Updated specifications for designing HDPE conduit power and communications systems, net zero homes prompting more prefab construction, and a New York City lawsuit over home rentals
DOE Releases Updated Version of Better Buildings Financing Navigator
The U.S. Department of Energy recently introduced Better Buildings Financing Navigator Version 2.0. The improved, updated online tool connects users to proven approaches and professional connections needed to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Version 2.0 includes renewable energy financing options, sector-specific and location-specific financing resources, a smart database of financing providers that can be searched and filtered, updated market data, and more.
Users can now search by topic or answer a few questions to get tailored results. Easy navigation for white papers, technical research, and best practices collected from the industry is provided.
Version 2.0 also has sophisticated features to connect to the Better Buildings Financial Ally community that includes banks and lenders committed to bold investments in energy. These financiers have collectively funded more than $12 billion in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects since 2012. This database is searchable based on products offered, sectors served, technology types financed, and region served.
Specifications for Designing HDPE Conduit Power and Communications Systems Updated
The Plastics Pipe Institute, Inc. (PPI) has published an updated model specification for high-density polyethylene (HDPE) conduit. The document MS-5 “Model Specification for HDPE Solid Wall Conduit for Power and Communications Applications” assists specifiers in preparing specs for HDPE conduit projects. PPI says that while HDPE conduit and pressure pipe specifications may appear similar, there are critical technical differences that impact performance of products in certain applications.
An inaccurate or out-of-date product specification can cause confusion among suppliers or result in an inadequate product being installed. HDPE conduit is the preferred material to house and protect electrical power and communications cables in typical applications such as power utilities, telecommunications, CATV, SCADA, FTTH, ITS, highway lighting, and other underground utilities.
Benefits of HDPE conduit, according to PPI, include availability in long lengths without joints, high strength, flexibility, proven reliability and installation toughness. HDPE conduit, including Cable in Conduit (CIC), is widely used in trenching, horizontal directional drilling (HDD), and plowing installation methods.
New Release of Publication with Solar Energy Provisions from 2018 ICC Now Available
The International Code Council and the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation, along with the National Fire Protection Association, have updated the 2018 International Solar Energy Provisions (ISEP). The publication compiles solar energy provisions of the 2018 International Codes (ICC) and the 2017 National Electrical Code (NEC or NFPA 70) and related standards into one document on the design, installation, and administration of solar thermal and photovoltaic systems.
The ISEP is available for adoption by countries, states, and local jurisdictions as their solar energy code. It mirrors the format of the I-Codes, a family of fifteen modern, regularly updated building safety codes used throughout the world. The ISEP contains separate provisions for commercial and residential buildings, and two important solar standards have been included in their entirety: ICC 900/SRCC 300–2015, Solar Thermal System Standard, and ICC 901/SRCC 100–2015, Solar Thermal Collector Standard.
To order a copy of the 2018 ISEP, click here.
Airbnb Backs Lawsuit of Man in Fight with New York City over Home Rentals
Airbnb Inc. is providing financial support to a lawsuit against New York City in a fight over home rentals. An Airbnb host in Brooklyn has sued the city in federal court, accusing officials of retaliating against him for speaking out in support of home rentals at a city council meeting.
The city imposed fines on the host that could total more than $30,000. Airbnb has agreed to pay his legal fees. The suit was filed before the council was expected to pass a bill requiring Airbnb and other home-rental sites to disclose the names and addresses of hosts, a measure designed to help authorities crack down on illegal short-term stays.
Airbnb opposes the regulation, saying it would violate the privacy of law-abiding hosts. The Airbnb host has been cited by the city for converting his basement into an illegal hotel and failing to meet fire codes.
Net-Zero Homes Could Spur More Prefab Construction
Constructing Net-Zero homes typically costs a premium compared to building homes to existing codes. But prefab construction using structural insulated panels (SIPs), and prefabricating building envelopes off-site, can reduce time and costs.
These techniques also address the labor shortage because they require significantly less time to build at the home site. These construction practices can also result in better-performing homes since they typically result in tighter, better insulated structures.