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First-ever Monthly Report to Offer Comprehensive Look at U.S. Housing Market Now Commercially Available

Housing Tides LogoFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

‘Housing Tides’ Delivers City-specific Updates when Housing Market Conditions Change

Nov. 1, 2016, DENVER – It is easy today to be overwhelmed by the vast amount of information published about the U.S. housing market, and to make inaccurate assumptions about market activity based on the wildly divergent views and forecasts published in the media. A new report called Housing Tides is the first of its kind to deliver complete, in-depth, balanced information about the housing and home building market. With Tides, financial advisors, mortgage lenders, product manufacturers, home builders and others will now be better informed, better prepared to respond to changing market conditions, and able to make smarter investment decisions.

As the only monthly report to provide a comprehensive measure and aggregated understanding of the state of housing and home construction across the top 41 U.S. markets, Tides collects, analyzes and synthesizes all of the existing perspectives, predictions and views into one convenient source. Delivered to subscribers every month, Tides features a monthly permit forecast, a housing media summary, a forecaster report card, and an index containing country-wide trending information and comparative market analysis. Clients cut through the clutter of information published about the industry, saving frustration and time, and are able to come to their own conclusions about market health.

Referencing 18 market indicators that range from unemployment rates and housing permits to rental vacancy and mortgage foreclosure rates, Tides provides a comprehensive view of the industry. The report also offers transparency in its own historical accuracy and the accuracy of other published forecasts, making it a reliable source of comparative information across time and creating accountability for reporting accuracy.

Tides was developed by EnergyLogic Inc., a Berthoud, Colorado-based software and building consulting company. EnergyLogic’s data-driven philosophy and its deep expertise in, and insight into, housing drove it to develop the report as a solution to its clients’ need for better, higher resolution data about the home building industry.

One client who has already benefited from Tides’ sophisticated aggregation and analysis technologies is Cal Trumbo, managing partner with Momentum Innovation Group.

“What sets the Housing Tides Report apart is the use of IBM’s Watson technology to analyze every media source reporting on the state of construction to provide a detailed sentiment of the industry,” said Trumbo. “As an innovation consulting group, we make a living helping our customers stay in front of their competition and stay ahead of the construction market. We will use the Tides Report to track current trends that allow us to help customers skate to where the puck is going to be – and see the changes coming before anyone else.”

Those interested in learning more about and subscribing to Tides may visit www.housingtides.com.

 

About Housing Tides

Housing Tides (“Tides”) is the only monthly report that provides a comprehensive measure and aggregated understanding of the health of the U.S. housing and home building industry. Designed to take the guesswork out of the vast amount of forecasting information published about this sector, Tides is a sophisticated report that delivers city-specific, updated information when market conditions change. It is the only report that uses natural language processing and machine learning to correctly understand and synthesize large volumes of data, making it more comprehensive, balanced and reliable than any other report of its kind. More information is available at www.housingtides.com.

 

About EnergyLogic

Berthoud, Colo.-based EnergyLogic is a software and building consulting company that provides expert resources, education and support to new home builders and energy raters involved in the construction of high‐performance homes. EnergyLogic serves as a resource to other organizations that are influential in creating energy efficient housing across America, and also built the system that analyzes and detects fraud in all of the country’s residential energy ratings. More information may be found at www.nrglogic.com.

 

About IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing 

Watson represents a new era in computing called cognitive computing, where systems understand the world the way humans do: through senses, learning, and experience. Watson continuously learns from previous interactions, gaining in value and knowledge over time. With the help of Watson, organizations are harnessing the power of cognitive computing to transform industries, help professionals do their jobs better, and solve important challenges.

As part of IBM’s strategy to accelerate the growth of cognitive computing, Watson is open to the world, allowing a growing community of developers, students, entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts to easily tap into the most advanced and diverse cognitive computing platform available today. Watson solutions are being built, used and deployed in more than 45 countries and across 20 different industries.

For more information on IBM Watson, visit: ibm.com/Watson and ibm.com/press/watson. Join the conversation at #ibmwatson.

 

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Media Contact:

Hannah Finch
970-556-0203
hannah.finch[at]housingtides.com

 

IBM External Relations
Nancy Ngo
nngo[at]us.ibm.com

EnergyLogic’s “Game of Homes” Offers Edutainment-based Training Alternative, Professional Development to Home Performance Pros

 Game of Homes is proudly supported by Owens Corning®

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Owens Corning Sponsorship Gives Game a Boost with Real-world Products

Aug. 4, 2016, DENVER, Colo. – EnergyLogic announces Owens Corning as a flagship sponsor of Game of Homes, EnergyLogic’s new, free training platform for home performance professionals. Game of Homes takes a departure from traditional classroom and online training courses by applying gaming designs and concepts to learning scenarios that are interactive, engaging and entertaining. Home performance professionals – such as energy raters, remodelers, retrofitters and others involved in the process of improving the comfort, safety and energy efficiency of a home – gain valuable continuing education units (CEUs) they can apply toward industry certification programs such as the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) and the Building Performance Institute (BPI).

“Owens Corning’s collaboration with EnergyLogic brings additional depth to the resources and partnership we provide building professionals to help them stay at the top of their game,” said Todd Fister, vice president of strategic marketing, Insulation, Owens Corning. “This edutainment-driven approach to training represents a truly innovative and user-friendly solution to help these pros gain new knowledge and advance their home performance practices.”

According to Matt Thornberry, training and education manager for EnergyLogic, Game of Homes is geared to reach the approximately 35,000 home performance professionals in the U.S., as well as more than 100,000 home inspectors.

“Game of Homes offers users a fresh approach to the ‘death-by-PowerPoint’ training that plagues our industry,” Thornberry said. “We believe that excellent training is critical to the success of the building science industry – and a more sustainable world. But our industry is historically guilty of offering training based on boring presentations and lectures. That’s not how people learn. People learn by doing,” he added.

Game of Homes helps energy professionals become critical thinkers and make smarter decisions about ways to make homes efficient, safe, healthy and durable. Users are faced with complex choices they must make about the home’s systems – from ventilation systems to furnace equipment to insulation materials – that simulate a home’s performance. These scenarios are developed based on real-world situations that experienced professionals have encountered in the field. For example, one situation involves a serious mold condition; another is based on a career-threatening condition in the home of a vocal coach. The game features actual products the pros use – such as Owens Corning’s residential insulation products – to make for a realistic online experience.

Game of Homes taps into people’s natural desire for competition, achievement and community status, using leaderboards, achievements and social interaction as techniques to  deeply engage players as a community. Players can earn achievements through the accumulation of points awarded for correct decisions they make during the interactive scenarios and challenges. In addition, the system tracks points and issues professional development credits for various home energy certifications such as RESNET and BPI.

Users sign up for Game of Homes for free at www.playgameofhomes.com. The Game of Homes video is available online.

 

About Owens Corning             

Owens Corning (NYSE: OC) develops, manufactures and markets insulation, roofing, and fiberglass composites. Global in scope and human in scale, the company’s market-leading businesses use their deep expertise in materials, manufacturing and building science to develop products and systems that save energy and improve comfort in commercial and residential buildings. Through its glass reinforcements business, the company makes thousands of products lighter, stronger and more durable. Ultimately, Owens Corning people and products make the world a better place. Based in Toledo, Ohio, Owens Corning posted 2015 sales of $5.4 billion and employs about 16,000 people in 25 countries. It has been a Fortune 500® company for 62 consecutive years.

About EnergyLogic

EnergyLogic is a building consulting company that provides expert resources, education and support to new home builders and energy raters involved in the construction of high‐performance homes. Its products and services include an energy rating system, rater services, an enterprise software system and training. EnergyLogic also serves as a resource to other organizations that are influential in creating energy efficient housing across America, including industry associations, construction and building professionals, utility companies, government code officials, state energy offices and real estate professionals. More information may be found at www.nrglogic.com. Details about the company’s comprehensive training program is available at energylogicacademy.com.

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Media Contacts:

EnergyLogic:
Linda Lidov
303-358-6279

Owens Corning:
DeAnna Starn
419-248-5667

EnergyLogic Signs with Cornerstone Partner, The Energy Conservatory, to Put “Game of Homes” into Play

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Game Offers Fresh Approach to Training for Home Performance Industry

May 11, 2016, DENVER, Colo. EnergyLogic welcomes The Energy Conservatory (TEC) as its cornerstone partner in the introduction of Game of Homes, EnergyLogic’s new, free gamification-based training platform for home performance professionals. As the first Game of Homes sponsor, TEC enjoys early marketing rights to pioneer players – exposing them to TEC’s specialized tools for creating more efficient, affordable and healthy buildings. In playing the game, home energy professionals gain valuable continuing education units (CEUs).

Gary Nelson, president of TEC, recognizes the value of Game of Homes for advancing the home performance industry. “We’re in alignment with EnergyLogic’s approach to training and growing the quality and caliber of professionals who work in this industry,” he said. “Putting training into a gaming package makes perfect sense to us. It is clearly working as a fun and effective way to get pros the development skills they need.”

Game of Homes takes a departure from traditional classroom and online training courses by applying gaming designs and concepts to learning scenarios that are interactive, engaging and entertaining. The scenarios are complex and challenging, and test and train good decision making. In playing the game, building pros gain valuable professional development with CEUs, which they can apply toward the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) and the Building Performance Institute (BPI). Game of Homes is geared to reach the approximately 35,000 home performance professionals in the U.S., as well as more than 100,000 home inspectors.

“Game of Homes offers users a fresh approach to the ‘death-by-PowerPoint’ training that plagues our industry,” said Matt Thornberry, training and education manager for EnergyLogic. “We believe that excellent training is critical to the success of the building science industry – and a more sustainable world. But our industry is historically guilty of offering training based on boring presentations and lectures. That’s not how people learn. People learn by doing,” he added.

For sponsors such as TEC, Game of Homes offers a unique opportunity to get brands and products directly in front of a highly targeted, influential group of professionals who will use and recommend the products. Additionally, sponsorships offer suppliers the chance to gather valuable insights, research and feedback about their products from qualified professionals.

EnergyLogic is forming relationships with other sponsoring companies that represent best-in-class products for the home performance industry. Corporate sponsorships enable EnergyLogic to offer Game of Homes at no cost to users.

Scenario-based Gaming Develops Critical Thinking

Game of Homes helps energy professionals become critical thinkers and make smarter decisions about ways to make homes efficient, safe, healthy and durable. Users are faced with decisions they must make about the home’s systems – from ventilation systems to furnace equipment to insulation materials – that simulate a home’s performance. These scenarios are developed based on real-world situations that experienced professionals have encountered in the field. For example, one situation involves a serious mold condition; another is based on a career-threatening condition in the home of a vocal coach. The game features actual products the pros use, making for a realistic online experience.

Game of Homes taps into people’s natural desire for competition, achievement and community status, using leaderboards, achievements and social interaction as techniques to  deeply engage players as a community. “Many people are drawn to gaming because of the many instant rewards it offers, and the interaction they get from it,” said Thornberry. “Because they are faced with real-life situations and decisions, and can face these in a safe environment, they will benefit from the game just by working through it. Then they’ll apply what they learned in their own work,” he said.

Players can earn achievements through the accumulation of points awarded for correct decisions they make during the interactive scenarios and challenges. In addition, the system tracks points and issues professional development credits for various home energy certifications in the home performance industry.

Users sign up for Game of Homes for free at www.playgameofhomes.com. The Game of Homes video is available online.

About The Energy Conservatory

The Energy Conservatory (TEC), located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is known worldwide as the leader in the building performance testing industry. Since 1981, TEC’s goal has been to provide building professionals with the specialized tools and support needed to create more efficient, affordable and healthy buildings. TEC continues to set the standard for specialized air flow and pressure measuring devices used to monitor and analyze the complex interactions that determine building performance. For more information, visit www.energyconservatory.com.

About EnergyLogic

EnergyLogic is a building consulting company that provides expert resources, education and support to new home builders and energy raters involved in the construction of high‐performance homes. Its products and services include an energy rating system, rater services, an enterprise software system and training. EnergyLogic also serves as a resource to other organizations that are influential in creating energy efficient housing across America, including industry associations, construction and building professionals, utility companies, government code officials, state energy offices and real estate professionals. More information may be found at www.nrglogic.com. Details about the company’s comprehensive training program is available at energylogicacademy.com.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Linda Lidov for EnergyLogic

Highland Communication Works / 303-358-6279

 

Kim Tanner

The Energy Conservatory

612-254-2161

EPA Recognizes EnergyLogic with 2016 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award

POY_SustainedExcellence_2016sm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

EnergyLogic recognized for its sustained leadership to protect the environment

April 5, 2016, DENVER – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized Berthoud, Colorado-based EnergyLogic with a 2016 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award for its continued leadership in protecting our environment through superior energy efficiency achievements. EnergyLogic’s accomplishments will be recognized in Washington, D.C. on April 13, 2016.

EnergyLogic, an ENERGY STAR partner since 2009, is considered a regional expert in ENERGY STAR implementation. In Colorado, EnergyLogic certified 1,680 (58 percent) of the 2,872 ENERGY STAR-certified homes that were built in 2015.

The company will be honored for its leadership providing ENERGY STAR training to local builders and HVAC (heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and cooling) contractors. It will also be honored for its innovation developing software applications that enable builders and other energy efficiency trade professionals who work on ENERGY STAR homes to electronically track and share reports in real-time.

“We’re honored to be recognized by the ENERGY STAR program for our commitment to making America’s homes more sustainable,” said Steve Byers, CEO of EnergyLogic. “Americans are getting more educated and savvy about the benefits of energy efficiency, and are motivated by economic and environmental factors to live a more energy efficient life. People are trending toward asking for homes with features that lower their operating costs and are built to last, and that keep them warmer, safer, healthier and more comfortable. We’re privileged to have an impact on this positive movement through our partnership with ENERGY STAR.”

Since its inception in 1992, ENERGY STAR and its partners have helped prevent a total of more than 2.4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. In 2014 alone, ENERGY STAR and its partners provided more than $11 billion in societal benefits due to reducing damages from climate change.

“By continued collaboration with ENERGY STAR, EnergyLogic is helping Americans save money, save energy, and do their part to reduce our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions that exacerbate climate change,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “I’m proud to recognize EnergyLogic with the highest form of ENERGY STAR recognition, as the winner of the 2016 Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award. EnergyLogic demonstrates a strong commitment to energy efficiency and to preserving a healthy planet for future generations.”

The 2016 Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Awards are given to a variety of organizations to recognize their contributions to reducing harmful carbon pollution through superior energy efficiency efforts. These awards recognize ongoing leadership across the ENERGY STAR program, including energy efficient products, services, new homes, and buildings in the commercial, industrial, and public sectors.

For a complete list of 2016 winners and more information about ENERGY STAR’s awards program, visit www.energystar.gov/awardwinners.

About EnergyLogic

EnergyLogic is a building consulting company that provides expert resources, education and support to new home builders and energy raters involved in the construction of high‐performance homes. Its products and services include an energy rating system, rater services, an enterprise software system and a training program. EnergyLogic also serves as a resource to other organizations that are influential in creating energy efficient housing across America, including industry associations, construction and building professionals, utility companies, government code officials, state energy offices and real estate professionals. More information may be found at www.nrglogic.com.

About ENERGY STAR

ENERGY STAR® is the simple choice for energy efficiency. For more than 20 years, people across America have looked to EPA’s ENERGY STAR program for guidance on how to save energy, save money, and protect the environment. Behind each blue label is a product, building, or home that is independently certified to use less energy and cause fewer of the emissions that contribute to climate change. Today, ENERGY STAR is the most widely recognized symbol for energy efficiency in the world, helping families and businesses save $362 billion on utility bills, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2.4 billion metric tons since 1992. Join the millions who are already making a difference at www.energystar.gov.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Linda Lidov for EnergyLogic

303-358-6279

linda@highlandcommworks.com

 

Kristinn Leonhart

ENERGY STAR Brand Manager

202-343-9062

Leonhart.Kristinn@epa.gov

Top US Rating Companies Combine to Create Industry Collaborative

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

An Independent Resource for Builders, EnergyPro Exchange Launches at NAHB’s International Builders’ Show

Jan. 20, 2015, LAS VEGAS – To help meet the growing demand for energy efficient homes, as well as the renewed growth in new home construction, the country’s top energy raters announced today at the National Association of Home Builders’ 2015 International Builders’ Show  the first-ever industry collaborative to provide builders with a central energy rating resource.

Known as the EnergyPro Exchange (EPX), this new, independent group of home energy rating system (HERS) experts will provide builders a variety of services to support new home construction with greater durability, comfort and safety, and lower operating costs for homeowners. From energy ratings and code compliance to design and consulting services, EPX helps builders meet evolving national and local energy codes that incorporate HERS. It is designed to help builders who are concerned about delivering the highest-quality homes with a high performance-to-cost ratio.

“Many home builders take great care in hiring the best engineers and architects. Working with the best HERS raters is just as important – and building to the highest industry standards in energy efficiency adds immediate and long-term value to the homes they build while mitigating risk and liability,” said Steve Byers, managing director of EPX.

Unfortunately, not all energy efficient homes are created equal, and builders often need help finding a HERS rater who meets the high caliber of service and integrity they expect from a vendor.

“Energy raters represent an underutilized resource among builders. Competent, professional energy raters create added value for builders – while the inverse exposes builders to additional risk,” said Byers.

As the only collaborative of its kind, EPX members are carefully selected to ensure sophisticated guidance and expert HERS knowledge in virtually every major market in the U.S. These experts helped set the industry standard for HERS as a national energy efficiency rating system. Several EPX members are accredited Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) training providers and have participated in the development of national energy efficiency code standards of the International Code Council. They have established long-standing business relationships with the country’s biggest builders and the top 20 Leading Builders of America.

EPX member organizations currently include EnergyLogic, Inc.; American Energy Advisors; Building Energy, Inc.; Clean Efficient Energy Company; DRW; DuctTesters; Earth Advantage; Efficient Home, LLC; Energy Diagnostics; Green Building Consulting; MaGrann Associates; Southern Energy Management; and Sustainable Energy Analytics, LLC. Negotiations are currently underway with several other member organizations.

With the support of its partners, Owens Corning, Huber Engineered Woods and Panasonic, EPX has access to research and development resources, industry training and education, and financial support.

According to research from the National Association of Home Builders, four of the top most desired features in a new home involve saving energy: for instance, 94 percent of home buyers want ENERGY STAR-rated appliances and 91 percent want an ENERGY STAR rating for the whole home. Additionally, the number of homes rated according to HERS grew from 5 percent in 2007 to over 22 percent in 2013. Building permits for new, privately-owned housing units in the U.S. have grown 62 percent since 2010.

About EnergyPro Exchange

EPX is a national collaborative of the country’s top Home Energy Rating System (HERS) providers who work with residential builders to make better purchasing decisions that reduce builder risk and liability and lead to a greater stock of energy efficient homes in America. EPX is also a forum for sharing innovative ideas and best practices about operational performance, energy efficiency and sustainability, and a business incubator dedicated to developing new industry processes and solutions in residential energy efficiency. More information can be found at www.energyprofessionalexchange.com.

 

Energy Avenger Prepping for the ‘THRILLA IN THE VILLA’

The Energy Avenger has been donning his favorite cape and putting on quite a show for the locals here in Berthoud, CO.  Over the last few days the recently incarcerated super hero has been publicly working out for the enjoyment of the community.  His press release dated February 12th announced his promise to begin, “… a rigorous new training program to steel myself for the coming trials.”  He has certainly held true to his word.

We spotted the Energy Avenger during one of his ‘work-outs’ at the Logical Living Center, home of the EnergyLogic Academy.  He was busy bench pressing bags of insulation and tubes of caulk. At one time, he attempted chin-ups on a neighboring swing-set.  After three chin-ups he windily declared, “Why do chin-ups when I can do fly-ups?”  He then repeatedly hovered above and below the swing set much to the onlookers delight.  I couldn’t help but ask him about a beverage he was surreptitiously consuming.  The Avenger declared is was his ever present ‘Super Power Enhancement Potion. It is a concoction I plan to share with the energy efficiency community at #RESNET13.  This reporter could not help but noticed how it look strikingly familiar to a bottle of Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA.

        

According to the Avenger, he plans to take on energy inefficiencies head-on during the 2013 RESNET Conference during the evening hours of the 27th and 28th of February at a neighboring hotel villa.  He called this his ‘THRILLA IN THE VILLA!’   He’s packed his boxing gloves and other fairly unnecessary training equipment in preparation for an all out throw down of ideas and thought provoking conversation on how to save the world this coming year.

I asked the Avenger if he was planning on staying the straight and narrow path, and if a repeat of his recent episode in Las Vegas may happen during #RESNETafterdark.

He then smiled, belched somewhat discretely, and flew away.

 

 

 

Radon and Energy Efficiency

Why is radon a factor when addressing energy efficiency in homes?

Your home is a system comprised of multiple components working together to provide shelter and a healthy indoor environment. Radon is an invisible, odorless radioactive gas found in soil and rock that can seep into your home through gaps in concrete or bare soil commonly seen in homes with crawl spaces. High levels of radon gas in your home can be caused by many factors. A “tight” home is desirable for energy efficiency. However, radon and other pollutants can be trapped in a more air tight home. On the other hand, a typical “leaky” home can have elevated radon levels due to the stack effect. This is a condition caused by air leaks at the top of a home which create a vacuum and pull soil gasses from under your home. Fort Collins has been identified as an area with the highest potential for elevated radon levels. For this reason, EnergyLogic and the City of Fort Collins recommends that radon levels be checked before and after any energy efficiency improvement which impacts the air boundary of your home. Low cost radon test kits are available through the City of Fort Collins. www.fcgov.com/radon

How to mitigate radon and make a home more energy efficient.

The first step in controlling indoor air pollution is to eliminate the pollutant source. Sealing air pathways between soil and your home will eliminate the source of radon and other indoor air pollutants in soil including mold and dust while improving energy efficiency. Homes with basements typically have concrete floors. Concrete is an excellent air barrier so sealing cracks in concrete floors and foundation walls can be very effective in reducing radon levels. Homes with crawl spaces often have no air barrier over bare soil or a plastic air barrier that is not sealed around the edges. Plastic that is not sealed is ineffective as an air barrier. A sealed polyethylene air barrier can be installed on the ground in most crawl spaces at minimal cost. To ensure success in reducing radon levels a passive radon system should be installed to allow radon below the barrier to vent outside the home. Passive radon systems should be designed so that a fan can be added later if necessary to create a vacuum, pulling radon gas out from under your home. When choosing a radon fan it is wise to choose the lowest wattage fan that will reduce radon levels in your home. Radon fans can operate on as little as 15 watts or over 160 watts. Often radon fan wattage is ignored or downplayed with comments like, “It only uses 60 watts, just like a light bulb. Don’t worry about it.” The point that is missing from this statement is that light bulbs are typically on for two hours a day or less. Radon fans run continuously. A 60 watt radon fan running continuously will consume 526 kWh of electricity in one year. A 60 watt light bulb used for four hours a day will consume 88 kWh of electricity in one year.

Radon is one indoor air pollutant that can easily be eliminated from your home with careful planning and air control.

Too Easy Being Green

Is it really too easy being “green?”

On October 24, 2012, USA Today ran a critical, almost cynical, article about the USGBC and their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program (LEED).

The USGBC was critiqued for, among many things, giving away points in the LEED rating systems too easily.  The strongest accusation is that by allowing commercial projects to take credit for ’low hanging fruits’ they would easily earn LEED Certification, subsequently making it too easy to achieve tax incentives that are tied to that certification.

While it is true that multiple LEED credits can be automatically earned from a single decision, it is important to understand that those “low hanging fruits” are actually an incentive for builders and developers to dive deeper into the LEED program to explore what else can be done to be more sustainable.  It is also a good way to reward builders and project teams for making conscious choices that factor in the sustainability of the location, materials and energy features of their projects.

One example of free or automatic credits would be a project selecting an inner city construction site.  A project team could automatically earn 3 points for an ‘infill site’ and another point for ‘previously developed site.’ In many cases, the inner city lot would also mean close access to public transportation, which would count for some more points.  So, that single decision on the site location may result in the project receiving points in multiple categories.  Is that unfairly rewarding double-dipping, or a justifiable reward for making a decision that results in a more sustainable project on multiple levels?

While USA Today criticizes those “free” points, one has to see the flip side; in the example above, the project team chose to develop an in-fill location over the more typical green field site. While an inner city lot might not be intrinsically “Green” the redevelopment is helping the entire community indirectly by avoiding additional new infrastructure of a typical new project and will likely help traffic and emissions levels in the area by selecting a site where many public transportation possibilities are offered right outside the front door.

We (EnergyLogic) believe that the author of the USA Today article misrepresented and oversimplified the philosophy of the LEED program.  LEED certification does not necessarily mean that a building in itself is the greenest object around, but rather that the interwoven synergies of the design elements, human comfort, livability and a general “awareness of natural resources” most certainly have an impact on each resident or tenant of the new building as well as the surrounding community.  There are a lot of paths to certification within the LEED program.  Depending on the project, some of those points are easier to come by than others.  But in the argument over whether specific points are automatic or too easy, the big picture is lost: contrary to public perception, earning the LEED label was never intended to represent the building as the greenest object around.  Instead, LEED certification means that among the thousands of decisions were made during the planning and design phase of a building project, sustainability was included as a major factor in a large number of them. The LEED program provides a system to recognize and reward project teams for those decisions.  It’s been a long time coming, but as LEED and other labeling programs grow and gain momentum, sustainability is finally earning a long-overdue seat at the table.  Still, we have a long way to go before this becomes the norm.  We work on thousands of buildings each year.  From what we see, the average building project could not even come close to meeting LEED certification requirements.  When it comes to LEED, is it too easy being green?  We say no.  What do you think?

EnergyLogic Blog Launch!

Hi All,

We’ve launched a blog for the company.  I’ll be working to get the word out about all of the exciting things going on at EnergyLogic.  Those things include, of course:

  • Energy Star Homes
  • Home Performance with Energy Star
  • HERS/RESNET Energy Rater Training
  • BPI BA Training
  • iRate
  • OptiMiser (which has it’s own blog)

and last but not least of course, special events like Rater Fest!

Steve