Energy Efficiency and Building Science News

Two Questions by Oregon CBO on Code Compliance Approvals

Wed, 2019-09-18 11:42
Building Codes

SBCA and NFC sincerely appreciate all questions and feedback on articles written by our staff. Mr. Derrick Moon, CBO, a building services supervisor in Hillsboro, Oregon sent the following email based on an article (“Can a Building Official Deny Approval of a P.E.'s Work?”) that ran in the June 12 edition of the National Framing Council’s Framing News:

Hello,

I would like to thank you for this article, it was thorough and provided a lot of information.  There are just a couple of points that are confusing to me.  In the first part of the publication it states the following:

This is a common question, particularly when a building official does not approve work that is signed and sealed by a professional engineer (P.E.) or a professional architect (A.I.A). The short answer is no, not according to the law.

However you state later in the article there is a caveat:

The only caveat to this is if, during the review of the documents provided by the engineer, a code compliance error is made. That error then needs to be brought to the attention of the engineer, along with the code section violated, so that the engineer can cure the error.

[Question #1] If the Building Official does not have the right to approve a P.E.’s work, why does he have the right to review it for code compliance?

[Answer #1] To use an analogy, a building official is similar to a policeman. The IBC definition states specifically that they are “the officer charged with the administration and enforcement of this code.” Section 105.3.1 defines more specifically what this means by saying that “the building official shall examine applications for permits and amendments thereto…. If the application or the construction documents do not conform to the requirements of pertinent laws, the building official shall reject such application in writing, stating the reasons therefore.”

Section 104.11 regarding alternative materials, design and methods of construction and equipment states similarly; “Where the alternative material, design or method of construction is not approved, the building official shall respond in writing, stating the reasons why the alternative was not approved.”

So the question becomes simply: What is the intent and purpose of this statement? Logic says that there needs to be a double check or peer review of the work of the registered design professional (RDP) because they are not, nor is anyone, infallible. This review can catch items, based on experience and using a second set of eyes approach, that will heal downstream pain given any non-compliance found at the site inspection stage of construction.

All professional building officials that we know take this a step further, whether with plan review or Section 104.11 alternative material approval. They point out any specific code section non-compliance issues and provide counsel on a way to resolve the non-compliance as they work through the issue with the RDP or ISO/IEC 17065 Accredited Third-Party Certification Body. This helps a project move ahead smoothly and in proper conformance with specific regulations.

[Question #2] Also can a Building Official review/ approve a P.E.’s work if he is not a licensed P.E.?

[Answer #2] Certainly. And when the process works collaboratively and professionally, that second set of eyes process will be sincerely appreciated and result in the best possible finished building. Not only that it is certain that the RDP will make the needed corrections and the building official will retain a new set of sealed and signed construction documents, research reports, and/or specialty engineered designs, for which the RDP will stand behind.

[Final thought #3] Thank you.

[Response] You are very welcome and your questions are very much appreciated.

Our goal is to provide perspective with respect to real discussions that are taking place in the market. Mr. Moon has provided us all with the ability to learn together because he took the time to ask for clarification. We look forward to any and all future questions that allow us to collaborate.

For additional information and commentary on the building code, please read the following articles:

 

Two Questions by Oregon CBO on Code Compliance Approvals

Wed, 2019-09-18 11:42
Building Codes

SBCA and NFC sincerely appreciate all questions and feedback on articles written by our staff. Mr. Derrick Moon, CBO, a building services supervisor in Hillsboro, Oregon sent the following email based on an article (“Can a Building Official Deny Approval of a P.E.'s Work?”) that ran in the June 12 edition of the National Framing Council’s Framing News:

Hello,

I would like to thank you for this article, it was thorough and provided a lot of information.  There are just a couple of points that are confusing to me.  In the first part of the publication it states the following:

This is a common question, particularly when a building official does not approve work that is signed and sealed by a professional engineer (P.E.) or a professional architect (A.I.A). The short answer is no, not according to the law.

However you state later in the article there is a caveat:

The only caveat to this is if, during the review of the documents provided by the engineer, a code compliance error is made. That error then needs to be brought to the attention of the engineer, along with the code section violated, so that the engineer can cure the error.

[Question #1] If the Building Official does not have the right to approve a P.E.’s work, why does he have the right to review it for code compliance?

[Answer #1] To use an analogy, a building official is similar to a policeman. The IBC definition states specifically that they are “the officer charged with the administration and enforcement of this code.” Section 105.3.1 defines more specifically what this means by saying that “the building official shall examine applications for permits and amendments thereto…. If the application or the construction documents do not conform to the requirements of pertinent laws, the building official shall reject such application in writing, stating the reasons therefore.”

Section 104.11 regarding alternative materials, design and methods of construction and equipment states similarly; “Where the alternative material, design or method of construction is not approved, the building official shall respond in writing, stating the reasons why the alternative was not approved.”

So the question becomes simply: What is the intent and purpose of this statement? Logic says that there needs to be a double check or peer review of the work of the registered design professional (RDP) because they are not, nor is anyone, infallible. This review can catch items, based on experience and using a second set of eyes approach, that will heal downstream pain given any non-compliance found at the site inspection stage of construction.

All professional building officials that we know take this a step further, whether with plan review or Section 104.11 alternative material approval. They point out any specific code section non-compliance issues and provide counsel on a way to resolve the non-compliance as they work through the issue with the RDP or ISO/IEC 17065 Accredited Third-Party Certification Body. This helps a project move ahead smoothly and in proper conformance with specific regulations.

[Question #2] Also can a Building Official review/ approve a P.E.’s work if he is not a licensed P.E.?

[Answer #2] Certainly. And when the process works collaboratively and professionally, that second set of eyes process will be sincerely appreciated and result in the best possible finished building. Not only that it is certain that the RDP will make the needed corrections and the building official will retain a new set of sealed and signed construction documents, research reports, and/or specialty engineered designs, for which the RDP will stand behind.

[Final thought #3] Thank you.

[Response] You are very welcome and your questions are very much appreciated.

Our goal is to provide perspective with respect to real discussions that are taking place in the market. Mr. Moon has provided us all with the ability to learn together because he took the time to ask for clarification. We look forward to any and all future questions that allow us to collaborate.

For additional information and commentary on the building code, please read the following articles:

 

State Law Regarding Process of Building Official Approval

Wed, 2019-09-18 11:22
Building CodesBuilding ScienceEnergy Efficiency

The article, “How Can a Building Official Deny Approval of an RDP's Work?,” asks an important due process of law question.

Fortunately, two states, Ohio and Minnesota, have statutes and commentary that address this very question. The Ohio Board of Building Standards has provided counsel and precedent with respect to the building official approval process in their white paper entitled “OHIO’S 'SEAL LAW' 19 YEARS LATER.” The paper specifically states:

Click to enlarge. Ohio’s “Seal Law” 19 years later.

“Building officials do not have the right to refuse to accept non-residential construction documents that do not bear the seal of a registered design professional. If documents are required to have a seal of a registered design professional and they do not have one, they still must be accepted for review…. Failure to approve or deny construction documents and issue a Certificate of Plans Approval is a denial of a "license."…. To be in compliance with Ohio law, construction documents required to be submitted for an approval must be accepted for review by the building department. A thorough and complete plan examination must then be performed. If the Building Official does not issue an approval of the construction documents, this denial and the reasons for it shall be indicated in an adjudication order. This process must be used for any item of noncompliance causing the denial of an approval, including the requirement for an Ohio design professional’s seal.”

2015 Minnesota Building Code Administration

Minnesota law provides great counsel with respect to the required interaction between a registered design professional (RDP) and a building official.

1300.0070 DEFINITIONS -- Subp. 19. Performance-based design.

An engineering approach to design elements of a building based on agreed upon performance goals and objectives, engineering analysis, and quantitative assessment of alternatives against the design goals and objectives, using accepted engineering tools, methodologies, and performance criteria

1300.0130  CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS -- Subpart 1. Submittal documents. 

The building official may require plans or other data be prepared according to the rules of the Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience and Interior Design, Chapter 1800, and Minnesota Statutes, Sections 326.02 to 326.15, and other state laws relating to plan and specification preparation by occupational licenses. If special conditions exist, the building official may require additional construction documents to be prepared by a licensed design professional.

1300.0130 CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS -- Subp. 6. Approval of construction documents.

Any code deficiencies identified by the building official during the plan review process for construction documents that are prepared by a design professional who is licensed or certified under Minnesota Statutes, Sections 326.02 to 326.15, must be itemized by the building official through a comprehensive plan review letter only.

1300.0130 CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS -- Subp. 9. Design professional in responsible charge.

The building official may require the owner to engage and designate on the building permit application a licensed design professional who shall act as the licensed design professional in responsible charge…….

The licensed design professional in responsible charge shall be responsible for reviewing and coordinating submittal documents prepared by others, including phased and deferred submittal items, for compatibility with the design of the building…….

Work regulated by the code shall be installed according to the reviewed construction documents, and any changes made during construction that are not in compliance with the approved construction documents shall be resubmitted for approval as an amended set of construction documents.

1300.0090 DEPARTMENT OF BUILDING SAFETY -- Subp. 13. Alternative materials, design, and methods of construction and equipment. 

The code is not intended to prevent the installation of any material or to prohibit any design or method of construction not specifically prescribed by the code, provided that any alternative has been approved. An alternative material, design, or method of construction shall be approved where the building official finds that the proposed design is satisfactory and complies with the intent of the code, and that the material, method, or work offered is, for the purpose intended, at least the equivalent of that prescribed in the code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability, and safety…….

It is clear from the foregoing that RDP approval also includes building official peer review of all the submitted construction documents, research reports, and/or specialty engineered designs. If a code compliance error is made during this peer review, that error then needs to be brought to the attention of the RDP, along with the code section violated, so that the RDP can cure the error.  

SBCA members have built an industry based on taking responsibility for their scope of work. This is best demonstrated by the continuing use of sealed truss design drawings. When an engineer’s seal is on a document, any company using that document has visible assurance that an engineer takes responsibility for the work to which the seal is attached. Furthermore, the engineer will react professionally when working with building officials to provide structures that are safe and durable.

For additional information and commentary on the building code, please read the following articles:

 

State Law Regarding Process of Building Official Approval

Wed, 2019-09-18 11:22
Building CodesBuilding ScienceEnergy Efficiency

The article, “How Can a Building Official Deny Approval of an RDP's Work?,” asks an important due process of law question.

Fortunately, two states, Ohio and Minnesota, have statutes and commentary that address this very question. The Ohio Board of Building Standards has provided counsel and precedent with respect to the building official approval process in their white paper entitled “OHIO’S 'SEAL LAW' 19 YEARS LATER.” The paper specifically states:

Click to enlarge. Ohio’s “Seal Law” 19 years later.

“Building officials do not have the right to refuse to accept non-residential construction documents that do not bear the seal of a registered design professional. If documents are required to have a seal of a registered design professional and they do not have one, they still must be accepted for review…. Failure to approve or deny construction documents and issue a Certificate of Plans Approval is a denial of a "license."…. To be in compliance with Ohio law, construction documents required to be submitted for an approval must be accepted for review by the building department. A thorough and complete plan examination must then be performed. If the Building Official does not issue an approval of the construction documents, this denial and the reasons for it shall be indicated in an adjudication order. This process must be used for any item of noncompliance causing the denial of an approval, including the requirement for an Ohio design professional’s seal.”

2015 Minnesota Building Code Administration

Minnesota law provides great counsel with respect to the required interaction between a registered design professional (RDP) and a building official.

1300.0070 DEFINITIONS -- Subp. 19. Performance-based design.

An engineering approach to design elements of a building based on agreed upon performance goals and objectives, engineering analysis, and quantitative assessment of alternatives against the design goals and objectives, using accepted engineering tools, methodologies, and performance criteria

1300.0130  CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS -- Subpart 1. Submittal documents. 

The building official may require plans or other data be prepared according to the rules of the Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience and Interior Design, Chapter 1800, and Minnesota Statutes, Sections 326.02 to 326.15, and other state laws relating to plan and specification preparation by occupational licenses. If special conditions exist, the building official may require additional construction documents to be prepared by a licensed design professional.

1300.0130 CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS -- Subp. 6. Approval of construction documents.

Any code deficiencies identified by the building official during the plan review process for construction documents that are prepared by a design professional who is licensed or certified under Minnesota Statutes, Sections 326.02 to 326.15, must be itemized by the building official through a comprehensive plan review letter only.

1300.0130 CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS -- Subp. 9. Design professional in responsible charge.

The building official may require the owner to engage and designate on the building permit application a licensed design professional who shall act as the licensed design professional in responsible charge.

The licensed design professional in responsible charge shall be responsible for reviewing and coordinating submittal documents prepared by others, including phased and deferred submittal items, for compatibility with the design of the building.

Work regulated by the code shall be installed according to the reviewed construction documents, and any changes made during construction that are not in compliance with the approved construction documents shall be resubmitted for approval as an amended set of construction documents.

1300.0090 DEPARTMENT OF BUILDING SAFETY -- Subp. 13. Alternative materials, design, and methods of construction and equipment. 

The code is not intended to prevent the installation of any material or to prohibit any design or method of construction not specifically prescribed by the code, provided that any alternative has been approved. An alternative material, design, or method of construction shall be approved where the building official finds that the proposed design is satisfactory and complies with the intent of the code, and that the material, method, or work offered is, for the purpose intended, at least the equivalent of that prescribed in the code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability, and safety. The details of any action granting approval of an alternate shall be recorded and entered in the files of the Department of Building Safety. 

It is clear from the foregoing that RDP approval also includes building official peer review of all the submitted construction documents, research reports, and/or specialty engineered designs. If a code compliance error is made during this peer review, that error then needs to be brought to the attention of the RDP, along with the code section violated, so that the RDP can cure the error.  

SBCA members have built an industry based on taking responsibility for their scope of work. This is best demonstrated by the continuing use of sealed truss design drawings. When an engineer’s seal is on a document, any company using that document has visible assurance that an engineer takes responsibility for the work to which the seal is attached. Furthermore, the engineer will react professionally when working with building officials to provide structures that are safe and durable.

For additional information and commentary on the building code, please read the following articles:

 

Remodels Use Foam for More 'Energy Beautiful' Walls

Wed, 2019-09-18 11:03
Building ScienceEnergy Efficiency

Remodels, new builds and add-ons are booming. In July alone, the City of Palo Alto issued about 200 building permits for various home upgrades, everything from simple lighting improvements and installation of electric car chargers, to kitchen and bathroom updates, to the full deconstruction and rebuilding of a home.

So what goes on behind those (brand-new) closed doors in the neighborhood? Sometimes what's not visible is what makes the biggest impact when renovating a home: whether it's literally hidden away in the walls and ceiling, or more figuratively in the careful choice of materials and finishes — even in prepping for the technology that will keep it all running smoothly.

We talked to three local architects about about some of the newer materials, ideas and practices they've been incorporating in their work.

Tali Hardonag: Build and finish sustainably

Palo Alto architect Tali Hardonag, who has worked extensively on green building projects, draws on sustainable practices in her work, which among other considerations, includes the sourcing of materials.

Many clients are interested in incorporating LEDs or solar panels into their remodel, Hardonag said. To get the maximum benefit of these energy-saving components, she emphasizes making the home itself energy efficient.

Higher-grade insulation — and the variety of systems for delivering it, from framing alternatives like structural insulated panels (SIPs) and other wall systems — play an important role in increasing energy efficiency. She said that more efficient insulation, such as spray foam, which is denser and creates a better air seal, also offers the opportunity for smaller framing. For example, she noted that previously, a vaulted ceiling would require framing out significant additional space just to accommodate traditional insulation but now she can build it with a shallower frame.

In addition to better insulation, Hardonag draws on an array of materials and strategies to make homes more energy efficient, including "cool roofs, high-energy value windows and glass doors, appliances and light fixtures that are energy efficient."

Cool roofs deflect the sun's heat and can save energy. Materials used for cool roofing include some composition shingles, depending on their makeup, and metal. Roofs made of metal offer additional benefits in easily accommodating solar panels and in being recyclable, if homeowners ever want to remove the roof.

Davide Giannella: Choose the right materials

Thoughtful choice of materials can put workhorse elements like roofing, fixtures and climate control systems and insulation on the cutting edge of architectural trends.

"I'd say greener products, special synthetic woods, modern cabinetry from Europe, newer HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), more sophisticated insulation, metal roofs, computerized appliances and perhaps acrylic panels (are the future of building)," said architect Davide Giannella, of Acadia Architecture in Los Gatos.

One of Giannella's recent projects, located off Embarcadero Road in Palo Alto, was a complete teardown and rebuild of the existing home. The five-bedroom house features imported cabinets, laser-cut metal panels for railings, and, to improve energy efficiency, rigid foam insulation and radiant ceiling panels for heating and cooling.

Giannella kept to the traditional roofline of the home's original colonial style, but modernized it with standing-seam metal roofing. "It lasts forever, it's fireproof, and it's sharp and modern. It's more expensive in the beginning, but it doesn't need to be repainted or refinished," he said.

Metal makes a sturdy roof, but it also provided this home with exterior railings that are both secure and striking. Laser cutting creates delicate, intricate patterns in metal panels that are thin, but still strong enough to be functional, Giannella said, noting that the process lends itself to customization. Powder-coating the metal means it won’t rust.

Please review any more energy efficiency technical resources found at www.continuousinsulation.org

For additional information, please review the following articles, as well as the previous videos in this series:

Energy Efficiency Calculators

  1. Wood Framed Wall Insulation Calculator Explained
  2. New Wall Design Calculator for Commercial Energy Code Compliance

Perfect Wall Articles

  1. Creating the ‘Perfect Wall’: Simplifying Water Vapor Retarder Requirements to Control Moisture
  2. Perfect Walls are Perfect, and Hybrid Walls Perfectly Good
  3. Energy Code Math Lesson: Why an R-25 Wall is Not Equal to a R-20+5ci
  4. Continuous Insulation Solves Energy Code Math Problem
  5. Presentation: What Is the Value of Continuous Insulation?

Videos

  1. Fear Building Envelopes No More with This Website & Videos
  2. Thermodynamics Simplified Heat Flows from Warm to Cold
  3. Moisture Flow Drives Water Induced Problems
  4. Video: How the 'Perfect Wall' Solves Environmental Diversity
  5. Video: How Important Is Your WRB?
  6. Video: A Reliably Perfect Wall Anywhere
  7. Video: The Best Wall We Know How to Make 
  8. Video: How to (Not) Ruin a Perfectly Good Wall
  9. Video: Tar Paper and Continuous Insulation? No Problem!
  10. Video: Do CI and WRBs Go Together?
  11. Video: Assess Your 'Perfect Wall' Using Control Layers

 

Remodels Use Foam for More 'Energy Beautiful' Walls

Wed, 2019-09-18 11:03
Building ScienceEnergy Efficiency

Remodels, new builds and add-ons are booming. In July alone, the City of Palo Alto issued about 200 building permits for various home upgrades, everything from simple lighting improvements and installation of electric car chargers, to kitchen and bathroom updates, to the full deconstruction and rebuilding of a home.

So what goes on behind those (brand-new) closed doors in the neighborhood? Sometimes what's not visible is what makes the biggest impact when renovating a home: whether it's literally hidden away in the walls and ceiling, or more figuratively in the careful choice of materials and finishes — even in prepping for the technology that will keep it all running smoothly.

We talked to three local architects about about some of the newer materials, ideas and practices they've been incorporating in their work.

Tali Hardonag: Build and finish sustainably

Palo Alto architect Tali Hardonag, who has worked extensively on green building projects, draws on sustainable practices in her work, which among other considerations, includes the sourcing of materials.

Many clients are interested in incorporating LEDs or solar panels into their remodel, Hardonag said. To get the maximum benefit of these energy-saving components, she emphasizes making the home itself energy efficient.

Higher-grade insulation — and the variety of systems for delivering it, from framing alternatives like structural insulated panels (SIPs) and other wall systems — play an important role in increasing energy efficiency. She said that more efficient insulation, such as spray foam, which is denser and creates a better air seal, also offers the opportunity for smaller framing. For example, she noted that previously, a vaulted ceiling would require framing out significant additional space just to accommodate traditional insulation but now she can build it with a shallower frame.

In addition to better insulation, Hardonag draws on an array of materials and strategies to make homes more energy efficient, including "cool roofs, high-energy value windows and glass doors, appliances and light fixtures that are energy efficient."

Cool roofs deflect the sun's heat and can save energy. Materials used for cool roofing include some composition shingles, depending on their makeup, and metal. Roofs made of metal offer additional benefits in easily accommodating solar panels and in being recyclable, if homeowners ever want to remove the roof.

Davide Giannella: Choose the right materials

Thoughtful choice of materials can put workhorse elements like roofing, fixtures and climate control systems and insulation on the cutting edge of architectural trends.

"I'd say greener products, special synthetic woods, modern cabinetry from Europe, newer HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), more sophisticated insulation, metal roofs, computerized appliances and perhaps acrylic panels (are the future of building)," said architect Davide Giannella, of Acadia Architecture in Los Gatos.

One of Giannella's recent projects, located off Embarcadero Road in Palo Alto, was a complete teardown and rebuild of the existing home. The five-bedroom house features imported cabinets, laser-cut metal panels for railings, and, to improve energy efficiency, rigid foam insulation and radiant ceiling panels for heating and cooling.

Giannella kept to the traditional roofline of the home's original colonial style, but modernized it with standing-seam metal roofing. "It lasts forever, it's fireproof, and it's sharp and modern. It's more expensive in the beginning, but it doesn't need to be repainted or refinished," he said.

Metal makes a sturdy roof, but it also provided this home with exterior railings that are both secure and striking. Laser cutting creates delicate, intricate patterns in metal panels that are thin, but still strong enough to be functional, Giannella said, noting that the process lends itself to customization. Powder-coating the metal means it won’t rust.

Please review any more energy efficiency technical resources found at www.continuousinsulation.org

For additional information, please review the following articles, as well as the previous videos in this series:

Energy Efficiency Calculators

  1. Wood Framed Wall Insulation Calculator Explained
  2. New Wall Design Calculator for Commercial Energy Code Compliance

Perfect Wall Articles

  1. Creating the ‘Perfect Wall’: Simplifying Water Vapor Retarder Requirements to Control Moisture
  2. Perfect Walls are Perfect, and Hybrid Walls Perfectly Good
  3. Energy Code Math Lesson: Why an R-25 Wall is Not Equal to a R-20+5ci
  4. Continuous Insulation Solves Energy Code Math Problem
  5. Presentation: What Is the Value of Continuous Insulation?

Videos

  1. Fear Building Envelopes No More with This Website & Videos
  2. Thermodynamics Simplified Heat Flows from Warm to Cold
  3. Moisture Flow Drives Water Induced Problems
  4. Video: How the 'Perfect Wall' Solves Environmental Diversity
  5. Video: How Important Is Your WRB?
  6. Video: A Reliably Perfect Wall Anywhere
  7. Video: The Best Wall We Know How to Make 
  8. Video: How to (Not) Ruin a Perfectly Good Wall
  9. Video: Tar Paper and Continuous Insulation? No Problem!
  10. Video: Do CI and WRBs Go Together?
  11. Video: Assess Your 'Perfect Wall' Using Control Layers

 

Product Advisory: OSB Performance in the Bahamas

Tue, 2019-09-17 14:49
Building ScienceEnergy Efficiency

APA-The Engineered Wood Association, often in the past, has used dramatic and traumatic photos to imply, without any direct evidence, that competing products are substandard in some manner. Please review the following slide show, and if inclined, please feedback any impressions that come to mind.

  Previous   Next

Source: News-Press

As has been written in all past articles dealing with tornado photos published by APA, these photos do not show an OSB performance problem at all. What they show is an occurrence that could happen to any building at any time when high wind or high seismic loads are applied. Use of photos as shown to make a case against any product type with respect to poor building performance is misleading.

Photos without an appropriate onsite damage assessment is a limiting method for determining the cause of a partial or total collapse. In most cases, engineers can point to one of several common weak links as the cause of structural failure. Structural failure following any type of high wind or seismic events is often due to a lack of adequate connections. A continuous load path and accurate connections, from the roofs to walls and floors to walls and then to the foundation, must be provided for reliable building performance.

The most commonly observed reasons for failure include:

  1. Inadequate roof-to-wall connections
  2. Improper anchor bolt connections attaching walls to the foundation
  3. Poor sheathing fastening including not meeting the code required 3/8” nail edge distance.
  4. Use of the wrong nail type
  5. Breaches due to failure of windows, garage doors, or cladding/wall systems that result in wind pressure induced failure

These observations make it obvious that proper construction implementation is key to satisfactory building material performance. Paying close attention to all connection systems that make up the load path is essential.

It’s critical to come together as an industry with the goal of fostering innovation, using accepted engineering practice, creating installation best practices, working closely with professional framers and assisting building departments to focus inspections on key load path elements. Education is the key and working together can significantly improve the built environment.   

For additional information on the performance of wood structural panels, please visit the following webpage on OSB as a Raw Material and the following articles on performance of building materials in high winds and as tested.

 

Product Advisory: OSB Performance in the Bahamas

Tue, 2019-09-17 14:49
Building ScienceEnergy Efficiency

APA-The Engineered Wood Association, often in the past, has used dramatic and traumatic photos to imply, without any direct evidence, that competing products are substandard in some manner. Please review the following slide show, and if inclined, please feedback any impressions that come to mind.

  Previous   Next

As we have stated in the past, using photos without an appropriate onsite damage assessment is a poor and limiting method for determining the cause of a partial or total collapse. In most cases, engineers can point to one of several common weak links as the cause of structural failure. Structural failure following any type of high wind or seismic events is often due to a lack of adequate connections. A continuous load path and accurate connections, from the roofs to walls and floors to walls and then to the foundation, must be provided for reliable building performance.

The most commonly observed reasons for failure include:

  1. Inadequate roof-to-wall connections
  2. Improper anchor bolt connections attaching walls to the foundation
  3. Poor sheathing fastening including not meeting the code required 3/8” nail edge distance.
  4. Use of the wrong nail type
  5. Breaches due to failure of windows, garage doors, or cladding/wall systems that result in wind pressure induced failure

These observations make it obvious that proper construction implementation is key to satisfactory building material performance. Paying close attention to all connection systems that make up the load path is essential.

It’s critical to come together as an industry with the goal of fostering innovation, using accepted engineering practice, creating installation best practices, working closely with professional framers and assisting building departments to focus inspections on key load path elements. Education is the key and working together can significantly improve the built environment.   

For additional information on the performance of wood structural panels, please visit the following webpage on OSB as a Raw Material and the following articles on performance of building materials in high winds and as tested.

 

APA Member Plywood Producers Sue PFS-TECO & Timber Products

Tue, 2019-09-17 14:26
Building ScienceEnergy Efficiency

A family prepares their home with plywood as a safeguard against Hurricane Dorian before it approached Florida. U.S. plywood producers now allege in a lawsuit that plywood imported from Brazil is falsely certified as being safe. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

U.S. plywood producers claim a competing product from Brazil has a high risk of failure in major hurricanes, but consumers can’t tell because the imported wood is falsely certified as structurally sound.

In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale, the companies allege that since 2016, two American inspection firms and an accreditation agency failed to perform their “quality control functions” when millions of square feet of plywood was imported into the U.S. Much of it arrived through Florida ports, including Broward County’s Port Everglades.

 “As a result, U.S. residents who live or work in buildings constructed with off-grade Brazilian plywood are exposed to significant risk of serious injury or death, particularly in the event of a hurricane or significant earthquake,” the suit alleges.

In a telephone interview, plaintiff attorney Michael Haglund, of Portland, Ore., said Friday that some of the plywood in question was used to help with rebuilding in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

“The really unfortunate fact is that it is being passed off as structural plywood when it can’t meet that standard,” he said.

The suit was filed by a group of 10 plywood producers in the South and Pacific Northwest against inspection services PFS-TECO of Wisconsin and Timber Products Inspection Inc. of Georgia. A third defendant named in the suit is International Accreditation Service of California, which is the accrediting service for the two inspection firms.

Companies deny claims

Timber Products President Jay Moore denied the allegations Friday when the South Florida Sun Sentinel contacted his company Friday.

“We have reviewed the allegations of the complaint and believe that they are both misleading and totally without legal merit,” Moore said by email. “Timber Products will defend itself vigorously in court and is confident that the facts will show that its conduct and practices were in all respects consistent with its responsibilities and the standards applicable to this industry.”

Moore said he would offer a more detailed response to the allegations in the coming days.

PFS-TECO of Wisconsin said in a Sept. 10 statement that although it had yet to be served with the lawsuit, it denies the allegations outlined in a press release issued by the U.S. plywood producers.

“We intend to vigorously defend our reputation and look forward to doing so in due course,” the company said.

PFS-TECO said it “stands by its independent certification procedures as fully compliant with the relevant standards.” It said it has no relationship with Timber Products Inspection.

PFS-TECO questioned the testing approach used by the U.S. producers on the Brazilian plywood, saying it is “not consistent” with test requirements.

And it said it has more than 15 years of data showing the plywood from southern Brazil and produced by manufacturing facilities certified by the company “can meet” American testing requirements.

The California accrediting firm could not be reached for comment despite a telephone message.

The suit alleges that dating to Jan. 1, 2016, the inspection services “made false statements of fact through certifications that authorized 35 Brazilian plywood producers to export plywood into Florida" they either knew or should have known "did not meet” a voluntary industry standard.

Testing wood’s strength

The lawsuit said tests conducted by the American Plywood Association “showed that the Brazilian plywood panels produced in southern Brazil experience massive failure rates with respect to the stringent properties” of the standard, “specifically bending stiffness and deflection.”

The suit alleges that the Brazilian plywood mills source all of their veneer from fast-growing plantations of loblolly and slash pine. These species are native to North America. But both species grow so fast in southern Brazil that the wood density is not sufficient to reliably produce structural grade plywood.

In the complaint, the U.S. producers allege that 30 companies operating 35 plywood plants in Brazil “are falsely stamping millions of square feet of structural plywood panels imported into the United States” as meeting American standards.

The American producers, who also allege in their complaint that Brazilian plywood is driving down the prices and quality of plywood on the U.S. market, said they had a nonprofit lab in Washington state start testing samples of the imported plywood in 2017.

The U.S. producers’ suit, which alleges false advertising and negligence on the part of the inspection services, is seeking $300 million in damages and wants the court to direct PFS-TECO and TPI to “immediately revoke” the Brazilians’ licenses to make structural plywood.

 

APA Member Plywood Producers Sue PFS-TECO & Timber Products

Tue, 2019-09-17 14:26
Building ScienceEnergy Efficiency

A family prepares their home with plywood as a safeguard against Hurricane Dorian before it approached Florida. U.S. plywood producers now allege in a lawsuit that plywood imported from Brazil is falsely certified as being safe. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

U.S. plywood producers claim a competing product from Brazil has a high risk of failure in major hurricanes, but consumers can’t tell because the imported wood is falsely certified as structurally sound.

In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale, the companies allege that since 2016, two American inspection firms and an accreditation agency failed to perform their “quality control functions” when millions of square feet of plywood was imported into the U.S. Much of it arrived through Florida ports, including Broward County’s Port Everglades.

 “As a result, U.S. residents who live or work in buildings constructed with off-grade Brazilian plywood are exposed to significant risk of serious injury or death, particularly in the event of a hurricane or significant earthquake,” the suit alleges.

In a telephone interview, plaintiff attorney Michael Haglund, of Portland, Ore., said Friday that some of the plywood in question was used to help with rebuilding in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

“The really unfortunate fact is that it is being passed off as structural plywood when it can’t meet that standard,” he said.

The suit was filed by a group of 10 plywood producers in the South and Pacific Northwest against inspection services PFS-TECO of Wisconsin and Timber Products Inspection Inc. of Georgia. A third defendant named in the suit is International Accreditation Service of California, which is the accrediting service for the two inspection firms.

Companies deny claims

Timber Products President Jay Moore denied the allegations Friday when the South Florida Sun Sentinel contacted his company Friday.

“We have reviewed the allegations of the complaint and believe that they are both misleading and totally without legal merit,” Moore said by email. “Timber Products will defend itself vigorously in court and is confident that the facts will show that its conduct and practices were in all respects consistent with its responsibilities and the standards applicable to this industry.”

Moore said he would offer a more detailed response to the allegations in the coming days.

PFS-TECO of Wisconsin said in a Sept. 10 statement that although it had yet to be served with the lawsuit, it denies the allegations outlined in a press release issued by the U.S. plywood producers.

“We intend to vigorously defend our reputation and look forward to doing so in due course,” the company said.

PFS-TECO said it “stands by its independent certification procedures as fully compliant with the relevant standards.” It said it has no relationship with Timber Products Inspection.

PFS-TECO questioned the testing approach used by the U.S. producers on the Brazilian plywood, saying it is “not consistent” with test requirements.

And it said it has more than 15 years of data showing the plywood from southern Brazil and produced by manufacturing facilities certified by the company “can meet” American testing requirements.

The California accrediting firm could not be reached for comment despite a telephone message.

The suit alleges that dating to Jan. 1, 2016, the inspection services “made false statements of fact through certifications that authorized 35 Brazilian plywood producers to export plywood into Florida" they either knew or should have known "did not meet” a voluntary industry standard.

Testing wood’s strength

The lawsuit said tests conducted by the American Plywood Association “showed that the Brazilian plywood panels produced in southern Brazil experience massive failure rates with respect to the stringent properties” of the standard, “specifically bending stiffness and deflection.”

The suit alleges that the Brazilian plywood mills source all of their veneer from fast-growing plantations of loblolly and slash pine. These species are native to North America. But both species grow so fast in southern Brazil that the wood density is not sufficient to reliably produce structural grade plywood.

In the complaint, the U.S. producers allege that 30 companies operating 35 plywood plants in Brazil “are falsely stamping millions of square feet of structural plywood panels imported into the United States” as meeting American standards.

The American producers, who also allege in their complaint that Brazilian plywood is driving down the prices and quality of plywood on the U.S. market, said they had a nonprofit lab in Washington state start testing samples of the imported plywood in 2017.

The U.S. producers’ suit, which alleges false advertising and negligence on the part of the inspection services, is seeking $300 million in damages and wants the court to direct PFS-TECO and TPI to “immediately revoke” the Brazilians’ licenses to make structural plywood.

 

Kingspan High R-value Phenolic Insulation for Basements

Tue, 2019-09-17 13:44
Building ScienceEnergy Efficiency

Kingspan recently introduced Kooltherm K9 Internal Insulation Board, a premium performance insulation product used for interior exposed application on basement, crawlspace, attic and habitable space walls. With an R-value of 8-1/2 per inch, it has a higher R-value per inch than any commonly used insulation.

Insulation Boards installed with glass fiber tissue facing the interior of the attic or crawl space may be used for walls and ceilings of attic or crawl spaces without an ignition barrier required by IBC Section 2603.4.1.6, or IRC Sections R316.5.3 or R316.5.4, when all of the following conditions are met:

  1. Entry to the attic or crawl space shall be only to service utilities and no storage is permitted. Utilities include, but are not limited to, mechanical equipment, electrical wiring, fans, and gas or electric hot water heaters and furnaces.
  2. There shall be no interconnected attic or basement areas.
  3. Air in the attic or crawl space shall not circulated to other parts of the building.
    1. Attic ventilation shall be provided when required by IBC Section 1202.2 or IRC Section R806, as applicable.
    2. Under-floor (crawl space) ventilation is provided that complies with IBC Sections 1202.4 or IRC Section R408.1, as applicable.
  4. Combustion air shall be provided in accordance with IMC (International Mechanical Code) Section 701.
  5. The insulation is limited to a maximum thickness of 4-3/4 inches (120 mm).

Finally, Kingspan K9 is NFPA 286 compliant, has a Class A flame spread rating and is easy to handle and install.

 

Kingspan High R-value Phenolic Insulation for Basements

Tue, 2019-09-17 13:44
Building ScienceEnergy Efficiency

Kingspan recently introduced Kooltherm K9 Internal Insulation Board, a premium performance insulation product used for interior exposed application on basement, crawlspace, attic and habitable space walls. With an R-value of 8-1/2 per inch, it has a higher R-value per inch than any commonly used insulation.

Insulation Boards installed with glass fiber tissue facing the interior of the attic or crawl space may be used for walls and ceilings of attic or crawl spaces without an ignition barrier required by IBC Section 2603.4.1.6, or IRC Sections R316.5.3 or R316.5.4, when all of the following conditions are met:

  1. Entry to the attic or crawl space shall be only to service utilities and no storage is permitted. Utilities include, but are not limited to, mechanical equipment, electrical wiring, fans, and gas or electric hot water heaters and furnaces.
  2. There shall be no interconnected attic or basement areas.
  3. Air in the attic or crawl space shall not circulated to other parts of the building.
    1. Attic ventilation shall be provided when required by IBC Section 1202.2 or IRC Section R806, as applicable.
    2. Under-floor (crawl space) ventilation is provided that complies with IBC Sections 1202.4 or IRC Section R408.1, as applicable.
  4. Combustion air shall be provided in accordance with IMC (International Mechanical Code) Section 701.
  5. The insulation is limited to a maximum thickness of 4-3/4 inches (120 mm).

Finally, Kingspan K9 is NFPA 286 compliant, has a Class A flame spread rating and is easy to handle and install.

 

EEBS Transitioning to New Delivery Schedule

Wed, 2019-08-28 21:18
Press Releases

A little over four years ago, SBC Magazine launched Energy Efficiency & Building Science News (EEBS), to reach readers interested in the science behind building envelope performance and the wide array of complicated issues surrounding the protection of buildings from the effects of water, the value energy efficiency and durability/resilience. This work has reached various groups associated with the building construction trades in an effort to put valuable and timely information in their hands. 

Each of the SBC Magazine news feeds, SBC Industry News, Framing News and Energy Efficiency & Building Science News, consistently reach up to 7,500 readers with each delivery. We are currently working on deepening our database with the goal of systematically increasing our reach to all the interested readers about advances and innovation in construction. It is also important to continue to freely provide a focus on the latest methods, products and materials used to achieve various building envelope performance goals.

Sponsorship support for SBC Industry News and Framing News has allowed us to invest the resources and staff focus needed to provide a weekly and two times per month news feed, respectively. We know that EEBS has developed a loyal readership and we wish to serve that readership through content that takes dedicated resources to create.

Given a recent evaluation of our SBC Magazine business resources, it has become clear that when looking to serve every group’s best interests, along with scarce resource allocation, transitioning EEBS from a weekly publication to a monthly publication is a decision that fits needs well. Therefore, from this point forward, EEBS will be sent out on the Wednesday of the third full week of each month, inserted between the weeks Framing News is published.

We’ll use the same email delivery system so look for the EEBS brand with the subject line, “Energy Efficiency & Building Science News,” starting Wednesday, September 18th.

Given our readership reach and feedback, there is great value in providing direct messages on building science and performance to an energy efficiency focused market. If any company sees value in working with SBC Magazine to expand knowledge about the value of your business, we would like to work your thoughts into our news delivery strategy. Please call Molly at 608-310-6741.

Thank you for reading EEBS and supporting our efforts to supply the building construction industry with reliable information regarding the science that goes into building durability and energy efficiency.

 

EEBS Transitioning to New Delivery Schedule

Wed, 2019-08-28 21:18
Press Releases

A little over four years ago, SBC Magazine launched Energy Efficiency & Building Science News (EEBS), to reach readers interested in the science behind building envelope performance and the wide array of complicated issues surrounding the protection of buildings from the effects of water, the value energy efficiency and durability/resilience. This work has reached various groups associated with the building construction trades in an effort to put valuable and timely information in their hands. 

Each of the SBC Magazine news feeds, SBC Industry News, Framing News and Energy Efficiency & Building Science News, consistently reach up to 7,500 readers with each delivery. We are currently working on deepening our database with the goal of systematically increasing our reach to all the interested readers about advances and innovation in construction. It is also important to continue to freely provide a focus on the latest methods, products and materials used to achieve various building envelope performance goals.

Sponsorship support for SBC Industry News and Framing News has allowed us to invest the resources and staff focus needed to provide a weekly and two times per month news feed, respectively. We know that EEBS has developed a loyal readership and we wish to serve that readership through content that takes dedicated resources to create.

Given a recent evaluation of our SBC Magazine business resources, it has become clear that when looking to serve every group’s best interests, along with scarce resource allocation, transitioning EEBS from a weekly publication to a monthly publication is a decision that fits needs well. Therefore, from this point forward, EEBS will be sent out on the Wednesday of the third full week of each month, inserted between the weeks Framing News is published.

We’ll use the same email delivery system so look for the EEBS brand with the subject line, “Energy Efficiency & Building Science News,” starting Wednesday, September 18th.

Given our readership reach and feedback, there is great value in providing direct messages on building science and performance to an energy efficiency focused market. If any company sees value in working with SBC Magazine to expand knowledge about the value of your business, we would like to work your thoughts into our news delivery strategy. Please call Molly at 608-310-6741.

Thank you for reading EEBS and supporting our efforts to supply the building construction industry with reliable information regarding the science that goes into building durability and energy efficiency.

 

Air Barriers: Small Details Make Big Difference

Tue, 2019-08-27 13:22
Building ScienceEnergy Efficiency

In two previous articles, we explored the significance of air leakage control and the various materials and methods now available to achieve air leakage control. In this article we’ll present the two methods that work together to achieve compliance with modern energy code air leakage requirements (See Table 1 and Figure 1):

  • Air barrier installation and inspection criteria
  • Blower Door Testing
Table 1: 2009 vs. 2012/2015/2018 IECC - Residential Climate Zone 2009 IECC 2012/2015/2019 IECC 1-2 < 7 ACH ≤ 5 ACH @ 50 pascals 3-8 < 7 ACH @ 50 pascals ≤ 3 ACH @ 50 pascals Air sealing list & visual inspection Yes Yes Blower Door Test Not required Required

ACH = air changes per hour; a measure of building air tightness.

Figure 1: U.S. Climate Zones

Regardless of the many air barrier materials and methods available for air barrier installation (please see “What caused the air barrier industry to develop?”), one thing is common to all of these material options. Careful detailing and sealing at joints and intersections between assemblies and components is absolutely necessary to make the air barrier material effective in end use.  Consequently, this realization has given rise to the idea of an air-barrier assembly and then, more completely, the air barrier system. The system must provide a continuous air control layer across the entire building envelope, including interfaces between all exterior components and assemblies. This means, simply put, seal all the joints, cracks, holes and penetrations (see Figure 2). 

This is a pretty simple concept, but the complexity comes in making it happen in the field with real people and a real building. These small details make a big difference in air leakage performance (like proper flashing is to the prevention of rain water intrusion). Unfortunately, it is easy to overlook or skimp on this tedious task during the frenzied nature of construction, if not effectively managed, regulated and enforced.

Figure 2:  Air barrier installation and air sealing action items

Source: U.S. Department of Energy Air Leakage Guide. Click to enlarge.

Therefore, energy codes have adopted a laundry list of air leakage sealing requirements or criteria that also serve as a means of visually inspecting an air barrier system installation. This was a major step forward. But, a visual inspection only gets you so far. Many leaks may still be missed in a visual inspection (you just can’t see the air leaks under normal conditions).

Consequently, the capstone of air leakage control has been added to the 2012/2015/2018 editions of the IECC residential energy code for homes: blower door testing. Commercial construction, however, still just has to minimally do the “laundry list” and hope the visual inspection at least finds some of the bigger leaks with no confirmation that the intended air leakage targets are indeed met and this can have significant consequences (see “What’s the Big Deal with Air Leakage?”). But, this too may (or should) change soon.

What is a blower door? How does it work? What constitutes a pass or fail? What do you do if you fail the test? Can I use it to help find leaks? All of these questions will be addressed in the final and fourth article in this series on air leakage.  

For more information on air-barriers and air-leakage control, refer to https://www.continuousinsulation.org/air-barrier

For additional information, please review the following articles and videos:

Articles

Videos

 

Air Barrier Installation and Inspection: Is It Enough?

Tue, 2019-08-27 13:22
Building ScienceEnergy Efficiency

In two previous articles, we explored the significance of air leakage control and the various materials and methods now available to achieve air leakage control. In this article we’ll present the two methods that work together to achieve compliance with modern energy code air leakage requirements (See Table 1 and Figure 1):

  • Air barrier installation and inspection criteria
  • Blower Door Testing
Table 1: 2009 vs. 2012/2015/2018 IECC - Residential Climate Zone 2009 IECC 2012/2015/2019 IECC 1-2 < 7 ACH ≤ 5 ACH @ 50 pascals 3-8 < 7 ACH @ 50 pascals ≤ 3 ACH @ 50 pascals Air sealing list & visual inspection Yes Yes Blower Door Test Not required Required

ACH = air changes per hour; a measure of building air tightness.

Figure 1: U.S. Climate Zones

Regardless of the many air barrier materials and methods available for air barrier installation (please see “What’s the Big Deal with Air Leakage?”), one thing is common to all of these material options. Careful detailing and sealing at joints and intersections between assemblies and components is absolutely necessary to make the air barrier material effective in end use.  Consequently, this realization has given rise to the idea of an air-barrier assembly and then, more completely, the air barrier system. The system must provide a continuous air control layer across the entire building envelope, including interfaces between all exterior components and assemblies. This means, simply put, seal all the joints, cracks, holes and penetrations (see Figure 2). 

This is a pretty simple concept, but the complexity comes in making it happen in the field with real people and a real building. These small details make a big difference in air leakage performance (like proper flashing is to prevention of rain water intrusion). Unfortunately, it is easy to overlook or skimp on this tedious task during the frenzied nature of construction, if not effectively managed, regulated and enforced.

Figure 2:  Air barrier installation and air sealing action items

Source: U.S. Department of Energy Air Leakage Guide. Click to enlarge.

Therefore, energy codes have adopted a laundry list of air leakage sealing requirements or criteria that also serve as a means of visually inspecting an air barrier system installation. This was a major step forward. But, a visual inspection only gets you so far. Many leaks may still be missed in a visual inspection (you just can’t see the air leaks under normal conditions).

Consequently, the capstone of air leakage control has been added to the 2012/2015/2018 editions of the IECC energy code for homes: blower door testing. Commercial construction still just has to minimally do the “laundry list” and hope the visual inspection at least finds some of the bigger leaks. But, this too may change soon.

What is a blower door? How does it work? What constitutes a pass or fail? What do you do if you fail the test? Can I use it to help find leaks? All of these questions will be addressed in the final and fourth article in this series on air leakage.  

For more information on air-barriers and air-leakage control, refer to https://www.continuousinsulation.org/air-barrier

For additional information, please review the following articles and videos:

Articles

Videos

 

Report: Zero-Energy Residence Inventories Grew in 2018

Tue, 2019-08-27 12:29
Building ScienceEnergy Efficiency

The market for residential zero-energy buildings grew 59 percent across the United States and Canada last year, according to a new report.

The Zero Energy Residential Buildings Study released by Team Zerodocuments 22,146 units that are either in design, construction, or operation. These include single and multifamily projects that are working to achieve zero energy or zero energy-ready performance.

Top 10 zero energy states/provinces by number of units. Click to enlarge. Image courtesy Team Zero

This study, now in its fourth year, works to answer questions about the viability of zero-energy homes in different markets, climates, and political jurisdictions. Team Zero is a coalition of organizations, manufacturers, and others working to grow the market share of zero energy and zero energy-ready homes and commercial buildings.

Other findings of the study include:

  • larger multifamily buildings are increasingly dominating the zero-energy housing stock;
  • more projects are seeking zero-energy performance with integrated renewables;
  • California is leading in the number of projects (6828) with New York in second place (3022);
  • in Canada, there was a 240 percent increase in the number of zero-energy units over 2017;
  • multifamily projects now represent 71 percent of the total zero energy residential stock; and
  • future trends to watch that were spotlighted in Team Zero’s findings include community micro-grids, electrification, grid integration and harmonization, and zero carbon.

For additional information, read the following articles: 

 

Report: Zero-Energy Residence Inventories Grew in 2018

Tue, 2019-08-27 12:29
Building ScienceEnergy Efficiency

The market for residential zero-energy buildings grew 59 percent across the United States and Canada last year, according to a new report.

The Zero Energy Residential Buildings Study released by Team Zerodocuments 22,146 units that are either in design, construction, or operation. These include single and multifamily projects that are working to achieve zero energy or zero energy-ready performance.

Top 10 zero energy states/provinces by number of units. Click to enlarge. Image courtesy Team Zero

This study, now in its fourth year, works to answer questions about the viability of zero-energy homes in different markets, climates, and political jurisdictions. Team Zero is a coalition of organizations, manufacturers, and others working to grow the market share of zero energy and zero energy-ready homes and commercial buildings.

Other findings of the study include:

  • larger multifamily buildings are increasingly dominating the zero-energy housing stock;
  • more projects are seeking zero-energy performance with integrated renewables;
  • California is leading in the number of projects (6828) with New York in second place (3022);
  • in Canada, there was a 240 percent increase in the number of zero-energy units over 2017;
  • multifamily projects now represent 71 percent of the total zero energy residential stock; and
  • future trends to watch that were spotlighted in Team Zero’s findings include community micro-grids, electrification, grid integration and harmonization, and zero carbon.

For additional information, read the following articles: 

 

CertainTeed Debuts One-Component Liquid Flashing

Tue, 2019-08-27 12:21
Building ScienceEnergy Efficiency

CertainTeed’s new SmartFlash ONE roof flashing resin is a one-component, UV-stable, fluid applied solution designed for both steep and low-slope roof flashing details and repairs. The resin may be applied without a primer and re-sealed for future use.

“SmartFlash ONE delivers one-part labor efficiency with two-part performance,” says Abby Feinstein, commercial roofing product manager for CertainTeed. “With no primer or component mixing, contractors can work quickly without fear of the product setting up too fast or going to waste. And CertainTeed is so confident in the stress resilience and UV stability of the formula that we’re supporting the product with up to 20 years of warranty coverage, which is in line with the coverage afforded to two-part solutions.”

The SmartFlash ONE resin is available in a five-gallon pail, which covers 125 square feet, or a one-gallon pail, which covers 25 square feet. The one-gallon pail is available on its own or as part of a Flash Pack, which includes resin, fleece, and application accessories. 

For additional information, read the following articles:

 

Webinar: What’s Coming Up in This Year’s ICC Code Development Cycle?

Tue, 2019-08-27 11:48
Building CodesEnergy Efficiency

Things are heating up for this November’s critical ICC ballot to update America’s Model Energy Code.  Local and state officials recognize the critical role buildings play in sound energy and climate policy, and are signaling their intent to vote. 

Notably, the U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously adopted a resolution on July 1 encouraging cities to commit their full voting slate to vote for proposals that boost the efficiency of the 2021 IECC by at least 10%.  It’s their hope that by tackling the nation’s largest source of carbon – buildings – things will start cooling down, and fast!

EECC’s Bill Fay will discuss what’s ahead in this year’s ICC Code Development cycle:  the stakes, the challenge, the deadlines, and the players.

Learn More & Register

About the Presenter:

Over four decades in Washington DC, Bill Fay has led seven broad-based national issue campaigns that coordinate lobbying, media, communications, and grassroots advocacy, both independently and as Sr. Vice President for America’s largest public relations firm. He has recognized energy expertise, having worked complex energy issues on Capitol Hill relating to fossil fuels, nuclear, hydropower, and electricity generation and transmission. A coalition builder, he organized and led the nation’s premier coalitions on 1990 Clean Air Act reauthorization, product liability reform, multi-year highway legislation, and President Bush’s Clear Skies Initiative. He was recently one of GreenBuilder ® Media’s “2018 Eco-Leaders.”

Since 2007, he has led the Energy Efficient Codes Coalition (EECC), which has united a unique support base – from government, environmental groups, businesses, low-income housing and consumer groups, manufacturers, utilities, and labor – to advance the development and adoption of building energy codes that put America on a glide-path of dynamic building efficiency gains. EECC has helped boost the residential and commercial building efficiency of the America’s Model Energy Code (the International Energy Conservation Code) by 38% and 35%, respectively, and has worked with local and state jurisdictions to support its adoption.

From 1978-85, Fay and served as legislative director in the U.S. House and Senate, specializing in energy, environment, tax, transportation, & natural resource policy/regulation. He has testified before 11 congressional committees, worked for the Idaho Legislature, has degrees in accounting and political science, and successfully completed the Uniform CPA examination.

For additional information, read the following resources and articles: