Insulation group sponsors energy-saving campaign

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The North American Insulation Manufacturers Association is sponsoring "Power is in Your Hands," a campaign designed to promote energy efficiency.

The program, from the Alliance to Save Energy and the American Gas Association, is supported by a coalition with the goal of empowering consumers to lower energy use and maximize savings through energy-efficiency measures such as adding insulation to their homes.

The coalition's 20-plus members include the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Speaking at a recent press conference, NAIMA President and CEO Ken Mentzer emphasized the need for increasing energy efficiency in the 46 million underinsulated homes in the United States.

"Today, we are facing record-high fuel costs and growing imports," he said. "Energy efficiency is cheaper than fuel and the Congress and president just passed consumer tax credits for increasing the energy efficiency of existing homes. If now is not the time for improving energy efficiency, when is it?"

Mentzer reminded the audience that NAIMA has used a slogan for more than 25 years: "Insulate today, save tomorrow."

"That is what the ‘Power is in Your Hands' campaign is all about - helping Americans take specific and immediate steps that can improve the energy efficiency of their homes and protect themselves from rising energy costs," said Mentzer. "Improved energy efficiency will save Americans money immediately and protect the environment for a lifetime."

For more information on the campaign, visit

RIMA elects board of directors

Michael Boulding of TVM Building Products was elected as board president for the Reflective Insulation Manufacturers Association. The association held elections during its recent biannual membership meeting in Dallas.

All elected board members started their terms Jan. 1 and will serve through 2007.

Tom Miller of ESP/Low-E was elected vice president, and Robert Wadsworth of Innovative Energy will serve as secretary and treasurer.

New directors elected to the board were Chuck Hockensmith of ESP/Low-E, Gene Bassham of Fi-Foil Co., and Dale Langa of Ideal Tape Co.

Existing officers remaining on the board are Monty Millspaugh of Reflectix Inc. and Bobby Byrd of Martco Limited Partnership. Bill Lippy of Fi-Foil Co. is the past president.

ASHRAE awards recognize sustainable design

CHICAGO - A circus big top, a more energy-efficient school building, and a Chicago education center all received first place in the ASHRAE Technology Awards.

The awards, which acknowledge achievement from members for design in the areas of occupant comfort, indoor air quality and energy conservation, were presented Jan. 21-25 at the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers' winter meeting in Chicago.

Receiving first place in the renewable energy use category was Laurier Nichols for Escole Du Tournant, a school in Saint-Constant, Quebec. Nichols is team leader of energy efficiency for Dessau-Soprin in Longueuil, Quebec.

According to ASHRAE, the alternative school Nichols worked on has no greenhouse-gas emissions and is the most energy-efficient school in Quebec. It is 80 percent more efficient than a similar school built according to the Canada energy code. ASHRAE's energy conservation standard, 90.1, was the model used to develop the code.

Design methods for the school include a high-quality building "envelope," an efficient lighting system and a low-energy HVACR system with "intelligent" controls. Energy bills from the past two years show that the school saves $34,000 in annual energy costs.

Also receiving first place is Lev Zvenyach, vice president of IBC Engineering Services in Waukesha, Wis., for a Chicago building built to serve as a national model of environmentally sensitive design. He is receiving the award in the existing commercial buildings category.

The Chicago Center for Green Technology functions as an office building, educational facility, high-tech factory, interpretive center and a "garden in the city." The building houses tenants with a environmental or sustainable focus, such as a solar panel manufacturer, and its campus is open to visitors to help educate the public on how green buildings function and how they benefit the public and the environment.

Martin Roy received first place in the public assembly category for Tohu's Capiteau Des Arts in Montreal, which is the first concert hall dedicated to the circus arts in North America. Martin is president of Martin Roy and Associates in Deux-Montagnes, Quebec.

The building features natural ventilation, passive solar heating, and conserves water.

ASHRAE also named honorable mention award winners. They included Dennis Sczmok and Thom Barry for the Compuware world headquarters in Detroit; Wing Hong Chan for Swire Properties Management in Hong Kong; James Megerson for Blue Valley North High School in Overland Park, Kan.; Peter Johnson for the Brunswick School Performing Arts Center in Brunswick, Ohio; Siang Hwa Lek for the National Institute of Education, Nanyuang Technological University in Singapore; and Mehdi Jalayerian for Chicago's Exelon Elevator and Stair Pavilions North.

ABC president meets with President Bush

WASHINGTON - Kirk Pickerel, president and CEO of the Associated Builders and Contractors, joined President George W. Bush and construction officials to discuss rebuilding hurricane-stricken areas of the Gulf Coast.

This closed-door session included several ABC member firms, as well as representatives from the Business Roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, organized labor and federal agencies, including Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao and Don Powell, President Bush's designee to lead the rebuilding efforts.

During the meeting, participants discussed methods for recruiting workers into the construction industry and strategies for managing the housing needs of this growing work force. The group committed to work together to ensure that life in the region can return to normal.

Immediately following the meeting, Pickerel attended a ceremony to mark President Bush's signing of the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005, a measure that will provide $7.8 billion in tax incentives to help revitalize areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

"Since Katrina made landfall in late August, ABC members and chapters nationwide have been working to help the hard-hit victims of this storm," said Pickerel. "Once again, ABC has been called up to provide assistance for hurricane-recovery efforts. It is imperative that we bring together the most skilled craft professionals in the industry to help rebuild the Gulf Coast. The common-sense incentives included in the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act provide the construction industry with the tools we need to help individuals rebuild their lives."