Green Builder Coalition

The Torch – February 2013

The Torch Offical Publication of Green Builder Coalition


Green Builder® Coalition to Demonstrate GBA at resnet

2013 RESNET ConferenceThis week, the Green Builder® Coalition will be demonstrating the Green Building Administrator (GBA) on the show floor at RESNET. The Coalition and Green Builder® Media will be sharing booth #123, which will have a lounge-style theme and be located across from the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) Pavilion. In addition, Coalition Board Chairman Ron Jones will be delivering the conference keynote address.

RESNET takes place at the Orlando World Center Marriott from February 27th through March 1st. It will be held in conjunction with the International Indoor Air Environment & Energy Efficiency (IE3) Trade Show, making it the largest trade show focusing on building energy performance and indoor air quality. Over 2,000 attendees are expected. For more information on RESNET 2013, please click here.

Upcoming Industry Events

Accredited Professional Rainfall Catchment Workshop

The American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) is presenting a 2 day Accredited Professional Rainfall Catchment workshop in St. Louis, MO on February 25th & 26th. If you live in the area, seating is still available. For more information, please click here.

Land Use for Agriculture in Metropolitan Areas

On Monday, March 4th from 6:30-8:30pm MT, the USGBC Colorado Metropolitan Branch will hold another edition of their “First Monday Speaker Series” on the 3rd floor of REI Denver. The presentation will examine the factors influencing the growth of local food production in metropolitan areas. The panel will discuss urban and suburban agriculture, and the integration of urban gardens into architecture and planning projects, citing local examples, challenges and opportunities. There is a $15 registration cost, which includes dinner and a raffle ticket. For more information, please click here.

Impact Series

Heidi Cullen

The next two Impact Series webinars are going to take the subject of climate change head on.

The first will feature Dr. Heidi Cullen, formerly of The Weather Channel and now Chief Climatologist of Climate Central. She has firsthand insight into the changes that are taking place in our environment and how those changes will affect our lives. Join us on Tuesday, March 26th at 11am CT as Dr. Cullen talks about the impacts of climate change on the U.S. and the recently released findings in the National Climate Assessment. This is sure to be a highly attended webinar, so make sure to register here today.

Two weeks later, environmental philosopher Kathleen Dean Moore, Ph.D., will spend time discussing the moral imperative of sustainability. Moore is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Oregon State University and co-founder of the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word. Her recent award-winning book, Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril, is a call to action on climate change from 100 of the world’s moral leaders. This webinar will take place Wednesday, April 10th at 1pm CT.

We hope to see you next month!

As I Am…

Steve HaleSteve Hale

Each issue, we’ll sit down with a green building professional to gain a personal insight into their motivations, inspirations and experiences. This issue, we feature Steve Hale, President of Hale & Sun Construction.

The Torch:  What motivated you to enter the sustainability industry?

Steve Hale: When I built my first home in 1981 as an owner/builder, I had just a little knowledge of both building and passive solar design. After the home was built, I spent a few years exploring other career paths, but found that I most enjoyed construction. I built custom homes and did large remodel projects after my business built a reputation and didn’t pay enough attention to the sustainability parts of the projects. In 2005, as President of the Home Builders Association in Albuquerque, NM, I made it a priority to bring back a Green Building program, and get back to my greener “roots”. The program adopted the Model Green Building Guidelines from NAHB, which was the only national program out there at the time. The program is very successful today, with about 70% of new homes in Albuquerque being built to either our program (now the 2012 NGBS) or LEED-H and scoring at a HERS Index of 60 or lower. Our program, Build Green NM, has certified over 1,500 homes in New Mexico since the program started and is recognized and supported by local and state programs and incentives.

TT: Describe your first green project. Did you encounter any hurdles on that first project? (If yes, how did you overcome them?)

SH: Having limited knowledge of Passive Solar design, I ended up over-glazing the home. This wasn’t much of a problem in the winter since I could open windows. I had insulated roman shades, which helped keep the heat in at night. The real issue was sloped glazing on the lower bank of glass at the green house. No overhang and young trees offered no reprieve from the intense southwest summers. Shade cloth helped, but that room is mostly unused now. (I live next door.) The trees are mature now and the overheating is not much of a problem, but if I had stayed in the home I would have rebuilt that sunroom/greenhouse glazing.

TT: What building product or technique do you think will be the next “game changer”?

SH: I think that “mini-splits” are a real up-and-comer for being a game changer. They are so efficient now and can work down to such low temperatures that teamed with PV you can have a real winning setup for heating and cooling a home.

TT: Who inspires you the most?

SH: My clients. I have been really lucky in this slow economy. I don’t build big and fancy, but small and as green as my clients will allow. They have been great partners and sustainable enthusiasts in the construction of their homes and have really allowed me to build homes the way that they should be built.

TT: If you had it to do over again, what profession would you choose?

SH: I got out of engineering school because I thought that I would spend my career at a desk doing math problems and I was more hands on than that. I have a lot of respect for building science and if that were even a known possibility back in the early seventies, I might have ventured there. However, I do plan on building as long as I have willing clients and the physical ability to be out at the job on a daily basis.

TT: What do you enjoy the most when you’re not at work?

SH: Composting. Last year, I became a master composter and it’s a lot of fun mixing plant and kitchen waste with chicken or other manures and getting a “hot” pile of compost going. To create a rich component to add to our weak southwest soils is very rewarding and my garden fully approves of my efforts. I do a lot of teaching to the industry and community about green building and composting and it is always a rewarding experience to visit with and learn from all that I meet.

TT: What’s the most important piece of advice you’d like to pass along to others?

SH: Read, listen and explore. Try something new on each project and keep the learning curve going. Go to trade shows every now and then to see what is out there and always bug your suppliers for what is new or what they see coming down the road. Be the first to try something.

Job Opportunities

Below you will find job postings for green collar jobs around the country.

If you have a job opening you’d like to list here, please contact the Green Builder® Coalition at

CLEAResult (, an energy-optimization firm that designs and implements programs to help utilities manage load growth by helping customers identify energy-savings opportunities and implement energy-efficiency improvements, is currently hiring energy-efficiency engineers, consultants, analysts and coordinators. With the exception of one listing for an internship, these are full-time positions with full benefits. Candidates should have experience conducting energy audits, identifying energy-efficiency opportunities, using energy-modeling tools, performing energy-savings calculations, and/or developing measurement & verification (M&V) plans.  P.E. and/or C.E.M. certification is preferred but not required. To view these listings, please click here.

At press time, they had 19 jobs in the following cities:

Austin, TX (6)

Corpus Christi, TX (1)

Fayetteville, AR (1)

Little Rock, AR (7)

Okemos, MI (3)

Oklahoma City, OK (1)

CLEAResult is an energy-optimization firm that develops and implements energy-efficiency programs on behalf of utility companies across the country.  Our programs are designed to help utilities manage load growth and meet legislative requirements by identifying energy-savings opportunities and implementing energy-efficiency improvements.  CLEAResult is ranked on Inc. Magazine’s list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. for the second year in a row.

If you are interested in any of the above job openings, please contact:

James Hatheway
(512) 259-2383

Or apply via this website:

The New Buildings Institute (NBI; serves as a technical resource for the energy and commercial building industries. They are looking to fill the following position:

Executive Director: This individual will act as the organization’s chief executive officer reporting to the Board of Directors and be responsible for NBI’s continued achievement of its mission as well as financial and organizational objectives.

The Executive Director will provide leadership, strategic guidance and high-level, key decision-making. In addition, this position initiates and communicates organization and program development strategies and is responsible for financial and organizational management. The successful candidate will have substantive professional expertise with progressive responsibility and significant operational management experience in an energy-related institution or associated field.

Headquartered in Vancouver, Washington, travel will be expected as part of the position (estimated at 10-20% time). Salary commensurate with experience. Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree or equivalent academic or professional certification preferred. At least five years of demonstrated success in management, business development, partnership development and financial management of a small-midsize enterprise, either non-profit or for-profit. Professional experience in building science, sustainability and/or building design or other related fields (policy and/or practice), with an emphasis in energy efficiency.

Reponses and questions should be directed to no later than 5 p.m. PT on February 28, 2013.

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory currently has over 100 jobs listed on their site. Please note the closing date on the position prior to applying. Most are located in their home state of Washington, though at least 5 of the posted positions are based in College Park, MD and one opening each is listed for Herndon, VA and Albuquerque, NM.

If you have any interest in these highly scientific roles, please visit their career site by clicking here.

Southern Energy Management, the Southeast’s leading provider of sustainable energy solutions, is seeking a full-time Building Performance Technician to join our Building Performance team.

This position will be based out of our Morrisville, NC office with the majority of work days beginning from the Building Performance Technician’s home address. The Building Performance Technician supports the day-to-day goals of the company through efficient fulfillment of contracted work via effective team coordination and streamlined communication of actionable information.

A Building Performance Technician is expected to assist and lead in the collection of field data for residential new and existing single family and multifamily housing. Included in the collection of field data are visual inspections and performance testing. Visual inspections include the inspection in new housing for HERS Ratings, ENERGY STAR compliance, and inspection in new housing for various Green Building certifications programs including: NAHB Green Building Certification Program, LEED for Homes, Water Sense, and Earth Craft. Performance Testing includes but is not limited to the testing of whole building leakage, HVAC duct system leakage, exhaust fan flows, room pressures, and HVAC flow testing.

Having the HERS Rater and/or BPI Building Analyst Professional designation is definitely preferred, but is not required. The ideal candidate will be flexible, eager to learn, and willing to do whatever it takes to make each project a success. This position will involve a lot of field work and may require overnight travel. Possessing basic computer skills is a vital part of this position and possessing basic energy modeling skills is a definite plus with organizational skills a must.

This position will predominantly serve the Central North Carolina region. We offer competitive salaries and an outstanding benefits package to full-time regular team members including health insurance and 401(k). To view the listing, please click here:

RESNET is looking to hire a full time salaried Quality Assurance Manager. The Quality Assurance Manager will conduct official RESNET Field, File and Process Review of all RESNET Providers. The position is responsible for the day-to-day management of Quality Assurance for RESNET.

While not required, knowledge of the residential energy efficiency industry is helpful, especially the HERS Index. Being a certified RESNET Quality Assurance Designee is also a plus. Working experience with understanding and following written standards and general quality assurance procedures is also helpful.

Salary for this position is between $40,000 and $65,000, depending on experience. Benefits include paid Group Health Insurance Plan including Vision and Dental, Long-Term Disability and limited AFLAC coverage. RESNET contributes to a matching  401K Plan.

The deadline for applying is March 15, 2013. Please see complete job listing here. Persons interested in applying for this position should complete the online application at RESNET Quality Assurance Manager.

Any listing above does not constitute an endorsement by the Green Builder® Coalition. We do not have any professional or financial stake in the preceding information. Rather, we provide this solely for the benefit of those seeking employment.


Train of ThoughtTrain of Thought

A Re-run, or a Premiere?

Energy efficiency advocates are practically giddy after President Obama used 7 paragraphs of the 2013 State of the Union address to talk about energy. (Click here for the full transcript.) I have to admit; it was surprising and satisfying to see such attention paid to a critical topic, and one that President Obama touted in his 2008 campaign… only to underwhelm his supporters during his first term.

But you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t fully share in the advocates’ renewed zeal. As a non-Beltway citizen, I feel I regard a lot of what’s said in Washington with the same acceptance of a lot of us out here: “Tell us when you’re really ready to do something.”

See, we’ve heard this kind of rhetoric many times before. For proof, just watch this clip from an episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart… from 2.5 years ago:

Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t limited to the U.S. Our northern neighbors have been following our “lead” on climate change promises. For more on Canada’s similar word tease, I refer you to Hannah McKinnon’s article.

So, is the going to be the same re-run we’ve been watching since the Nixon administration? Or will this serve as a new premiere? Will we finally move past talking about it, and actually do something, or will we get our hopes up once again, only to have Lucy pull the proverbial football away for the 8th time?

In my opinion, the effort needed to truly transform our country’s infrastructure is overwhelming at best and borderline impossible at worst. Because it’s not just energy use; water, material and land use must be considered equally important. Waste management (the practice, not the company) needs to be overhauled. Transportation, specifically cars, and both light and high speed rail, can be much improved… even beyond the new MPG requirements and current track system.

I guess the good news is that an effort of this magnitude is not entirely unprecedented in the United States. Not many people reading this are old enough to remember the passing of the New Deal of 1933 and the creation of the Public Works Administration, and I certainly wasn’t around then, either. But it helped create large-scale public works such as dams, bridges, hospitals and schools in an effort to create jobs and revive the country, which at that time, was deep into the Great Depression. Later, President Eisenhower would create the Interstate Highway System and NASA. All of these endeavors were Herculean, yet we put our minds (and boots) to it and we did it.

But why does all this need to be done sooner rather than later? The world’s population isn’t going down, so from a purely mathematical standpoint, the denominator in the natural resource calculation is making the attainment of essential resources that much more difficult. As time goes on, we’ll have to figure out how to live on less. This isn’t Chicken Little philosophy; it’s 2nd grade math. Unless someone figures out how to safely create water on a massive scale, or scrub the atmosphere of the various ills floating around up there, we’re going to have to face this in the future. It’s just a matter of when. (And this is such a simplistic look at the situation. It doesn’t address loss of species, or damage to habitats that could take decades, if ever, to repair.)

So yes, words are great. We’ve got to start somewhere, and that’s the easiest and best place to start. But the cliché, “easier said than done”, seems very applicable here.

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