Green Builder Coalition

The Torch – October 2014

The Torch Offical Publication of Green Builder Coalition


ecoSelect To Be Added To The GBA

ecoSelect LogoThe Green Builder® Coalition and ecoSelect recently reached an agreement to add their national green building program to The Green Building Administrator. This new, low cost, entry-level voluntary program is ideal for homebuilders looking to take their business in a green direction. Its straightforward standards are designed to measurably improve energy and water efficiency with clear consumer marketing. In addition, a web based management system provides answers when you need them, while third-party verification helps to better assure quality and consumer confidence. For those unfamiliar with it, we encourage you to read our in-depth feature on ecoSelect in Green Builder® Magazine.

Users of The GBA will soon be able to compare ecoSelect to the 3 established national green building programs (Energy Star v3, LEED for Homes and NGBS). We think people will notice a distinct difference between ecoSelect and the other programs.

Stay tuned for the next edition of The Torch, when we should have another announcement regarding a major addition to The GBA.

The Coalition’s IgCC Public Comment Does Not Pass

In July, IgCC logoThe Green Builder® Coalition filed a public comment on its own proposal (GG-17) to introduce an alternative low-rise residential compliance path into the IgCC. Our one-page list of requirements, developed by a group that includes energy efficiency and water efficiency experts, a USGBC rep, and two current & one former code official, would give the building community a non-proprietary, non-points-based checklist, ensuring basic sustainable construction practices. The public comment revised and further simplified the original proposal. Unfortunately, only 25% of the voters present at the October public comment hearings in Ft. Lauderdale were in favor of reversing the Memphis committee’s decision (66% was needed), so we did not get the chance to discuss and debate our proposal.

We are not deterred by this recent vote. In fact, discussions have already begun on a broad campaign to bring low-rise residential into the IgCC in the 2017 code development hearing. Those discussions are preliminary, as the industry waits for the dust to settle on the recent ICC/ASHRAE/USGBC merger (see The Beautiful Mess, The Torch, August 2014).

In the meantime, if you know of any jurisdictions looking for guidance on establishing a green low-rise residential code, please have them contact The Coalition to obtain a copy of our one-page list. Jurisdictions have the freedom to modify any I-code as they see fit, and that includes adding a provision(s) that might not appear in the I-codes.

Upcoming Industry Events


Industry conferences and trade shows will be in full gear as the building season slows down for winter in many parts of the country. Below are a few opportunities for you to learn and network.




North Carolina Building Performance Association Annual Meeting & ConferenceNCBPA logo

The NCBPA will be holding their inaugural Meeting & Conference November 4-7 in Asheville, NC. There will be workshops, an awards dinner, a networking event and a day of volunteer service. Click here for details.




Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance Annual Conference

SEEA logoSEEA’s 3rd annual conference, hosted in partnership with the Association of Energy Service Professionals (AESP), southeast chapter, will bring together 200+ SEEA Members plus energy efficiency experts and stakeholders for a three-day series of keynote presentations, panel discussions and break-out groups. Held at the Georgia Tech Research Institute on November 5-7, 2014, please click here for details.

Clean Air Through Energy Efficiency Conference (CATEE)

2014 CATEE ConferenceThe Clean Air Through Energy Efficiency (CATEE) Conference is a premiere educational conference and business exhibition connecting public and private decision makers and thought leaders. Its purpose is to help communities improve decisions that determine the energy and water intensity of the built environment while reducing related emissions. The CATEE Conference will be held November 18-20, 2014 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel by the Galleria in Dallas, TX. For more information, please click here.

2014 FLASH (Federal Alliance for Safe Homes) Annual Conference

2014 FLASH ConferenceThis three-day conference is an exclusive gathering of the thought leaders, policy makers and subject matter experts from the Disaster Safety and Mitigation Movement. Make your plans to travel to the Wyndham Grand Resort Bonnet Creek in Orlando, FL from November 19-21, 2014. For more information, please click here.




Design & Construction Week

Design & Construction WeekFor the 2nd consecutive year, the International Builders Show, the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show and the International Window Coverings Expo are co-locating at the Las Vegas Convention Center from January 20-22, 2015. The show floor will be open from 9am – 5pm daily. For more information, please click here.

Impact Series

John C. WarnerThe next edition of the Impact Series will take place on Wednesday, November 12th. The guest will be John C. Warner, President and Chief Technology Officer of the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry. Join us for another informative and interactive webinar as we learn about the history and background of Green Chemistry and discuss the opportunities for the next generation of materials designers to create a safer and more sustainable future. 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…

Steve Byers

Steve ByersEach 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 Byers, entrepreneur.

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

Steve Byers: After serving as a pilot in the USAF during the first Gulf War, I became deeply interested in energy and its connection to the environment and national security. Over time, I recognized the ever deeper meaning of working in sustainability as it relates to economic and social issues. Since then, I’ve worked in a variety of roles, but always related to sustainability and energy in particular.

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

SB: My first green project was probably a fuel-cell demonstration project for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta while I was working for Southface Energy Institute. The biggest obstacle to overcome was that I had no idea what I was doing. I was very eager, very passionate and now very thankful that I managed to not either blow something up or burn something down.

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

SB: I believe that while it is a much overused term, “the Internet of Things” has the potential to change things in ways that are impactful to every single stakeholder in the building process, from the builder to the end user.

TT: Who inspires you the most?

SB: In a grand perspective, I’m inspired by the steady stream of incredible stories about young, disadvantaged kids from all over the world who pull off incredible feats of innovation and technological prowess. Either they’ve haven’t been told “You can’t” or “That’s impossible” or they choose not to believe it!

From an everyday perspective, my wife, Wynne Maggi, inspires me or at least is my muse in the best possible way and inspires me to chase my dreams.

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

SB: I honestly wouldn’t change what I do right now. I am empowered to lead an incredible group of people both at EnergyLogic and in our work with EPX, our industry collaborative. If you really forced me to choose, I might well choose to be an architect.

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

SB: Music. Sadly, I can’t play an instrument (though I’ll correct that someday), but I’m a voracious music collector and love live shows. Reading is a close second.

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

SB: As a business owner and entrepreneur, I’m often asked for advice and guidance. The one thing that I’ve found to be consistently true is that if you aren’t comfortable with ambiguity, don’t start your own gig. It’s a formula for heartache.

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 is currently hiring energy-efficiency engineers, consultants, analysts and coordinators. 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, and some positions won’t need such credentials. To view their 171 job listings throughout the United States and Canada, please click here.

CLEAResult is an energy-optimization firm that designs, 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 Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) currently has 71 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, although 1 job is located in Washington, DC and another in College Park, MD. If you have any interest in these highly scientific roles, please visit their career site by clicking here.

Southern Energy Management (SEM), the Southeast’s leading provider of sustainable energy solutions, is looking to fill 3 full-time positions.

#1: Director of First Impressions: This opening is for a full-time administrative support professional to help manage a busy Morrisville office. The right candidate will have high energy, a natural inclination toward service, a strong team and work ethic, as well as a knack for quickly understanding the multiple roles team members fill. SEM is looking for a self-starter who enjoys being organized, yet is equally comfortable with multi-tasking and handling shifting responsibilities/priorities. This is a dually focused role with equal importance placed on the external representation and internal support.

To view the complete job listing and to apply, please click here.

#2: Multi-Family Building Performance Technician: This full-time position will be based out of our Morrisville 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. This is an on-site position and will require travel throughout SEM’s service area including, but not exclusive to NC, SC, VA, TN and GA.

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: NGBS, LEED for Homes, Water Sense, Green Globes 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 air flow testing. Having the HERS Rater and/or BPI Building Analyst Professional designation is preferred.

To view the complete job listing and to apply, please click here.

#3: Solar PV Technician: SEM is seeking Solar Technician to work with our fast-growing Solar Operations team.

The Technician is responsible for the installation of photovoltaic systems. Roofing experience is required.

To view the complete job listing and to apply, please click here.

The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) is an alliance of more than 100 Northwest utilities and energy efficiency organizations working on behalf of more than 12 million energy consumers. They are looking to fill the following job opening:

Senior Economist: The Senior Economist is responsible for leading the development, documentation, management and implementation of policies related to the modeling, forecasting and reporting of energy savings and cost effectiveness metrics. The successful candidate will advance the science of emerging technology and energy efficiency forecasting and modeling, and proactively generate new value metrics for reporting purposes to NEEA’s stakeholders. The incumbent will provide market planning policy and expertise with funders and the utility regulatory community.

Based in Portland, OR, this position has no direct supervisory responsibilities over NEEA staff but may be responsible for supervising and managing contractors. To view the complete job listing, please click here.

NEEA is an equal opportunity employer. They offer pre-tax transportation benefits, professional development funds, a generous healthcare package, and retirement savings with employer matching. They also offer a flexible 9/80 schedule to help their employees achieve a better work-life balance.

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. Their activities include technical and market research, policy and program development, and promotion of best practices and knowledge exchange.  All their work involves many collaborators and targets a broad range of stakeholders in both the public and private sectors. They currently have 3 positions open.

#1: Corporate Relations Manager: IMT is looking for a dynamic, outgoing, results-oriented individual to lead their new Corporate Relations program. You will work closely with the growing number of corporations interested in IMT’s work and with IMT program staff to support their work at the forefront of market-based solutions to today’s climate and energy challenges. This individual serves as the point of contact for corporate partners, leading IMT’s efforts in corporate prospecting, sponsorship, membership, and related support. You will also support the IMT Executive Director in corporate outreach and related meetings and travel. The position reports directly to the Chief Operating Officer.

Salary is commensurate with experience. To apply, please email resume, cover letter, writing sample and salary requirements to Please write “Corporate Relations Manager” in the subject line.

To view the full job listing, please click here.

#2: Director of Development:
IMT seeks a seasoned, results-oriented Development Director to build upon their stable, growing funding base and lead IMT’s development program through to the next level. This position is vital to maintaining IMT at the forefront of market-based solutions to today’s climate and energy challenges. The Development Director will lead the design and implementation of an integrated development strategy, working with senior IMT staff, the board, and their many partners. They also will steward relationships and manage development activities for IMT’s base of current foundation supporters, while cultivating future opportunities for government, corporate, and new foundation donors. The position reports directly to the Chief Operating Officer.

This is a Director-level position. Salary is commensurate with experience. To apply, please email resume, cover letter, writing sample and salary requirements to Please write “Development Director” in the subject line.

To view the full job listing, please click here.

#3: Senior Program Associate: The successful candidate will lead IMT’s work in the District of Columbia on green building policy and implementation of market transformation programs for energy efficiency in buildings.

The role calls for a balance of project management and relationship skills, as the Sr. Program Associate will interface with key influencers and decision-makers in DC. This position will work closely with: the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU), city government (e.g. the District Department of the Environment and DC City Council), the real estate sector, and other community partners (e.g. Downtown BID). Successful candidates will have a track record that demonstrates their ability to work independently, to contribute effectively as a member of a team, and to collaborate across organizations. In addition, this role requires flexibility and strong organizational skills, as the individual will concurrently work on a range of projects and initiatives.

This position will report to the IMT Program Director for Commercial Real Estate Engagement.

Salary is commensurate with experience. To apply, please email resume, cover letter, writing sample, and salary requirements to Please write “Senior Program Associate: DC & Utility Issues” in the subject line.

To view the full job listing, please click here.

The Alliance to Save Energy is a non-profit coalition of business, government, environmental and consumer leaders that promotes energy efficiency worldwide to achieve a healthier economy, a cleaner environment and greater energy security. They currently have two job openings:

#1: Senior Research Associate: The Alliance’s Policy and Research Team is seeking a Senior Research Associate.

The position will provide analysis of energy efficiency policies, programs and technologies and assist in the development of Alliance positions on federal and state legislative initiatives and rulemakings. The Senior Research Associate will prepare white papers, reports, fact sheets and similar products, contribute regularly to the Alliance website and media content (blog posts, articles and other media pieces), and represent the Alliance in coalitions, external work groups, collaboratives and similar efforts.

Experience and skill with quantitative, economic, and/or technical analysis is particularly desired. Knowledge of energy efficiency policies (e.g., utility regulation and programs, building codes and appliance standards, efficiency financing, Clean Air Act interactions), familiarity with energy efficiency technologies and techniques, and an understanding of the broader energy landscape are required. This position will report to the Director of Research & Regulatory Affairs and work closely with other members of the Policy & Research team as well as other Alliance staff.

Salary range is $45,000 – $55,000, based on experience. The Alliance offers a generous benefits package and a comfortable work environment in downtown Washington, DC convenient to the Metro. Consideration of candidates will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. The Alliance is an equal opportunity employer.

To view the full job listing, please click here. To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, and writing sample AS ONE DOCUMENT. Please follow this link.

#2: Events & Marketing Associate: The Alliance to Save Energy is seeking an Events & Marketing Associate to support its Communications & Events team. The Events & Marketing Associate will assist with the planning and marketing of Alliance events, including Energy 2030 On the Road briefings, Policy Perspectives Breakfasts, the EE Global Forum and Evening with the Stars of Energy Efficiency Awards Dinner. The position will report directly to the Vice President of Communications and Events, and will work closely with members of the Communications & Events, Stakeholder Engagement and Policy teams.

To view the full listing, please click here. To upload your resume and cover letter as ONE DOCUMENT to apply for this position, please use this link.

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is a leading national nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C. They currently have two open positions:

#1: Behavior and Human Dimensions Program Director: ACEEE is looking for a dynamic, self-motivated individual with experience and skills in conducting applied research and managing projects on the social, cultural, and behavioral aspects of energy use and energy efficiency practices and investments. The Behavior and Human Dimensions program is a cross-cutting program and the director works closely with other ACEEE research programs and a network of national experts.

The new director will hold a senior leadership position at ACEEE and will report to the executive director. The director will have a strong degree of discretion in shaping the work of the program. A strong, practical background in behavioral science and research is a prerequisite. While energy efficiency program experience is not a prerequisite, understanding these programs is key.The position is full time and will be based in ACEEE’s office in downtown Washington, D.C. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. ACEEE provides a generous benefits package. To view the full job listing, please click here.

To apply, please send cover letter, resume and brief writing sample to and use “Behavior Program Director” in the subject line. They do not accept phone calls.

#2: Senior Copy Editor and Substantive Editor, Freelance: ACEEE is looking for a masterful, thorough, speedy editor to work freelance from home on lengthy quasi-technical research reports.

They’d like to find someone who knows the 16th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style backwards and forwards and who is expert in editing not only for grammar and style but also for clarity, brevity, simplicity, and readability. You must have at least a Bachelor’s degree (Ph.D. preferred) and at least 15 years of solid copyediting and substantive editing experience. You should be proficient with Word 2013. They’ll give you a steady stream of assignments if you meet their requirements.

Please send your resume and a cover note with the subject header “Editor” to They will evaluate applications on a rolling basis, so please submit early. They can’t take phone calls. Be sure to answer these two questions in the body of your email:

1. How would you edit the following sentence to make it direct and concise and to correct any errors? “The administration of the program is shared by a substantial number of agencies, however, the impact of this on the quality of the program is not significant.”

2. Are there any errors of grammar or style in this ad?*

*This is not the full job listing. To view the exact job listing, please click here.

ACEEE is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination with regard to race, sex, color, age, religion, creed, class, sexual orientation, national origin, and disability.

The Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) is a regional nonprofit organization founded in 1996. Our mission is to promote the efficient use of energy in homes, buildings and industry in the Northeast U.S.

NEEP seeks a DesignLights Consortium Director. This full-time position directs NEEP’s DesignLights Consortium® (DLC), a project serving the US and Canada with the mission to accelerate the market adoption of quality, high efficiency commercial lighting solutions. The Director manages a team of professional and contract staff hired to support DLC products and services, and reports to the Executive Director. As a member of the NEEP Senior Management Team, the Director helps NEEP to maintain a thriving, inclusive culture to achieve NEEP’s mission and keep NEEP a leader in energy efficiency.

To view the full job listing, please click here. To apply, please email a resume, along with a cover letter stating where you saw this posting and outlining your interest in NEEP’s mission, to Bob McTighe at: No phone calls please.

NEEP is committed to an organizational culture of inclusion, diversity and equity. We are committed to a policy of non-discrimination and equal opportunity for all employees and qualified applicants without regard to race, color, sex, age, national origin, and physical or mental disability. We apply this policy to assure non-discriminatory practices in recruiting, hiring, training, promotion, compensation, benefits and all other activities. It also supports our capacity to achieve our mission to accelerate energy efficiency with broad participation across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region.

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 Thought

A Broken Record

Reading Steve Byers’ answer to the question of his personal time pursuits made me smile, because my answer would be very similar. It also made me think of a theme I’ve heard in songs throughout the years: the harm we’ve done to our environment. Along those same lines, I don’t believe this kind of song exists: the environmental progress we’ve made.

Right at the top of the list is “Mercy Mercy Me” by Marvin Gaye. It was also redone, quite well I thought, by Robert Palmer. The whole song is a plea for the sanctity of our planet, and this line always stood out to me; “What about this over-crowded land? How much more abuse from man can she stand?” With the world’s population at 7 billion, and projected to go much higher by the end of this century, we may very well find out.

One of the most famous songs I can recall is “Big Yellow Taxi”. Originally recorded by Joni Mitchell, and redone by Amy Grant and later Counting Crows, the memorable line in the chorus goes, “They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot”. The first 3 verses are environmentally-focused, and you can read all the lyrics here.

When I was selecting CDs to take with me on my drive to/from a conference in Wisconsin, I wanted to spin some Bruce Hornsby. By chance, I grabbed “Scenes from the Southside”. The first track on that album is “Look Out Any Window”. This song got some airplay in the late ‘80s, and it’s a general call to simply pay attention to the world around you. It’s not specifically about environmental issues, though it does deliver an indictment to the building industry when Hornsby sings, “Look out for the fat cat builder man turning this into a wasteland”. He also calls attention to the oppression of low and middle class workers.

A bit more obscure, but World Party had a few subtle songs about the environment in their 1990 release, “Goodbye Jumbo”. The song that comes to my mind is “Is It Too Late?” The last verse, which is spoken behind the music, reads:

“In a dream I was crossing African plains
An elephant’s graveyard
A bone dry place
And I was wondering why there was no more rain
And in a pile of bones I saw your face”

Meanwhile, I don’t believe I’ve heard a song praising any environmental progress we’ve made. Perhaps I’ve overlooked a tune. Or, maybe it’s because, to date, that would be quite a stretch to pen such a song.

The point of this jaunt through musical history is to highlight that we’re still facing the same (or similar) environmental struggles as we were in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ’90s. When are we going to rid our planet of these concerns? To be clear, I think we are making progress. However, I don’t want my grandkids to someday be listening to a cover version of one of the above songs. Even worse, I don’t want them to ask me if I’ve ever heard the original version. It’s high time to fix the broken record.

Are there songs that I omitted? If so, visit our Facebook page and let me know.

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