Exploring Advanced Technology of Modern Energy Efficient Gas Fireplaces

Gas fireplaces are an energy efficient and sustainable home heating solution. This course will provide a clear understanding of gas fireplaces, home heat management, and the associated benefits, including home energy savings, safety considerations, installation options, and common gas fireplace solutions. After taking this course, architects, designers and builders will be able to deliver informative solutions to clients about heat management and gas fireplace installations in their homes.

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Why Exceed the Code: Maximizing Energy and Cost Savings in Pipe Insulation

Thermal insulation aids in stabilizing process temperatures; can minimize moisture condensation on below ambient temperature piping surfaces; increases fire protection; and contributes to noise abatement. Personnel protection against burn injury is a major benefit from thermal insulation. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that “all exposed steam and hot-water pipes within 7 feet of the floor or working platform or within 15 inches measured horizontally from stairways, ramps, or fixed ladders shall be covered with an insulating material, or guarded in such manner as to prevent contact. In addition, the Insulation Institute provides other succinct reasons for insulating pipes beyond many current state and local code thickness requirements.

ASHRAE 90.1 minimum pipe insulation thicknesses are required for compliance with energy-efficient building design relative to many new buildings, building additions, and retrofit construction. A vapor retarder, which is required in addition to the insulation, will further reduce the likelihood of corrosion due to condensation on cold pipes. Finally, while insulation cannot prevent standing water in pipes from freezing, it can slow the process. This course will enable learners to analyze material types that may ultimately affect the long-term safety and wellness of occupants. By thoroughly examining ASHRAE 90.1, the need for building professionals to exceed the local code requirements will become apparent. Finally, the course will focus on utilizing software to specify pipe insulation, which will influence the project budget, energy-efficiency of a structure, and the long-term safety and wellness of occupants.

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RMI's Innovation Center: First-Year Lessons Learned

The Rocky Mountain Institute’s (RMI) Innovation Center illustrates the potential of achieving net-positive-energy performance in a replicable manner, serving as a demonstration project for the design and construction industry. Its first year of operation has offered many lessons around technological incorporation, financial replicability and incentivizing an integrated design process.


With four decades of leadership and advocacy for hyper-efficient buildings and economies, RMI is the ultimate client and occupant for such an innovative project. First-hand staff video interviews will address design process, system integration, performance and occupant satisfaction. RMI researchers guide attendees through the building with interactive video technology, providing commentary to frame the experience. Observations will be contextualized by members of the architecture and engineering team, translating lessons that can—and should—be applied to the next generation of high-performance buildings.

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Housing's Next Frontier

Net Zero Homes are estimated to grow 33% from 2015-2016 alone, but why are they accounting for less than 1% of the U.S. housing stock?
Learn how you can boost your sales of Net Zero homes!

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Innovative Materials Help Energy Innovation Center Earn LEED Platinum Certification and Historic Tax Credits (Print Course)

The newly renovated, LEED Platinum Energy Innovation Center (EIC), is a collaborative hub that supports the Pittsburgh region’s emerging clean technologies. High-tech building materials can be found throughout the historic facility, showcasing chemistry as a sustainable solution and helping the Energy Innovation Center maintain its sustainable footprint.

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A Model Zoning Code for Resilient Communities

This course will provide learners with an understanding of how land use codes impact resiliency through barriers and incentives. It will help you gain an understanding of the positive impact on health and productivity from codes promoting resiliency, review case studies detailing principals of natural ventilation, daylighting and onsite energy production.

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The Benefits of Specifying Low-e Coatings

This course will discuss the benefits of specifying high-performance architectural glass to improve the energy efficiency of buildings while reducing their operating costs and carbon emissions. An understanding of solar energy spectrum and common glass performance measures, in addition to the manufacturing processes for pyrolytic and magnetron sputter vacuum disposition low e-coating. The course will help learners to differentiate between passive and solar control low-e coatings and different glass performance measures. Finally, the course will analyze how low-e coatings can improve energy efficiency and assist with earning LEED credit contributions.

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DOE: Building America Solution Center - Energy Star Windows

Select and install high-performance windows, preferably windows that are ENERGY STAR rated or that meet or exceed the ENERGY STAR program requirements for windows, doors, and skylights. If you are seeking certification under the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes program or the U.S. Department of Energy's Zero Energy Ready Home program, read this for more specific guidance.

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DOE: Characterization of Energy Savings and Thermal Comfort Improvements Derived from Using Interior Storm Windows

This report records the results of a field study conducted in a historic home in Seattle, Washington, to document the performance of interior storm window inserts. The energy use and thermal performance of the house were monitored before and after the installation of the inserts. Using the defined analysis approach, it was determined that the interior storm windows produced a 22% reduction in heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning energy use and reduced building envelope leakage by 8.6%. Learn more.

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A Comparative Analysis of Residential Heating Systems

Builders, contractors, and homeowners today face a myriad of options for home heating systems. Furnaces, heat pumps - both air-source and ground-source, and even hybrid furnace-heat pump combination systems are all options. Sorting out the best choices requires taking a close look at system costs, efficiency levels, energy prices, comfort impacts, the severity of the climate, and any applicable incentives.

This course summarizes the key findings from an extensive technical analysis of the energy, economic, and environmental results of using various heating systems in different locations throughout the U.S., and updates the prior study from 2013 with more current energy pricing, system specs, and modeling data.

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