Guest Blogs

Agricultural Urbanism in Ecuador

Posted on March 21, 2018 by Fernando Pages Ruiz

The first thing that strikes you about the prominent billboard, when you make the turn onto Via a la Costa — the highway to the coast — that takes you from Guayaquil, Ecuador, to the beach resort towns along the Pacific shoreline of Ecuador, is the price: $29,500, all in, for a brand-new home.

Next, you puzzle the name of the development, Agro Vivienda, or “Agro-Habitat”: what does that mean?

Garbage In, Garbage Out

Posted on March 15, 2018 by Ana Baptista

U.S. cities have been burning municipal solid waste since the 1880s. For the first century, it was a way to get rid of trash. Today, advocates have rebranded it as an environmentally friendly energy source.

Most incinerators operating today use the heat from burning trash to produce steam that can generate electricity. These systems are sometimes referred to as “waste-to-energy” plants.

What Is a Green Home Worth?

Posted on March 13, 2018 by Parlin Meyer

Editor's note: This article originally appeared in Green & Healthy Homes Maine and is reprinted here with permission.

Flatrock Passive: Air Sealing the Penetrations

Posted on March 12, 2018 by David Goodyear

Editor's Note: This is one of a series of blogs by David Goodyear describing the construction of his new home in Flatrock, Newfoundland, the first in the province built to the Passive HouseA residential building construction standard requiring very low levels of air leakage, very high levels of insulation, and windows with a very low U-factor. Developed in the early 1990s by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist, the standard is now promoted by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany. To meet the standard, a home must have an infiltration rate no greater than 0.60 AC/H @ 50 pascals, a maximum annual heating energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (4,755 Btu per square foot), a maximum annual cooling energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (1.39 kWh per square foot), and maximum source energy use for all purposes of 120 kWh per square meter (11.1 kWh per square foot). The standard recommends, but does not require, a maximum design heating load of 10 W per square meter and windows with a maximum U-factor of 0.14. The Passivhaus standard was developed for buildings in central and northern Europe; efforts are underway to clarify the best techniques to achieve the standard for buildings in hot climates. standard. The first installment of the GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com blog series was titled An Introduction to the Flatrock Passive House. For a list of Goodyear's earlier blogs on this site, see the "Related Articles" sidebar below; you'll find his complete blog here.

A Chinese Firm Is Convicted of Stealing Trade Secrets

Posted on March 8, 2018 by Stuart Kaplow

While many people focused on the tariffs of 30% imposed by the United States on imported photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. cells and modules last month, most missed the larger renewable energy news story: After an 11-day trial, a federal jury in Wisconsin convicted the Chinese firm Sinovel of stealing wind technology, including trade secrets.

A Better Way to Encourage Efficient New Homes

Posted on March 7, 2018 by David Goldstein

Building a more energy-efficient home can employ many different approaches. The builder can use more insulation and better windows, install ductless heating and cooling systems, orient the house to collect sunshine through the windows in winter and shade them in summer, seal leaks in the walls and ceilings, and assure healthy indoor air 24/7 by providing reliable mechanical ventilation with energy recovery. They can use cool roofs. The list goes on...

Solving an Ice Dam Problem With Exterior Rigid Foam

Posted on March 6, 2018 by Pauline Guntlow

Because of improved product and installation methods, techniques to build new or remodel existing homes have advanced dramatically in the past few decades. In 2017, I used one of these innovations — continuous exterior insulation — to solve ice damA ridge of ice that forms along the lower edge of a roof, possibly leading to roof leaks. Ice dams are usually caused by heat leaking from the attic, which melts snow on the upper parts of the roof; the water then refreezes along the colder eaves working it's way back up the roof and under shingles. and heat loss issues of my seven-unit apartment building located in Pownal, Vermont.

Will Faulty Energy Projections Become Reality?

Posted on March 1, 2018 by Anonymous

By JULES KORTENHORST and KIERAN COLEMAN

Here Come the Megacities

Posted on February 27, 2018 by John Vidal

Note: This post originally appeared at Ensia.

Urban Rustic: Air Sealing the Exterior Sheathing

Posted on February 26, 2018 by Eric Whetzel

Editor's note: This post is one of a series by Eric Whetzel about the design and construction of his house in Palatine, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The first blog in his series was called An Introduction to a New Passive House Project; a list of Eric's previous posts appears below. For more details, see Eric's blog, Kimchi & Kraut.

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