Miami takes the next STEP with solar training for design professionals

by Kamaria Greenfield, BCAP As of last summer, Florida’s energy code incorporates Section 406 of the 2015 IECC: the Energy Rating Index. This provision – which includes a backstop to ensure an efficient building envelope – represents a huge opportunity to integrate the power of renewable energy into new building designs. With over 100,000 new housing unit permits authorized in 2015 alone, Florida is a state poised to have a huge impact on national building energy usage patterns in the coming ...
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How these 22 cities could shape the future of solar photovoltaics

by Kamaria Greenfield, BCAP The year 2030 is a meaningful one across the world of energy efficiency and renewable energy. The Architecture 2030 challenge aims to have all new buildings, developments, and major renovations be carbon neutral by this date. As a result of the Paris climate agreement, many countries have made pledges to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions on this same timeframe. And last month, the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative announced their own 2030 targets: a ...
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Timely Solar Training for Design Professionals Coming Soon

by Maria Ellingson, BCAP Program Director NOTE: This blog post is part of the SunShot Initiative’s series on solar and real estate. Read all the posts here. Learn more about the SunShot Initiative and register for training hereAmerica’s demand for solar energy is spreading - and fast. In just the last eight years, solar electricity generation has increased 30 fold and solar jobs are growing 12 times faster than the rest of the economy. Recent federal policies are making solar even more favorab...
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Measuring The Real Impact Of Building Design

Last month, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) had its national annual convention in Atlanta, Georgia. At the convention, BCAP’s President, Maureen Guttman, along with three other architects, gave a presentation on building commissioning to make one thing clear: building commissioning is here to stay and architects have big business opportunities to help shape the future direction of commissioning. In the session, Architects Leading the Commissioning Process, the presenters provid...
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Taking a Closer Look at Commercial Construction Data

More regional energy efficiency organizations are examining commercial construction data to gain insights into the commercial construction trends and the economic impact of building energy code adoption and implementation on the construction trends. Raw construction data on permits can provide valuable information especially when paired with volume and accuracy. Permit data helps understand the state of both current and future market. It helps understand what kind of impact newer state-level ene...
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Outreach to Architects in Pennsylvania

by Maria Ellingson, BCAP As often the first point of contact with prospective owners of new homes and buildings, architects are a key influencer in determining the level of energy efficiency that is included in new construction and major renovation projects. But architects have been largely absent from an important issue that’s left Pennsylvania unable to adopt an updated building code. The process for adopting the state building code - the Uniform Construction Code (UCC) - is currentl...
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The Architect as Superhero

Maureen Guttman, President of the Building Codes Assistance Project, exhorts architects to take more responsibility for model energy code adoption and implementation. How can architects build a new world of sustainable communities? By taking more responsibility for model energy code adoption and implementation. At the Hanley Wood Vision 2020 Sustainability Summit, held in conjunction with the 2014 Greenbuild in New Orleans, BCAP President Maureen Guttman encourag...
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Moving Building Technology To The Era Of Zero-Energy Buildings

Paul Torcellini, principal engineer with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, discusses how we can achieve zero-energy buildings by integrating the cost of energy efficiency into design decisions. This is the first presentation captured from Ecobuilding Review’s 2014 Vision 2020 Sustainability Summit. The original article can be viewed here. For more information on the year-long Vision 2020 project, which aims to establish and tra...
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Codes, Standards and Rating Systems

Are architects unaware of their legal obligations under licensure, or are they simply negligent? Maureen Guttman, AIA In the United States, national model energy codes were created in response to the energy and economic crises of the 1970s. In 1978, Congress passed the National Energy Conservation Policy Act, which required states that received federal financial assistance to initiate energy efficiency standards for new buildings. In 1992, Congress passed the Energy Policy Act (EPAct), whi...
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Closing The Gap Between Architects And Energy

In his book Designing Energy Simulation for Architects: Guide to 3D Graphics, published earlier this year, Kjell Anderson explores how architects have become divorced from thinking about how their designs will actually perform--and how we can fix this disconnect. The publication could not be more timely: as building energy codes become stricter (new commercial buildings compliant with ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 will have to be nearly 9% more efficient than those under 2010), design professionals ...
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Health, Safety, And Welfare Also Includes Building Performance

Hanley Wood Sustainability Council members Steven Winter and Maureen Guttman discuss the role of incentives and regulations in moving high-performance building into mainstream practice. By Katie Weeks This article also appeared in EcoBuilding Pulse. What's more successful in moving an industry forward: Carrots or sticks? Or is a specific combination of the two? Since 2012, Hanley Wood has consulted building and architecture experts under its Vision 2020 program to discuss the role of sustain...
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Are Architects and Building Professionals Overlooking a Critical Role?

Stop avoiding the conversation: Policy makers need to hear from people who design buildings, says the Alliance to Save Energy's Maureen Guttman. by Katie Weeks Maureen Guttman is the vice president for buildings and utilities at the Alliance to Save Energy and the executive director of the organization's Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). As part of the Hanley Wood Sustainability Council for 2014, she will lead the Vision 2020 initiative in Green Building Codes, Standards + Rating Syste...
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Engaging More Architects To Meet The Compliance Goal

by Seul Rhee While many states have worked hard to adopt the 2009 or 2012 International Energy Conservation Code, implementation and compliance are sometimes overlooked. But that is changing. National, regional, and local focus is shifting to address meeting the 90 percent compliance goal set by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Working with numerous state energy offices (22 states and counting) to investigate and assess a state’s existing energy code infrastructure, one comm...
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Understanding (a Few) of the Challenges of Implementing the Energy Code in Existing Buildings

By Dennis Hidalgo Addressing building energy code compliance has proven to be a difficult task, one that becomes considerably more daunting when the subject is existing buildings. In the past year, BCAP has increased its focus on examining the challenges facing the implementation of the energy code in existing commercial buildings. The countless possibilities in existing building modifications underscore the impact that they can have on building energy performance. Because of this, an emphasis ...
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