassee building market is rebounding and Rogers said it's time to get the project back on track.

"I'm excited to see the construction industry coming around and I don't think anybody could have predicted the duration and depth of the downturn.  It was what it was and we're fortunate we were able to hang on and getting things off the ground.  Haven't changed our focus and looking forward to moving forward," Rogers said.

The initial house will serve as a template for the other Southern Oaks homes that will follow.  All will meet the Florida Green Building Coalition's standards, as outlined by Coalition Executive Director Suzanne Cook.

The FGBC 'Florida Green Home' designation represents achievements in a number of categories, such as:

  • Energy efficiency
    • includes the use of Energy Star windows, appliances and lighting;
    • Whole-house systems design to insure that each component works in tandem with the other components to optimize
    • energy efficiency and insure the occupants comfort;
    • Passive design for solar daylight &
    • reduction of solar heat gain;
  • Water conservation
    • through low-flow plumbing fixtures water-efficient appliances
    • Florida Friendly landscaping, and
    • Innovative irrigation technologies.
  • Lot choice
    • convenience to community resources (banks, doctors, restaurants, grocery stores, etc.)
  • Site preservation
    • maximize tree survivability, minimize impact on building site, control erosion and runoff
  • Health  - Indoor air quality
    • use of low VOC paints, stains, sealers; protect ducts during construction to avoid contamination;
    • use of healthy insulation; Integrated pest management plan to avoid use of toxic chemicals
  • Material selection
    • the use of eco-friendly and recycled content building materials
    • resource efficient framing techniques;
  • Durability
    • including disaster mitigation for hurricanes, termites and other natural disasters in Florida;
    • use of low maintenance, longer-lasting

[More] [Audio]

New Members:

FGBC Welcomes New Members & Certifying Agents

James Millholland
Fine Home Inspections, Inc
Sarasota

Kathleen Cummins
Home Builders & Contractors Association of Brevard
Melbourne

Paul Dupuis Jr.
Anchor Builders of SW Florida, Inc
Sarasota

Mary Alford (Rejoin) 
The Sustainable Design Group, LLC
Gainesville

David Brown
E3 Building Sciences
Bonita Springs

Howard Ehrsam
Bowman Consulting Group, Ltd.
Stuart

Elizabeth Dion
Elizabeth A. Dion, Architect
Fernandina Beach

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:

October 13-14, 2015
FGBC Certifying Agent Destination Class

FSEC
[Register]

Building America Webinars
Energy Star Webinars

Job Opportunities:

APA Florida Job Board
Green Dream Jobs
Florida Facility Managers Assn Job Board
City of Sunrise Internship opportunity