Maryland Green Building Network
March 5, 2002 – 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Veronica Bassiz, Rose Street Comm. Center
Kevin Brown, HCD
Mark Bundy, MD-DNR
John Ciekot, Civic Works
Tara Clifford, DHCD
John Devlin, St. Ambrose Housing
Julie Gabrielli, TerraLogos
Larry Gerst, HABC
Stephen Gilliss, DGS
Melanie Hartwig-Davis, AIA-COTE
Johns Hopkins, DHCD
Doris Ikle, CMC Energy Services
Ronald Jackson, DHCD
Micahel Kahl, HABC
James Kantor, Pure Cycle Tech.
Thomas Kenny, MD Energy Conservation
Jenny Kirkbrite, Audubon
William Kirn, Rohm & Haas
Tom Lofft, Liberty Village
Kevin Mooney, Thermal Loop
Jay Pandya, DHCD
Liz Robinson, ECA
Kim Schaefer, TerraLogos
Stan Sersen, Architectural Support Group
Paivi Spoon, Prince George’s DER
Stuart Stainman, MD DHMH
Dana Stein, Civic Works
Karen Stupski, Permaculture Guild
Rinvel Turner, DHCD
Susan Van Buren, MDP
Mary Vogel, Prince George’s DER
Chris Wilson, Civic Works
Introductions and Announcements
Green Building Rowhouse Template – Mark Bundy (DNR) and Julie Gabrielli & Kim Scheffer (TerraLogos)
Mark gave a brief review of the start of the DNR Green Building Program. Started in 1997 with the Governor’s Smart Growth Program, DNR recognized how we build is just as important as where we build. The Green Building Program promotes better and more environmentally sensitive ways to build in context of Smart Growth. One critical component of building green is energy efficiency, and by maximizing energy use allows more monthly income through less costly bills. Building green is especially important in revitalization areas as it provides affordability in many low-income neighborhoods. To investigate the possibility of incorporating green building and energy efficient approaches in low-income rowhome areas, DNR received funding through the Maryland Energy Administration to conduct a study. DNR and TerraLogos worked with two Baltimore Community Development Corporations and looked at their standard design for rehabilitation and renovation designs in order to incorporate energy efficient and green building techniques.
The task presented to TerraLogos was to answer two questions: Can we design energy efficient and green building techniques into existing rehab projects at no add cost? And, if no, how do we minimize this cost? The ultimate goal behind these questions is that once completed, the existing owner would be eligible for an energy efficient mortgage.
Kim & Julie started by briefly explaining their newly created company, TerraLogos, and that they consult on sustainable designs and architecture. Their goal for this project was to look at rowhouses as a critical component of the urban environment. Rowhouses are a challenge because by design they are not very energy efficient considering components like single-paned glass, the masonry, and others. But they do provide a good shell. Another goal was to aggressively foster healthier homes and better indoor air quality. Lastly, they wanted to tighten the buildings and reduce excess moisture.
The study looked at two sites: Middle East CDC and Paterson Park House. Both locations have standard designs and specifications. They analyzed the base building and created a template to make a green and affordable package of assemblies.
Answer to question one is no, there were added costs but nominal. Kim went through the conditions of houses, which were in generally good condition. Major problems were air infiltration, moisture control, and insulation. Costs were heating and cooling, 44%; water heating, 14%; refrigerator, 9%; and lighting/appliances, 33%.
Throughout their study, they had 5 overall goals:
1. Increase energy efficiency and comfort
2. Create healthy environment
3. Reduce resource consumption
4. Houses should be easy to operate and maintain
5. Contribute positively to community
The study looked at 3 "shades of green": light, medium, and dark, and then identified the buildings as a system of assemblies: walls, roof, windows, etc. For instance, the Light Green model enjoyed good entry-level energy performance. It emphasizing energy efficiency for least first cost. They found energy performance similar to new homes meeting current building code requirements. Target for added first cost was 0-2%.
Julie then went through a demo of the spreadsheet that showed their process. They identified the basic upgrades CDCs use, then found the cost of each improved energy efficient and green building technique. From this sheet they determined the projected increase in costs. She then looked at the assemblies of all three shades and compared their costs, benefits, and challenges for implementation. She reviewed both materials and systematic assemblies.
There are still several implementation issues to be worked out. For one, there needs to be a full energy and indoor air quality audit. There also needs to be education and training for contractors. And finally, and possibly most important, there needs to be homeowner training & a user's manual.
Lastly, Julie explained the energy modeling that was produced mainly by Bion Howard. Base was about $508, light $419, medium $235, and dark $145 per year. HERS ratings would be 75, 80, 87, and 91 respectively. So while these are not extreme savings, they will stabilize expenditures for rowhouse owners.
In questions, what is advantage of foam over cellulose? Its greater R-value, no fireproof, waterproof and adds vapor barrier. Another question was fresh air and negative pressure. They worked through those issues, especially in the urban community. The tighter the house the more important pressure can have on a home. Due to cost constraints, they could not fully address this issue. Lastly, all the assembly options would be under current Baltimore city code requirements and not be a problem. All issues are currently under code.
Mark concluded by thanking Kim, Julie, and Bion for conducting this contract. From the start, he challenged them for no cost. But even though there was additional expenditures, they are still within our reach. HERS needs 86 to get an energy efficient mortgage, and medium green gets there. There is a lot more work to be done, but this is a great start.
What's next: If we can show that even if there is an increase in cost, there are ways to bridge this gap. DNR is committed and working on furthering grant writing and searching to fund follow-up studies. DNR will take this study as a starting point, use MEA programs and initiatives, and begin implementing future proposals.
Philadelphia’s Cool Homes Program – Liz Robinson (Philadelphia’s Energy Coordinating Agency) and Bill Kirn (Rohm & Haas)
Bill Kirn thanked us for the audience and started by describing that Rohm & Haas is a construction materials company, especially coatings. The presentation began with Bill explaining his own observations about the effects of local and urban heat island effect. He knows that the temperature difference between Philadelphia and just 15 miles away is 15-20 degrees cooler. Asphalt, dark roofed, and dark buildings absorb heat. Rooftop heat can reach over 170 degrees.
If we can mitigate this heat, inhabitants would enjoy cooler temperatures inside, less need for AC, lower energy bills, fewer "Brown Outs", and less smog. Here are some quick facts: 84% of commercial roofs are black; 1/6 of electricity in US is to cool buildings. Lawrence Berkeley Lab identified that a 1-degree rise in air temp raises energy use by 2 percent. Conversely, 1% increase in solar reflectance = 1 degree drop in air temp. A 1-degree rise in air temp increases smog by 3%.
EPA EnergyStar Program requires 65% solar reflectance for low slope, 25% for steep slope, and to provide data for 3 years after. This program is to go after the 84% of dark roofs nationwide. There are several other reflective roofing programs, including one that will create a standard for roof reflectivity that would resemble EnergyStar or Window org. Bill then talked about nationwide city programs promoting reflective roofs. To calculate reflective roofs, go to www.roofcalc.com, wihch will calculate energy savings.
The big payoffs: reduce AC, energy savings, improve air quality, longer roof life, and less landfill use. Quick fact: the roofing industry is just 0.1% of GDP, but constitutes 6% of landfill.
Liz Robinson started by explaining the genesis of the Cool Homes Programs. In 1993, 118 deaths; 1995 had 61 and 1999 had 67 deaths due to heat. To address this, Philadelphia’s first reaction was to hand out free fans and air conditioners to those that qualified. This culminated in 1999 to pass out over 400 ACs and fans. Clearly, this was not energy efficient or even safe. They realized the energy and safety issues, and never did this approach again.
Rowhomes are built as mini-ovens: brick walls, dark roofs, and they keep the heat in. The goal of the Cool Homes Program is to reduce indoor air temp to comfortable levels without increasing the occupants' energy bills through maximize passive cooling and ventilation and minimize mechanical cooling. The treatments start with a white, acrylic elastomeric roof coating. This has R-30 and provides air sealing. They also restore window functions, window security, and screens and shades. ECA also provides education on passive cooling techniques.
There are some social issues. While not as bad as some think, there is some hesitation by homeowners to keep windows open due to personal security. Liz then showed a video of a local news' weather report. It showed a special report explaining the program and had rowhouse owners exclaiming the cooler temp. In fact, one owner turned her AC on only 1 time all summer.
Liz showed a graph between the air temperature of normal roofs versus reflective roofs. The graph showed significant cooling. While untreated homes were at 96 degrees inside, reflective roofs were 92 and on day two was 97 and 93, respectively. They perform the best when it's needed most. Liz also showed a slide addressing the urban heat island effect that showed on a block with white roof the street temp is 1 degree cooler.
They've done over 200 roofs, and not a single complaint. Recoating won't need to be done for 10 years. Cost is $1,000, but that includes prep work. Most houses are in poor shape, so prep work is imperative. Both Liz and Bill thanked us for the opportunity to come to speak about their program.