ABSN’s main programmatic areas are building science education, village energy efficiency upgrades & training, civic engagement and technical assistance.
Building Science Education
Each year, ABSN conducts over 100 trainings all throughout Alaska for a variety of audiences such as residential contractors, housing authority staff, mechanical contractors, energy raters, home owners, Vo-tech students, rural facility & maintenance managers, real estate agents, home inspectors, carpenters, and other groups who request trainings. In addition to fee classes, ABSN would like to thank AHFC, AEA, Denali Commission, and the EPA for providing funding to help facilitate many of our classes, especially those we conduct in rural Alaska.
As part of ABSN’s Education Program we staff booths and informational tables at a variety of public events such as the seven home shows, Renewable Energy Fair, Rural Energy Conference, Step-it-Up, UA campus events, Earth Day, Lung Association events, and others as they arise. Coming soon in 2012, Alaska’s first and only Green Building Products Guide will point consumers to where they can buy the the most efficient and responsible products sold in Alaska. Each year ABSN holds a summer symposium bringing together Alaska’s leading building science experts and the top national and international experts. The symposium is two days of sessions on the latest building science and energy efficiency topics appropriate for Alaska’s climate.
Community Energy Efficiency Program
Community Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP) consists of energy efficiency audits, training and upgrades performed primarily in rural Alaskan community buildings.
ABSN’s CEEP Program started in January 2005, ABSN conducted work under an Alaska Energy Authority’s (AEA) Village End-Use Energy Efficiency Program (VEUEM) with funding from the Denali Commission. From January 2005 to December 2010, ABSN completed work in 49 villages throughout Western and Interior Alaska to help them achieve energy savings by replacing or installing energy-efficient lighting, switch boxes, motion sensors, set back thermostats, weather stripping and low mass boilers.
Community selection, coordinated by AEA was based on the status of the respective village’s Rural Power System Upgrade (RPSU). The community either recently received or is slated to receive a new power system.
With high fuel prices, villages are working in cooperation with ABSN to expand our work, providing in-kind labor, free housing, and additional supplies. As a result, significant progress toward community energy efficiency is being achieved. Whenever possible, ABSN hires local labor and provides project-specific training along with boiler maintenance training. To view a copy of the summary of completed work in the 49 VEUEM communities http://www.akenergyauthority.org/programsalternativeVEUM.html
Under VEUEM ABSN Worked in Arctic Village, Atmautluak, Brevig Mission, Chignik, Chitina, Crooked Creek, Ekwok, False Pass, Hughes, Kipnuk, Kwethluk, Lower Kalskag, Levelock, New Stuyahok, Nightmute, Nikolski, Pedro Bay, Saint Michael, Stebbins, Steven’s Village, Stoney River, Takotna, Tooksook Bay, Tuluksak, Tuntutuliak, Unalakleet, Upper Kalskag, White Mountain
2010 – 2012 Update: ABSN is also pleased to announce new funding, over $3.4mil for work in 48 communities across Alaska. ABSN had the highest scoring proposal submitted to the Alaska Energy Authority and was successful in gaining the maximum amount of work we bid on. This will have ABSN very busy in the next two years as we will train approximately 175-200 local workers in these 48 Villages to conduct lighting and weatherization upgrades on their community buildings. Part of this program is also funded through a partnership with the Bristol Bay Native Association and we will conduct the same efforts in 14 communities in the Bristol Bay Region. ABSN is also pleased to announce that we will work in partnership with the Alaska Works Partnership and AHFC to develop a trained work force in these communities that can conduct the energy efficiency upgrade work thoroughly and safely.
The communities ABSN will be working with include: Aleknagik, Chignik Lake, Clark’s Pt., Ekuk, Ekwok, Koliganek, Levelock, Manokotak, Naknek, New Stuyahok, Nondalton, Portage Creek, Togiak, Twin Hills, Deering, Kiana, Shishmaref, Teller, Chignik, King Cove, Kokhanok, Akutan, Cold Bay, False Pass, Port Heiden, Buckland, Elim, Kobuk, Koyuk, noorvik, Saint Michael, Selawik, Shakoolik, Shungnak, White Mountain, Houston, Kachemak, Seldovia, Gustavus, Hydaburg, Klawock, Pelican, Petersburg, Tenakee Springs, Thorne bay, Aleknagik, Clark’s Pt., Dillingham, Egegik, and Newhalen.
ABSN is actively involved in promoting Green Building Standards by working with government officials on state and local levels. Recently, ABSN helped generate grassroots support for the proposed major expansion of the Low Income Weatherization Program ($200 million) as well as new monies ($100 million) to be provided to Alaskan homeowners (regardless of income) for rebates on weatherization and energy retrofit projects on residences.
ABSN’s Executive Director, Scott Anaya also served on the City of Anchorage’s Sustainable Building Initiative Task Force which passed an ordinance to promote Green Building Standards in Anchorage. The basic premise of the ordinance is to require publicly funded buildings be built to a minimum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification. The ordinance also aims to provide incentives for private developers to build to a LEED Standard and offers rebates of building permit fees for buildings and homes built to either a LEED or National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Green Building Standard (NGBS).
Hats off to the Mat-Su Borough who has led the way and is already requiring publicly funded buildings and schools be built with a LEED certification. Work is also under way in the Fairbanks North Star Borough and ABSN will assist in whatever ways we can to help make green building the norm in all areas of our state.
Each year ABSN provides technical assistance to dozens of individuals and entities on a variety of building science topics. As energy prices continue to climb, especially in rural Alaska, this is a critical service ABSN provides across the state. Technical assistance can range from simply answering an email or phone call, to proofing building plans and energy systems, to providing hands-on technical training or inspection of the building envelope or mechanical systems. For the most recent completed fiscal year, ABSN provided technical assistance on approximately 175 occasions.
Sample clients include: AHFC, Energy Raters, Housing Authorities, Building America project in Hydaburg, Tribal Governments, Habitat for Humanity, homeowners, Residential Contractors, and a variety of other professions and entities.
Sample topics include: boiler sizing, vapor retarders, green building products, XPS foam, ice dams, AkWarm, non VOC paint, energy savings, lighting, tax credits, Remote Wall Systems and Outside Insulation Techniques, wet spray cellulose, ground source heat pumps, windows, attic and crawlspace ventilation, water heaters, soy based insulation, BEES, duct leakage testing, EnergyGauge, blower door testing questions, thermal loss for heated sidewalks, blueboard, caulks and foams, radiant heat, heat recovery ventilators, boiler fuel use, green design, and a whole host of other building related topics.