News and Resources

Training Webinar: Multifamily Health and Safety

This training highlights the impacts of energy efficiency improvements on the health and safety of residents, as well as the key building components that can signal health and safety issues. This training will build upon the Energy Audit 101 and Multifamily Building Operations training’s.

Training Segments

Multifamily Health and Safety – Combustion Safety 

Multifamily Health and Safety – Electric Safety

Multifamily Health and Safety – Ventilation, Moisture, Products and Pollutants

Full Training

Multifamily Health and Safety – Full Training

PDF 

Multifamily Health and Safety – Full Training PDF

On-Demand Training: Emerging Technologies – Solar Thermal for Multifamily

As part of our on-demand video training series showcasing emerging technologies, this month we highlight solar thermal hot water systems. Solar thermal water heaters can be a cost-effective way to generate hot water for your multifamily property. In this video, we discuss:

  • Types of solar thermal systems
  • Energy savings associated with solar thermal systems
  • Onsite characteristics needed for straightforward installation and operation
  • Long-term maintenance considerations.

To view the full training and PDF follow these links:

Full Training

Solar Thermal for Multifamily Full Training

PDF

Solar Thermal – Full Training PDF

Training Webinar: Energy Efficient Multifamily Building Operations

This training provides a fundamental understanding of the importance of building operations on the energy efficiency, durability, and comfort of multifamily building. Building operators will be equipped with building science and operational principles, as well as maintenance strategies to improve building performance, lower operating costs, and improve comfort for occupants.

To view the full training and PDF follow these links:

Training Segments

Energy Efficient Multifamily Building Operations – Operations & Maintenance and Energy Management 

Energy Efficient Multifamily Building Operations – Building Science Fundamentals 

Energy Efficient Multifamily Building Operations – Energy Systems and Operations & Maintenance – Part 1

Energy Efficient Multifamily Building Operations – Energy Systems and Operations & Maintenance – Part 2

Full Training

Energy Efficient Multifamily Building Operations – Full Training 

PDF 

Energy Efficient Multifamily Building Operations – Full Training PDF

New Construction Envelope Bundle

Envelope

This month the Multifamily Energy Program is highlighting the New Construction Envelope Bundle. Improved building envelopes have multiple benefits for both building owners and occupants.

  • For building owners and developers, an improved envelope can lead to longer life cycles for the building and an overall more durable structure that is less likely to be vulnerable to mold, mildew, or rot.
  • Occupant comfort is determined primarily by two factors: relative humidity and mean radiant surface temperatures. For this reason, the temperature of walls and windows will influence comfort even more than the air temperature.

Walls perform significantly better when a continuous insulation layer is installed on the exterior wall of the building (either as a separate layer, or as insulated sheathing or insulated siding). Continuous insulation reduces thermal bridging which occurs when heat is lost through a less insulated or more conductive portion of a building’s exterior. Ultimately, thermal bridging results in a less comfortable home that is more expensive to heat and cool. Continuous insulation creates an uninterrupted thermal barrier that extends across structural components, eliminating thermal bridges.

Implement the Multifamily Energy Program’s New Construction Envelope Bundle to improve overall wall performance. These measures will reduce heat loss through windows and enable more consistent temperatures on the internal side of exterior walls. Learn more about this program bundle in the Program Manual.

Refer to the following resources and tools to design a better performing building envelope.

  • Building Science Advisor: The Department of Energy and Oakridge National Laboratory have partnered on a tool that promotes better-informed decisions regarding energy efficient and moisture durable building envelope solutions for developers, builders, and architects.
  • Construction Instruction: An excellent resource to help builders, architects, and developers specify and install continuous insulation. Construction Instruction provides resources and training videos, which are available both online and as a mobile app.
  • Ekotrope Wall Calculator: This tool allows you to quickly and easily determine the overall effective R-value and cost of wall assemblies.

Utilizing the tools mentioned above, you can ensure that the correct combination of exterior insulation and building materials are used to create walls that will perform for both durability and comfort.

Training Webinar: Planning for Energy Efficiency Upgrades

This training provides multifamily building professionals the recommended considerations and practices when planning an existing building retrofit with energy efficiency measures, by building upon the foundation of the Intentional Design and Energy Auditing 101 courses.

The training specifically highlights:

  • How energy upgrades fit into the property life cycle
  • The key steps in planning for energy efficiency upgrades

To view the full training and PDF follow these links:

Full Training

Planning for Energy Efficiency Upgrades – Full Training

PDF 

Planning Energy Efficiency Upgrades – Full Training PDF

Training Webinar: Effective Ventilation Strategies

This training will provide multifamily building professionals and owners with the value proposition, benefits, and recommendations of adding energy efficient ventilation design into new construction and retrofit multifamily projects. Ventilation is required by code for new construction projects, and in existing buildings a retrofit opportunity to improve both indoor air quality and building durability. We will begin by reviewing industry accepted standards for multifamily ventilation. We will then highlight ventilation system in the market to meet these ventilation standards and organize them by equipment effectiveness, cost to install, and energy savings opportunities to maximize program incentives.

To view condensed training segments, the full training or PDF follow these links:

Training Segments 

Effective Ventilation Strategies – Ventilation Strategies & Value Propositions

Effective Ventilation Strategies – Ventilation Standards &  Guides

Effective Ventilation Strategies – Business Case for Prioritizing Systems 

Full Training

Effective Ventilation Strategies – Full Training 

PDF 

OHCS_OR-MEP_Effective Ventilation Strategies – Full Training PDF

 

On-Demand Training: Emerging Technologies – Variable Refrigerant Flow

Variable Refrigerant Flow, or VRF, systems are not new to residential, multi-family, or commercial markets. That said, full VRF systems are not quite the same as the now familiar “mini-split heat pump” systems that are prevalent in our construction and retrofit landscape in Oregon. VRF systems offer higher efficiency and increased controls, compared to other electric heating systems. In this video, we discuss:

  • How VRF systems operate?
  • What are the advantages and limitations of VRF systems?
  • What applications make VRF systems a good choice for multifamily buildings?
  • What are the design and installation considerations for VRF in new construction and retrofit multifamily applications?

To view the full training and PDF follow these links:

Full Training

VRF Full Training

PDF

VRF – Full Training PDF

Training Webinar: Energy Modeling Best Practices

Thursday, August 23, 2018, 12pm

This training will familiarize multifamily building professionals on the fundamental concepts of whole building energy simulation as both a design tool for new construction and to support energy retrofits of existing buildings. This training shares modeling best practices and tools to support design optimization, workflow efficiency, and participation in the Multifamily Energy Program.

To view condensed training segments, the full training or PDF follow these links:

Training Segments 

Energy Modeling Best Practices – Energy Modeling Basics

Energy Modeling Best Practices – Workflow Efficiency

Energy Modeling Best Practices – Model QA

Full Training

Energy Modeling Best Practices – Full Training 

PDF 

Energy Modeling Best Practices – Full Training PDF

 

Training Webinar: Energy Auditing 101

Thursday, August 9, 2018  | 12PM – 1PM

This training will provide multifamily building professionals and owners with an understanding of how energy audits can pinpoint where buildings lose energy and what improvements can be done to save money. Energy audits come in a variety of flavors – this training will outline the benefits of different types of energy audits from basic to comprehensive. We will also discuss how to apply this information to improve building efficiency, resident comfort, and owner costs, as well as how to apply for cash incentives for upgrades.

To view condensed training segments, the full training or PDF follow these links:

Training Segments

Energy Auditing – 101 – Auditing Background and Protocols

Energy Auditing – 101 – Auditing Process

Energy Auditing – 101 – Common Systems

Full Training

Energy Auditing – 101 – Full Training

PDF

Energy Auditing – 101 – Full Training PDF

 

New Construction & Existing Building DHW Bundle

HPWH_1 (003)

Water heating is now the second largest residential energy user, with space heating being the largest. More than 40% of U.S. households provide domestic hot water using electric resistance storage water heaters. A significant opportunity exists to improve water-heating energy efficiency in these households through the use of heat pump water heaters (HPWHs), which offer potential energy savings of 50% or more. Unlike electric resistance water heaters, HPWHs function much like a refrigerator in reverse. Heat pump water heaters use electricity to move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly. This process makes them two to three times more energy efficient than standard electric resistance water heaters and can cut water heating costs by up to 60%.

For domestic hot water needs in multifamily buildings, there are two HWPH applications: (1) unitary in-unit water heaters, or (2) central water heaters, serving multiple apartment units. Here are key considerations when deciding if HPWHs are the right solution for your multifamily building:

  • Space – Heat pump water heaters typically require at least 700cubic feet of air-flow around them. This is equivalent to 8’x9’x10’ of space. Air-flow requirements vary by product, and some units can be installed in much less space if you employ ducting or other air-flow strategies.
  • Sound – Heat pump water heaters generate sounds similar to the background noise from a portable fan (around 45 decibels). When installed in a separate living space, very few occupants are aware they are operating.
  • Cool air – While in operation, heat pump water heaters release cool, dry air into the surrounding space.
  • Size/height – Heat pump water heaters may be slightly larger than standard electric water heaters.

Learn more about heat pump water heaters at www.hotwatersolutionsnw.org

When heat pump water heaters are coupled with low flow plumbing fixtures, such as faucets and showerhead, the savings for both energy and water can be tremendous. The Multifamily Energy Program’s Existing Building – DHW Bundle and New Construction – DHW Bundle promotes the installation of heat pump water heaters, and low flow faucets and showerheads. Learn more about these program bundles in the Program Manual.