Legislature(2011 - 2012)BARNES 124

03/17/2011 08:00 AM House COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS

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08:07:08 AM Start
08:07:30 AM Presentation: Cold Climate Housing Research Center
09:07:25 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Overview: Cold Climate Housing Research Center TELECONFERENCED
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
    HOUSE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                   
                         March 17, 2011                                                                                         
                           8:07 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Cathy Engstrom Munoz, Chair                                                                                      
Representative Alan Austerman                                                                                                   
Representative Dan Saddler                                                                                                      
Representative Berta Gardner                                                                                                    
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Neal Foster, Vice Chair                                                                                          
Representative Alan Dick                                                                                                        
Representative Sharon Cissna                                                                                                    
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION: COLD CLIMATE HOUSING RESEARCH CENTER                                                                              
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
JOHN DAVIES, Senior Researcher - Energy Policy                                                                                  
Cold Climate Housing Research Center (CCHRC)                                                                                    
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided a presentation regarding the Cold                                                               
Climate Housing Research Center.                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
8:07:08 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  CATHY  ENGSTROM  MUNOZ  called  the  House  Community  and                                                             
Regional  Affairs Standing  Committee  meeting to  order at  8:07                                                               
a.m.   Representatives  Munoz,  Austerman,  Gardner, and  Saddler                                                               
were present at the call to order.                                                                                              
^Presentation: Cold Climate Housing Research Center                                                                             
       Presentation: Cold Climate Housing Research Center                                                                   
8:07:30 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MUNOZ announced that the only  order of business would be a                                                               
presentation from the Cold Climate Housing Research Center.                                                                     
8:08:08 AM                                                                                                                    
JOHN  DAVIES, Senior  Researcher  - Energy  Policy, Cold  Climate                                                               
Housing  Research Center  (CCHRC), began  by encouraging  members                                                               
who  find themselves  in the  Fairbanks  area to  tour the  CCHRC                                                               
building, which  he said  is the  best way to  obtain a  sense of                                                               
what  CCHRC  is  about.    He  then  moved  on  to  slide  2  and                                                               
highlighted   that  Alaska   is  facing   a  diverse   number  of                                                               
challenges.   Alaska  faces many  global issues  that have  local                                                               
impacts, and therefore  one must determine what to  do locally to                                                               
solve  the issues  for the  generations to  come.   The CCHRC  is                                                               
trying to  work on one of  the issues facing the  state, which is                                                               
the issue  of housing/shelter.   He  informed the  committee that                                                               
CCHRC is a  private nonprofit that was founded  in 1999 primarily                                                               
by  members of  the Alaska  State Home  Builders Association  and                                                               
others involved in the building industry  in Alaska.  At the time                                                               
CCHRC  formed,  there was  concern  that  there was  very  little                                                               
research being done in Alaska for  Alaska.  In fact, CCHRC relied                                                               
on work from the Lower 48  or Canada, although it didn't apply in                                                               
Alaska  due  to  the  state's extreme  settings.    Jack  Hebert,                                                               
President/CEO of CCHRC, was and  is the chief visionary of CCHRC.                                                               
The mission  of CCHRC is:   "Promote and advance  the development                                                               
of  healthy, durable,  and sustainable  shelter for  Alaskans and                                                               
other circumpolar  people."  The  CCHRC is a  501(c)(3) nonprofit                                                               
with  an  11 member  board  of  directors with  various  building                                                               
industry   representatives   from   throughout   Alaska.      The                                                               
organization has  about 40 active  projects.  Although  CCHRC has                                                               
diverse  funding  sources  including state  federal,  local,  and                                                               
private sources, the state is the primary funding source.                                                                       
8:12:56 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN inquired as  to the breakdown of CCHRC's                                                               
MR.  DAVIES directed  attention to  a pie  chart included  in the                                                               
handouts provided to  the committee.  He  estimated the following                                                               
breakdown:    40  percent  state   funding,  35  percent  federal                                                               
8:13:36 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  DAVIES, returning  to his  presentation, told  the committee                                                               
that although CCHRC is based  in Fairbanks, it considers itself a                                                               
statewide  organization.    The organization  has  done  research                                                               
throughout the state, including Southeast  Alaska.  No matter the                                                               
location,  the basic  approach is  the same:   ideas  are sought;                                                               
partnerships  are  sought;  projects   are  formed;  results  are                                                               
produced;  those  results  are communicated  to  the  appropriate                                                               
entities;  and   the  hope  through  the   aforementioned  is  to                                                               
effectuate change.   In 2006,  CCHRC moved into the  Research and                                                               
Testing  Facility shown  on  slide  8.   The  facility is  15,000                                                               
square feet  and is an example  of how CCHRC tries  to do things.                                                               
The  CCHRC Research  and Testing  Facility is  an example  of the                                                               
type  of  building  that should  be  constructed,  although  it's                                                               
modest in  its goals.   The  facility uses  less than  50 percent                                                               
energy than the average building  of the same size.  Furthermore,                                                               
it  was constructed  for  less per  square  foot than  comparable                                                               
buildings in  the Fairbanks  market.  The  facility was  built to                                                               
the highest  Leadership in  Engineering and  Environmental Design                                                               
(LEED) standard.   In fact,  the facility received  LEED Platinum                                                               
certification.    He characterized  the  facility  as a  research                                                               
project  itself as  it's monitored  via 1,200  sensors throughout                                                               
the building  and the ground that  measure temperature, humidity,                                                               
carbon  dioxide, soil  temperature,  moisture in  the walls,  the                                                               
amount of  fuel used, and  more.  The  facility has a  green roof                                                               
and  the  water flow  of  the  roof  is  monitored.   Mr.  Davies                                                               
mentioned that tours  of the building are given,  which he opined                                                               
is important so that the  public can understand how this facility                                                               
works.    He reiterated  that  the  facility embodies  how  CCHRC                                                               
works, and  that is:   to  produce specific  examples of  ways in                                                               
which  people  can  use  less   energy  and  be  more  efficient.                                                               
Referring  to  slide  9,  he  pointed  out  that  CCHRC  has  the                                                               
following five main program areas:   applied research and product                                                               
testing,   policy    and   information,    sustainable   Northern                                                               
communities, hybrid micro-energy, and education and outreach.                                                                   
8:18:26 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MUNOZ asked if Mr.  Davies is tracking any legislation this                                                               
MR. DAVIES  said that this  session CCHRC isn't  heavily involved                                                               
in any legislation  going through.  Currently,  CCHRC is focusing                                                               
on an update of the policy report  CCHRC wrote in 2008.  The hope                                                               
is to  present that report in  an interim forum prior  to the end                                                               
of  this session.   However,  over the  summer the  intent is  to                                                               
expand that work to transportation  energy efficiency and present                                                               
a   final  report   to  the   legislature  in   December.     The                                                               
aforementioned  will result  in more  work to  identify the  best                                                               
practices  in energy  efficiency.   There will  also be  a fairly                                                               
major focus on the Regulatory  Commission of Alaska (RCA) issues,                                                               
in terms of  electricity.  Therefore, the hope is  to provide the                                                               
legislature with  information to  use in the  next session.   The                                                               
CCHRC also has  a fairly large effort in the  area of sustainable                                                               
Northern Communities  such that CCHRC  works with a  community to                                                               
help  design  and,  in  some  cases,  build  a  prototype.    The                                                               
aforementioned is  monitored and  hopefully lessons  are learned.                                                               
Mr. Davies clarified  that CCHRC mainly works on  the demand side                                                               
in  terms of  energy  efficiency rather  than  the energy  supply                                                               
side.  However, CCHRC does spend  time on projects that relate to                                                               
a residential scale  energy supply.  Therefore,  CCHRC would work                                                               
with solar  panels, solar thermal, photo  electric, ground source                                                               
heat  pumps,  and small  grade  windmills.  Lastly, CCHRC  has  a                                                               
fairly   significant  education   and  outreach   effort.     The                                                               
organization   has   a    newsletter,   website,   courses,   and                                                               
8:20:58 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. DAVIES  then reviewed  the program areas.   Slide  10 relates                                                               
the  various projects  CCHRC  has  done in  the  area of  applied                                                               
research.   For example, exterior  insulation was a  project that                                                               
was  started  in  Juneau.    The  idea is  to  put  most  of  the                                                               
insulation on the outside of  the wall such that about two-thirds                                                               
of  the  insulation  value  is  placed outside  the  wall.    The                                                               
aforementioned has  a number  of advantages,  including reduction                                                               
of the  potential for condensation  in the wall because  the wall                                                               
is now warm.  Such insulation  construction allows one to build a                                                               
very  tight building.   Although  it's good  in terms  of energy,                                                               
ventilation  is necessary  otherwise there  will be  condensation                                                               
inside the  building.   A number of  buildings in  Southeast were                                                               
constructed in the aforementioned fashion.   In fact, CCHRC had a                                                               
mobile testing  laboratory at the University  of Alaska Southeast                                                               
that  tested a  number  of wall  types and  compared  them.   The                                                               
testing  illustrated that  the  wall  construction with  exterior                                                               
insulation performed much better  than all the other conventional                                                               
wall construction methods being used.                                                                                           
8:23:52 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER inquired  as to  the significance  of the                                                               
two different photographs of the building [on slide 11].                                                                        
MR. DAVIES explained  that the photographs are of  a project that                                                               
was done  independent of CCHRC,  except that CCHRC  helped design                                                               
and  monitor   it.     The  photographs   are  of   the  Northern                                                               
Environmental  Center in  Fairbanks.   He  pointed  out that  the                                                               
photograph  shows  stucco on  top  of  foam.   The  building  was                                                               
retrofit such that three inches of  foam was added on the outside                                                               
of an  existing building, which is  an area of research  CCHRC is                                                               
performing  now.   Although the  aforementioned  works well  when                                                               
done correctly, merely  adding foam to the outside  of a building                                                               
can  create a  double vapor  barrier and  may trap  water in  the                                                               
wall.  However,  CCHRC has discovered that  in many circumstances                                                               
water  isn't trapped  in the  wall and  thus CCHRC  is trying  to                                                               
quantify what those circumstances are.   For example, CCHRC knows                                                               
that  with  a  poorly  built   building  to  which  one  inch  of                                                               
insulation  is  added  outside, lots  of  condensation  will  run                                                               
inside  of  the  foam  because  there  isn't  enough  insulation.                                                               
Therefore, there is an optimum  amount of insulation necessary to                                                               
keep the condensation surface warm and  so it doesn't form ice in                                                               
the  winter.   The  CCHRC is  trying to  quantify  the amount  of                                                               
insulation necessary.                                                                                                           
8:25:58 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  AUSTERMAN   asked  if   research  is   finding  a                                                               
different amount of  foam is needed in the  Fairbanks area versus                                                               
the Juneau area where it is wetter.                                                                                             
MR. DAVIES explained  that for the model energy  codes, the state                                                               
was  divided  into four  zones,  which  are primarily  delineated                                                               
based  on  the heating  degree  days.    The  four zones  are  as                                                               
follows: Southeast,  Southcentral - Fairbanks, the  Interior, and                                                               
Western  Alaska,  Aleutians  and  Kodiak, and  the  North  Slope.                                                               
There are  different insulation standards  for each zone  and the                                                               
amount  of  insulation  is  also   dependent  upon  a  location's                                                               
microclimate.  For  instance, those living on a  mountain top may                                                               
want more  insulation while  those near  the beach  may not.   He                                                               
indicated that in  general, one can't use enough  insulation.  In                                                               
further  response to  Representative Austerman,  Mr. Davies  said                                                               
that  interested individuals  can seek  information from  CCHRC's                                                               
website.   The  Building Energy  Efficiency Standards  (BEES) are                                                               
what the Alaska  Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC)  uses for its                                                               
construction practices.   However, he pointed out that  a code is                                                               
a minimum standard.                                                                                                             
8:28:52 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  MUNOZ   asked  whether  the   energy  necessary   for  the                                                               
ventilation  required with  outside  insulation  still makes  the                                                               
overall project more efficient.                                                                                                 
MR.  DAVIES  confirmed that's  the  case.    He then  noted  that                                                               
recently there have  been advances in electric  motors, such that                                                               
they  use  about  one-third  of  the  energy  of  a  conventional                                                               
electric motor.   He opined  that it's important to  have healthy                                                               
air to breath.  Still, overall,  if the wall construction is more                                                               
efficient,  the  net  energy  result  is  a  savings,  even  with                                                               
ventilation costs.                                                                                                              
8:30:30 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. DAVIES,  returning to his  presentation, moved on  to product                                                               
testing.  One such product  testing was performed after questions                                                               
regarding the  performance of reflective insulation  arose and it                                                               
was determined  that in most  circumstances it doesn't  add much.                                                               
However, there are places where  reflective insulation does work,                                                               
and thus it must be used  appropriately.  The CCHRC is evaluating                                                               
various types of  windows and window treatments.  Slide  14 has a                                                               
photograph  of  a  motor-driven  shutter  on  the  outside  of  a                                                               
building.   He noted that one  of the problems with  shutters and                                                               
insulation  is that  placing it  on the  inside incorrectly  will                                                               
likely make  the window  cold enough  that condensation  forms on                                                               
the window.  Therefore, generally  shuttering on the outside of a                                                               
window works best.                                                                                                              
8:32:10 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. DAVIES, moving on to slide  15, related that his current area                                                               
of focus  is regarding  policy and information.   In  2008, CCHRC                                                               
developed  an  Alaska  Energy  Efficiency  Policy  Report.    The                                                               
legislature   has   implemented   about   two   thirds   of   the                                                               
recommendations in  the aforementioned report.   He then directed                                                               
attention to  AkWarm, which is  software that has  been developed                                                               
in Alaska and  AHFC has delegated the maintenance  and upgrade of                                                               
AkWarm  to CCHRC.   The  AkWarm software  is used  by the  energy                                                               
raters to rate  homes.  This rating allows a  rater to review the                                                               
insulation,  heating system,  windows,  and  construction of  the                                                               
building to calculate  the energy being used and  where energy is                                                               
being lost.   Therefore, the  AkWarm software is  very important.                                                               
Recently,  it was  upgraded  such that  it  produces more  useful                                                               
reports  and it's  being expanded  for use  on small  to mid-size                                                               
commercial buildings.   He informed  the committee that  the Star                                                               
rating system  is being expanded  as CCHRC is  developing ratings                                                               
for a 6-star home and beyond.   For instance, a 9-star home might                                                               
be a  zero energy home with  no added exterior energy  other than                                                               
what it collects on site.   Two buildings in Fairbanks illustrate                                                               
the aforementioned is  achievable, although it isn't  cheap.  Mr.                                                               
Davies also informed the committee  that CCHRC has a fairly major                                                               
contract  with  AHFC to  monitor  the  weatherization and  energy                                                               
rebate programs.   The weatherization and  energy rebate programs                                                               
are doing well  with about 30 percent  energy efficiency savings.                                                               
The  aforementioned  is  good,  but  it could  be  better.    The                                                               
databases  for these  programs also  illustrate  that people  are                                                               
investing  their own  money.   However, there  are middle  income                                                               
individuals who are just above  qualifying for weatherization and                                                               
aren't  continuing  with  the program  because  they  don't  have                                                               
enough  money  to  make  the necessary  changes  to  their  home.                                                               
Typically, these are  homes that need more work.   Therefore, the                                                               
program needs to address this sector.                                                                                           
8:37:36 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. DAVIES  moved on to  slide 18 entitled  "Sustainable Northern                                                               
Communities,"  and opined  that the  crisis areas  in Alaska  are                                                               
located  in  rural  Alaska.   He  explained  that  CCHRC  attends                                                               
meetings and  makes its  abilities known, and  then waits  for an                                                               
invitation to help.   He then provided  photographs of Anaktuvuk,                                                               
which  is  the   prototype  for  this  effort.     Anaktuvuk,  he                                                               
explained,  is off  the road  system and  river system,  and thus                                                               
everything  of substance  has to  be brought  in via  airplane or                                                               
snow  machine.   Furthermore, it's  located in  the Brooks  Range                                                               
above the  tree line and  thus it's cold.   The location  is very                                                               
challenging.    The  first  thing  CCHRC  held  was  a  three-day                                                               
brainstorming  session in  the village,  which  uncovered that  a                                                               
building  rooted in  the ground,  not on  stilts, was  desired by                                                               
residents.     Anaktuvuk   used   to  have   sod   homes.     The                                                               
aforementioned  information as  well as  indigenous knowledge  of                                                               
the  area,  such  as  the  direction  of  the  wind,  and  modern                                                               
technology was used to create  a package for consideration of the                                                               
local residents.  Ultimately, CCHRC  built a prototype home as an                                                               
experiment.   The challenge was  to construct a building  for the                                                               
climate in an area where everything  has to be flown to the area.                                                               
A  typical  building requires  5  (indisc.)  loads of  materials,                                                               
whereas all  the materials for the  prototype were flown in  on a                                                               
DC-6.   The prototype is burmed  into the earth with  R-60 walls,                                                               
ceiling, and  floor.  The  building is constructed as  a skeleton                                                               
and then  foamed in  place.   Due to  a training  regime, college                                                               
students helped  build the  prototype.  He  pointed out  that the                                                               
prototype has  solar panels on  the front  of the building  and a                                                               
wind generator.   Furthermore,  the building  is oriented  to the                                                               
South  in order  to  collect as  much energy  in  the spring  and                                                               
summer as  it can while  protecting it  from the cold  winds from                                                               
the north.   This prototype  is using  one-tenth of the  energy a                                                               
typical  building  uses  in  that  community.    In  response  to                                                               
Representative   Austerman,  Mr.   Davies   explained  that   the                                                               
prototype building  is covered in  a heavy liner that  is sprayed                                                               
onto the  building and it can  be painted.  He  likened the liner                                                               
to "stucco on steroids."                                                                                                        
8:43:25 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER inquired as to  who was allowed to live in                                                               
the prototype.                                                                                                                  
MR. DAVIES said he didn't know as that was left to the village.                                                                 
8:43:48 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  MUNOZ  asked  if  the   village  is  moving  forward  with                                                               
additional buildings like the prototype.                                                                                        
MR.  DAVIES   replied  no,  but   informed  the   committee  that                                                               
Tagiugmiullu  Nunamiullu Housing  Authority (TNHA)  is now  doing                                                               
the  same process  in  six  other villages.    Although CCHRC  is                                                               
helping to  some degree, it's  mainly being left to  [TNHA] since                                                               
they know the process.                                                                                                          
8:44:32 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  DAVIES informed  the  committee that  the  prototype has  an                                                               
experimental  sewage treatment  plant,  which is  an area  that's                                                               
struggling in terms  of energy [use] due to the  continual use of                                                               
a fan.   Therefore, because  the fan is  running all the  time to                                                               
bring in  air, it's  also functioning  as the  ventilation system                                                               
for the  building as well.   Mr. Davies opined that  this type of                                                               
sewage  treatment plant  should be  considered for  use in  other                                                               
places in  Western Alaska.  Perhaps,  such a plant could  be used                                                               
for clusters of  six to eight homes.  The  process is approved by                                                               
the Department of Environmental Conservation  (DEC).  He told the                                                               
committee that when  the effluent is discharged it  can be placed                                                               
right onto the ground.                                                                                                          
8:46:36 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN asked  if the system is  small enough to                                                               
be used in individual homes.                                                                                                    
MR.  DAVIES  replied  yes,  adding  that  it  was  developed  for                                                               
individual homes in Fairbanks that  are constructed on permafrost                                                               
and where a conventional septic  system won't work.  He mentioned                                                               
that there  are about 300-400  such systems in use  in Fairbanks.                                                               
There is also a different  company in Anchorage that manufactures                                                               
these  systems  to  address  small  lot sizes  on  hills.    This                                                               
information is  on CCHRC's website.   The hope, he said,  is that                                                               
with new motors and a slight  variation on the scheme, the energy                                                               
costs would be driven down to an acceptable level.                                                                              
8:47:41 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER mentioned the  City of Unalaska, which has                                                               
a  huge  problem with  the  cost  of  sewage treatment  that  the                                                               
federal government is  requiring the city to install.   She asked                                                               
if the  aforementioned type  of system would  make sense  for the                                                               
City of Unalaska, although it's a larger community.                                                                             
MR.  DAVIES  answered that  he  didn't  know,  but it  should  be                                                               
reviewed.   He reiterated that  the thought  had been to  run the                                                               
system for  clusters of  homes, although such  a system  could be                                                               
used for individual  homes.  Although the system  is costly, it's                                                               
comparable to existing solutions.                                                                                               
8:48:43 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. DAVIES, returning to his  presentation, directed attention to                                                               
slide  19,  which  reviews the  multi-step  process  involved  in                                                               
developing sustainable  northern shelter  as follows:   community                                                               
invitation, team  building, concept, charrette,  concept testing,                                                               
prototype, and documentation.   Further information regarding the                                                               
aforementioned  process can  be  found on  CCHRC's  website.   He                                                               
related that CCHRC tries to  obtain as much knowledge as possible                                                               
from  people and  animals  in the  area as  well  as taking  into                                                               
consideration the land,  soil type, and the past  problems of the                                                               
area.  One of the main  lessons learned from animals in the north                                                               
is that retaining  heat is important.  He  reminded the committee                                                               
that many  indigenous people had  ingenious ways of  surviving in                                                               
harsh climates.   The hope  is to combine that  indigenous wisdom                                                               
with 21st  century technology  to develop  a better  solution for                                                               
all in the future.                                                                                                              
8:51:54 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. DAVIES returned the committee's  attention to slide 18, which                                                               
lists   the  various   communities  where   sustainable  northern                                                               
projects are  located.   He then  moved on  to slide  27 entitled                                                               
"Hybrid Micro-Energy."   He  explained that  micro-energy systems                                                               
are energy  systems that are  residential scale and  hybrid means                                                               
that it's  a collection  of different systems.   For  example, at                                                               
the  CCHRC Research  & Testing  Facility in  Fairbanks, there  is                                                               
solar  PV, solar  thermal,  and  wood energy.    The  hope is  to                                                               
develop a combined  heat and power.  The notion  was to take wood                                                               
chips and gasify them to make  gas to run a diesel generator that                                                               
generates  electricity.   Therefore, in  the winter  solar energy                                                               
stored in wood would be used  to produce electricity and heat for                                                               
the building.   Thus far, the aforementioned  project hasn't been                                                               
successful  because a  small scale,  residential or  village size                                                               
scale system hasn't been identified.   The goal, he opined, is to                                                               
have  a building  that  generates  all of  its  own  energy.   As                                                               
indicated earlier,  it's possible to construct  a building that's                                                               
thermally independent, but the question  now is whether buildings                                                               
can generate electricity in a variety  of ways.  Although wind or                                                               
solar  works for  individual buildings,  they don't  work in  the                                                               
winter  or  when   the  wind  isn't  blowing.     Therefore,  the                                                               
difficulty  is  to put  together  a  package  that works  and  is                                                               
reliable and economic.                                                                                                          
8:55:13 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  AUSTERMAN inquired  as  to the  amount of  energy                                                               
solar panels  produce on a  cloudy day.   He also inquired  as to                                                               
the meaning of the term passive solar.                                                                                          
MR. DAVIES answered  that solar panels don't produce  energy on a                                                               
cloudy day.  He then explained  that passive solar is the premise                                                               
that a  building is oriented so  that there is heat  in.  [Solar]                                                               
PV is  considered more of  an active  system, but the  problem is                                                               
the  capacity factor  - the  percentage  of power  that a  device                                                               
produces versus its theoretical maximum.   The passive factor for                                                               
[solar] panels  in Alaska  is around  10 percent,  depending upon                                                               
whether there's a tracker.  Mr.  Davies said that the panels cost                                                               
more  and they  produce about  as much  more as  they cost  more.                                                               
Still, they work.   For example, for a tourism  business that had                                                               
to do laundry May through September, it would be a great fit.                                                                   
8:57:31 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  asked where the  wood for the  wood stove                                                               
in Anaktuvuk Pass prototype house would come.                                                                                   
MR. DAVIES  answered that there  is willow  in the area,  and the                                                               
stove is  designed for  use of  small sticks  and functions  as a                                                               
backup.   Most of the time,  a small Toyo-type stove  is used for                                                               
heating, he clarified.  In  response to Representative Austerman,                                                               
Mr.  Davies related  that the  foundation is  a foam  pad on  the                                                               
8:58:16 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. DAVIES moved  on to slide 29, and related  that almost weekly                                                               
CCHRC  receives  calls  asking about  ground  source  heat  pumps                                                               
(GSHP).   Although  GSHP is  a  proven technology  that has  been                                                               
utilized  in Alaska,  it  hasn't been  monitored  long enough  to                                                               
determine if  they work.   Therefore, CCHRC  is working  with the                                                               
Alaska Center  for Energy and  Power (ACEP) to perform  a massive                                                               
literature search  to identify  all the  projects that  have been                                                               
put  in Alaska.    He estimated  that there  have  been over  100                                                               
installations  of [GSHP]  throughout  the  state, although  there                                                               
isn't  much data.    One concern  is what  happens  when heat  is                                                               
continually taken  from the ground.   Questions regarding whether                                                               
permafrost, a frost heave, or  changes in soil conductivity occur                                                               
over time.   The issue driving those concerns is  that the ground                                                               
is  being made  colder.   A  potential solution  is  to heat  the                                                               
ground in  the summer  and take  it out in  the winter,  which is                                                               
being done at Weller School  in Fairbanks.  He characterized this                                                               
system as a reverse refrigerator.                                                                                               
9:00:44 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  DAVIES, in  response  to  Representative Gardner,  confirmed                                                               
that  the  Juneau International  Airport  uses  [GSHP], but  it's                                                               
relatively new and hasn't produced  much data.  He mentioned that                                                               
these are  systems that are bored  straight down 200 feet  like a                                                               
well.  The  data from these systems are of  interest because they                                                               
are what  most could  use as  a retrofit for  a house.   However,                                                               
Juneau  is located  close to  tide water,  which wouldn't  be the                                                               
situation for  many places in the  state.  For the  Weller School                                                               
project a  small [GSHP] system that  won't be enough to  heat the                                                               
entire  school will  be used  in conjunction  with solar  thermal                                                               
collectors  on the  roof.   Therefore,  the summer  heat will  be                                                               
collected to  pump heat back into  the ground.  A  good heat pump                                                               
system will have a coefficient  of performance of at least three,                                                               
and therefore it will move three  times as much energy out of the                                                               
ground as it takes electricity to run the pumps.                                                                                
9:02:35 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  DAVIES then  related that  CCHRC has  a large  education and                                                               
outreach effort.   In fact, CCHRC  has a portal to  help with the                                                               
energy rebate  program and produced various  publications as well                                                               
as  a website  and a  library at  the facility.   Since  a recent                                                               
upgrade to  the website, there  have been over  6,000 independent                                                               
accesses of it.  Typically,  over 1,200 people access the website                                                               
annually.   Also,  CCHRC  provides tours  of  the building  every                                                               
week.  All  of the aforementioned is an effort  to demonstrate to                                                               
folks what CCHRC  does and the systems used at  the facility.  He                                                               
informed the committee  that CCHRC has received  funding from the                                                               
U.S.  Department  of  Housing  and  Urban  Development  (HUD)  to                                                               
construct an  addition to the  facility to accommodate  the staff                                                               
and the increased need for classrooms.                                                                                          
9:04:56 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  MUNOZ thanked  Mr.  Davies for  the  presentation and  his                                                               
work.  She  remarked that she had been  particularly intrigued by                                                               
the  unique  design of  the  building  in  Quinhagak.   She  then                                                               
requested that  Mr. Davies  contact her  when the  updated policy                                                               
report is ready to be shared.                                                                                                   
MR. DAVIES said he is  working with Representative Foster and the                                                               
House Special Committee on Energy  to determine a time to present                                                               
the  updated policy  report.   In  response to  Chair Munoz,  Mr.                                                               
Davies indicated he  was amenable to a joint  meeting between the                                                               
two committees.                                                                                                                 
CHAIR   MUNOZ  mentioned   that  committee   members  have   been                                                               
discussing a trip in the summer  to Galena, which could be a good                                                               
time to possibly visit CCHRC.                                                                                                   
MR. DAVIES  stated that a  visit to  the facility is  the easiest                                                               
way to understand the work being done by CCHRC.                                                                                 
9:07:25 AM                                                                                                                    
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Community  and Regional  Affairs Standing  Committee meeting  was                                                               
adjourned at 9:07 a.m.                                                                                                          

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