FEBRUARY 9, 2016 BY 

by Andy Kennedy
Sustainably Situated – February 2016
Article from the Valley Voice


Since its launch in 2008, the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council’s (YVSC) Green Building Program has fostered the vision to advance the local green building movement with educational opportunities and collaborative outreach. The program highlights rebates, showcases sustainable projects and offers educational talks to make an impact on waste management, increase energy efficiency and help improve the indoor health of our built environment. This year YVSC will continue this work with many training sessions including three upcoming trainings in February and one in March.

BPI Building Science Principles Training for Yampa Valley
Self-paced, free, online class suggested to be completed by February 15 Building Performance Institute’s (BPI) Building Science Principles students will learn best practices that demonstrate how various components of a home interact to improve overall performance. Participants will learn the relationship between the building envelope, heating, A/C, insulation, mechanical ventilation, lighting, appliances and other systems of the home and how all of these systems affect the comfort, health and safety of occupants and durability of the home. More info:www.bpi.org/professionals_certificate.aspx. To sign up, submit your e-mail and physical mailing addresses to YVSC’s Energy Outreach Coordinator Suzie Romig: suzie@yvsc.org or 871-9299 ext. 104.

The Building Science Principles class serves as a prerequisite for an upcoming Home Energy Score (HES) class (scheduled for Feb. 25-26 in Steamboat), so construction- and energy-related professionals who wish to take the HES class need to complete this BPI certification first. The 40-point computer-entered Home Energy Score provides a “miles per gallon” rating for an existing home, giving homeowners and potential homebuyers a better understanding of their long-term utility costs. For energy auditors and home inspectors, it is an opportunity to receive $75-$100 per HES inspection from the Colorado Energy Office. The Colorado Energy Office is funding completion of 65,000 of the HES ratings in the next five years. Any questions on this space-limited HES training, contact Suzie Romig (above).

USDA Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) Training
February 24, 1-4 p.m., YVEA Community Room, 2211 Elk River Rd., Steamboat Springs
Since 2010, more than $44,000 has been provided for 25KW of renewable energy to local businesses through the USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), and more than $241,000 for 830KW of renewable energy is in process. REAP provides assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to complete a variety of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Offering both loan guarantees and grants, the REAP program helps eligible applicants install renewable energy systems such as solar panels or anaerobic digesters, make energy efficiency improvements such as installing irrigation pumps or replacing ventilation systems, and conduct energy audits and feasibility studies.

YVSC and Yampa Valley Electric Association will host a seminar on the REAP Renewable Energy System and Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loan and Grant Program and grant application process 1-4 p.m. Feb. 2 in the YVEA Community Room in north Steamboat. Pattie Snidow, USDA community and economic development director, will conduct the training. Small businesses and agricultural producers are encouraged to attend. (Nonprofits and government agencies are not eligible for REAP.) For more information, visit USDA’s Rural Development website www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-renewable-energy-systems-energy-efficiency, also listed at www.yvsc.org/greenbuilding. To sign up for the REAP training, contact YVSC Executive Director Sarah Jones at sarah@yvsc.org or call 871-9299 ext. 101.

New IECC Building Codes Training
March 8-9, CMC Auditorium, Steamboat Springs
In anticipation of the proposed adoption of the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) building codes for Routt County this fall, YVSC and the Colorado Energy Office are hosting a free public training on the subject. A working group of local construction-related professionals as well as representatives from YVSC have been meeting with Routt County Regional Building Department leaders to help facilitate multiple free, local training classes to prepare for the code upgrade. Routt County has previously been building to 2009 IECC building code standards, and the new codes will help increase the energy efficiency and reduce long-term energy costs of the county’s building inventory.

The classes will be taught by Colorado Code Consulting and hosted in the Colorado Mountain College (CMC) auditorium. To accommodate for busy schedules of the attendees, the trainings will be scheduled with the first part offered in both the morning and afternoon on March 8 and the second part offered in both the morning and afternoon on March 9. Participants at the IECC 2015 building codes training will be able to take advantage of the all-you-can-eat cafeteria services at CMC next to the auditorium. More information on this workshop will be released in mid-February and can be found online at www.yvsc.org.

We hope all construction industry professionals can take part in these educational training sessions to help further the growth, sustainability and longevity of best building practices in the Yampa Valley.