Sharpen Your SIPs Knowledge

If you’ve been wanting to learn more about SIPs, SIPA (Structural Insulated Panel Association) recently published two documents to help designers and builders better understand the process of using this high-performance building system. Building with SIPs: NEED TO KNOW provides readers with Building Considerations for right- sized HVAC equipment, plumbing design, the reduction of electrical labor due to factory cut chases, and more. The extensive document also includes Checklists for anything from the High-Performance Building Envelope to Shop Drawings to Roof and Wall Assemblies. In the High-Performance Building Envelope section, you are walked through steps to make sure the SIP envelope is as high-performing as possible while using the correct mechanical systems to create the most optimal, healthy, indoor air quality. Also included is a reminder to seal all penetrations and have a blower door test performed to verify you have no leakage.

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Energy Efficiency Equity

Energy Efficiency Equity
New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, recently announced an innovative public-private partnership aimed at creating energy efficiency equality for low-to-moderate income (LMI) households and affordable multifamily buildings. This announcement supports New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act by providing access to clean energy solutions for all. Many LMI households experience huge energy burdens, sometimes exceeding 20 percent of their household income. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has been actively searching for improved housing solutions for new affordable housing projects. More than 350,000 low-to-moderate income households throughout the state of New York will receive energy efficiency services such as insulation, air sealing, electric load reduction, and HVAC improvements. The initiative will invest almost $1 billion through 2025 and will include participation from NYSERDA, Central Hudson, Con Edison, National Fuel Gas, National Grid, ... read more
 

Green Mortgages Make Energy Efficiency More Attainable

Green Mortgages Make Energy Efficiency More Attainable
With many homeowners spending so much more time at home, many are discovering their living spaces may not be as comfortable as they once thought. Poor energy efficiency in a home can cause all types of issues - most can be easily fixed, but sometimes come with an upfront price tag that most homeowners don’t have cash on hand for. Whether you need to switch out your single paned windows, upgrade insulation or install a new HVAC system, an Energy Efficient Mortgage may be just what you need. Windows are responsible for almost 25% of annual heating and cooling costs. In some cold climates, double-paned windows can reduce energy use by up to 24% in the winter and up to 18% in hot climates. Additionally, updating your home’s insulation can save you around 20% on heating and cooling bills while technology, such as programmable thermostats, can translate to almost $200 in savings per year on heating and cooling bills. Energy Efficient Mortgages can be applied for when you’re doing... read more
 

How Much do you Know About our National Laboratories?

National Lab LocationsEEBA is grateful to have two of our National Laboratories as Alliance Partners. Their expertise and scientific innovation have benefited research around the country. But did you know that these two partners are part of a much larger group of 17 National Laboratories? The Department of Energy’s National Labs have been around for more than seventy years as a result of the U.S. Government heavily investing in scientific research during World War II. They each address large-scale, complex research and development challenges placing an emphasis on “translating basic science into innovation.” Some of the National Labs have supercomputers they use to model and simulate complex, dynamic systems that would be too expensive, impractical or impossible to physically demonstrate enabling scientists to explore renewable energy, weather forecasting, biological systems, as well as the evolution of the universe. Half of the fastest supercomputers in the world are located at National...

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Will Working from Home Create Housing Solutions?

As companies begin to make decisions on the feasibility of employees continuing to work from home, how might these shifts affect the housing markets in the U.S.?
Will Working from Home Create Housing Solutions?
Since early March, San Francisco-based technology company, Twitter, has been encouraging its staff to work from home. Recently, CEO Jack Dorsey took it one step further by effectively giving Twitter employees the opportunity to continue to work from home - forever. Twitter had already been looking at moving their workforce to a more “distributed” model as Dorsey has commented that he “no longer wants a workforce concentrated in San Francisco.” This could be interesting. Twitter reportedly has over 5,100 employees - about 1,000 of those based in San Francisco alone. If those employees decide to continue to work from home, what happens to the unused office space? Could the empty office space be turned into workforce housing with shared amenities (not unlike dormitories) with rooms offered at a less-than-market-rate monthly fee? The art-deco building already has yoga rooms, a cafeteria (with microbrews, of course), and a rooftop deck and garden. The idea of repurposing... read more
 

Concern for Better Indoor Air Quality is Growing

As many areas around the world continue sheltering-in-place a little while longer, indoor air quality and healthy homes continue to move to the top of the list of homeowner concerns.
A recent poll from Green Builder Media showed nearly 37% of their “readers believe that Health and Wellness/Indoor Air Quality will be the segment of the housing industry most impacted by the Coronavirus.” In addition to basic indoor air quality, their data suggests people are also focusing on home healthcare and telemedicine, fitness, cooking and kitchen design, smart home technologies that specifically make homes healthier, resiliency and self-sufficiency, and energy efficiency and onsite energy production. The majority of these topics relate to how we live in our homes. The poll results also show how indoor air quality has gone from being on most people’s “nice to have” list, to now being as important as location to some homebuyers. Data courtesy Green Builder Media High profile entrepreneurs are also looking at ways to improve the air quality in our homes. Elon Musk, the eccentric billionaire with an engineering background, has “dabbled” in technology and is the brains... read more
 

The Effects of Roof and Wall Insulation on the Energy Costs of Residential Buildings

Energy efficient buildings are in high demand, both for commercial and residential customers. There are a number of advantages to building or retrofitting your home so that it is energy efficient. Energy efficient homes are: More cost effective More environmentally friendly Sold at a premium to buyers concerned with environmentally conscious living Energy efficiency and insulation go hand in hand. We’ll go into details explaining why throughout this article, but there’s one important concept we need to address before going further: the building envelope. Building envelopes are what separates your home’s interior environment from the exterior environment. Heat naturally flows to cold places, so in the summertime heat will try to enter your home, while in the winter heat will try to exit your home. Insulation serves many roles, and impeding heat transfer in order to maintain a comfortable interior environment is one of the most important ones. The Basics The more ... read more
 

Regional Pandemic Effects on Housing

The pandemic is now - the effects on housing may not evenly be distributed.*

Looking for Housing Market Clues EnergyLogic’s CEO, Steve Byers, offered an interesting insight this week. He noted that, while many are claiming a V-shaped housing market recovery, we should look more closely at the geographic trends of COVID-19 cases in the country to get a better picture of the effects on housing markets in coming months. Housing Leading a Strong Recovery Thus far in this pandemic, housing has held up well. Weekly U.S. pending home sales have rebounded substantially and are now only down 6.5% year-over-year. Click to expand image. Source: Redfin Expectations among homebuilders have regained ground too, with the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index survey of builders at 58 in June, positive again after falling below the neutral value of 50 in April and May. Public expectations are high as well, with the iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (ITB) index of public homebuilder stocks up 79.5% from its closing low of $24.14 on in late March. Neither ...

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DECARBONIZE

Rick Barnett Green Builder

Hardly affected by growing support for decarbonizing the energy system, fossil fuels are expected to continue dominating global energy. Natural gas has not reset the carbon trajectory. In the US, carbon dioxide emissions from burning natural gas have surpassed those from burning coal. EIA expects no relief: world energy consumption is expected to grow from 549 quadrillion Btu in 2012 to 815 quadrillion Btu in 2040. McKinsey projects that energy-related greenhouse gas emissions will rise 14 percent in the next 20 years. The New York Times drew attention to the decarbonizing challenge: “Even with the impressive recent gains for renewable energy, the world is still far from solving global warming……One reason: carbon-free sources like wind, solar and nuclear power aren’t yet growing fast enough to keep up with rising global energy demand…….global coal consumption could stay flat for decades……the average coal plant in Asia is less than 15 years old (compared to about 41 years... 

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Denver, Colorado Housing Market Forecast – June 2020

Using Housing Tides™ and other real estate data to understand the direction of the Denver, Colorado housing market.

BannerParsing Signals From Latest Data The outlook for housing in the midst of the COVID-19-induced recession is murky at best. The Housing Tides team has been exploring a wide swath of data from publicly-available sources as we try to make sense of the latest developments. Taken as a whole, we note that housing has performed admirably given the scope of the economic challenges at hand. Lowest-Ever Mortgage Rates Support Prices, Prevent Inventory Glut As Jeff Whiton explained for the Housing Tides blog in May, the dearth of housing inventory in recent years has proven a tremendous advantage for home sellers – both new and existing – during the present crisis. As he suggested, home prices have thus far remained resilient, with Redfin reporting the Denver median sales price was $435k, a year-over-year increase of 1.9%. Prices have surely been buoyed by Denver inventory that totaled just 2.1 months of supply in May. An EnergyLogic survey of quick move-in homes among major.

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