Green Builder Coalition

The Torch – December 2013

The Torch Offical Publication of Green Builder Coalition


Green Builder® Coalition to Present at 2014 RESNET Conference

2014 RESNET ConferenceFor the 2nd time in 3 years, the Green Builder® Coalition will present an educational session at the annual RESNET Conference. Titled “The SAVE Act, or How Energy Raters Play A Crucial Role in Updating our Housing Stock”, it will feature Technical Director (and HERS rater) Laureen Blissard and Advocacy Director Bill Fay. Executive Director Mike Collignon will serve as moderator. The session will occur on Monday, February 24th from 1:30 – 3:00pm in the Athens room.

The Green Builder® Coalition will also have a booth (#312) on the exhibit floor. We encourage you to stop by and say Hi. We’re fortunate to be located next to 2 exhibitors that employ Coalition members: ecoSelect Certifications, LLC and EnergyLogic, Inc.

The RESNET Conference offers strategic options to the business challenges and provides a venue where you can obtain usable solutions in an evolving industry. The 2014 conference theme is “Power of Performance”. It will take place February 24-26 in Atlanta, GA at the Sheraton in downtown Atlanta. For more information, please click here.

Two Educational Sessions from Coalition Staff at Better Buildings: Better Business Conference

2014 Better Buildings: Better Business ConferenceThe week after RESNET, Green Builder® Coalition staff will travel to the Wisconsin Dells to present two educational sessions. Both will occur on Friday, March 7th, 2014. “The SAVE Act, or How Energy Raters Play A Crucial Role in Updating our Housing Stock” will have its encore performance from 8:30-9:45am CT. Afterward, Technical Director Laureen Blissard will present, “Building A Fit: Opportunities for Raters Beyond Energy Audits“, from 10:15-11:30am CT.

Powered by the Energy Center University; the Wisconsin Better Buildings: Better Business Conference gathers presenters, exhibitors and participants annually under one roof in Wisconsin Dells for a one-of-its-kind event dedicated to cold climate residential building practices. Participants learn from industry leaders through lectures and live demonstrations and connect with like-minded colleagues from various disciplines within the residential building community. The conference will take place March 5-7, 2014. For more information, please click here.


Three New Board Members Elected by Green Builder® Coalition

As the Coalition enters its fourth year of existence, the terms of the original Board members expired. (The Green Builder® Coalition has 3-year term limits for Board members.) To that end, we express our sincerest gratitude to Ingrid Mattsson, Scott Palmer and Tom Miller for their service to the organization. Also, Co-Founder and Board Chairman Ron Jones will now move to an Ex-officio position, continuing his involvement with the Board.

To fill the open seats, the Charter Members elected Craig Conner, Maria Kingery and Kim Shanahan to the Board. They will join new Board Chairman Steve Hale and Chad Ray. Upon receiving the election results, Kingery said she was “honored” and “excited to have the chance to work with everyone”. Conner and Shanahan also expressed their excitement.

A brief profile of each new Board member is below:

Craig Conner
Craig ConnerCraig founded Building Quality, a consulting firm that focuses on energy and green building codes. Prior to starting that company, he worked at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for 18 years and at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory for 10 years.

Craig currently serves on the development committee for the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) and NAHB’s Energy and Green Building Subcommittees. He is a past member of the IECC’s code and exam development committees. He is also a former chair of the Technical Committee and past Board of Directors member at the Energy and Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA).

Maria Kingery
Maria KingeryMaria co-founded Southern Energy Management in 2001 and currently serves as the company’s CEO. In 2012, she also co-founded ecoSelect Certifications, LLC.

Maria is a frequent speaker on energy and sustainable business topics, and is actively engaged with a number of organizations dedicated to bolstering the sustainable business community. She serves as Board Chair for the NC Sustainability Center, President of the NC League of Conservation Voters and is a board member and Past Chair of the NC Sustainable Energy Association. She has also contributed to a number of statewide public initiatives, including the State Energy Sector Partnership and the NC Community College System’s Code Green Leadership Team. In 2011, she was among a select group of energy sector business leaders invited to participate in the President’s Council for Jobs and Competitiveness.

Maria also remains actively engaged with her alma mater, NC State University, serving as an Advisory Board Member for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Kim Shanahan
Kim ShanahanKim is the Executive Officer of the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association, a position he has held since the end of 2008. Prior to that he was a residential builder of green, affordable housing subdivisions in Santa Fe, NM.

Kim helped the City of Santa Fe draft and adopt one of the country’s first comprehensive residential green construction codes, based on the 2008 National Green Building Standard. As an Executive Officer, he serves on the Executive Officers Council Board of Directors representing Region E, which encompasses most of the western United States. He also serves as the EOC Liaison to NAHB’s Construction Codes & Standards Committee.

The new Board will continue to look for ways to grow the Coalition’s impact and membership base.


The following Coalition members received recognition for their outstanding work in sustainability:

Bill Lazar
Bill Lazar - SHJP award ceremonyBill Lazar (pictured; center), Executive Director of the St. Johns Housing Partnership (SHJP), recently accepted the Excellence in Affordable Housing award on behalf of his organization. It was awarded by the Northeast Florida Regional Council during their annual Elected Officials and Regional Leadership luncheon on Friday, December 5, 2013. The honor was bestowed on SHJP because of their work promoting energy conservation and green building as important components for all affordable housing efforts.

SHJP, an innovative advocate of affordable housing, is committed to providing safe, energy-efficient and affordable housing for low-income residents of Northeast Florida. Developing partnerships between the public and private sectors, they rebuild neglected homes and neighborhoods, work to improve disadvantaged areas, and enhance community economic and social development. The SJHP provides emergency home repairs and rehab work to low-income homeowners through a combination of staff, subcontractors, self-help and community participation, with funding from state and local government funds, foundations and private contributions. They also offer financial counseling, budget-planning, foreclosure prevention and a rental program to further serve the community.

Mark Sapiro
Mark SapiroMark Sapiro, co-founder of Structure Home in Woodland Hills, CA, received two LEED Silver certifications for completed homes. The first certificate went to the VISION House Los Angeles, which was profiled in a previous newsletter. The other recognized property is located on South Medio in Brentwood, CA. It is a 5,351 sq. ft., artistic contemporary-style, 2-story home with a 1,200 sq. ft. basement.

Launched in 1996, Structure Home espouses the core values of integrity, honesty, respect, quality and responsibility, and carries them through every step of their process. The continual improvement of clear and effective communication is the foundation for everything that Structure stands for. Combined, these form a powerful platform to accomplish great homes and relationships in a cooperative and supportive way.

Upcoming Industry Events


International Builders’ Show/Kitchen & Bath Show

IBS and KBIS are combining shows for the first time. It is being billed as “the largest annual gathering of residential construction and design professionals”. The conference and exhibit will take place February 4 – 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, NV. Registration opens September 3rd. For more information, please click here.

2nd Annual SPEER Summit

2nd Annual SPEER SummitThe SPEER Summit aims to disrupt the usual format and be a far more inclusive and participatory working meeting. We plan the event to draw insights and ideas from participants, and use the conference to proactively bring people together to help plan and organize new initiatives, launch or support collaborations, and find new ways to accelerate energy efficiency in our region. The 2-day event begins February 11th at the Omni Southpark in Austin, TX. For more information, please click here.

2014 RESNET Conference

The RESNET Conference offers strategic options to the business challenges and provides a venue where you can obtain usable solutions in an evolving industry. The 2014 conference theme is “Power of Performance”. It will take place February 24-26 in Atlanta, GA at the Sheraton in downtown Atlanta. For more information, please click here.

Better Buildings: Better Business Conference

Powered by the Energy Center University; the Wisconsin Better Buildings: Better Business Conference gathers presenters, exhibitors and participants annually under one roof in Wisconsin Dells for a one-of-its-kind event dedicated to cold climate residential building practices. Participants learn from industry leaders through lectures and live demonstrations and connect with like-minded colleagues from various disciplines within the residential building community. The conference will take place March 5-7, 2014. For more information, please click here.

Impact Series

Alison TaylorThe most recent edition of the Impact Series occurred on Tuesday, January 21st. The guest was Alison Taylor, VP Sustainability-Americas, Siemens Corporation. She has represented Siemens’ position on environmental issues with Congress and the Executive Branch, and she has developed projects to focus on air quality, emissions, water quality, industrial pollution and climate change. Prior to joining Siemens, Taylor was Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and counsel to the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

She discussed innovative solutions that are currently being deployed by leading green cities, and how these solutions can assist in the development of short-term response and long-term policy at the state, national, and international levels.

For all past webinars, you can visit the archives at:


As I Am…

Maria Kingery

Maria KingeryEach 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 Maria Kingery, renewable energy expert and green building advocate.

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

Maria Kingery: I grew up relatively poor, so I learned early on to make the most of available resources. My great-grandmother, Miss Gracie, was my first inspiration – she raised 9 kids on the side of a mountain in VA, mostly by herself. It was called “No Business Mountain”, and she grew most of her own food and carried all her water from a spring until she was 96 years old.  She lived to be 102 and I’ve always attributed that to her “sustainable” lifestyle. She wouldn’t have called it that, of course, but some of my favorite childhood memories are of being at her house, surrounded by family, with everything we needed right there on her property.

But what really motivated me to dedicate my life’s work to sustainability was becoming a mother. I found out I was pregnant 5 days before 9/11, and like a lot of people, I felt a real sense of urgency to DO something to make the world a better place for the generations to come.

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

MK: It wasn’t the first, but one of our first big projects was working with Cherokee Investment Partners on their Mainstream Green Home. It was a green built home, with both PV and architectural solar thermal. We encountered hurdles at every turn, both with technology and with managing customer expectations. The primary way we overcame them was the same way we overcome hurdles today – by doing our best to communicate clearly and transparently, and by keeping the customer’s best interests in mind in everything we do.

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

MK: Truly integrated design is going to transform the way people think about their energy use. The electrification of vehicles is already having a tremendous effect on the way we think about fuel and where it comes from. That awareness will spill over to buildings more and more as battery storage and building performance technology continues to advance. I can envision a day when many people won’t have a “utility” bill as we think of it today. And I believe it’s coming faster than most people think.

TT: Who inspires you the most?

MK: Children in general inspire me, and my own child, Zach, in particular. I love the way kids see the world as it could be, and refuse to accept The Big No.

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

MK: This one! I’m right where I want to be for now. I’m much more interested in what’s next than what I might have done differently.

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

MK: I love to travel and experience new things – food, culture, scenery.  I love to become immersed in another place and imagine different possibilities for myself.

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

MK: Take what you do very seriously; yourself, not so much. Treat yourself and others with love and kindness.

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 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 15 jobs in the following cities:

Austin, TX (7)

New Orleans, LA (1)

Little Rock, AR (1)

Lansing, MI (1)

East Lansing, MI (2)

Fairfax, VA (1)

Lancaster, PA (1)

Half Moon Bay, CA (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 Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) currently has 117 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 there are 5 posted positions in Seattle, WA. 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 2 job openings:

#1: Program Training Manager: The Program Training Manager will manage MEEA’s local, state and regional building energy efficiency initiatives while expanding program offerings, increasing program success and serving under the direction of the Director of Programs. This position will supervise programming staff, provide guidance and expertise to MEEA team members, engage in outreach to a variety of program partners and key stakeholders and strategize to expand and improve upon current program offerings.

Candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree (Master’s preferred) with 4-6 years’ experience in program development/management and/or training. 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: Training Manager. Applicants must submit all three items or they will not be considered. Candidates considered for interviews will be asked to provide writing samples and three references.

#2: Policy Intern: MEEA seeks interns on an ongoing, as-needed basis to support a variety of energy efficiency policy and communication initiatives. Internships are unpaid but offer a meaningful opportunity to develop your skills and ideas in a collegial, small-office environment. Length of internship can vary. Hours are flexible but require a commitment of at least 10 hours per week.

They are currently considering interns for the winter of 2013 and spring 2014.

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, letting us know what area(s) of our policy or program work you are interested in, and resume to

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

The Marketing Director will be responsible for planning and executing marketing initiatives to support the profitable growth of our company’s energy efficiency and solar energy business units. This role is perfect for someone who has a diverse range of marketing experience and who is focused, resourceful, a natural collaborator, results driven, comfortable with fast-paced change and hungry to make a difference every day. The position includes strategic, management and tactical duties.

Qualifications include:

* Bachelor’s degree, preferably in business, marketing, advertising or related area of study
* 5+ years of hands-on experience across various marketing functions, including sales enablement, web, event marketing, PR, advertising, direct marketing, social media
* B2C and B2B experience developing marketing plans, leading tactical execution, and measuring and reporting results
* Proficient with Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign), WordPress and Salesforce.

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

The Bookkeeper position is responsible for providing a range of general clerical and accounting functions in support of the Accounting Team. Essential duties and responsibilities of the role include:
• Accounts Payable, including verification of purchase orders to invoices, processing bills for payment, preparing payments for signature, verification of account statements, analyzing discrepancies, and weekly reporting.
• Accounts Receivable, including preparing customer invoices, posting incoming payments, preparing and coordinating deposit activities, establishing and monitoring customer accounts for credit worthiness, and collection of past due balances.
• General support, including performing all necessary account, bank, and other reconciliations, track and audit petty cash, assist with employee expense reimbursements, and liaise with other departments/customers/vendors.
• Assume responsibility for effectively researching, tracking, and resolving accounting or documentation problems and discrepancies.
• Maintain files, including filing of general ledger journal vouchers, accounts payable documentation, and other miscellaneous filings.
• Serve as back up for providing front desk customer service.

Candidates must have a practical knowledge of accounting principles and functionality and be highly organized with exceptional attention to detail. An accounting degree or equivalent and three years’ experience is needed. Experience with ERP accounting systems is preferred, and construction accounting a plus. To view the full listing, please click here.

Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP; is a regional nonprofit organization founded in 1996. Their mission is to promote the efficient use of energy in homes, buildings and industry in the Northeast U.S. Their work results in regionally coordinated programs and policies that increase the use of energy efficient products, services and practices.  This helps achieve a cleaner environment and a more reliable and affordable energy system.

They are seeking a full-time High Performance Building Associate to work as an integral member of the organization’s team that seeks to reduce energy use in homes and buildings through public policy and best practices in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

The High Performance Building Associate is part of a team reporting to the Senior Program Manager, High Performance Buildings, and, ultimately, to the Director of Public Policy. This position will be primarily responsible for helping to create policies and programs to promote operational energy savings in new and retrofitted buildings throughout the region.

Candidates must have a B.A. or B.S. in environmental policy, science or urban planning. Conceptual understanding of high performance building standards and strong analytical and problem-solving skills are desired. Valid driver’s license is required, as the position will travel within the region approximately 20% of the time. To view the full listing, please click here.

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.

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.

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:

Competitive Intelligence and Data Services Manager: The Competitive Intelligence and Data Services Manager is a highly visible position overseeing all facets of market and product data management from establishing data definition and specifications, through sourcing and collection, and reporting. Proactive coordination with NEEA funders and staff and key regional stakeholders to understand needs and requirements, as well as outreach to other regional, state and/or federal organizations to influence and leverage access to data is critical for success.

A minimum of 7 years’ progressive business experience is required, including experience in an analytic/data analysis environment, direct collection, management and analysis of data and information, and facilitating data needs requirements for diverse stakeholders. They also seek candidates who possess a bachelor’s degree, preferably in Marketing, Market or Marketing Research, or Economics. An MBA or other advanced degree is preferred. To view the full 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.

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

Connect The Dots

Usually, in this section of this issue, I like to reflect on the Coalition’s activities over the past year, and project forward into the new year. While I’m certainly proud of what we’ve done and excited at what we have lined up for 2014, I feel there is something of larger significance that I need to call to your attention.

There are a number of decisions that were made in 2013 that I feel point the residential homebuilding industry in a clear direction towards sustainability. Better still, some of these decisions will reinforce the importance of sustainability to homebuyers and homeowners. I’ll break this down into three categories:


As we reported in our last issue, building officials voted in favor of adding an ERI compliance path to the 2015 IECC. This is significant on a number of levels, some of which we didn’t delve into until now. Given the flexibility of an ERI, I believe we’ll see many builders choose this option, when states start adopting the 2015 IECC in 2-4 years. It requires strong performance levels, so the average builder will have to step up in order to comply. Meanwhile, the above-code builders will retain their market advantage by continuing to market their outstanding ERI scores. Also, they will face little to no disruption to their day-to-day business, and could face the very real possibility of expansion.

The use of an ERI as a code compliance path is nothing new. New Mexico has been utilizing it since 2009. Other jurisdictions, including several around New York City, have started to adopt it as well.

Arkansas is looking at a very different approach. The state energy office has proposed a plan that would require a HERS rating and a home label. If this passes, the home label component could set a precedent for other states and finally bring real transparency to the homebuying process.

Market-Driven Incentives

The Green MLS continues to appear in many parts of the U.S. Some MLS’ are adding a field for a HERS score, regardless of their move to formal green status. This accomplishes two things. It brings green features to the attention of appraisers and realtors, which historically have been an audience slow to tout green characteristics. (There are exceptions: green appraisers and EcoBrokers.) It also calls green features to the attention of the homebuying public. While some may be aware of their benefits, for others it may spark questions. In a new home situation, this opens the door for the homebuilder (or their sales staff) to expand their marketing message.

One market tool that can bolster a local Green MLS is the Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum. Developed by The Appraisal Institute (AI), it “is the first residential green and energy efficient appraisal report addendum developed by appraisers” and “provides items of high performance house features for consideration by appraisers”.[1] AI released an updated version of this document in March 2013.

RESNET, with assistance from the Department of Energy, took it one step further and integrated the Green Addendum into accredited Home Energy Rating Software Programs. This will enable the software user (typically a HERS rater) to generate the Green Addendum and auto-populate it from the data collected in the home energy rating. This integration is a natural fit and a streamlining of two processes that only have room for growth. Look for this software add-on in early 2014.

We created a resource for the industry and interested homebuyers when we launched The Green Building Administrator. This web-based software allows the user to compare the 3 major national green building programs (Energy Star ver. 3, LEED for Homes and the National Green Building Standard). It separates the credits into common categories for easier navigation. This tool was designed to assist architects, designers, builders, consultants and involved homebuyers in their evaluation of the most appropriate voluntary program for their project. In 2014, we plan to add the 2009 and 2012 IECCs and CALGreen, so people can compare what they have to do with what they could do.

Looking at larger market forces, there are a number of states creating renewable energy portfolios. These call for a certain percentage of the power sourcing to come from renewable sources by a certain date. The percentage can be anywhere from 10% to as much as 33%. The dates vary as well, from 2018 to 2030 (or beyond). The larger point is that these REPs will help further the solar manufacturing market, which will in turn drive down equipment prices. We’re already seeing precipitous drops, and projections state we’ll continue to see them in the near-term. At some point, the decreases will slow, if not stop. But the price of PV-sourced power will soon fall below the price of fossil fuel-sourced power (if it hasn’t happened already), and solar consumers will continue to benefit.

Speaking of solar, there are still federal tax credits available for PV systems. Until the end of 2016, the system owner is eligible for a 30% tax credit. There may also be incentives, in the form of either rebates or tax credits, at the state-level. Visit for complete information in your state.

Financial Institutions

As any reader of our publications knows, we’ve been adamant that Congress needs to pass the SAVE Act. There is no logical reason why this hasn’t passed yet! Legislatively, it looks like they will drop the ball. The administration might act on its own, but not before the end of the year. We encourage you to keep in touch with your elected official regarding the importance of energy efficiency and the positive cash flow it can generate.

Fortunately, Genworth Mortgage Insurance is looking to reward homeowners with energy-efficient homes. In Canada, they already offer a 10% premium reduction and more flexibility in the debt-to-income calculations. This is similar to the short-lived energy efficient mortgages (EEMs) of the mid-‘90s and early 2000s. Hopefully, this practice will spread to the U.S. market. If it does, it may spurn their competitors to follow suit.

Additionally, reinsurance companies are starting to put their foot down when it comes to rebuilding in high-risk areas. They’ve studied the sea level and storm surge data thoroughly, and have concluded they’re not going to financially support structures periodically exposed to flooding. It’s just not a good business practice for them. Love them or hate them, insurance companies are a business, not a charity. They are looking to make a profit, and they’ve been burned too many times, by such events as Katrina, Irene and Sandy. As a result, the flood insurance program is the only vehicle of protection for some homeowners. There is inherent risk relying on that, since the flood pool can dry up pretty quickly (pun intended). As a result, some homeowners are accepting buyouts for their land and moving to a safer location.

There’s a multi-faceted convergence happening. For some, it may have taken too long, while for others it might be occurring too fast. Regardless of where you stand, it’s happening, with great momentum.

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