Analysis of Residential Energy Efficiency Upgrades

Homeowners, builders, contractors, and weatherization agencies today have a wide range of energy efficiency upgrades to choose from for existing homes. This course compares the popular upgrades and systems available to help you make the best choice for your projects. Making good decisions about improving an existing home's energy efficiency and lowering its energy costs can be challenging for a consumer. There are a wide variety of options available, all with certain benefits and costs. Homeowners and building professionals frequently ask, What are the most cost effective changes that I can make to improve energy efficiency?

This course is intended to serve as a guide in answering questions about prioritizing energy efficiency investments for existing homes. By closely examining a study commissioned by the Propane Education & Resource Council, the Analysis of Energy Efficiency Upgrades for Existing Homes, this course will provide objective information about the most effective measures and/or equipment choices across five climate regions.

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Innovative Green Concrete for Sustainable Construction

This course will provide learners with an introduction to Green Concrete. In addition, the course will examine the key components of Green Concrete Mixtures, illustrate some performance attributes of High-performance Green Concrete, and demonstrate the need for a process and methodology for quantifying sustainable concrete. Finally, the course will look at various project profiles that specified Green Concrete mixtures and how architects can incorporate this material to specify Green Concrete with a comparative life cycle assessment or Eco-Efficiency Analysis.

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Residential Water Heaters under the New 2015 Federal Standards - An Analysis of Energy, Economics, and Emissions

Water heaters are often the second largest energy user in the home, costing residents hundreds of dollars each year. Beginning in April 2015, the updated “NAECA” standards from the U.S. Department of Energy increased water heater efficiency requirements, driving major product changes in the U.S. market. “NAECA” stands for the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act and includes the federal regulations for water heater minimum efficiency levels.

Against this backdrop of new standards, products, and decision-making factors, this course will review a detailed analysis of water heating systems. This analysis compares water heating technologies based on their energy, economic, and environmental performance, with a focus on the performance of propane-based systems relative to electric and heating oil alternatives. The course also reviews the new federal standards for water heaters, and describes the market implications for both new construction and replacements.

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Designing and Building High Performance Homes with Propane

Over the last 15 years, the U.S. homebuilding industry has seen a remarkable transformation. Residential building systems have rapidly evolved to offer unprecedented levels of efficiency and performance. This course provides a data-driven look at the role of propane as an energy option in today's high-performance homes. The course compares propane with other available energy sources in terms of its availability, applications, and environmental footprint. At the technology level, the course examines 12 different propane applications in terms of their functionality, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and environmental impact.

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Acoustic and Aesthetic Suspended Ceiling Solutions Using Stone Wool

This On Demand CEU is a recorded presentation from a previously live webinar event. Architects, Specifiers, Interior Designers, and Building Science professionals all have a long history of specifying stone wool for their insulation and sound absorption needs. Fire resistance, sound resistance, water resistance, thermal resistance and dimensional stability are all features and benefits of stone wool. This presentation will provide learners with information regarding the features and benefits of using stone wool acoustical ceiling tiles. In addition, the course will provide basic information on acoustics as well as the acoustical challenges and resolutions faced in commercial buildings.

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Specifying Western Red Cedar: Sustainable Building Products

Western Red Cedar (WRC) aesthetic, economic, and environmental benefits are just some of the reasons why builders and designers are increasingly gravitating to this species of wood. Presented here are modern, historical, and cultural uses of western red cedar, as well as its performance characteristics, grade specification, and finishes. Also discussed are sustainable forest management practices and certification agencies, and how sustainably sourced wood can contribute to LEED® credits.

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Unitizing Structural Skylights: An Evolution in Daylighting

This course will focus on the use of unitized skylights to enhance the well-being of the occupants within the build environment. The course will look at how skylights are incorporated and considerations that impact their use. In addition, the course will analyze how skylights can provide superior performance standards, meet fire testing requirements, enhance energy efficiency and provide creative solutions for the built environment. In addition, various applications and case studies will be described to help learners understand how the use of skylights impacted the health and wellness of the occupants.

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Propane as a Solution to Meeting Code and Above-Code Programs – Using High Efficiency Propane Systems as a Compliance Strategy

Nothing is driving greater change in the home building industry than energy efficiency, but prior to 2015 the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) didn’t address mechanical equipment such as furnaces and water heaters. The 2015 IECC now includes a new compliance path called the Energy Rating Index allowing builders more choices in how to meet the energy code. This course will take a closer look at how high efficiency propane equipment such as furnaces and water heaters provide flexibility in meeting 2015 IECC standards and help reduce a home’s HERS Index, in addition to helping projects gain points in above-code programs such as LEED and the National Green Building Standard.

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Propane Gas Systems: Considerations for Residential Construction

Propane heats homes, water and outdoor spaces, fuels clean, comforting fireplaces, cooks food, and dries clothes. Propane is also environmentally friendly, emitting fewer greenhouse gases than other fossil fuels and electricity. When planning and designing homes, architects should know that more than 12.6 million U.S. households rely on propane for their primary energy needs. Propane can be stored above ground or in underground propane tanks, an option many builders are choosing in order to fuel homes off the natural gas mains. This course will cover important considerations when planning for propane use in residential construction.

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Expanding Outdoor Living: Propane for Outdoor Residential Use

Propane gas is considered to be a clean alternative fuel by the EPA; it is a versatile and environmentally safe fuel source for healthy and sustainable living. Many people use propane to fuel their outdoor grills or barbecues, but its much more versatile than a cooking fuel in residential outdoor applications. This learning unit will explore alternative uses for propane, specifically for outdoor use in and around a home.

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