Legislature(2013 - 2014)CAPITOL 106

03/19/2014 08:00 AM House EDUCATION

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08:11:37 AM Start
08:11:54 AM Confirmation Hearing(s)
08:51:16 AM HB341
09:37:26 AM HR9
10:04:03 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
+ Confirmation Hearings: TELECONFERENCED
- State Board of Education & Early Development
- Professional Teaching Practices Commission
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
          HB 341-SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION, DESIGN & FUNDING                                                                      
8:51:16 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GATTIS announced  that the final order of  business would be                                                              
HB  341,  "An  Act  relating  to  school  construction  and  major                                                              
maintenance funding; relating to school design standards."                                                                      
8:51:26 AM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 8:51 a.m. to 8:56 a.m.                                                                       
8:56:08 AM                                                                                                                    
VASILIOS  GIALOPSOS,   Staff,  Representative   Charisse  Millett,                                                              
Alaska State Legislature,  on behalf of the prime  sponsor, stated                                                              
that HB 341  is an outcome  of the sponsor's participation  in the                                                              
House  Education  Sustainable  Task  Force  and  her  interest  in                                                              
obtaining  efficiencies in  construction,  major renovations,  and                                                              
rehabilitation  of school buildings.   This  stems from  the basic                                                              
philosophy that  budget reduction means considering  whether funds                                                              
will fund  programs or facility  construction.  There needs  to be                                                              
a real  conversation about the source  of construction.   In 2012,                                                              
the Alaska  Housing Finance Corporation  (AHFC) took  advantage of                                                              
funds  received  from  the  American   Reinvestment  Recovery  Act                                                              
(ARRA)  as  well   at  AHFC's  own  funds  to   conduct  the  most                                                              
comprehensive audit  of public schools  and facilities  in general                                                              
in  the  state.   He  characterized  some  of  their  findings  as                                                              
extraordinary.    He acknowledged  that  this bill  needs  serious                                                              
revision,  but the  legislative  intent is  not to  use a  "cookie                                                              
cutter" approach  since the  geographical and climactic  diversity                                                              
of Alaska  could never yield the  types of desired outcomes.   One                                                              
goal is to ensure  that buildings being built do  not need serious                                                              
upgrades  five  years  later.    The AHFC  and  the  Cold  Climate                                                              
Housing   Research  Center   can   help  provide   objective   and                                                              
measurable criteria and outcomes.                                                                                               
8:59:29 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KITO  III  asked whether  Alaska  Housing  Finance                                                              
Corporation will offer the presentation.                                                                                        
9:00:00 AM                                                                                                                    
STACY   SCHUBERT,   Director,  Governmental   Affairs   &   Public                                                              
Relations, Alaska  Housing Finance Corporation  (AHFC), Department                                                              
of  Revenue  (DOR),   described  the  work  that   AHFC  has  been                                                              
recognized  for with  energy  rebate, weatherization,  and  energy                                                              
efficiency  in  homes.    In 2010,  AHFC  received  federal  funds                                                              
through the  ARRA, which were  used to consider  energy efficiency                                                              
in public facilities  and schools throughout the state.   The AHFC                                                              
examined  1,200 buildings  and performed  investment grade  audits                                                              
on  327 buildings.    This effort  resulted  in a  white paper  on                                                              
energy use  in Alaska's  public facilities  [included in  members'                                                              
packets].      She   provided  a   brief   overview   of   today's                                                              
9:01:28 AM                                                                                                                    
JOHN  ANDERSON, Program  Officer,  Weatherization, Alaska  Housing                                                              
Finance  Corporation (AHFC),  Department of  Revenue, presented  a                                                              
PowerPoint  on HB 341.   He stated  that in  2010 Senate  Bill 220                                                              
established this  process for AHFC by establishing  a $250 million                                                              
revolving loan fund  for energy efficiency improvements  on public                                                              
facilities [slide  2].  The AHFC  used ARRA funds, which  fit well                                                              
with  the  AHFC's  efforts.    Ms.  Schubert  mentioned  the  AHFC                                                              
reviewed  1,200  buildings  using   a  benchmarking  process,  the                                                              
initial review  of a  building, as  well as  seeking two  years of                                                              
energy data  when available.   That effort identified  high energy                                                              
use  buildings and  AHFC conducted  American  Society of  Heating,                                                              
Refrigerating  and Air-Conditioning  Engineers (ASHRAE)  level two                                                              
audits on 327  buildings.  The AHFC developed  the Alaska Retrofit                                                              
Information   System   (ARIS)  database,   a   clearinghouse   for                                                              
information on Alaska  buildings to track energy  use in buildings                                                              
throughout the state  [slide 3].  Many organizations,  such as the                                                              
Department  of  Transportation  & Public  Facilities,  the  Alaska                                                              
Native  Tribal Health  Consortium  (ANTHC)  and some  schools  are                                                              
using ARIS to track energy use.                                                                                                 
9:04:00 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. ANDERSON stated  that the Building Energy  Efficiency Standard                                                              
(BEES) is  at the  core of AHFC.   All of  the projects  that AHFC                                                              
funds  must  meet  certain standards,  including  the  energy  and                                                              
structural  codes.    Tied  to   the  Building  Energy  Efficiency                                                              
Standard (BEES)  is the Home  Energy Rating System  (HERS), noting                                                              
the AHFC has  invested considerable funds to  develop its software                                                              
9:04:53 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  ANDERSON described  the  assessment  process  [slide 5].  The                                                              
American Society  of Heating,  Refrigerating and  Air-Conditioning                                                              
Engineers (ASHRAE)  process or  the benchmarking process  provides                                                              
standardized  audit   processes.     He  reported  327   of  1,200                                                              
buildings  examined  were identified  as  the highest  energy  use                                                              
buildings  and investment  grade audits  were done  to gather  and                                                              
analyze  data  and report  the  findings.    The AHFC  spent  $7.2                                                              
million  over   a  two-year  period.     The  AHFC   provided  the                                                              
University of Alaska  a $1 million grant to audit  its facilities.                                                              
Additionally,  another $10  million was  passed on  to DOT&PF  for                                                              
audits on its  facilities.  Over 5,000 facilities  exist resulting                                                              
in  energy use  costs  totaling  $641 million  annually.   The  32                                                              
audits  resulted  in significant  savings  of $14.7  million  just                                                              
from   changing  windows,   control   modifications,  and   adding                                                              
insulation.   One discovery was that  the age of the  building had                                                              
little  correlation  to energy  use  so  new doesn't  always  mean                                                              
efficient  [slide   6].    Additional  analysis   is  still  being                                                              
completed to  provide information  for a comprehensive  commercial                                                              
outcomes report, he said.                                                                                                       
MR.   ANDERSON  related   the  AHFC   headquarters  building   was                                                              
purchased  in  2011,   following  a  14-year  lease.     The  AHFC                                                              
completed a  heating and  ventilation retrofit, roofing  upgrades,                                                              
and exterior  lighting and control  systems.  Currently,  the AHFC                                                              
has  realized a  40  percent  savings on  gas  and  30 percent  in                                                              
electrical use [slide 7].                                                                                                       
MR. ANDERSON  reviewed the  overall energy audit  recommendations,                                                              
including  appropriately sized  new buildings,  establish a  level                                                              
of  accountability,   meter  and   track  energy  use   data,  and                                                              
consolidate  facility use where  possible.   One challenge  was to                                                              
obtain  accurate costs  for components  of  facilities since  some                                                              
buildings did not  have individual meters to provide  the specific                                                              
9:11:08 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. ANDERSON  indicated the  recommendations for building  design,                                                              
that  a design  should take  certain  aspects into  consideration,                                                              
including:     life-cycle   cost   of  building   components   and                                                              
equipment, especially  in areas  with high energy  costs; building                                                              
use,  system  sizes,  controlled   ventilation,  and  lighting  to                                                              
maximize  efficiency,   and  reduction  of  excessive   glass  and                                                              
maximize  daylight harvesting.   He  reported the  average age  of                                                              
the buildings audited was 30 years.                                                                                             
MS.  SCHUBERT  estimated  the  savings  for  the  5,000  buildings                                                              
across the  state could be  in excess of  $125 million  each year.                                                              
She  directed  attention to  Senate  Bill  220, which  passed  the                                                              
legislature in 2010,  which required AHFC create  a revolving loan                                                              
fund  for energy  efficiency improvements  for public  facilities.                                                              
This   program  is   available  for   municipalities  and   school                                                              
districts, she said.                                                                                                            
9:14:31 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KITO III  directed attention  to slide  4, to  the                                                              
HERS and  BEES standards.  He  related his understanding  that the                                                              
Department  of  Education  and Early  Development  (EED)  has  not                                                              
adopted  the  BEES  standards,  but  the  department  has  adopted                                                              
ASHRAE 90.1.                                                                                                                    
MR. ANDERSON  answered that  is correct.   The BEES  standards are                                                              
stringent,  but the AHFC  also accepts  the ASHRAE 90.1  standard,                                                              
which  has  also  been  adopted  by  the  DOT&PF  and  some  other                                                              
agencies.   In  further  response  to a  question,  he agreed  the                                                              
amendments to the BEES standards are Alaska specific.                                                                           
9:15:18 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KITO  III referred  to slide [8] entitled  "Overall                                                              
Energy Audit  Recommendations."   Referring to the  recommendation                                                              
that  the   department  appropriately   size  new  buildings,   he                                                              
commented  that  the EED's  control  over school  construction  is                                                              
based on  the square footage allowed  for the number  of students.                                                              
The district  doesn't have control  over the student  increases or                                                              
decreases, and  fluctuating student population  creates challenges                                                              
for districts.   He  suggested that the  party paying  the utility                                                              
bill  is not  in the  school, which  disconnects school  personnel                                                              
from the costs  since the administrator might not  know the lights                                                              
were  on all  night in  the facility.    He suggested  one way  to                                                              
connect costs could  be to include energy monitoring  equipment in                                                              
the  schools' common  areas  so  the school  principal,  teachers,                                                              
students, and  parents can  view energy  use, identify  costs, and                                                              
try to  reduce them.   He asked for  further clarification  on the                                                              
applicability  for the  Leadership  and Energy  Efficiency  Design                                                              
(LEED)  standards outside  of the  urban centers  and whether  the                                                              
LEED  standard  could be  a  tool  in Alaska  to  increase  energy                                                              
MR.  ANDERSON answered  that  LEED is  a good  process  but it  is                                                              
restricted to site  and materials and there is a  benefit to allow                                                              
that  analysis; however,  modeling  is probably  a  better way  to                                                              
obtain  energy  costs.    He agreed  using  LEED  as  an  up-front                                                              
process would be beneficial and something he supports.                                                                          
9:19:02 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON noted  energy standards  are important  but                                                              
all  of the  LEED standards  may  not make  sense.   He related  a                                                              
scenario that illustrated  the LEED process could  still result in                                                              
inefficient energy  when built in  Alaska since the  LEEDS process                                                              
balances other aspects, not just energy use.                                                                                    
CHAIR  GATTIS  commented that  LEED  has  merits.   She  expressed                                                              
frustration  over the  system, primarily,  noting  that the  state                                                              
spends hundreds of  millions, that the intentions  are often good;                                                              
however,  efficiencies  need  to  happen.    She  appreciated  the                                                              
sponsor bringing  this bill  forward and she  sees it as  the next                                                              
step in saving money for schools.                                                                                               
9:22:06 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  SCHUBERT said  HB 341  would make  AHFC a  consultant in  the                                                              
process for  developing schools.   The  AHFC understood  that when                                                              
the revolving  loan fund was  created that  it would take  time to                                                              
implement.  She  acknowledged that AHFC has held  good discussions                                                              
with the DOT&PF, in particular, as well as with other agencies.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON directed  attention to the  white paper,                                                              
entitled  "A  White  Paper  on   Energy  Use  in  Alaska's  Public                                                              
Facilities.   She  highlighted that  pages  7-22 provide  targeted                                                              
recommendations.   She  said  she will  be  certain to  distribute                                                              
them to her district superintendents and city managers.                                                                         
9:23:35 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  SCHUBERT  encouraged  members  to visit  the  AHFC's  website                                                              
[ahfc.us] that includes  all of the audits performed  in Alaska to                                                              
gain a  better understanding of  the potential in  communities and                                                              
in schools.                                                                                                                     
MR.  ANDERSON,  regarding building  monitoring,  interjected  that                                                              
the  AHFC  is currently  working  on  its  own facility  and  will                                                              
develop  a  software program  that  will  be available  to  public                                                              
entities  as  an online  resource  that  will assist  agencies  in                                                              
monitoring their own facilities.                                                                                                
9:25:58 AM                                                                                                                    
RYAN  COLGAN,   Chief  Programs  Officer,  Cold   Climate  Housing                                                              
Research Center,  first said Mr.  Hebert apologizes for  not being                                                              
present since  he very much wanted  to participate.  He  said that                                                              
tremendous  potential to  reduce  energy costs  in Alaska  exists.                                                              
He explained the  Cold Climate Housing Research  Center (CCHRC) is                                                              
a 501  (c)(3) non-profit organization  formed by the  Alaska State                                                              
Homebuilding   Association  (ASHBA)   in  1999   to  address   the                                                              
challenges  of building  in Alaska's  extreme environment  through                                                              
applied  research, policy  research, design  consulting and  other                                                              
means.   Alaskans tend  to take on  the challenges themselves  and                                                              
not  wait  for others.    The  CCHRC does  this  through  advanced                                                              
modeling,  applied  research, product  testing,  policy  research,                                                              
and  performs  design and  consulting  and  provides  construction                                                              
mentoring  services throughout  the state.   He characterized  his                                                              
organization  as  being  "problem   solvers"  who  solve  problems                                                              
through collaboration with stakeholders.                                                                                        
MR.  COLGAN referred  to  a  familiar image  of  a  map of  Alaska                                                              
superimposed on  the Lower 48 [slide  1].  This  image illustrates                                                              
how remote  and diverse  the communities of  Alaska are,  which is                                                              
important in terms  of standards.  He characterized  the necessary                                                              
approach as  being not focused on  the "cookie cutter"  but on the                                                              
cookie  recipe.   Another  factor  to consider  in  Alaska is  the                                                              
logistics since  it is difficult  to get to construction  sites in                                                              
many  places [slide  2].   Additionally,  the work  itself can  be                                                              
difficult due to the environmental conditions [slide 3].                                                                        
9:30:46 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  COLGAN  said  one  of  Alaska's  assets  is  that  the  state                                                              
consists  of problem  solvers,  which is  inherent  in its  people                                                              
[slide 4].   In fact,  it is necessary  to problem solve  in order                                                              
to survive in parts  of Alaska [slides 5-6].  Not  only do animals                                                              
need  to have  problem solving  skills,  but people  do, too,  and                                                              
this  slide  illustrates  the  collaborative   nature  of  problem                                                              
MR.  COLGAN turned  to slide  6,  entitled "How  does CCHRC  Solve                                                              
Problems?"   The  CCHRC  first seeks  to  understand the  problem,                                                              
gathers information,  and identifies solutions; basically  this is                                                              
the research process.   He showed some slides  that illustrate the                                                              
types  of  problems encountered,  including  snow  drifting,  heat                                                              
loss, and mold and rot due to an aging building [slides 6-8].                                                                   
MR.  COLGAN said  that CCHRC  gathers  information through  peers,                                                              
those  who  have  researched  and  found  solutions,  and  through                                                              
advanced  modeling,   applied  research,   and  demonstration   or                                                              
applying  what  is  known  and observing  it  in  the  real  world                                                              
[slides  9-11].     The  CCHRC   identifies  solutions,   such  as                                                              
developing a number  of wall systems to address  the challenges of                                                              
constructing   building  envelopes   to  meet  the   environmental                                                              
challenges, logistical  design or  construction, and  dealing with                                                              
water or wastewater [slides 12-13].                                                                                             
MR. COLGAN  reported that  CCHRC communicates  with end  users and                                                              
has about  50,000 hits per  year on its  website, 20,000  hits per                                                              
year  on  its  blog  for homeowners,  and  200,000  views  on  the                                                              
website  podcasts  [slides  14-16].    He  described  the  CCHRC's                                                              
facility  as a  22,000 square  feet building  that represents  the                                                              
farthest north  platinum LEED  building in  the world  [slide 18].                                                              
It represents  what is possible  and achievable with  research and                                                              
smart  application.   He  reviewed  the problem  solving  approach                                                              
used by the CCHRC  in the context of where the  state is at [slide                                                              
19].     In  terms  of  understanding   the  problem,   the  state                                                              
understands  the challenges:   high  energy costs  in some  public                                                              
facilities and  budget deficits create  a long-term burden  on the                                                              
state's  budget.    The state  has  gathered  information  through                                                              
benchmark  information,  investment  grade  audits,  and  a  white                                                              
paper  on public  facilities.   He  recommended  members read  the                                                              
white  paper, which  he  characterized as  a  very good  document.                                                              
The state has  identified solutions, through the  AHFC's revolving                                                              
loan fund,  holding conversations  on standards,  and many  of its                                                              
stakeholders are already collaborating in various ways.                                                                         
CHAIR GATTIS stated that public testimony would be kept open.                                                                   
[HB 341 was held over.]                                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HR 9 Supporting document AK State Constitution education clause.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
HR 9
HR 9 Supporting document Common Core Issues.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
HR 9
HR 9 Supporting document Common Core national curriculum.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
HR 9
HR 9 Supporting document Truth in America.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
HR 9
HR 9 Supporting documents Common Core roll out.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
HR 9
HR 9 Supporting documents Common Core testing.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
HR 9
HR 9 Supporting documents Maryland needs $100 million for online Common Core tests.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
HR 9 Supporting documents Stop Common Core Illinois.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
HR 9
HR 9 Supporting documents Trimming the Cost of Common-Core Implementation.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
HR 9
HR 9 Supporting documents Why so many parents hate Common Core.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
HR 9
HR 9 Supporting documents Would You Like Fries With Your iPad.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
HR 9
Education - Gallahorn #3.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
Education - Thompson #3.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
Education - Yarr #3.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
Prof Teaching - Piazza #3.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
Prof Teaching - van Wagner #3.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
HB0341A.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
HB 341
HB341 Sponsor statement.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
HB 341
HB341 Sectional summary.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
HB 341
HB341 fiscalNote - Rev.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
HB 341
HB341 fiscalNote - DEED.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
HB 341
CCHRC Legislative Presentation.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
HB 341
HB 341-AHFC Presentation.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
HB 341
CS for HR9.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
HR 9
HB 341 Supporting Document-AHFC White Paper.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
HB 341
HR 9 Supporting documents Maryland needs $100 million for online Common Core tests.pdf HEDC 3/19/2014 8:00:00 AM
HR 9