Archive for the 'Green Building' Category

Massachusetts Energy Code Updates

On July 19, 2016, Massachusetts completed its base and stretch energy code update process.  Massachusetts has amended its 8th edition of the state’s building codes and these have taken effect as of January 1, 2017.   The adopted code includes state amendments to the base energy code (residential and commercial) as well as an updated stretch energy code.  These codes will be enforced through local building inspectors throughout the Commonwealth. These codes and their updates are developed to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, both residential and commercial, resulting in cost savings and environmental benefits.

2016-1208-energy-code-changes-seminar-by-sustainable-energy-analytics

National Lumber is proud to partner with Sustainable Energy Analytics and Johns Manville to offer a free seminar to review and discuss these changes.  The 1-hour presentation discusses the new energy codes and their application to residential and commercial buildings, mandatory requirements, paths to compliance, and much more.  A social hour will follow and speakers will be available to answer any questions not covered during the presentation.

johns-manville-18590395-contractor-installing-insulation

This seminar has been offered throughout December and January and have been very popular.  Another seminar is being planned for February.  While a date has not yet been set, contact Chris Kirouac at ckirouac@national-lumber.com or call or text Chris at 508-509-9329 to be the first to receive details. Provide your email address and receive a registration invitation when a date is announced.

Did you know? Reliable Truss and Components has in-house design and engineering departments

reliable truss floor tracker truss assembly

Reliable Truss and Components, a division of National Lumber, has in-house design and engineering departments to work with you every step of the way from your initial quote to the final delivery of your product. When it comes to wood and steel trusses, structural components and custom prefabrication, our experts here at Reliable Truss have the ability to offer our customers efficient project coordination and higher quality and more feature-rich products than offered by our competitors. Our innovative processes allow us to provide exceptional service from “under one roof”.

“I wanted to extend my personal thanks to you and the rest of the folks at National Lumber and Reliable Truss for that fantastic tour. I found it to be a very valuable learning experience. While I was generally familiar with metal plate wood trusses, watching the actual manufacturing was quite an experience. I was very impressed by your plant and also by the sophistication of the MiTek software. Previously I was not aware how extensive a capability existed for pre-fabbing wall and floor sections. Again, the machinery and your plant were very impressive. For me the Alpine steel trusses were a complete revelation. In the past I had done some work with light structural steel trusses (angles, tees, and gussets), but these light gauge steel trusses are definitely something to look for a way to use. Thanks again.”  Thomas J. Vaughan Jr, P.E., GSC Engineering, Inc.

Our sales team is exceptionally versed with industry knowledge, and is here to assist you with choosing the components you need for your project and making sure your delivery is on time. Our registered engineers have the expertise to design the components you need for your project, all the while considering our environment, by practicing green building methods to minimize waste. The Reliable Truss facility is state-of-the-art, with fully integrated building industry modeling software to high production automated equipment, allowing us to provide customization and additional solutions to our customers.

If you work with a specific National Lumber representative, please ask about these products and services. If you don’t have a specific contact, you can email insidesales@national-lumber.com and we will have someone contact you.

Thank you for your business. We are honored to be your supplier for building materials and more!

The National Lumber Family of Companies

www.national-lumber.com

National Lumber's Family of Companies: National Lumber, Kitchen Views, Reliable Truss, National Millwork, Pro Insulators

Tax Incentive To Build Green

green building tax incentive helps put money back in your pocket

Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction puts money back in your pocket.

Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction

Have you taken advantage of the green building incentive yet? The Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction is set to expire on December 31, 2013. The program affords building owners deductions on qualifying energy-efficient upgrades done within the last six years. Real estate advocates are in the process of lobbying Congress to extend or expand the program. Read more about the green building incentive in this article by Bendix Anderson, NuWire Investor.

Have these deductions changed the way you or your clients plan buildings?

Do You Build for Better Energy Efficiency?

A public utility company in Arizona is in the process of lobbying for stricter building codes in order to promote construction of more energy-efficient buildings. Many builders of small to medium sized buildings may not invest in energy-saving features or green products due to the initial costs, regardless of the savings and maintenance benefits the client may reap in the long run.

Ryan Randazzo, Arizona Republic, describes why it’s better to start with green building from the start in his article Building Better Energy Efficiency. He also explains why retrofitting an existing building would be beneficial for now, and for the future.

architect looks at plans for building with better energy efficiency in mind

Planning to build for better energy efficiency, right from the project’s beginning,  will result in better cost savings in the long run once the project is completed.

  • Do you agree that it would be better in the long run, enough that you would start with a green building plan from the beginning?
  • How do you feel about retrofitting existing smaller buildings with more energy-efficient upgrades?
  • How do you feel about the idea of increased government regulation of green features through building codes?

Real Benefits of Building “Green”

Over the past decade, we’ve seen some interesting developments in the building industry. One trend coming up steadily is “green” building. With a more health conscious society, making buildings with eco-friendly materials that are made for sustainability is becoming more widely accepted and encouraged. At first, it was a more expensive process than conventional non-green building, however, today the monetary playing field is beginning to level out somewhat.

By starting with a green thought process, the planning and design of the project can be tailored to include more efficient and environmentally friendly materials. There is more flexibility in purchasing green materials from vendors that have expanded their stock and adjusted pricing in order to offer these supplies more widely and readily.

Construction worker using green building materials

National Lumber offers a variety of green building materials for customers. Boise, Benjamin Moore, Centurion, Claymark and Guardian are some our featured product lines.

Builders, designers and consumers all have opportunities to benefit from this way of building and living. In an article on curbed.com, different costs are evaluated and broken out visually to show the real savings that can be obtained by careful planning at the beginning of a building project.  Builders and developers may see the value in these buildings more quickly because these buildings usually command, and receive, a higher selling price. Owners of a green building will see savings on energy costs and tenants will feel happier and healthier knowing their space is good for, not only their environment; it’s good for their own health, as well.

We have taken a meaningful approach to implementing and practicing green methods in our own work environment by installing energy efficient lighting and converting office functions to paperless wherever possible. Read more about the green methods we utilize and materials we supply.

Do you use “green” elements in your building projects currently? Are customers requesting you to use green elements in their projects? Have you seen cost savings firsthand?

National Lumber

Energy Star for New Homes Version 3

If you’re planning on building an ENERGY STAR home, the new Version 3 guidelines must be followed as of July 1st, 2012. Most importantly, if you’ve already been working on an Energy Star home that has not yet had its final inspection, you’ll have to comply with the new rules if that project was permitted after April 1, 2011.

Below is a look at the implementation schedule of the new ENERGY STAR Version 3 guidelines (click for an enlarged image):

The new changes are summarized as follows (courtesy of Green Building Advisor):

  • Version 2 had a fixed HERS Index requirement of 85 (or 80 in the far North); Version 3 has a variable HERS Index target, which is usually in the low 70s.
  • Version 2 had one checklist for the HERS rater: Version 3 has 4 checklists: 2 for the HERS rater, 1 for the HVAC contractor, and 1 for the home builder.
  • Large houses have to get to a lower HERS Index because of the new Size Adjustment Factor.
  • All parts of the building envelope must have Grade I insulation or continuous insulation.
  • All Version 3 homes must have mechanical ventilation systems that meet the requirements of ASHRAE 62.2.

For more information, visit Green Building Advisor’s article about the new Version 3 guidelines or visit the Energy Star for New Homes website.

IECC 2012 Energy Code vs Energy Star

A recent Green Building Advisor article entitled “Efficiency Programs Struggle to Stay Ahead of Energy Codes” brings up a very important question: are more builders going to opt for building the code-built home rather than the Energy Star home? The new IECC 2012 energy code is far more stringent than past codes and means that programs such as Energy Star now have to beat those performance standards by a good ten or fifteen percent. The question is, how far can those high-performance energy-efficiency programs go to keep up with the ever-growing stringency of the international codes?

It’s the International Code Council’s job to make sure that builders are building the best homes that they can, even by the bare minimums required by law. Many US states have already adopted the last version of the ICC’s code, IECC 2009, and have even added additional requirements on top of it. With the new IECC 2012 code now being released, it now falls on builders to build even higher-performing homes than ever before if they are to build a home with the Energy Star label on it. Of course, like any code, it falls to enforcement. Are states going to have raters as good and knowledgeable of those as Energy Star and Passive House?

The question we would like to ask you, our builders and remodelers, considering your own experiences with dealing with state energy codes and Energy Star, are you still going to pursue the Energy Star label if the IECC 2012 is adopted where you work?

National Lumber hosts training classes covering topics such as energy codes as a service to our customers. Our hosted sessions will end this month and we expect to begin again in the fall. We also inform customers about other training opportunities with BAGB, etc. Visit www.national-lumber.com/events for more information.

Boise Cascade’s New FSC-Certified Green Product Line

Boise-Cascade Product Line

Boise Cascade has announced availability of FSC® Chain-of-Custody (COC) certified Engineered Wood Products throughout North America. In the New England region, National Lumber’s Engineering Division is proud to provide FSC® COC certified Boise Cascade products. As an FSC® certified lumberyard (SCS-COC-001147), National Lumber now has the following products available for order:

The availability of FSC® COC certified Boise Cascade Engineered Wood Products means these products can now help builders achieve LEED® points under U.S. Green Building Council® residential and commercial green building programs including LEED for Homes and LEED for New Construction.

Learn more about the Boise-Cascade product line on National Lumber’s eShowroom.

National Lumber Engineering Division
www.national-lumber.com/engineering

Green Building LEEDs the Way

Many builders are still trying to get their heads around the relatively new certification program known as LEED. There seems to be so much involved, without a huge amount of payback to them. Of course, the overall ownership costs do end up being lower, especially in energy cost savings. However, there are other advantages to building to LEED certification standards besides selling the energy savings, including greater quality construction, increased comfort, and fewer callbacks for construction issues. Because of these benefits, contractors that build such buildings actually have increased customer satisfaction, an increased referral rate and higher sale values. Overall, since green building is growing in popularity among home buyers, building green also means more sales and more profit.

LEED does have a lot of steps and prerequisites, but the U.S. Green Building Council website outlines everything you need to know on their website (www.usgbc.org) and there are plenty of tools and resources on the Web to help. National Lumber also has many of the green building materials and supplies you’ll need for your projects to reach LEED certification status: insulation, doors & windows, FSC-certified and engineered lumber, and drywall, as well as expert engineering and design services to make sure you are building the best-performing building that you can.

Understanding R-Value and Avoiding Insulation Scams

Green Building Advisor has a great article on understanding R-value and avoiding insulation scams.

Here is an excerpt of this article:

“Some marketers of radiant barriers or spray foam insulation imply that R-value measurements are meaningless. On the contrary, R-value is a useful measurement. But just because you know a product’s R-value doesn’t mean you know everything necessary to predict heat flow through a wall or ceiling. R-value is just one factor among many to be considered when deciding which insulation to use. Builders must also understand many other topics, including air leakage and moisture movement. No one has yet invented a ‘magic number’ that replaces the requirement for builders to study and understand building science principles.

Does radiant heat pass through insulation like radio waves?

Another scare tactic employed by some marketers of radiant barriers is the idea that conventional insulation materials — sometimes called ‘mass insulation’ — allow radiant heat to pass right through them. Scam artists have been known to warn builders that ‘mass insulation is transparent to radiant heat.’ The implication is that a layer of aluminum foil is necessary to prevent radiant heat from traveling like radio waves right through a deep layer of cellulose.

In fact, most mass insulation products do a good job of stopping radiant heat flow. Radiant heat easily travels through air (for example, from a wood stove to nearby skin) or a vacuum (for example, from the sun to the earth). But radiant energy can’t travel through a solid material.”

Read the entirety of this article on the Green Building Advisor blogs.

National Lumber is here for all of your insulation needs. We are a proud retailer of Guardian insulation products. Learn more by calling 1-800-370-WOOD (9663) or by visiting national-lumber.com


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