Green Builder Coalition

The Torch – August 2013

The Torch Offical Publication of Green Builder Coalition


Green Builder® Coalition to Present at Regional Conference

2014 Better Buildings: Better Business Conference

The Green Builder® Coalition was recently invited to present two education sessions at the Wisconsin Better Buildings: Better Business Conference. The first session, “The SAVE Act, or How Energy Raters Play a Crucial Role in Updating Our Housing Stock”, will start at 8:30am on Friday, March 7, 2014. The second presentation, “Building a Fit: Opportunities for Raters Beyond Energy Audits”, will follow (after a short break) and start at 10:15am. Each session has been given 75 minutes on the schedule and will include audience Q&A. The conference takes place March 5–7, 2014 in the Wisconsin Dells.

We have also submitted these presentations for consideration at the 2014 RESNET and 2014 ACI National conferences. If our proposals are accepted, we’ll be sure to let you know in a future edition of The Torch. And if you have a group that would like to host either or both presentations, please contact us for details.


Green Builder® Coalition Supports The SAVE Act

Legislation was re-introduced in the Senate in late July that would value energy savings in the mortgage lending process. The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013 (S. 1392), also known as the Shaheen-Portman bill, is the main legislative vehicle and the SAVE Act was filed as amendment #1844. It mirrors The SAVE Act, S.1106, which was introduced by Sens. Bennet & Isakson as a stand-alone bill in June.  The amendment allows federal mortgage loan agencies to consider a home’s energy efficiency and expected monthly energy bills when determining the homebuyer’s ability to pay monthly mortgage payments.

We encourage everyone to let their respective Congressional members know how important energy efficiency is to you and your community. During this August & early September recess, you can schedule a visit, make a call or send an e-mail to let your voice be heard. If you need any guidance, please feel free to contact us.

The Green Builder® Coalition has been a long-standing supporter of this legislation, and is part of The SAVE Act Coalition, a large and diverse set of organizations including housing groups such as the Leading Builders of America and the Appraisal Institute; industry groups such as the U.S. Green Building Council and the Consumer Federation of America; and public interest groups such as the Alliance to Save Energy and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Upcoming Industry Events

Students2013 ACEEE National Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource

This biennial event is widely recognized as the premiere event for examining energy efficiency as a strategic and critical utility system resource. This conference draws together leading experts from a broad spectrum of energy industry stakeholders – including utilities, program administrators, regulatory commissions, state government, consultants, manufacturers, environmental organizations, consumer groups and research institutes. It takes place September 22 – 24, 2013 at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville, TN. For more information, please click here.

Excellence in Building Conference

The Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) proudly presents the 31st Excellence in Building Conference in Phoenix, AZ. From September 24 – 26th, 2013 there will be many resources, educational seminars, expert presenters and exhibitors to help you tap into the most up-to-date building science and home performance best practices and profit-building possibilities. For more information, please click here.

2013 ICC Annual Conference, Group B Public Comment Hearing and Expo

Over the course of 2 weeks (Sept. 29 – Oct. 10) in Atlantic City, NJ, attendees will be able to visit with vendors/exhibitors, receive the latest in codes education and participate in the public comment hearings for Group B, which totals 10 different codes. For complete information, please click here.

Solar Power International 2013

The solar energy industry is in high gear from October 21 – 24 at the McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. Participants can plug into the technologies, personal connections and professional insights that give rise to new business and learning opportunities. Widely regarded as the can’t-miss industry event of the year, SPI draws nearly 20,000 professionals in solar energy and related fields, from 100+ countries. For more information, please click here.

11th Annual Green Roof and Wall Conference

This year’s theme is “Securing Urban Resiliency with Living Architecture: Food – Water – Energy”. This event, scheduled for October 23 – 25, 2013 in San Francisco, CA, is produced by Cities Alive. For more information, please click here.

2013 Built Green Conference

The primary focus of this annual event is to educate the local and regional building industry on quality green-building practices, products and projects and to inspire groups to build sustainable communities. Produced by the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, it is held at The Brightwater Environmental and Education Center in Woodinville, WA on November 6, 2013. For more information, please click here.

FLASH Conference

The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) hosts an annual gathering of the mitigation movement’s thought leaders, policy makers and subject matter experts. It will take place at the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel in Lake Buena Vista, FL from November 20 – 22. For more information, please click here.

Greenbuild International Conference & Expo

Greenbuild is the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. It brings together industry leaders, experts and frontline professionals dedicated to sustainable building in their everyday work. This year’s conference will be held in Philadelphia, PA during November 20 – 22. For more information, please click here.

Impact SeriesSteve Nygren

The next edition of the Impact Series will take place on Thursday, September 5th. The guest will be Steve Nygren, developer of Serenbe, a 1,000 acre sustainable community outside of Atlanta. Serenbe demonstrates that development for the growing population can be accommodated in the relationship with nature by embracing land conservation, energy efficiency, renewables, biophilic design, onsite food production and other key sustainability concepts. The webinar starts at 1pm CT. To register for free, please click here.

For past webinars, you can visit the archives at:

As I Am…

Ralph Nyquist

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 Ralph Nyquist, energy rater.

(Ralph’s responses were not available at press time. As soon as we receive them, we’ll add them below.)

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

Ralph Nyquist:

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


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


TT: Who inspires you the most?


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


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


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


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. All but four of these positions are full-time 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 30 jobs in the following cities:

Austin, TX (15)

Chicago, IL (1)

Tulsa, OK (1)

Little Rock, AR (1)

Okemos, MI (1)

East Lansing, MI (4)

Indianapolis, IN (1)

El Paso, TX (1)

Saginaw, MI (1)

Half Moon Bay, CA (2)

Oklahoma City, OK (2)

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 Institute for Market Transformation is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization promoting energy efficiency, green building, and environmental protection in the United States and abroad. The prevailing focus of IMT’s work is energy efficiency in buildings. Our activities include technical and market research, policy and program development, and promotion of best practices and knowledge exchange.  All our work involves many collaborators and targets a broad range of stakeholders in both the public and private sectors.

They are looking for a new part-time Development Director to join our team of experts and dedicated professionals promoting energy efficiency, green building, and environmental protection in the United States and abroad. The Development Director will design and implement a multifaceted development program that robustly supports our mission to promote energy efficiency in buildings. The Development Director’s primary responsibilities include: crafting the organization’s development agenda and materials; forging and strengthening relationships with the foundation community; researching and writing grant proposals and reports; building an effective major donor campaign; and expanding IMT’s donor base to increase our visibility, impact, and financial resources.

The successful candidate will be an experienced development professional with 5-7 years of fundraising experience in a nonprofit organization and a demonstrated record of success growing revenues from both foundations and individual donors. Exceptional writing and oral communication skills are essential, as is the ability to manage and meet multiple deadlines simultaneously. The ideal candidate will have a strong knowledge of environmental and/or energy efficiency issues and their associated funding communities. Experience with fundraising in an international context is also preferred.

The salary is commensurate with qualifications. To apply, please email a resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to Please write “Development Director” in the subject line. IMT is an equal opportunity employer.

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) currently has 59 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 1 of the posted positions is based in College Park, MD. If you have any interest in these highly scientific roles, please visit their career site by clicking here.

The Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA; is a collaborative network advancing energy efficiency in the Midwest to support sustainable economic development and environmental preservation. They have 3 job openings:

#1: Executive Director: The Executive Director will serve to implement the strategic goals and objectives of the organization; with the Board Chair, enable the Board to fulfill its governance function; and to give direction and leadership toward the achievement of the organization’s philosophy, mission, strategy, and its annual goals and objectives.

Candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree (Master’s preferred) with at least 15 years’ management experience in a non-profit setting. The successful candidate should have broad knowledge of energy efficiency policies, programs and technologies, excellent communications, organization and networking skills, and ability to manage a large and growing organization. To view the full listing, please click here.

The compensation for this position will be commensurate with experience. MEEA is an equal opportunity employer. MEEA’s office is in Chicago, in a LEED Gold space in the Civic Opera Building in the Loop.

Submit cover letter, resume and salary requirements to with the subject line: Attn: Executive Director Search. Applicants must submit all three items by close of business on Friday, September 27th.

#2: Membership Manager: The Membership Manager works under the direction of the Deputy Director to oversee MEEA’s membership program. In addition to membership responsibilities, the Manager will have a role in MEEAs internal and external marketing and brand development and assist with MEEA events, including the Midwest Energy Solutions Conference and Annual Meeting of the Membership.

Candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree with at least at least 4-6 years’ experience in a non-profit setting or for a for-profit business in a membership, sales or customer service. To view the full listing, please click here.

The compensation for this position will be commensurate with experience. MEEA is an equal opportunity employer. MEEA’s office is in Chicago, in a LEED Gold space in the Civic Opera Building in the Loop.

Submit cover letter, resume and salary requirements to with the subject line: Attn: Membership Manager Search. Applicants must submit all three items by close of business on Friday, August 30th. Candidates considered for interviews will be asked to provide writing samples and references.

#3: Commercial Program Manager: The Commercial Program Manager will manage MEEA’s local, state and regional commercial building energy efficiency initiatives while expanding program offerings, increasing program success and serving under the direction of the Director of Programs.  The focus of the Program Manager’s work will be management and expansion of Building Operator Certification® (BOC) and Practical Energy Management® (PEM), as well as other programs as assigned.

MEEA is seeking candidates with a B.A. or B.S. in the fields of environmental science, natural resource management, engineering or related field/experience with at least 4-6 years’ experience in direct program development/management. CEM, PE, LEED AP or related certification is considered a plus. To view the full listing, please click here.

The compensation for this position will be commensurate with experience. MEEA is an equal opportunity employer. MEEA’s office is in Chicago, in a LEED Gold space in the Civic Opera Building in the Loop.

Submit cover letter, resume and salary requirements to with the subject line: 2013 Commercial Program Manager. Applicants must submit all three items by close of business on Monday, July 1st. Search Candidates considered for interviews will be asked to provide writing samples and three references.

The Alliance to Save Energy is seeking a Senior Communications Associate to help its Communications Team promote energy efficiency to the public and policymakers. The Senior Communications Associate’s time will be divided between strengthening media relations and writing original content for our print and online publications. Under the direction of the VP of Communications, the Associate will be responsible for assisting with media outreach and responding to media inquiries. The Associate also will write and edit news articles, resources and marketing material for our websites. The Associate also will undertake a variety of additional communications tasks, including those associated with consumer education campaigns and Alliance events. The Associate must be able to juggle multiple tasks requiring diverse skills under tight deadlines.

This position has a salary range of Salary $45,000 – $55,000, depending on skills and experience. Writing test required. To see the complete job listing, please click here.

The Alliance is an equal opportunity employer. To apply, please send a cover letter detailing experience and qualifications, resume and writing samples to

Microgrid Solar is seeking a motivated and self-directing individual to join the Microgrid Operations Team as a Project Manager (PM). The PM is a full-time position that will support both our solar installation business, as well as to a lesser degree, our energy efficiency consulting practice.

The primary responsibility is in solar energy system installation in commercial buildings (office, warehouse, schools, manufacturing, mixed-use). The PM will be responsible for the range of office and field tasks associated with installation and construction for projects that typically run for 3-5 months from start to completion. These include interacting with sales staff, budget and subcontractor management, scheduling of labor and equipment, site observation, and quality assurance. Projects typically range from $80,000 to $500,000, with several projects each year in the range up to $5M.

The PM will work closely with both sales and engineering design staff, and be expected to manage 15-25 projects at the same time, in different stages of completion (ranging from preliminary planning to installation to close out). The projects are fast paced and exciting, with responsibility for interacting with our wide range of clients and different project types.

The candidate must have a degree or similar training in Engineering, Construction Management, Building Sciences, or related field. The Candidate is responsible for, and/or furnishing, his/her own:

  • Cell phone (Microgrid provides a monthly reimbursement allowance)
  • Laptop computer (Windows PC)
  • Transportation; if an owned automobile, must have a minimum insurance of $100,000 in liability coverage in addition to statutory requirements
Microgrid has an outstanding benefits package. Upon completing the probationary period, the qualified candidate can expect enrollment in Microgrid’s health insurance, 401(k), profit sharing, and other benefits, as appropriate. Salary will be negotiated based on qualifications. Their office is in Clayton, MO.
If you feel you’d be a qualified for this position then please apply through

Southern Energy Management (SEM), the Southeast’s leading provider of sustainable energy solutions, is seeking a full-time Building Performance Technician and a temporary Solar PV Technician to join their Building Performance team.

The full-time Building Performance Technician will be based out of Charlotte with the majority of the Technician’s 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. To view the full listing, please click here.

The Solar PV Technician position is project-based and temporary. The Solar PV Technician will work with SEM’s fast-growing Solar Operations team. This job does not include any benefits. To view the listing, please click here.

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

The Simple Things

It doesn’t take too much effort to search online for easy ways to green your existence. There are plenty of lists out there. Some are helpful, while others are feeble attempts to position the writer as some sort of sustainability expert.

Instead of creating another list, I’d like to examine the underlying purpose and potential of such lists. Saying we’re a society that values convenience is nothing earth-shattering, nor is it anything new. Pizza delivery first started to appear in the U.S. in the 1950s, and since then we can get most meals (and even our groceries) delivered right to our door. The first drive-thru window could be found at a bank in 1930. Many now pay their bills without ever having to walk to the mailbox.

When contemplating the topic of convenience, I reflected on a presentation I was fortunate to attend about 15 years ago. Dan Jorndt, then-CEO of Walgreens, spoke to a small group of collegiate business professionals about his company’s growth philosophy. It was amazing to hear the depth of demographic research they considered before deciding to build a new store. Once their parameters were met, they turned their focus to convenient locations. Properties located on the corner of well-trafficked intersections were the only acceptable locations. They wanted to offer their customers the utmost convenience when traveling to/from Walgreens stores.

However, this philosophy also carried over to their property management practices. At that time, their policy was to lease the building and the land. The length of the leases varied, but it afforded Walgreens the ability to easily divest a store or stores should anything, such as the demographics, traffic patterns or population, drastically change.

So why do I spend 3 paragraphs talking about convenience? Because I feel our industry is reaching the point where we need to make a switch in primary focus. The switch I’m referring to is one from industry to consumer. By the end of this year, I think we’ll have enough “infrastructure” available to properly train any builder or contractor on green building practices and specific products. A range of green building programs, either existing or coming soon, offer the gamut of certification (and differentiation) opportunities. Energy codes are currently at the point where, if adopted and enforced, the proverbial floor is solid. Green building codes are still in their infancy, but by the end of the decade, we should have one or two options for jurisdictions to choose from.

Now is the time to start consumer outreach, as some parts of the country start to see an uptick in housing starts. I believe there is positive residential momentum, and the slow increases in mortgage rates would lead me to believe I’m not the only one on this train of thought. But consumer outreach can be daunting to some. (We’ll disregard the expense of consumer advertising for now.) What kind of messaging will be effective to consumers?

I see convenience as the first theme. I think convenience is a characteristic that spans the major demographics, namely; gender, age and financial. We need to effectively demonstrate to the masses there are easy, simple choices that can conserve resources while providing minimal (if any) disruption to their day-to-day lives. Once those practices become second nature while positively affecting their wallet, momentum will be created and consumers will look to do more.

Once consumers start to look for bigger impacts/returns, then the level of investment (time, effort and money) rises. That’s when I see the conversation moving to topics like ROI, cash flow and maybe even… gasp… occupant health or environmental impact! It might be a roundabout way of getting people to embrace sustainability, but seeing as how we aren’t yet experiencing widespread sustainability practices at the residential level, I consider convenience as the path of least resistance.

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