The Torch - February 16, 2017
- Registration Now Open for Next Generation Water Summit
- WERS® Update
- Industry News
Early bird registration has officially opened for the Next Generation Water Summit. Through March 31st, attendees can register to attend the Summit for $249. This will allow admittance to any Sunday, Monday and Tuesday session, regardless of track. Just as important, attendees will be able to network with a broad spectrum of stakeholders while working towards solutions for their respective challenges.
The Summit will occur June 4-6, 2017 at the Santa Fe Convention Center in Santa Fe, NM. Confirmed educational sessions include:
- WaterSense at 10: The Past, Present & Future
- WERS®: Today & Tomorrow
- Panel Session: Making Regional Water Groups Work
- Rainwater: Inside & Out
- Case Study: Santa Fe’s Adoption of WERS®
- WaterSense for New Homes: Why Certify?
- Stormwater Analysis with WERS®
The overarching theme of the event will be how to sustain the building/development industry in western states with declining water resources, even as the next decade experiences surging growth from retiring Baby Boomers. The first day (Sunday) will have a Green Expo at the Convention Center, with local experts presenting seminars in the break-out rooms. Three educational tracks, targeting Builders & Designers, Policymakers, and Water Conservation Experts, will span three days. There will be 9 sessions on Sunday afternoon, followed by a full slate on Monday & Tuesday. Keynote speakers will open Monday & Tuesday’s proceedings. Pre-conference courses, including QWEL training, ARCSA AP training and WERS® Verifier training, are scheduled.
Hosts of the event will be the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce (lead host), Green Builder® Coalition, City of Santa Fe, and the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association. Santa Fe Community College is the official education sponsor, and Green Builder® Media is the national media sponsor.
The Green Builder® Coalition recently received the official service mark for the Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS®) from the United States Patent & Trademark Office. The process, which took 2 years to complete, was successful thanks to the diligent collaboration of Coalition staff and a national legal firm specializing in intellectual property.
Mike Collignon, Executive Director of the Green Builder® Coalition, said, “This milestone is just further validation of the WERS® Program in the United States. What originated and is now established in New Mexico will spread to other areas of the U.S. When it does, the building industry will know they are using the leading residential water efficiency program.”
Beginning on March 1, 2017, the City of Santa Fe will require all new single-family residential projects to provide a preliminary WERS® of 70 or less when applying for a permit. The same project will then need to supply a final WERS® of 70 or less in order to receive a certificate of occupancy.
“This is a landmark decision by the City of Santa Fe, as no other jurisdiction has ever adopted a performance-based water efficiency requirement”, stated Green Builder® Coalition Executive Director Mike Collignon. “With the support of the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association, the Water Conservation Committee and others, the City was able to craft and implement a forward-thinking policy that preserves design freedom and product choice, while ensuring the City moves in a water-efficient direction.”
In order to help the City execute this initiative, local building analysts are stepping up. Steve Vollstedt of HERS-NM, LLC attended the inaugural WERS® Verifier course in March 2016. After passing the written and field exams, and performing his probationary verifications, he became the first accredited WERS® Verifier.
Vollstedt is no stranger to a jobsite. He has conducted hundreds of HERS ratings and has reviewed over 1,000 certification submissions on behalf of the Build Green New Mexico program. Vollstedt is also a National Green Building Standard-accredited Green Verifier. When the opportunity to add water analysis presented itself, he felt it was a service offering that would be vital to his community. “Water conservation and efficiency is arguably more critical to our environment than energy efficiency”, Vollstedt asserted. “We can create electrical energy with cost-effective, clean energy-producing systems, such as photovoltaics and wind generators. There is no practical or cost-effective way to produce or replace water resources that we are rapidly depleting and polluting.”
Vollstedt is the first in a line of WERS® Verifiers ready to assist the City. In future issues of The Torch, we’ll feature more Santa Fe building professionals working to ensure the sustainability of their City.
Here is the list of upcoming WERS® conference sessions:
- 2017 National Home Performance Conference (formerly known as ACI) – 10:30am and 3:30pm on March 20, 2017 in Nashville, TN
- WaterCon 2017 – 2:30pm on March 22, 2017 in Springfield, IL
- NMWCA – 12:00pm on April 13, 2017 in Santa Fe, NM
The Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation implemented a new Net Zero Energy Building grant program. Their grants are open to 501(c)3s, local governments, colleges and universities across the State. Applicants can apply for up to 60% of project costs, up to $1 million. Applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Project must be located in Illinois
- Project has to obtain PHIUS+ or Living Building Challenge certification
- Grant funds can be used for either new construction or retrofit projects
- Construction or improvement work cannot start before applying for funding
- Project must have a strong educational component
- Project must maintain net zero energy performance
- Project must be wholly owned by the applicant
If you or someone you know might be interested, please visit www.IllinoisCleanEnergy.org or call (312) 372-5191 today.
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