Thursday, November 20, 2008

Observations from Greenbuild Day 2

I didn't even know what district heating and cooling was, let alone that there were LEED requirements associated with it. These super heating and cooling systems that are "spoke and wheel" designs with centralized heating and cooling generation that is distributed to "satellite" systems was described as more common in Canada, but used in the US on large campuses and other multi-building facilities. Interestingly, LEED requirements are attempting to encourage the phaseout of CFC refrigerants in these systems however they make no distinction between alternative HCFC or HFC refrigerants.

A session on the REGREEN Residential Remodeling Guidelines (on which HARDI had supplied comment) was disappointing but did offer these nuggets:
  • The revised guidelines can be downloaded from
  • The Appraisal Institute is beginning to evaluate ways to value efficiency and green updates to existing homes
  • Oregon now requires energy audits as part of the existing home resale process
  • Best line: "Quality must be an integral part of green"

A session on 'Bringing Green Homes to the Mass Market' provided a few excellent resources:

  • A private equity firm specializing in the green development of environmentally sensitive lands offer this free sustainable building report
  • This Texas builder really seems to get it and may be establishing the model for the most successful residential builders of the near future. This builder also successfully charges $300 for home energy audits.

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