The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Crawl Spaces vs. Skirts

Posted on July 21, 2017 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Many older homes in rural areas have pier foundations. The piers may be made of wood (for example, creosoted posts or pressure-treated lumber), poured concrete, CMUs, or bricks. The space between the dirt and the underside of the floor framing may be enclosed or may be entirely open to the wind.

Pete’s Puzzle: Mold on Painted Clapboards is Food for Thought

Posted on July 20, 2017 by Peter Yost in Building Science

Whenever my wife starts a conversation with, “OK, Mr. Building Scientist,” I know I am in some kind of trouble. That proved to be the case one day when we were out hanging laundry on the south side of our house.

Empowering Customers to Choose Clean Energy

Posted on July 19, 2017 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs

By JULES KORTENHORST and JAMES MANDEL

A Net-Zero Community in Texas

Posted on July 18, 2017 by lsichelman in Guest Blogs

By LEW SICHELMAN

Richard Bruce is looking forward to moving into his new Austin, Texas, home with his wife by year's end. When construction is complete, the 1,700-square-foot abode will have three bedrooms, two bathrooms, plus lightning-fast Google Fiber internet service. But here are the real selling points: the geothermal heating and cooling system and 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. (PVPhotovoltaics. Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic (PV) cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow.) panels which will ensure the new house produces as much energy as the couple consume.

Urban Rustic: Let the Framing Begin

Posted on July 17, 2017 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.

Air Conditioner Performance In Extreme Heat

Posted on July 14, 2017 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

During the last week of June, many major U.S. news outlets sent reporters to Arizona to issue updates on the area’s extreme heat wave. Outdoor temperatures hit 119°F in Phoenix. Some airplanes were grounded because the hot air was too thin for small jets to take off. Car steering wheels were so hot that some drivers wore oven mitts. VinylCommon term for polyvinyl chloride (PVC). In chemistry, vinyl refers to a carbon-and-hydrogen group (H2C=CH–) that attaches to another functional group, such as chlorine (vinyl chloride) or acetate (vinyl acetate). records delivered by mail arrived warped. Emergency room physicians reported an increase in burn cases: hands were burned when people touched their cars, and children’s feet were burned when they went barefoot outdoors.

An Award-Winning Efficiency Program in Colorado

Posted on July 13, 2017 by Laurie Guevara-Stone in Guest Blogs

Like other forward-thinking cities, Fort Collins — a city of 167,500 located in northern Colorado — had a goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050. However, following a Rocky Mountain Institute e–Lab design charretteMeeting at the beginning of an integrative design process that sets the stage for cooperation and collaboration among all participants, including the design team, engineers, contractors, clients, and any others involved in the project. Early involvement of the entire project team is fundamental to the successful use of a systems approach to green building. , the city decided to see if it could push that goal up by 20 years.

62 Things We Should Ban to Improve Home Building

Posted on July 12, 2017 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD in Building Science

Let's face it. The state of home building isn't good. Yes, we have building science and energy codes and green building programs out the wazoo. We have cool new products and home energy raters and even Joe Lstiburek. Despite all this, we still have wild ductopuses, holey air barriers, and insipid insulation installations.

And I've finally lost my patience. I think the only way to improve the state of home building in America is to ban these things.

Could a Trade Dispute With China End the U.S. Solar Boom?

Posted on July 11, 2017 by Marc Gunther in Guest Blogs

Cheap Chinese solar cells have powered a boom in the U.S. solar industry. They have helped drive down the cost of making electricity from sunlight by about 70% since 2010, leading to double-digit growth rates in rooftop and utility-scale installations, according to the industry. Last year, for the first time, solar added more generating capacity to the electricity grid than any other fuel, including natural gas. That’s welcome news to those who worry about climate change.

Installing Lap Siding Over Foam

Posted on July 10, 2017 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

William Costello is building a new house in southwest Virginia that will be framed with 2x6s and will include up to 2 inches of exterior rigid foam insulation. He plans on installing 3/4-inch thick plywood furring strips on top of the exterior foam, and then will side the house with LP SmartSide lap siding designed specifically for houses with 24-inch on-center framing.

It all sounded straightforward enough until Costello took a close look at the installation instructions from LP Building Products.

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