Listed below are the available resources from sessions presented at Home Efficiency Forum 2019.
The model that the electric utility industry has followed for over a century is being radically revised. Implications of the disaggregation of vertically-integrated utilities into the 3 separate levels of generation, long-distance transmission and local distribution are not yet adequately understood or appreciated by builders and consumers. Some 60 percent of generators now face a competitive environment, with the necessity of bidding into day-ahead, hour-ahead, even 5 minute-ahead auctions for supplying power. For 3/4 of coal-burning generators, immediate replacement with wind or solar is already economically rational. On the individual residential + commercial level, distributed renewable energy + on-site storage represent incredible opportunities, as well as ancillary support of grid services.
Top 10 Best Practices for Today’s Homebuilder
There are many paths to building high-performance homes and it can be difficult to choose the set of features that best fit a given situation. To help builders and raters make informed decisions on how to increase building performance, BetterBuiltNW offers a version of this session as a full-day training that provides the latest and greatest approaches along a continuum of “Good, Better & Best” practices being used today to build energy efficient homes.
Join us for this session to gain an overview of all the techniques and technologies from the “Best” category (in other words, Zero-Energy home building), as well as learn how this training and others provided by BBNW can be leveraged across the NW to accelerate the adoption of energy efficient building practices and utility program participation.
ICC/ANSI/RESNET 380 Testing Standards
This class will cover the standards for testing homes both advanced and for code. This will cover the use of time stamped and geo-stamped testing software.
The 2020 NGBS: The Path Toward More Sustainable Housing
Until the National Green Building ICC/ASHRAE – 700 was developed, residential buildings lagged the green certification market because the margins are small, the returns are not enough to support certain green practices, and the cost/benefit analysis is different than for commercial buildings. Now, homes and multifamily buildings are seeking NGBS Green certification in record numbers because it offers a flexible, rigorous, and affordable rating system. The NGBS establishes practices for the design, construction, and renovation of green residential buildings and land developments.
Manual R - "R" is for Rightsizing!
Modern homes in North America are getting smaller and building codes are constantly improving. These trends are leading to low-load homes that require smaller better designed HVAC systems. Oversized heating and cooling systems perform poorly in terms of energy use and comfort. ACCA, HVAC contractors, and high performance builders struggle to find good HVAC strategies for low load homes. Some examples of poor HVAC design for low-load homes include:
-HVAC contractors who do not do accurate Manual J load calculations and hedge their bets with oversized equipment.
- HVAC contractors who try to put wall-hung heads in every room for distribution with mini-split systems.
- Two- and three-story homes with comfort problems due to stack effect and poor HVAC design.
- Oversized multi zone mini split systems which perform poorly in the shoulder season.
- Gas furnaces which are oversized for high performance homes and short cycle in shoulder season.
In this presentation, we will look at the challenges and solutions for good HVAC design, primarily with mini-split systems, in low-load homes.
Accurately Size Your HVAC in 15 Minutes
Attendees will learn how to use a free online HVAC Sizing Tool to generate quick load calculations and duct designs for residential and small commercial buildings.
Providing Energy Consultation to Builders: An Open Discussion on the value of Design Charrettes
Design charettes have been in use for decades but are underutilized in the PNW single-family new construction industry. In this session, we will explore how collaborative design meetings can spark innovation and prevent mistakes when building for higher efficiency. We will consider questions like: Do design charettes really work? Do they present an opportunity to expand a verifier's business? Are charrettes well suited to the way homes are built or are they too formal? We will hear from verifiers who have become trusted energy consultants by implementing design charrettes to strengthen their relationships with builders. Builders and HVAC designers who have embraced design charrettes will share their thoughts on the value of inclusive design.
Rater Panel: A Platform for a Valuable Voice
Regional raters and verifiers are our industry's “boots on the ground,” and play an integral role at the nexus between programs, energy efficiency, and builders. Their insights are invaluable for emerging trends, builder pain-points, market barriers, and overall success of utility programs. Their voices must be heard as programs and building practices evolve to help better adapt to a changing housing market. This session will serve as a panel discussion with raters and verifiers providing feedback and discussion to questions ranging from recipes for a successful strategy, biggest hurdles with builders, barriers in the rating business, ideas on how we push to the next level of building, and feedback on how programs can better suit the needs of the industry.
Beyond Code Points: Creating Lasting Success with Heat Pump Water Heaters
HPWHs are making inroads into new construction installations. State code and new homes' energy-efficient programs make HPWHs an attractive option for builders. In order to guarantee energy savings are maximized and customers are satisfied with the units, HPWHs must be sized correctly, installed according to code/ install specifications, commissioned in a manner assuring persistent savings, deliver hot water when required and, finally, the homebuyer must be educated regarding product attributes such as filter cleaning. This session will focus on how builders, verifiers and installers can maximize success with HPWHs by following simple design and install protocols.
Today’s Passive Buildings - A Better Value for Utilities, Raters, and Developers
Once considered just the “left wing of building energy efficiency geeks,” Passive House is far more useful today for utilities, raters, and developers. First, the new Primary Energy Renewable (PER) metric rates the building EUI from the utility’s point of view. Making the rating far more valuable. PER models building energy consumption for the 100% renewably-powered future grid that will power buildings for most of their lifetimes. PER not only accounts for the nonsynchronous renewable generation and building load, but it does so for each application of power in the building. Every load has a distinct, measurable relationship to renewable power and includes the dimension of building location—what renewably-generated power is available in a particular region at particular times.
Designing With Dettson: A Verifier’s Experience in Design and Installing a Correctly Sized, Modulating Gas Furnace
The majority of new homes built in the Northwest are heated by natural gas. The typical gas furnace is oversized by a factor of two or three. Finding systems that are appropriately designed for low load is difficult. This leads to issues with short cycling, thermal stratification and swings in indoor temperature. This session will focus on the technical aspects of designing and installing a low-load modulating gas furnace as well as the experience of a seasoned verifier that installed one in their own low-load home.
Smart Home Energy Management Systems: Past, Present, and Future
Learn about the benefits of smart home energy management systems (SHEMS) to consumers. Discover the challenges inherent in smart home approaches and understand the opportunities for above-code new homes presented by smart home products.
Checking Your Work: Properly Installed HVAC in High-Performance Homes
Many air conditioners and heat pumps are installed with faults that impact both their performance and efficiency. Come to this session to learn about a new RESNET/ACCA/ANSI standard with three simple field tests that can help a builder ensure they’re getting what they’ve paid for. Not only can this make for happier homeowners, fewer service calls, and lower utility bills, it can also unlock new points for homes with a HERS/ERI rating.