The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Carbon Emissions By the Construction Industry

Posted on March 9, 2018 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Burning fossil fuels or using electricity results in carbon dioxide emissions (unless the electricity is produced by photovoltaics, wind, or another renewable energy source). Since CO2 emissions cause global climate change, environmentally conscious builders aim to build energy-efficient buildings.

A Chinese Firm Is Convicted of Stealing Trade Secrets

Posted on March 8, 2018 by Stuart Kaplow in Guest Blogs

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 in Guest Blogs

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 in Guest Blogs

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.

Updating a Massachusetts Colonial

Posted on March 5, 2018 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

In coastal Massachusetts, Justin Brown is looking for ways to upgrade the energy performance of his very old house. It sounds as if previous owners had taken some steps to tighten up the building envelopeExterior components of a house that provide protection from colder (and warmer) outdoor temperatures and precipitation; includes the house foundation, framed exterior walls, roof or ceiling, and insulation, and air sealing materials., but they didn't go far enough with either air sealing or insulation. Now, Brown wants to complete the job.

One area of particular concern is the attic. It's insulated with a mix of fiberglass and cellulose, he writes in a Q&A post, but a cold snap this winter produced some frost on the underside of the roof sheathingMaterial, usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), but sometimes wooden boards, installed on the exterior of wall studs, rafters, or roof trusses; siding or roofing installed on the sheathing—sometimes over strapping to create a rainscreen. .

Finally, a Right-Sized Furnace

Posted on March 2, 2018 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

For years, builders of energy-efficient homes have been frustrated by the lack of low-load furnaces. An article I wrote in 2013 about this problem began with this question: “Why are the smallest available American furnaces rated at about 40,000 BtuBritish thermal unit, the amount of heat required to raise one pound of water (about a pint) one degree Fahrenheit in temperature—about the heat content of one wooden kitchen match. One Btu is equivalent to 0.293 watt-hours or 1,055 joules. /h?”

A 40,000 Btu/h furnace is likely to be more than twice the size of what is needed to heat a small energy-efficient home. Many homes in this category have a design heat load of only 12,000 or 15,000 Btu/h.

Will Faulty Energy Projections Become Reality?

Posted on March 1, 2018 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs


Advice for Getting the Most Out of Your Insulation Contract

Posted on February 28, 2018 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD in Building Science

I love insulation. It's a wonderful thing because it saves energy. It makes buildings more comfortable. And it's pretty inexpensive considering how long it lasts (or should last). I get asked a lot for my opinion on the best insulation to put in a building and my answer is straightforward: A well-installed insulation is the best. I like fiberglass. I like cellulose. I like spray foam. I like mineral wool. I like blown, sprayed, batt, and rigid insulation.

Here Come the Megacities

Posted on February 27, 2018 by John Vidal in Guest Blogs

Note: This post originally appeared at Ensia.

Urban Rustic: Air Sealing the Exterior Sheathing

Posted on February 26, 2018 by Eric Whetzel in Guest Blogs

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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