Residential Lighting

residential lightning
Issue Artificial lighting accounts for a substantial portion of energy use in homes. Use of innovative lighting technologies can reduce lighting energy use in homes by 50 to 75 percent. Advances in lighting controls offer further energy savings by reducing the amount of time lights are on without serving a useful purpose and by turning lights on automatically as needed. Overview High efficiency lighting continues to be one of the most efficient ways to conserve energy. Moreover, efficie...
Read More


Background Kansas, a landlocked state known to residents as the Sunflower State, boasted a population of 2.8 million. Kansas is one of the most productive agricultural states in the nation, but its gently rolling mix of farmland, prairie, and forest is also home to well-known and livable cities, including Wichita, Kansas City, Topeka, and Lawrence.   While the state was immortalized by the famous tornado in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, it was another, real-world twister that str...
Read More

Residential Water Heating

water heating
Issue Circulating hot water systems distribute hot water to faucets on a “closed loop” system that circulates water to deliver it on demand. Heating water accounts for up to 25% percent of energy use in a typical home. High efficiency water heaters use 10% to 50% less energy than standard models. When combined with complementary products like insulation blankets and timers, advanced systems can save significantly on utility costs. Energy savings from high efficiency water heaters depend o...
Read More

Residential HVAC

Issue Heating and cooling to maintain appropriate conditioning of indoor air consume a large portion of building energy use. Installing the right size equipment to heat and cool homes is essential to getting the best performance and comfort and reducing inefficiencies. A system that is too large will not keep the building comfortable because of frequent ‘on/off’ cycling. Incorrect sizing can also put stress on system components, shorten the equipment’s life, and lead to wasted energy and mone...
Read More

Commercial Ducts

air duct air condition
Issue Duct leakage is a significant issue for forced-air heating or air-conditioning systems. When ducts are run outside of conditioned space, leakage may decrease heating and cooling efficiencies by up to 40%. Over time, this will add up to a great deal of lost energy and money. Click here to view DOE’s guide to duct insulation and sealing requirements in commercial buildings. Overview The distribution system is an integral part of many mechanical ventilation systems. It can have a ...
Read More

New Zealand

new zealand
Current Codes New Zealand Building Code Clause H1 Energy Efficiency This provision requires many buildings, such as housing, to achieve an adequate degree of energy efficiency to modify temperature, humidity, ventilation, the provision of hot water and artificial lighting. It does not apply to all buildings. New Zealand already has a current building energy code as well as national programs in place to help support the code and assist residents and tenants with energy efficiency. Th...
Read More

New Hampshire

new hamsphire
Background With small country farmhouses and snow-covered woods, New Hampshire evoked the idyllic New England imagery of Robert Frost, a longtime resident. Yet behind this scenic backdrop lay a modern state that was working hard to be a model for energy efficiency and renewables. New Hampshire’s per capita energy consumption was already the fifth lowest in the country, according to the Energy Information Administration, behind tiny Rhode Island and efficiency heavyweights New York, California...
Read More

Commercial Fenestration

commercial building
Issue As the primary barriers between indoor and out, the openings of the building envelope, high performance windows, doors, and skylights (fenestration) are essential to an energy efficient building. Choosing such products involves several considerations, including appearance, energy performance, human factor issues, technical performance, and cost. Other factors like building orientation, natural and artificial shading, and climate will influence the properties selected for windows, doors,...
Read More

Meet the Trainers!

Peter J. Arsenault, FAIA, NCARB, LEED AP Peter is a registered architect, sustainability consultant, author, and speaker whose 38 year career includes design and planning for governmental, educational, health care, residential, and religious buildings. He shares his experience at seminars and conferences and has published over 140 national continuing education articles. Peter has led AIA Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) programs and is a member of the Advisory Board of the AIA+20...
Read More

Air Sealing

air sealing
Issue Inadequately sealed building envelopes can lead to the movement of unconditioned air into and out of conditioned spaces. This process, known as air leakage, decreases the comfort of a building by allowing moisture, drafts, and undesired noise to enter. It applies to any holes, cracks, or gaps in the building envelope. It is important to control air movement in buildings because research indicates that air leakage can cause huge energy losses, accounting for up to a third of a home’s ene...
Read More