Residential Water Heaters under the New 2015 Federal Standards

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.

The course reviews the new federal standards for water heaters, and describes the market implications for both new construction and replacements.

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Specifying Propane Standby Generators: Installation and Value Considerations

In the last 10 years, the demand for electricity has increased exponentially due to population growth and the increased use of power-thirsty devices, such as computers and flat-screen TVs.

For homeowners in many areas, this has resulted in electrical service outages that cause major disruptions. A standby generator can ensure a homeowner's quality of life by keeping the electricity flowing in the event of a power failure, and it can even serve as a primary energy source for homes built off the grid.

In this course, learn why many builders and homeowners are choosing to install propane standby generators and what to consider when selecting the best generator for the job.

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Propane-Enhanced Renewable Energy Systems

Most American homeowners, now acutely aware of fluctuating energy prices and the environmental implications associated with continued use of some conventional energy sources, are driving a demand for alternative energy sources for their homes. As a construction professional, it is up to you to propose alternative energy systems to be used in your homes.

In this course, learn why propane is an ideal backup energy source for a wide range of renewable energy systems.

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Choosing to Live Off-Grid: Energy Generation and Fuel Choices (PDF)

This article originally appeared in a previous print and digital issue of ARCHITECT magazine.

Living off the grid has become increasingly popular over the past decade. Energy independence, pursuit of a more sustainable life style, moving away from the city and economics are all cited as common reasons for choosing to live off grid.

Off-grid and standby generators can be used in combination with renewable energy sources for successful off-grid living. This program compares and contrasts types of generators, and fuel choices for off-grid living.

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Choosing to Live Off-Grid: Energy Generation and Fuel Choices

Living off the grid has become increasingly popular over the past decade. Energy independence, pursuit of a more sustainable life style, moving away from the city and economics are all cited as common reasons for choosing to live off grid.

Off-grid and standby generators can be used in combination with renewable energy sources for successful off-grid living.

This program compares and contrasts types of generators, and fuel choices for off-grid living.

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Analysis of Residential Energy Efficiency Upgrades

The energy use of a home varies widely depending on a number of factors, including the climate, number of occupants, resident behavior, and mechanical systems. Because there are so many contributing factors, decisions on where and when to invest in energy-efficient equipment can be tricky for a homeowner, especially when it comes to paying a premium for higher efficiency equipment.

In this course, which focuses on the typical energy use for average, single-family detached households, learn more about what factors to take into account when considering an upgrade of a home’s energy system or appliances.

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Optimizing Occupant Experience with Wood (Print Course)

This course will examine how wood structures and finishings can help meet tenancy trends and the benefits wood provides to owners and occupants, such as aesthetics, high-performance and life safety.

Two different types of wood structural systems are discussed, as are the qualities that make a building desirable. Case studies demonstrate how value was maximized and occupant well-being was optimized in wood structures.

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Building Materials Matter – Life-Cycle View Supports Informed Choices, Contributes to Sustainable Design (Online Version)

A focus on energy efficiency has led to widespread improvements in structural building materials. With an abundance of information and competing environmental claims, determining a material’s true impacts is a challenge.

This course examines materials throughout their life cycles and focuses on international research supporting the use of wood while considering some advantages of concrete and steel; it also touches on efforts of all three industries to lessen environmental impacts.

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Building Materials Matter - Life Cycle View Supports Informed Choices, Contributes to Sustainable Design (Print Course)

A focus on energy efficiency has led to widespread improvements in structural building materials. With an abundance of information and competing environmental claims, determining a material’s true impacts is a challenge.

This course examines materials throughout their life cycles and focuses on international research supporting the use of wood while considering some advantages of concrete and steel; it also touches on efforts of all three industries to lessen environmental impacts.

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Building Resilience: Expanding the Concept of Sustainability with Wood Building Systems (Print Course)

This course will consider traditional wood framing and mass timber systems in the context of resilience, including performance during and after earthquakes, hurricanes, and other disasters, as well as the relevance of wood’s light carbon footprint and low embodied energy.

It will describe how building codes and standards such as the National Design Specification® for Wood Construction support resilience, and consider how wood structures can meet evolving resilience objectives.

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