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BuildSmart Technical Advisory Committee

Three (3) Green Building Recommendations

April 13, 2010

Final 1
TABLE CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION ..........................................................................................................................4

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ..............................................................................................................7

RECOMMENDATION I – ENERGY..............................................................................................9

Summary, Scope, Intent, Tools .................................................................................................9


New Construction......................................................................................................................9
Mechanical Submittals ..............................................................................................................9
Performance Requirements ....................................................................................................10
In-House Expertise .................................................................................................................10
Additions .................................................................................................................................10
Remodels/Renovations ...........................................................................................................11

Energy Mitigation Program (EMP) ...........................................................................................11


Heated Drives .........................................................................................................................11
Prescriptive Requirements for Snowmelt Systems .................................................................12
Pools & Spas ..........................................................................................................................12
Prescriptive Requirements for all Pools and Spas: .................................................................12

Supporting Information and Basis for Recommendation .....................................................13


Why Mechanical Submittals:................................................................................................... 13
Why Home Performance Home Energy Rating System (HERS): ........................................... 13
Why a Sliding Scale Performance Requirements: .................................................................. 14
Why an Energy Mitigation Program (EMP): ............................................................................ 15
Why certified energy audits for remodels AND performance improvements for additions:..... 15

Fiscal Impacts ...........................................................................................................................16


Public: .....................................................................................................................................16
Private: ....................................................................................................................................16

RECOMMENDATION II – ENERGY PLUS ................................................................................19

Summary, Scope, Intent, Tools ...............................................................................................19

New Construction .....................................................................................................................19


BuildSmart Checklist...............................................................................................................19

Additions and Remodels..........................................................................................................19

Supporting Information and Bases for Recommendation ....................................................20


Why a BuildSmart Checklist:................................................................................................... 20

Final 2
Fiscal Impacts ...........................................................................................................................20
Public: .....................................................................................................................................20
Private: ....................................................................................................................................20

RECOMMENDATION III – NATIONAL GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATION .........................21

Summary, Scope, Goals, Tools ...............................................................................................21

New Construction .....................................................................................................................21

Additions and Remodels..........................................................................................................22

Supporting Information and Bases for Recommendation ....................................................22


Why a national recognized certified green building program: ................................................. 22

Fiscal Impact .............................................................................................................................22


Public: .....................................................................................................................................22
Private: ....................................................................................................................................23

GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS ............................................................................................24


Homeowner Education............................................................................................................24
Education and Outreach .........................................................................................................24
County Sponsor Sub-Contractor Energy Efficiency Workshops .............................................24
County Building Staff Energy Expertise ..................................................................................24

APPENDIX I................................................................................................................................25

TOOLS........................................................................................................................................25
Home Energy Rating System (HERS) .................................................................................... 25
CERTIFIED ENERGY AUDITS............................................................................................... 25
SLIDING PERFORMANCE SCALE........................................................................................ 26
ENERGY MITGATION PROGRAM ........................................................................................ 26
BUILDSMART CHECKLIST.................................................................................................... 26
HOME PERFORMANCE WITH ENERGY STAR ................................................................... 26
LEED....................................................................................................................................... 27
NAHB ...................................................................................................................................... 27
INTERGRATED DESIGN ....................................................................................................... 27

APPENDIX II...............................................................................................................................28

CREATION OF THE COMMITTEE ............................................................................................28


RESEARCH ............................................................................................................................28
EDUCATION AND OUTREACH EFFORTS ...........................................................................29
SETTING PRIORITIES AND FORMULATING THE RECOMMENDATION ...........................29

EXHBITS ....................................................................................................................................30

Final 3
INTRODUCTION

Buildings are responsible for approximately half of U.S. energy consumption and green house
gas (GHG) emissions annually and are growing faster than any other sector1. Forty-nine percent
of total annual U.S. GHG emissions and 72 percent of U.S. electricity consumption happen in
buildings2. Residential and commercial structures account for one-third of all natural gas
consumption and the majority of electricity use in the U.S3. This is a direct result of the built
environment’s heating, cooling, lighting, hot water and appliance demands4.

Energy Security and Global Demand: Energy use has grown steadily over the past century as
population and economic activity has grown. The U.S. Department of Energy projects U.S.
energy demand to grown by 11% by 2030, based on extrapolation of current trends5. While the
world is not expected to run out of oil, coal, or natural gas anytime soon, the unprecedented
demand and gradual depletion of the most accessible and least costly fossil-fuel reserves will
significantly affect both production costs and basic economics of supply and demand. There is
national acknowledgement that greater energy efficiency is required to meet future
environmental uncertainties and energy demands.

Climate Change and Energy Prices: Due to carbon emissions and climate change and their
relationship with non-renewable energies and hydro-electric energy, additional price
uncertainties are created. Drought prone areas, such as the intermountain west, are projected
to have decreasing water flows and levels6, subsequently resulting in decreasing amounts of
electricity that can be generated7. Currently the majority of Idaho’s power comes from
hydroelectric sources. In 2009 alone, Idaho Power increased rates by 17%. In July alone an
average increase in rates of 10.2% occurred. This was the largest rate increase of the five that
occurred in 2009 and was implemented based on expected increases in energy costs caused
by things such as reduced river flows. Several of the cost increases were initiated to encourage
energy conservation. Conservation saves customers money in the long run, because it keeps
Idaho Power from having to develop or purchase additional energy, which most likely would
increase rates beyond the rate increases seen in 2009. Beyond physical induced climate
changes, climate change legislation, such as proposed federal “cap and trade” requirements for
GHG emissions and EPA regulations of GHG emissions, can be expected to further increase
the cost of energy.

Local Supply and Demand: Intermountain Gas and Idaho Power have stated additional natural
gas pipelines and additional transmission lines will be needed to serve future growth in the
Wood River Valley. Lance McBride of InterMountain Gas stated the Wood River Valley gas
consumption is significantly higher than anywhere else in the state. The average Idaho home
consumes on average 3.2 therms per/day, while Wood River consumption is 16 therms per/day.
This is largely due to the significant number of large homes and heated drives in the
unincorporated county. Providing additional transmission and pipeline infrastructure will

1
U.S. Green Building Council
2
American Planning Association. “Planning for a New Energy and Climate Future”. Planning Advisory Report 558, 2010.
3
American Planning Association. “Planning for a New Energy and Climate Future”. Planning Advisory Report 558, 2010.
4
Cutting carbon emissions in half by 2030 Research group has plan to make buildings more efficient. SHAWN DELL JOYCE Mt.
Express October 7, 2009.
5
U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) Annual Energy Outlook 2009.

6
Climate Impact Group – Hydrologic Climate Change Scenarios for the Pacific Northwest Columbia River Basin and Coastal
Drainages March 24, 2010 (http://www.hydro.washington.edu/2860/)
7
“Drought Endangers Crops and Energy Supply” Independent Mail. Kitz miller 2007 

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increase energy rates for all energy consumers in the Valley. Increasing efficiencies in our
current building stock and requiring greater efficiency in new buildings will delay such needs
while providing additional capacity for future growth.

Economic Development and Job Creation: The overall trend in “green jobs” and businesses has
outpaced growth in almost all sectors outside of health care8. This trend is likely to accelerate
with the country shifting away from a consumption-led economy and back towered savings and
investment. Products and services that provide energy savings and investments for homes are
on the leading edge of these trends.

A recent study by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) suggest that the American Clean
Energy Security Act, which mandates significant energy improvements, would create or save
270,000 jobs if the building-related provisions become law9. California’s 2011 mandatory green
building code, CALGREEN, is expected to create jobs for residential energy specialist, green
building consultants, and industry specialist with knowledge of “green” building outcomes.
According to the “U.S. Metro Economies: Current and Potential Green Jobs in the U.S.
Economy,” a 2008 report prepared by Global Insight for the U.S. Conference of Mayors:

Efforts to increase energy efficiency in residential and commercial buildings have great
potential to generate new employment opportunities in the rapidly expanding Green
Economy. These structures account for a significant portion of total energy consumption
in the United States, and dedicated initiatives to improve energy efficiency could
significantly impact total electricity consumption. Given the nature of building retrofitting
work, we believe that the specialty trade contractor component of the construction sector
will ultimately benefit the most from these new employment opportunities. Many of the
workers required to complete the renovation work and installations of efficiency
upgrades fall under the classifications of the traditional construction trades that comprise
this category. Ultimately, increasing demand for green building work can be expected to
generate new employment opportunities for electricians, HVAC technicians, carpenters,
plumbers, roofers, laborers, and insulation workers, among others. Increased demand
for green retrofitting work will simultaneously stimulate demand for green building
materials, providing additional sources of job gains in associated manufacturing
industries.

Reports aside, the implementation of Boulder County’s energy and construction recycling
requirements have created entirely new construction related industries such as energy
consulting, energy analysis and construction waste recycling, while also significantly spurring
the solar industry. Boulder professionals believe the code revisions have created jobs and
helped maintain the strongest housing market in the country10 through the worse housing
bubble in a century.

Legislative Authority
Numerous cities and counties around the U.S. have already adopted sustainable building codes
or programs that go beyond the state minimum standard. Initial investigation of Idaho state
statues and conversations with Blaine County legal staff suggests the police powers provided
under Idaho state statue 39-4116 allow local entities to adopt “above-code” requirements and
only restricts entities from requiring less than what is established by the state, while permitting

8
American Planning Association. “Planning for a New Energy and Climate Future”. Planning Advisory Report 558, 2010.
9
AIA website: March 24, 2010 (http://www.aia.org/press/releases/AIAB080770?dvid=&recspec=AIAB080770)
10
The 30 Strongest Housing Markets in the County. Business Week, September 2008.

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the use of “modern technical methods, devices and improvements” (Id.§39-4101). Furthermore,
§67-6511 provides local entities with the legal authority to established standards “to regulate …
size, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair and use of buildings.” Blaine County legal
staff has initially recommended a green building program provides options and does not
prescribe one course of action. The only legal challenges nationally to “above code” programs
have involved jurisdictions that required prescriptive mechanical performance requirements.
Performance based codes allow the most legal freedom in that they do not prescribed a type of
equipment or construction technique, but only require a specified level of energy efficiency is
attained.

In an effort to ensure energy resources are available for future economic growth and promote
Blaine County as a state and national leader in suitability and quality of life, Blaine County is
looking for cost effective ways to increase the energy efficiency of the current and future
building stock and to promote sustainable building practices.

Final 6
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

In 2007 Blaine County become a member of ICLEI–Local Governments for Sustainability. This
spurred the county to assess means to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions. The built environment creates the largest demand for energy and is the second
largest contributor to GHG emissions. Taking this data into consideration, the Board of County
Commissioners, in February of 2009, established and invited individuals to serve on the
BuildSmart Technical Advisory Committee (BSTAC). The committee was tasked with
establishing priorities and recommending no less than three possible green building program
scenarios to the Board of County Commissioners.

The members of the BSTAC include, among other professions, architects, builders, energy and
LEED specialists, and realtors. Other participants include building inspectors, contractors and
subcontractors, and engineers.

The following statement was adopted by the Board of County Commissioners as the
committee’s guiding principle:

“To create a green building program--BuildSmart-- that promotes highly energy-efficient


buildings in Blaine County and establishes Blaine County as a leader in sustainability
and climate protection.”

The committee identified priorities, goals and tools to achieve such. The committee focused on
life-time building and maintenance costs, not simply construction costs and, where possible,
tried to tailor its recommendations to the specific needs and characteristics of Blaine County.
The committee tried to work by consensus but unanimity was not always possible. The
recommendations listed below represent the committee majority, although not all committee
members agree with every recommendation or specific details within a recommendation.

Committee Recommendations (details can be found in the main document)

Recommendation I
Recommendation I addresses energy goals only. In general, the recommendation requires that
all residential new construction be 30% more energy efficient than existing code (2006 IECC).
The committee unanimously agreed energy reduction was the priority and requiring mandatory
action was necessary for any effective and measurable outcomes to occur. Requiring
mandatory energy performance, utilizing the Home Energy Rating System (HERS), versus
mandatory prescriptive methods was considered the most flexible, fair, integrative and cost-
effective method to implement a mandatory program. Research indicates home size is the most
significant indicator of energy consumption. Regardless of the code prescribed insulation levels
and air barriers, larger homes are less efficient in terms of actual surface-to-volume ratios,
effective u-values, and envelope infiltration, as compared with smaller, simpler designs.
Therefore the committee is recommending performance levels are dependent on home size.

The existing building stock offers the largest and most-cost effective opportunities to decrease
energy consumption. Because the majority of buildings in the county were created prior the
implementation of the energy code and new construction is significantly more energy efficient
than existing building stock the committee prioritized improving the energy efficiency of the
existing building stock. To address this priority, additions larger than 300 sq.ft. shall be required

Final 7
to improve the performance of their home by 30 HERS point or 30%, up to a 70 HERS index
score. Renovation or remodels larger than 300 sq.ft. shall be required to conduct a certified
energy audit prior to building permit issuance.

Heated drives, pools and spa use energy at a rate significantly higher than buildings and put
considerable strain on energy infrastructure. To address large exterior energy consumption the
committee recommends an Energy Mitigation Program (EMP) for heated drives and large spas
and pools. The EMP requires 50% of carbon based BTUs to be off-set through renewables or
in-lieu fees.

Recommendation II
Recommendation II addresses energy goals through the performance based program outlined
in Recommendation I and the water, material resources, site, and indoor air quality (IAQ) goals
through the inclusion of a BuildSmart Checklist. The checklist is essentially an avenue to
educate builders on green building practices and provides an affordable means to distinguish
and reward green building efforts. Voluntary implementation of 75% of the checklist allows a
home to become a “BuildSmart” home. Within the checklist are a select few mandatory items for
all new construction. Each year, the committee recommends incremental and phased inclusion
of previous voluntary items to be mandatory.

Recommendation III
Recommendation III address all strategic areas of green building; energy, water, site selection,
material resources, IAQ, and innovation goals through the adoption of national recognized
green building program that would be mandatory for all new construction and the adoption of the
U.S. Department of Energy’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program for additions
and renovations to existing homes. The programs for new construction envisioned in this
recommendation are the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification
and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) National Green Building Standard
certification. Each of the national programs have several levels of certification. The committee
recommends various levels of certification which is dependent on home size. The Home
Performance with ENERGY STAR program is a tiered system that targets a 30% energy
reduction for all remodels or additions larger. Tier-one improvements are mandatory while tier-
two improvements are voluntary actions outlined to reach the 30% target. The Home
Performance program would be mandatory for all remodels or additions larger than 300’ sq.ft..

This recommendation can stand-alone or be offered as an option to builders/homeowners


instead of meeting the requirements of recommendation I or II. The committee suggests that
this be adopted as an option rather than as a stand-alone proposition.

The committee also has general recommendations that will facilitate good and efficient building
practices such as submittals of mechanical designs prior to building permit issuance and
providing building department energy performance expertise and outreach.

Conclusion

The committee advances these three recommendations recognizing that it is dealing with very
complex issues with a significant number of moving parts affecting a substantial number of
professions and building trades that are important to the economy of the Wood River Valley.
The committee recognizes that it does not have all the answers and that some of the specifics
of the scenarios offered will need to be modified to meet concerns and objections that were not
recognized or appreciated during the committee’s deliberations.

Final 8
RECOMMENDATION I – ENERGY
Summary, Scope, Intent, Tools

SUMMARY: A performance-based program for new and existing construction that focuses only
on energy use and couples performance testing and educated choices to target the largest
energy inefficiency together with an Energy Mitigation Program (EMP) that reduces the largest
consumptive energy uses in the unincorporated county.

SCOPE: The program requires new construction and existing structures (additions) to meet
various levels of energy performance. All new construction will be constructed 30% more energy
efficient than existing code (2006 IECC) and additions over 300 sq.ft., will be required to
improve the energy efficiency of the existing structure by 30 HERS points. Energy Audits will
be required for all remodels/renovations 300 sq.ft. or larger. Carbon-based energy use
associated with heated drives and large pools or spas will be required to offset 50% of BTU
consumption through on-site renewables or in-lieu payments.

GOALS:
• Increase energy efficiency above 2006 IECC by 30%.
• Increase energy efficiency in existing structures by 30%.
• Reduce energy use and GHG emissions associated with significant exterior carbon-
based energy consumptions.
• Support and enlarge the utilization of the integrative design process by the architect and
design community.

TOOLS/COMPONENTS:
• Home Energy Rating Systems (HERS)
• Sliding Energy Performance Scale (Exhibit A)
• Certified Energy Audits
• Third-Party Verification /Certification
• Energy Mitigation Program
o On site use of renewable energy resources or,
• In-lieu fees to subsidize off-site implementation or reduce energy consumption
elsewhere.
• Mechanical Submittals
• Continuing Outreach/Education

New Construction

Mechanical Submittals (Additions if applicable)


Submittals of Manual J, S, and D from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) prior
to building permit issuance11. An engineer or experienced verifier shall review calculations to
ensure ASHRE standards 62.2 "Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality" has been met.

11
ACCA Manual J is a load calculation manual that outlines a procedure to estimate the heat loss and heat gain for conventional
residential structures. These calculations are used to identify and correctly size residential heating and cooling equipment. ACCA
Manual S outlines the procedures that should be used to select and size residential cooling equipment, furnaces and heat
pumps. Manual D outlines correct duct sizing and installation to ensure the potential benefits that are associated with building an
efficient structure and using high efficiency equipment will materialize.

Final 9
Performance Requirements
New Construction – At the time of building permit application a pre- construction HERS Index
score shall be submitted by a certified Home Energy Rater, (a third-party certifier) that
demonstrates how the building will be in compliance with energy performance levels outlined in
Exhibit A. Exhibit A is a sliding-scale, based on home size, that establishes the recommended
energy performance for all new construction to obtain. The sliding-scale indicates that all new
construction must achieve a HERS of 70 or lower. Homes larger than 2500 sq.ft. will be required
to meet increasing performance standards beyond 70 HERS. Homes 6700 sq.ft. or larger home
are required to meet a HERS index score of 50, while home 10,000 sq.ft. or larger must be net
zero. Upon completion of the plan review, the energy rater will work with the builder or designer
to identify the energy efficiency improvements needed to ensure the home will meet the HERS
Index performance levels set out in Exhibit A. The rater will conduct onsite inspections, including
a blower door test (to test the leakiness of the house) and a duct test (to test the leakiness of
the ducts). Results of these tests, along with inputs derived from the plan review, are used to
generate the final HERS Index score for the home.
The Building Department would receive the following submittals and 3rd party inspection
information after a building permit was issued and prior to a certificate of occupancy:
• An Energy Rater must perform a pre-drywall inspection including a duct blaster test (if
applicable) to ensure the ability of the residence to achieve the required HERS Index
rating.
• Prior to the installation of the wall or ceiling finish materials the owner or contractor must
submit verification of the Energy Rater's inspection to the Building Division office that
certifies that the building has been constructed in conformance with the RESNET model
(envelope sealing).
• Upon completion of construction and prior to final building inspection approval an Energy
Rater must perform a final inspection which includes a blower door test and submit
documentation to the Building Division office certifying (a final HERS certificate) that the
residence meet the performance levels outlined in Exhibit A. 

In-House Expertise
The committee suggests a building department official or inspector become familiar with the
HERS program. Providing building department expertise for contractors and do-it-yourselfers
(DIY) will facilitate education and outreach goals. The costs may be recouped if the Building
Department provides certified energy audits or HERS services to the general public.

Additions
Additions > 300 sq.ft. will be required to improve the energy performance of the existing
structure. The level of improvement shall be established by identifying the energy performance
of the existing structure (HERS Index score) and incorporating that performance index score
into the formula detailed in Exhibit B or improving the existing index score by 30 HERS points,
up to HERS 70. At the time of building permit issuance, the applicant shall demonstrate how the
30 point HERS index improvement will be achieved. Upon completion of construction and prior
to final building inspection approval an Energy Rater must perform a final inspection which
includes a blower door test and a duct blaster test (if applicable) and submit documentation to
the Building Division office certifying that the residence meets the required HERS Index
improvement, (final HERS certificate), as identified previously.
• Existing structures with HERS index of 70 or lower shall not subject to the above energy
improvements.

Final 10
• Minimum required ventilation – Structures with less than 3 natural air changes per hour
(NACH) when tested with a blower door at a pressure of 50 Pascals shall be required to
install mechanical ventilation.
• If the addition is fifty (50%) percent or more than the conditioned floor area of the
existing dwelling unit the entire structure will be required to comply with the HERS index
requirements of Exhibit A.
• HVAC, window or insulation upgrades that have been made within the last three years
shall be exempt from the baseline HERS calculation.

Remodels/Renovations
Certified energy audits will be required for remodels or renovations 300 sq.ft. of conditioned
space or larger. The audit must be conducted prior to building permit issuance. Audits must be
performed by a Building Performance Institute (BPI) certified professional or Residential Energy
Services Network (RESNET) accredited Home Energy Rating System (HERS) rater and must
be completed before building permit submittal. An Audit Certificate is part of permit
documentation. Remodels smaller than 300 sq. ft. will be provided a self conducted energy audit
checklist. A completed checklist shall be submitted prior to final inspection.

Exemptions: The following projects are not required to conduct a certified energy audit:
o Window replacements.
o Bathroom remodel projects limited to the replacement of fixtures and cabinets.
o Kitchen remodel projects limited to the replacement of cabinets, counter tops,
plumbing fixtures, and appliances.
o Electrical work associated with permits issued only for electrical work
o Plumbing associated with permits issued only for plumbing.
o Replacement of HVAC appliances associated with permits issued only for
appliance replacement.
o Reroofs

Energy Mitigation Program (EMP)


A EMP requires large exterior energy consumers, such as heated drives and large pools and
spas, to offset carbon based energy consumption with on-site renewables or pay in-lieu fees
that will be used in other areas of the unincorporated county o directly reduce carbon-based
energy consumption.

Heated Drives
50% of carbon based energy use by snow and ice melt systems shall be offset by on-site
renewable energy generation or the payment of in-lieu fees. The amount of onsite generation
shall be equivalent to the carbon based energy consumed as measured in British Thermal Units
(BTUs) by the snow and ice melting equipment. If the applicant does not wish to off-set on-site
with renewable alternatives, in-lieu fees shall be required. Fees shall be based on BTU
consumed per year, per square feet of snowmelt (34,425 BTU/yr/sq. ft. at 100% equipment
efficiency). An example of in-lieu fee calculation is illustrated below.
Snowmelt Example
(Snowmelt requested 500 sq. ft.) (34,425(BTU per sq. ft. per year) /.87 (efficiency rating of
boiler))*500 (snowmelt area) = 19,784,482 (BTU/yr)/3412 (kWh per BTU) = 5798.5 (kWh/yr)* 20
(years)* .07/kWh =$8,117.90

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In lieu fees shall be used to directly off-set coal based energy consumption through the one of
the following means:
• Purchase and use of renewable energy facilities on government buildings.
• Provide grants for residential and commercial audits and energy retrofits.
• The creation of a revolving loan fund for solar or geothermal renewable energy facilities.

It is assumed that money will be collected at the time of building permit issuance and a
stakeholder committee will be formed to identify criteria for project selection and grant issuance.

Prescriptive Requirements for Snowmelt Systems


• Snow and ice melting systems supplied through energy service to the building shall
include automatic controls capable of shutting off the system when the pavement
temperature is above 50 degrees F and no precipitation is falling and an automatic or
manual control that will allow shutoff when the outdoor temperature is above 40 degrees
F.
• On-site renewable energy generation equipment installed to offset the energy used by
snow and ice melt systems must be designed to provide 34,425 BTUs per square foot
per year. The projected BTU consumption is based on the amount of BTUs needed to
heat a sq.ft. of heated drive in Climate Zone 6 with an energy efficient furnace

Pools & Spas


Pools and Spa Energy Review Permit All new pools, spas and hot tubs that have been tested
and listed for compliance with the requirements of the California Energy Commission (CEC) title
20 (Standby power for portable electric spas shall not be greater than 5[V2/3] watts where
V=the total volume of the spa in gallons), and are less than 64 sq.ft. in surface area shall be
exempted from obtaining a Pool & Spa Energy Review Permit and/or to offset fossil based BTU
consumption.

Prescriptive Requirements for all Pools and Spas:


A Pool & Spa Energy Review Permit will be required to ensure compliance with the 2009 IECC
code, the EMP (if applicable) and meet the prescriptive requirements listed below:
• All pool heaters shall be equipped with a readily accessible on-off switch to allow
shutting off the heater without adjusting the thermostat setting.
• Pool heaters fired by natural gas or LPG shall no have continuously burning pilot lights.
• Time switches that can automatically turn off and on heaters and pumps according to a
preset schedule shall be installed on swimming pool heaters and pumps.
• Where pumps are required to operate solar and waste heat recovery pool heating
systems.
• Heated pools shall be equipped with a vapor retardant pool cover on or at the water
surface.
• Pools heated to more than 90 degrees F shall have a pool cover with minimum
insulation value of R-12.
• Swimming pool filters must be cartridge-type filters. Swimming pool pumps must be
multi-speed pumps.
If applicable, the following would also apply:
Pools & Spas > 200 sq.ft.
Swimming pools must be heated by solar thermal or other equipment that does not rely directly
or indirectly on the burning of fossil fuels or fossil based BTU consumption may be offset by in-
lieu payment and subject to the same in-lieu formula as snowmelt. For the purpose of

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calculating the energy use of swimming pools, the following are assumed. Swimming Pool
Season: Outdoor Pools 3 months; Indoor Pools 12 months; Pool Heating Temperature: 82
degrees Fahrenheit or less; On-Site Renewable Energy Requirements: 29,000 BTUs per square
foot of pool surface area per year.

Pools & Spas < 200 sq.ft.


Swimming pools less than 200 sq. ft. are exempt from the requirements to offset fossil based
BTU consumption but shall be required to meet 2009 IECC requirements and the prescriptive
requirements for pools and spas listed below

Supporting Information and Basis for Recommendation

Why Mechanical Submittals:


1. The state currently inspects health and safety aspects of heating systems but does not
ensure sizing meets code. Too often, builders and contractors rely on rules of thumb to
determine HVAC size. Correct sizing is essential to maximizing HVAC energy efficiency.
Ensuring properly-sized systems will reduce energy demand, provide more comfort, and
rely less on operator programming and advanced controls12.
2. Too frequently, HVAC equipment is addressed late in the building construction process
causing heating systems to be oversized, thus using too much energy and creating the
need for advanced controls. Identifying system requirements during the design phase
will ensure the equipment addresses the placement and sizing of ducts and has
evaluated the structure’s heating needs.
3. Bonneville County, Idaho Falls, Canyon County, and the City of Napa are all requiring
submittal of Manual J, D, and S calculations prior to building permit issuance. Bonneville
County has stated this requirement has resulted in more efficient systems.

Why Home Performance Home Energy Rating System (HERS):


1. Provides energy and economic cost-benefit data (Return on Investment (ROI) and
Internal Rate of Return (IRR)) for making informed decisions.
2. The performance path provides flexibility for the building and design community.
3. The HERS tool is very robust and incorporates various design and construction
elements such as orientation, overhangs, window placement, ceiling systems, that is not
contemplated in Res-check.
4. Res-check is an inadequate tool to truly evaluate and ensure energy efficiency for the
complex and large homes located in the unincorporated county.
5. HERs requires a more integrative design13 process, versus the traditional linear design
process. The traditional linear design and construction model creates large hurdles for
implementing cost-effective energy efficiencies.

12
EPA - Sizing Heating and Cooling Systems, accessed April 6, 2010.
(http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic=12340)
13
Integrated design is a collaborative method for designing buildings which emphasizes the development of a holistic design.
Conventional building design usually involves a series of hand-offs from owner to architect to builder to occupant. This path does not
invite all affected parties into the planning process, and therefore dose not take into account their needs, areas of expertise or
insights. In some cases, using the conventional method, incompatible elements of the design are not discovered until late in the
process when it is expensive to make changes. In contrast, the integrated design process requires multidisciplinary collaboration,
including key stakeholders and design professionals, from conception to completion. Decision-making protocols and complementary
design principles must be established early in the process in order to satisfy the goals of multiple stakeholders while achieving the
overall project objectives. In addition to extensive collaboration, integrated design involves a “whole building design” approach. A
building is viewed as an interdependent system, as opposed to an accumulation of its separate components (site, structure, systems
and use). The goal of looking at all the systems together to is make sure they work in harmony rather than against each other.

Final 13
6. Studies have shown the integrative design process creates increased energy efficiencies
for the least amount of money14. Input from the building community indicates architects,
specifically in the Wood River Valley, fail to address “energy” outcomes or infrastructure
in their designs. Performance standards would force designers to evaluate the energy
efficiency outcomes of their design choices and work with contracts and mechanical
engineers to meet those goals.
7. Third-party testing and verification provides value to builders and home-owners ensuring
subcontractors built to code and the home will perform as purposed.
8. HERS is a nationally recognized energy performance label that allows comparison
between homes.
9. HERS is the mortgage industry standard for verifying energy efficiency mortgage
applications, which provides larger and lower interests loan to homeowners who
implement energy efficiency improvements or buy energy efficient homes.
10. HERS is the tool of choice for most locally adopted above-code building programs and is
used as a method of verification in LEED for Homes, NAHB Green Standards and
ENERGY STAR programs.
11. HERS provides quality assurance and verification, peer review and testing.
12. Takes advantage of federal, state, and local incentives.
13. Generates documentation that can be used to educate homeowners and inform
consumers and real-estate purchasers.

Why a Sliding Scale Performance Requirements:


1. Home size has the greatest impact on energy and resource use than any other factor,
including the efficiency of the home's equipment, the R-factor of insulation, and the type
of windows used15.
2. A small house built to only moderate energy performance standards uses substantially
less energy for heating and cooling than a large house built to very high energy
performance standards16.
3. The unincorporated county’s average home is twice as large as the national average.
The average size of new construction, within the last ten years, in the unincorporated
county is on average 4700 sq.ft., while the average home nationally in 2004 was 2,330
square feet. This is up from 1,400 square feet in 197017.
4. HERS compares a home’s energy efficiency to a comparable sized code-built home
(2006 IECC code-home). It does not evaluate the amount of energy used by the home
as a function of size. The sliding scale recognizes the fact that larger homes inherently
use more energy and require greater efficiency to mitigate larger energy consumption.
a. A study 2000 study found a typical 1,537 ft2 home would need to install a furnace
rated at 96% Annual Fuel Use Efficiency (AFUE) to achieve a HERS indexscore
of 86, whereas a 5,564 ft2 house would require only an 80% AFUE furnace.
Building a bigger house efficiently will typically “save” more energy than building
a smaller house at the same efficiency level, but the larger house will still
consume more energy18.

14
International Initiative for Sustainable Built Environment (iiSBE) “The Integrated Design Process”. Nils Larsson. January 31, 2004. 
15
Harris Diamond, Iyer, Payne, Blumstein. 2008. “Don’t Supersize Me! Toward a Policy of Consumption-Based Energy Efficiency”
University of California Energy Institute.
16
Harris Diamond, Iyer, Payne, Blumstein. 2008. “Don’t Supersize Me! Toward a Policy of Consumption-Based Energy Efficiency”
University of California Energy Institute.
17
National Association of Homebuilders. Website accessed on March 25, 2010 (http://www.nahb.com/default.aspx)
18
Prahl, Duncan. 2000. “Analysis of Energy Consumption, Rating Score, and House Size.” Washington D.C.: U.S. Green Building
Council.

Final 14
5. Today’s larger houses often have complex perimeters (more bay windows, dormers, and
other features) that add to surface area and often complicate construction detailing for
insulation and air-sealing. Consequently, regardless of the code prescribed insulation
levels and air barriers, these new homes may be less efficient in terms of actual surface-
to-volume ratios, effective u-values, and envelope infiltration, compared with a smaller,
simpler design.
6. Higher ceilings and two-story entries and other dramatic spaces in today’s new homes
also increase the volume of space to be heated and cooled.
7. Larger homes tend to have longer runs of air ducts and domestic hot water pipes, with
corresponding increases in distribution losses for both HVAC and DHW systems; this
loss of system efficiency is directly related to scale.
8. The structure of the sliding scale was based on local and national averages for home
size. Homes over 6,500 sq.ft. are well beyond the local average size and as such
provide a drain on energy infrastructure and future energy sustainability for Wood River
Valley residents.

Why an Energy Mitigation Program (EMP):


1. Energy is a limited resource. Heated drives and large pools and spas consume energy
at a rate much higher than buildings; in layman’s term they are energy “hogs”.
• Heated Drives: 1 sq. ft. heated drive = 1 sq. ft. total home energy consumption.
(with an ENERGY STAR boiler)
• Pools and Spas: The average 100 sq. ft. hot tub consumes the same amount of
energy as a 1,200 sq. ft. home19.
2. Significant exterior energy consumption for luxury purposes is detrimental to the
community’s current and future energy stability and sustainability.
3. EMP’s are fiscally sustainable programs that provide funds for energy efficiency and
renewable energy projects, weatherization programs, renewables on government
buildings and subsidizing, and energy efficiency education and outreach for the building
and community as a whole.

Why certified energy audits for remodels AND performance improvements for additions:
1. Only 1% of the building stock is created annually. Therefore the existing building stock
provides the largest opportunity to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy
consumption community-wide20.
2. 21% of national GHG emissions are from existing residential homes, of that percentage
70% are from homes built prior to 1983.
3. Upgrading existing homes, with regard to energy efficiency, is 4-8 times more cost
effective than new construction. For example, $1000 of energy efficiency improvements
in an older (pre 1990) home is 4-8 times more cost effective than a $1000 of energy
efficiency improvements in new construction.
4. Certified energy audits provide testing and energy and economic analysis for informed
and cost effective decision making.
5. Information is considered the second largest barrier to implementing energy
improvements to a home, behind upfront costs.
6. Energy audits and retrofit activities are strategies currently being heavily subsidized by
state and federal legislation and can be expected to be subsidized in the future.

19
Populus Sustainable Design Consulting Presentation to City of Hailey and BCC October 13, 2009.
(http://www.haileycityhall.org/SustainabilityCommittee/Populus%20Presentation%20101309.pdf)
20
National Association of Homebuilders. Website accessed on March 25, 2010 (http://www.nahb.com/default.aspx)

Final 15
Fiscal Impacts

Public:
• Third-party testing and certified energy audits are a third-party certification process.
Consequently, the Building Department will not require additional financial resources by
mandating the HERS performance index score or energy audits. Furthermore, the
building department will no longer have to inspect for compliance with the International
Energy Conservation Code (IECC), which will provide additional time to verify other
items. The cost for third-party certification will rest with the homeowner.
• BSTAC has also recommended in-house building department expertise. This would
involve a building inspector becoming a certified RESNET or BPI energy specialist.
Certification requires two weeks of training and approximately $3000 to $5000 for
certification.
• Implementing an EMP will require additional review, inspection and initial staff training.
Inspection and review costs will be offset by issuance of an Onsite Renewable Building
Permits, Pool, Spa, Hot Tub Energy Review Permit, and/or in-lieu fees. Revenue from
the in-lieu fees can be expected. Methods for calculating the amount of in-lieu fees is
limited because, at this time, the County does not regulate heated drives or pools
therefore the amount of heated drives or pools is unknown. However, comments from
Intermountain Gas and many contractors suggest heated drives are prevalent
throughout the county. Pitkin County, CO., which is similar to Blaine County with regard
to market demands, building size and climate, has raised over eight million dollars in in-
lieu fees since implementing a similar Renewable Energy Mitigation Program (REMP) in
2000. These fees are dedicated to energy efficiency and renewable energy projects,
such as weatherization programs, renewables on government buildings and subsidizing
residential renewables. Fees and project selection are managed by the Community
Office for Resource Efficiency, a regional non-profit organization.

Private:
• A certified energy audit costs approximately $450 for homes 4500 sq.ft. or less with one
heating system. This price increases with size and additional heating systems. On
average, certified energy audits pay for them selves within one to three years.
• HERS performance modeling and testing costs approximately $450 to $1200 depending
on home size, complexity of the home design, and number of heating systems.

New Construction:
• Studies by the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
indicate a 30% residential energy consumption reduction below the baseline energy
code will save households in every region of the U.S. between $403 and $612 per year
after the cost of efficiency measures is factored in. At current energy prices and
mortgage interest rates, NREL estimates that the average cost-neutral point for home
efficiency upgrades is a 45% energy reduction below code, HERS 5521.
• A 2003 CA study indicates the up front cost of green building is less than 2%, which
significantly less than commonly perceived The majority of this costs is due to increased
design and engineering… design time necessary to integrate sustainable building
practices into green building practices. Generally, the earlier green building gets
incorporated into the design process the lower the cost22.

21
2009 Fact Sheet. American Institute of Architects. 2030 Challenge.
22
The Costs and Financial Benefits of Green Building. A Report to California’s Green Building Task Force. 2003

Final 16
• Energy specialists and local contractors who have built homes with 60-70 HERS index
scores generally agree new construction built to a 70 HERS increases construction costs
between 0% to 1%, depending on the extent of pre-planning and integrative design. Cost
analysis of new construction built to 60 HERS index can increases upfront construction
costs by 3%-5%, however lower energy bills provide relatively short pay-back schedules
of 3-5 years. Homes built below HERS 50 most likely require renewable energy
generation resources that can result in an additional 5%-10% upfront costs. It is
important to note that these additional construction costs result in decreased energy
bills, which are paid back over the lifetime of the home. This can be significant when a
home is 6000 sq.ft. or larger.
• Research conducted by Sustainable Built LLC, suggest lower percentages that those
stated above23 and indicates HERS 60, with no renewables, increases the upfront cost
by 1.75 % or $3.50 a sq.ft. (assuming $200 sq.ft.).

Additions:
• A recent cost analysis, conducted by Boulder County Building Department, of 37 HERS
point improvement (112 to 75) for a 1500 sq.ft. addition required $7000 expenditure in
energy improvements. The improvement created $2000 of annual energy savings per year
which resulted in a 3.5 year simple payback period.
• Two certified energy audit demonstrations recently conducted in the Wood River Valley
suggest a 30 point improvement could be realized with relatively short payback periods.

Initial HERS Cost of New HERS Annual utility Simple payback


Index Scores recommended score savings period
Improvements
141 $6,220 112 $1,768 3.5 years
119 $4,583 87 $334 13 years
The higher the initial HERS rating – that is the more energy inefficient the structure – the
easier it is to reduce the HERS rating at low cost with significant annual savings. These
analyses do not include rebates, tax credits or other incentives.

23
Complying with Boulders Energy Codes – 3 Paths to Reach HERS 70, 60, 35, 10
(http://www.sustainablybuilt.com/content/complying-boulder-energy-codes-0)

Final 17
Final 18
RECOMMENDATION II – Energy PLUS
Summary, Scope, Intent, Tools

SUMMARY: As the name implies, this recommendation builds off Recommendation I and
incorporates additional strategic areas of green building; Water Conservation, Material
Resource Conservation, IAQ, and Site Disturbance.

SCOPE: A BuildSmart checklist will provide a voluntary and incremental mandatory approach to
implementing more “green” building practices for new or existing structures in the
unincorporated county. The checklist does not contain prescriptive energy efficiency
improvements. Energy efficiency goals and outcomes are addressed through the performance
path listed in Recommendation 1.

GOALS:
• Reduce in-house potable water use below the national average;
• Support landscaping design that decreases irrigation water use by 30%;
• Reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill by 30%;
• Support and promote the development of construction recycling infrastructure;
• Create buildings with healthier indoor air quality and building interior environments that
enhance the occupant’s comfort;
• Promote the use of low–VOC emitting materials and finishes;
• Minimize disturbance to natural landscapes and wildlife habitat through sighting, design,
and landscaping.

TOOLS/COMPONENTS:
• BuildSmart Checklist
• Phasing
• Tools listed in Recommendation I

New Construction

BuildSmart Checklist
A voluntary checklist that requires implementation of 75% of items to qualify new or existing
construction for Blaine County BuildSmart certification. Within each strategic area are one to
three mandatory items. Each year additional voluntary BuildSmart items become mandatory.
Recommendations for incremental mandatory improvements for the first two years have been
addressed, however BSTAC recommends a yearly review and update of checklist. The review
will identify new trends, technologies, gaps to green infrastructure provision in the county, and
other relevant factors. New construction receiving LEED, NAHB certification or comparable
green building rating certification will be exempt from implementing the mandatory elements of
the BuildSmart checklist. The BuildSmart list consists of checklist items that a building official
will verify through contractor submittals and site inspections (Exhibit C).

Additions and Remodels


The BuildSmart certification can be applied for by additions or remodels, although mandatory
requirements shall not apply.

Final 19
Supporting Information and Bases for Recommendation

Why a BuildSmart Checklist:


• A BuildSmart Checklist is straightforward and consists of easy to inspect prescriptive
items.
• Builders can implement the checklist and the home can receive a green building
BuildSmart certification, which does not rely on architectural design considerations.
• Research indicates “green building” features provide selling points and increased
perceived values for homeowners and buyers.
o Cahners Residential Group (2000 – 2001): more than two thirds would pay an
additional $2,500-$5,000 (up front) for green features. An additional 20% would
pay as much as $10,000 extra (in up front costs)24.
o NAR (2003): 96% of home-buyers are willing to pay more (in up front costs) for a
home with green features.
o American LIVES (2002): half of the respondents said they were willing to pay
extra for healthy building materials.
• Research conducted by McGrawHill and NAHB in 2007 found homeowners are happier
with their new green homes, are eager to recommend buying green to others and 85%
of “green” homeowners stated that they were extremely happy with their new green
home versus their previous one25.
• LEED residential is being used by the top 25% of high‐end built homes and contains
certification costs. A BuildSmart Checklist provides alternative certification requirements
that are easier to meet than LEED and do not have certification costs beyond an
inspection and review fee.
• A BuildSmart Checklist is tailored to Blaine County. It takes into consideration main
concerns of the locality and local green building infrastructure limitations.
• The BuildSmart Checklist will educate builders and sub-contractors through the phased-
in approach.
• Limited recycling infrastructure exists in the Wood River Valley.
• Ohio Gulch construction waste capacity is nearing maximum.

Fiscal Impacts

Public:
• The building department will need to review additional items and will most likely
need to conduct an additional inspection. The implementation items are
straightforward thus the building official does not expect the need for additional
training of building staff.
• Brochures and permit submittal guidelines would need to be created. This will
require initial upfront staff time and paper/publication expenditures.

Private:
• The cost to receive the certification is minimal.
• No cost analysis has been conducted. However, the builders believe the majority
of items listed are low-cost.

24
Green Clip. Issue 54, 2010. November 10, 2000. Accessed April 2010 (www.greenclips.com/00issues/154htm)

Final 20
RECOMMENDATION III – National Green Building Certification

Summary, Scope, Goals, Tools

SUMMARY: This recommendation can be either a stand-alone recommendation or an option


for homeowners in lieu of meeting the requirements of recommendations I or II. The committee
suggests this be offered as an option to meeting the requirements of recommendations I or II.
A green building program addresses all strategic areas of green building utilizing nationally
recognized green building certification programs; LEED or NAHB ’s National Green Building
Standard certification. As proposed by the committee, the level of certification is dependent on
the home size with larger homes subject to more stringent requirements.

SCOPE: A mandatory program for all new construction. Home size will dictate what level of
certification is required in an effort to mitigate larger homes disproportionate impact on material
resource consumption and energy use.

GOALS:
(see Recommendation 1 and 2)

TOOLS/COMPONENTS:
• Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification
• National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) National Green Building Standard
certification
• HERS
• Certified Energy Audits

New Construction

All new construction is subject to the following third-party certification:

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)


2500 sq.ft. or small must be LEED Certified
2500 sq.ft. - 6500 sq.ft. shall be LEED Certified Silver
6500 sq.ft. – 10,000 sq shall be LEED Certified Gold
10,000 sq.ft. or larger shall be LEED Certified Platinum

OR

NGBS (National Green Building Standard)


2500 sq.ft. or smaller must be Bronze NGBS Certified
2500 sq.ft. - 4000 sq.ft. shall be Silver NGBS Certified
4000 sq.ft. – 6500 sq.ft. shall be Gold NGBS Certified
6500 sq.ft. or larger shall be Emerald NGBS Certified

Final 21
Additions and Remodels

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR- All remodels or additions larger than 300 sq.ft. shall
receive certification.

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR is a national program designed to help remodel /
addition reach the ENERGY STAR performance standards for: Comfort; Safety; Health;
Durability; Energy Efficiency

This is an Idaho state certified program that is administered through the Office of Energy
Resources. The program utilizes a Home Performance Specialist (HPS) to help homeowners or
contractors target a 30% energy reduction goal. The HPS utilizes REM Rate (home rating
efficiency software), blower door, duct blaster and combustion back draft test testing to assess
the home’s current energy efficiency and danger from gas appliances back-drafting. This is very
similar to a certified energy audit. The program is two-tiered. The first tier requires envelope
sealing to 7 natural air exchanges per hour (NAE),reduction in duct air loss by half or 10% of the
floor area, and increased installation levels to current code. The second tier identifies other
improvement such as upgrades to heating/cooling systems, window, appliances etc. that would
be necessary to reach the 30% reduction target. Second tier improvements are evaluated and
prioritized by cost-effectiveness.

After all ENERGY STAR improvements are completed for the remodel, a post-test by the HPS
will guarantee that the tier one improvements specified by the pre-test were satisfactorily
achieved during the remodel. A final HERS Index is provided with certification as well as the
home’s electrical and gas consumption and amount of carbon emitted from the home. This
information is placed in the home’s electrical box

Supporting Information and Bases for Recommendation

Why a national recognized certified green building program:


• LEED residential is being used by the top 25% of high‐end built homes. The majority of
homes constructed in the unincorporated county are “high” end.
• Addresses all strategic areas of green building by utilizing a national recognized
program.
• Wood River Valley will be considered a national and regional sustainability leader.
• Wood River Valley will be considered a national and regional leader in high-end, quality
and innovative homes and construction practices.
• LEED certified architects, certifiers, and contractors are available in the Wood River
Valley.
• Home Performance with ENERGY STAR specialists are regulated by the state and
ensure high professional standards.

Fiscal Impact

Public: Third-Party review will result in minimal to no additional workload for county building
staff.

Final 22
Private:
• LEED certification cost $450 to $2500 depending on the size of the home.
• NAHB green building certification tacks on 1‐2% additional costs while LEED tacks
on 3 ½ to 5 ½ % additional costs
• A March 2008 study evaluated the costs and technical requirements of bringing two
sample code-compliant production houses in different climate zones (Dallas and
Washington, DC metropolitan areas) into compliance with two different green
building rating systems at one point in time (January 2008). Conducted by NAHB
Research Center, Inc.

Table 1. Cost of Compliance Bronze/Certifi Silver Gold Emerald/Plati


Rating System ed num
NGBSv2 1.1 – 1.7% 2.8 – 3.1% 6.9 – 7.6% 16.3 – 16.9%
LEED-H 3.6 – 5.6% 5.1 – 7.4% 11.2 –13.5% 17.3 – 22.9%

• A cost comparison, conducted by the USGBC, between a LEED and $300,000 code built
home resulted in an additional $8500 of upfront costs, which resulted in a $55 a month
larger mortgage payment. However, the decrease in water and energy costs offset the
monthly increase to the mortgage payment.

• Home Performance with ENERG STAR evaluations can cost $300 to $700 depending on
the size of the home and number of heating systems to be evaluated. If a Home
Performance contractor is used then the diagnostic and analysis costs are greatly reduced.

• Insulation and sealing costs add minimum cost per sq footage of an addition and have
been show to have short payback periods; less than 3 years.

Final 23
General Recommendations

Homeowner Education – Prior to issuance of Certificate of Occupancy (CoO) the builder shall
provide a binder to be left in the dwelling for future occupants that includes the following four
items:
• The BuildSmart Checklist
• Home Energy Audit or HERS certificate, whichever applies
• The equipment manufacturers’ installation manuals, except for manuals required to be
• affixed to the equipment, for all installed equipment, fixtures, and appliances

Education and Outreach - Pre-energy conference conducted at the time of pre-building permit
zoning review. Staff will provide information to contractor or homeowner with various above
code energy requirements and provide initial guidance for reaching those performance
mandates.

County Sponsor Sub-Contractor Energy Efficiency Workshops - The county provides price-
discounted clinics to contractors and subcontractors to teach energy efficiency building
techniques and strategies such as envelope sealing, advanced framing, proper insulation
installation, etc.

County Building Staff Energy Expertise - One Blaine County Building Department staff
becomes a certified RESNET HERS rater or BPI specialist.

Modifications to Requirements: The Chief Building Official may make modifications to


addition and alternative energy requirements if it is determined that strict application of the
requirements would result in the following:
1. Creates practical difficulties or excessive expense in the upgrade of an existing
residential structure.
2. causes undue waste;
3. the proposed alteration or modification is equivalent to existing mandatory green building
requirements;

Final 24
Appendix I

TOOLS

Home Energy Rating System (HERS)


HERS is a whole systems approach for performance testing that models the entire home and all
elements that affect energy efficiency, such as insulation levels, window efficiency, wall-to-
window ratios, the heating and cooling system efficiency, the solar orientation of the home, and
the water heating system. HERS can be used to establish an existing home’s energy
performance as well as forecast the energy performance of planned homes and verify the
performance after the home is built.

The data gathered by the home energy rater is entered into a Residential Energy Services
Network (RESNET) accredited computer program and translated into index rating score. The
home receives a index score between 0 and 100, where 100 is equal to a home built to the
IECC 2006 code and lower index scores are more efficient and higher index scores are less
efficient. An estimate of the home’s energy usage and associated costs can also be provided in
the report. HERS modeling ensures that energy efficiency is considered and basic principles are
evaluated when designing and constructing a new home.

CERTIFIED ENERGY AUDITS


A home energy audit is the first step to assess how much energy your home consumes and to
evaluate what measures you can take to make your home more energy efficient. An audit will
show you problems that may, when corrected, save you significant amounts of money over
time. During the audit, you can pinpoint where your house is losing energy. Audits also
determine the efficiency of your home's heating and cooling systems. An audit may also show
you ways to conserve hot water and electricity.

A professional auditor uses a variety of techniques and equipment to determine the energy
efficiency of a structure. Thorough audits often use equipment such as blower doors, which
measure the extent of leaks in the building envelope, and infrared cameras, which reveal hard-
to-detect areas of air infiltration and missing insulation, and a duct blaster test to assess the
leakiness of the duct system.

The energy auditor should do a room-by-room examination of the residence, appliances, and
heating systems, as well as a thorough examination of past utility bills. There most well know
professional energy auditor certifications are as follows:
• The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET);
• The Building Performance Institute (BPI);
• The Association of Energy Engineers (AEE),
• Home Performance with Energy Star Programs.

Final 25
SLIDING PERFORMANCE SCALE
A 200’ sq.ft. incremental sliding performance scale based on the HERS index score. Every 200’
of additional square feet of conditioned space results in a one point reduction in HERS index
score (Exhibit A). Applies to new construction or additions that add more than 50% of the
existing square footage.

ENERGY MITGATION PROGRAM


Heated drives, large pools and spas are required to offset 50% of carbon-based energy usage
through renewables or in-lieu fees. Fees are used to off-set carbon based energy usage in other
areas of the county through subsides for renewables, weatherization programs, residential
retrofits, etc. Boulder County and Pitkin County have both implemented an EMP. EMP funds
are administered through the local Community Office for Resource Efficiency.
(http://www.aspencore.org/file/About_CORE.html)

BUILDSMART CHECKLIST
A checklist of “green building” building practices. The checklist addresses Indoor Air Quality,
Water Conservation for Indoor and Outdoor, Site Disturbance, and Material Resource
Conservation.

HOME PERFORMANCE WITH ENERGY STAR


Home Performance with ENERGY STAR is a national program designed to help remodels /
additions move towards the ENERGY STAR performance standards for: Comfort; Safety;
Health; Durability; Energy Efficiency. This program does not require ENERGY STAR standards
are met but “targeted”.
This is an Idaho state certified program that is administered through the Office of Energy
Resources. The program utilizes a Home Performance Specialist (HPS) to help homeowners or
contractors target a 30% energy reduction goal. The HPS utilizes REM Rate (home rating
efficiency software), blower door, duct blaster and combustion back draft tests to assess the
home’s current energy efficiency and danger from gas appliances back-drafting. This is very
similar to a certified energy audit. The program is two-tiered. The first tier requires envelope
sealing to .35 natural air exchanges per hour (ACHn),reduction in duct air loss by half or 10% of
the floor area, and increased installation levels to current code. The second tier identifies other
improvements such as upgrades to heating/cooling systems, window replacements, appliances
lighting retrofits, etc. that would be necessary to reach the 30% reduction target. Second tier
improvements are evaluated and prioritized by cost-effectiveness, but are not required.

After all “qualified” improvements are completed for the remodel a post-test performed by the
HPS will guarantee that all tier one improvements specified by the pre-test were satisfactorily
completed during the remodel. A final HERS index score is provided with certification as well as
the home’s electrical and gas consumption and amount of carbon emitted from the home. This
information is placed in the home’s electrical box. A final Home Energy Rating Index Score is
provided with the certification, the home’s modeled electrical and gas consumption and the
estimated carbon emitted from the home are all quantified and posted on a label inside the
homes electrical panel.

Final 26
LEED - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification
A point based and internationally recognized system that addresses all strategic areas of green
building. Program is run through the United States Green Building Council.
(http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CategoryID=19)

NAHB Certification - National Association of Home Builders’ National Green Building


Standard certification.
A point based system and nationally recognized a system that was created in collaboration with
the construction industry. (http://www.nahbgreen.org/)

INTERGRATED DESIGN
Integrated design is a collaborative method for designing buildings which emphasizes the
development of a holistic design. Conventional building design usually involves a series of
hand-offs from owner to architect to builder to occupant. This path does not invite all affected
parties into the planning process, and therefore dose not take into account their needs, areas of
expertise or insights. In some cases, using the conventional method, incompatible elements of
the design are not discovered until late in the process when it is expensive to make changes. In
contrast, the integrated design process requires multidisciplinary collaboration, including key
stakeholders and design professionals, from conception to completion. Decision-making
protocols and complementary design principles must be established early in the process in
order to satisfy the goals of multiple stakeholders while achieving the overall project objectives.
In addition to extensive collaboration, integrated design involves a “whole building design”
approach. A building is viewed as an interdependent system, as opposed to an accumulation of
its separate components (site, structure, systems and use). The goal of looking at all the
systems together to is make sure they work in harmony rather than against each other.

Final 27
Appendix II

CREATION OF THE COMMITTEE

The BSTAC convened its first meeting in March of 2009 and has been meeting at least twice
each month and sometimes more frequently over the last 12 months. Given the length of time
that the committee has been meeting, participation rates have been good. The members
include, among other professions, architects, builders, energy and LEED specialists, and
realtors. Others who have participated, but not on a routine basis, are building officials,
engineers, subcontractors, and professionals from the window and solar industry. The following
statement was adopted by the Board of County Commissioners as the Committee’s guiding
principle:

“To create a green building program--BuildSmart-- that promotes highly energy-efficient


buildings in Blaine County and establishes Blaine County as a leader in sustainability and
climate protection.”

The Committee’s objectives are as follows:


• Identify and research program and policy options for green building and development
strategies and assess their feasibility.
• Prioritize and recommend no less than three possible green building program scenarios
to the Board of County Commissioners;
• Identify and recommend benchmarks for progress;
• Recommend an organizational structure for the program--including guidelines and
regulations, incentives and restrictions--to enable the county to meet these benchmarks;
• Suggest community involvement and public information strategies.

RESEARCH
The Committee began its work by researching other jurisdictions’ Green Building, or “above
code” programs to evaluate their appropriateness for the unincorporated county and to avoid
“reinventing the wheel.” The Committee has evaluated their implementation process,
effectiveness, community receptivity, costs, city administrative capacity, success of
improvements, return on investment benefits to the project owners and pride of being a role
model community. The municipalities and programs that have been reviewed are:
1. Aspen/Pitkin County
2. Teton County, Wyoming
3. Austin, Texas
4. Boulder City, Colorado
5. Boulder County, Colorado
6. Eagle County, Colorado
7. Telluride, Colorado
8. Santa Fe, New Mexico
9. ENERGY STAR (U.S. Department of Energy program to promote energy efficiency)
10. Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (U.S. Department of Energy program to
promote for additions and remodels)
11. LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficiency Development)
12. HERS (Home Energy Rating System)

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13. NAHB (National Association of Home Builders)

EDUCATION AND OUTREACH EFFORTS


The Committee worked with the Hailey’s sustainable building committee to provide region-wide
outreach and education through a series of events.

“Green Building -The Real Story: A Presentation and Forum for the Wood River Design and
Building Industry.”
Held in June 2009 the evening focused on green building, and among other topics, addressed
the challenges, benefits, examples of other municipalities’ programs, and the financial cost and
savings. The presentation by the Britt/Makela Group, Inc., who have experience at the national
level in high performance buildings, code development, training, data analysis, architecture,
building science, low-impact energy efficient building design, and land use, addressed the
difficult issues associated with green building programs and provided information of interest to
the building and design industries as well as the general public.

Following the presentation a local stakeholder facilitation forum was conducted which consisted
of approximately 40 building industry professionals. The forum attempted to determine and
address the major issues and concerns felt by stakeholders. A report detailing the results of the
forum was presented to the County Commissioners during the summer of 2009. This feedback
was used in developing the committees’ recommendations.

“The Integrated Design Process; Using Home Energy Rating Systems (HERS) to obtain greater
Energy Efficiency,”
Hosted in October 2009 by the BuildSmart, Hailey Green Building Committee, and the AIA the
event was presented and facilitated by David Neiger of Populus Sustainable Design Consulting,
in Boulder CO. The presentation covered HERS and then split the audience up into groups that
were each given a HERS Index score that they were required to obtain using the REMRATE
software developed by RESNET, the creator of HERS. This gave each participant an
opportunity to better understand the process of HERS and how the tool is used to achieve a
higher performance building. The following day, Mr. Neiger presented Boulder City and Boulder
County, CO’s experience with adopting and implementing a green building program to Hailey’s
Mayor and City Council and Blaine County Commissioners.

“Home Performance with Energy Star”


In March 2010, Tim O’Leary with the Idaho Office of Energy Resources presented Home
Performance with ENERGY STAR to Hailey and Blaine’s committee members, interested city
staff, and contractors.

SETTING PRIORITIES AND FORMULATING THE RECOMMENDATION


Beginning in the spring of 2009 the Committee focused on researching and discussing the
various components of “above code” building programs and green building techniques. The
members focused on similar communities located in the intermountain west, specifically
mountain towns with similar climates and market demographics (Pitkin County, San Miguel
County, Boulder County, etc.). The Committee then went on to identify strategic areas of green
building, goals for those areas, and effective and efficient tools to address such goals. It is
important to note that this work was done with a conscious consideration of the context and
constraints of the Wood River Valley and unincorporated county. For example, identifying the
level and type of current building practices, inspections processes and existing “green building”
infrastructure located in the valley were key considerations.

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The Committee consisted of various interests and perspectives; consequently a “loose” form of
Roberts Committee Rules was implemented to identify areas of agreement, interests, actions
and broad-gage solutions. Exhibit D outlines the goals as voted and unanimously approved by
the committee. Staff then used the goals, priorities, and general areas of consensus to form
three approaches to green building. The approaches were then discussed in detail to determine
whether or how they should be in the Committee’s recommendations. An executive summary
was created from these discussions that entailed all motioned unanimous agreements and
significant areas of consensus. The committee then used this document to create three
“skeleton” recommendations. The final two months of meetings the Committee worked on
“fleshing out” and further refining the recommendations.

EXHBIT

Exhibit A - HERS Index score calculated as function of home size; conditioned sq. ft.

EXHIBIT A ‐ HERS Sliding Scale for New Construction

100

95

90

85

80

75

70 70 70

65

60

55
HERS 

Adopted
50 50
Alternative

45

40

35

30

25

20

15

10

0 0
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 105 110 115 120 125 130 135 140 145 150
Home Size ‐ Sq Ft x 100

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Exhibit B - HERS index formula for 30% improvement for additions larger than 300‘sq.ft.

Formula for efficiency rating of existing structure plus new addition in excess of xxx square feet:

(A)(B) + (C)(D)
______________ = E
(A) + (C)

Where:
A = square feet of existing structure
B = 70% of HERS rating of existing structure (30% HERS improvement)
C = Square feet of new addition
D = HERS rating for addition based on size as though addition were stand-alone construction
E = HERS rating for existing structure plus addition

Example:

A = 4000 sq. ft . home with HERS of 200


B = 30% improvement of HERS = HERS 140
C = 800 sq. ft. addition
D = Size of addition requires HERS of 70 (per formula)
A + C = Total sq. ft. = 4800

(4000) (140) + (800)(70) 616,000


____________________ = _________ = 128.3 HERS
4000 +800 4800

• Requires a baseline HERS rating of existing structure prior to issuance of construction


permit.

Exhibit C – BuildSmart Checklist

• See attachment

Final 31
Exhibit D – BSTAC Goals.

BSTAC Recommended Goals


Green Building Program in Blaine County Idaho
September 21, 2009

Energy Goals
New Construction
1. Increase the energy efficiency of new construction by 30% above the current IECC.
2. Improve oversight of energy related building practices.
3. Improve builder education of energy related building practices.
4. Increase homeowners and property managements understanding of energy efficient management and operation
of homes.
5. Implement program elements that recognize and decrease resource use and long-term depletion of non-
renewable fuels due to large scale development and non-essential building elements.
6. Increase energy conservation and efficiency through building design.

Old Building Stock


1. Increase the energy efficiency of pre-existing structures to 20% above the existing performance level.
2. Foster the availability of home energy consumption information.
3. Support third party testing and energy audits.

Water Reduction Goals


1. Reduction in-house potable water use below the national average.
2. Support landscaping design that decreases irrigation water use by 30%.
3. Educated homeowners, property management and landscaping companies on water efficient landscaping.

Materials Resources Goals


1. Reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill by 30%.
2. Support and promote the development of construction recycling infrastructure.

Indoor Air Quality


1. Create buildings with healthier indoor air quality and building interior environments that enhance the
occupant’s comfort.
2. Ensure tightly sealed structures are properly ventilated, per ASHE standards 6.2.2
3. Reduce carbon monoxide dangers to home occupants through the use of green building design and technologies.
4. Promote the use of low–VOC emitting materials and finishes.

Innovation
1. Increase the employment of integrated design principles to promote resource efficient design.
2. Increase and promote the use of innovative materials, building techniques and design in the Wood River Valley.

Site Selection Goals


1. Maximize the heating and cooling efficiency of homes through sighting, design, and landscaping.
2. Minimize disturbance to natural landscapes and wildlife habitat through sighting, design, and landscaping.

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Exhibit E – BSTAC Appointed and Technical Delegate Members – as adopted March 2009

BuildSmart Technical Advisory Committee

Appointed Members: Appointed committee members will be expected to attend the majority of
meetings and formalize recommendations to the Board of County Commissioner.

1. Tim Carter: Idaho Mountain Builders


2. Garth Callaghan: Callaghan Construction
3. Brian Poster: Poster Construction
4. Brian Bennett: Energy Auditor
5. Don Nurge: Interested citizen and former P&Z Commissioner
6. Bruce Tidwell: Contractor and construction recycling specialist
7. Alan Richardson: Interested citizen and state energy consultant
8. Stephanie Reed: Sawtooth Board of Realtors

Technical Delegates: Committee members with technical expertise and input for the
creation and implementation of a Blaine County BuildSmart Green Building Program.
1. Morgan Brown: Solar Contractor
2. Knox Barclay: Architect
3. Joe Marx: Builder
4. Peter Schwartz: Builder
5. Michael Bulls: Architect
6. Seth Westbrook: Architectural Intern
7. David Lister: Building Information Modeler
8. Stacey Rutherford: Sawtooth Board of Realtors
9. Kirsten Ritzau: Sawtooth Board of Realtors
10. Bob Crosby: Sawtooth Board of Realtors
11. Victor Vandenberg: Builder
12. Dan Young: Builder
13. Hermie Haavick: Building Inspector
14. Dennis Keierleber: Ketchum Building Department
15. Eric Adams: Sun Valley Building Department
16. Mark Goodman: Ketchum Planning and Zoning Department
*Committee Staff and Secretary: Shana Sweitzer, Blaine County Planning and Zoning
Department

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