The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

An Introduction to Pressure Diagnostics

Posted on August 18, 2017 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

When it comes to understanding heating systems, most of us are comfortable with the basics. To warm up your house on a cold day, you need a source of heat in your living room — say, a wood stove or a radiator. To keep the heat in your house, you need insulation.

That’s the way most builders understood heating from 1935 to 1980. Somewhere around 1980, however, building scientists began to realize that the old picture was imperfect.

Stranded In Our Own Communities

Posted on August 17, 2017 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs

By JUNFENG JIAO and NICOLE McGRATH

As any commuter who has experienced unreliable service or lives miles away from a bus stop will tell you, sometimes public transit isn’t really a viable option, even in major cities.

In our car-loving society, where 85% of Americans use a car to get to work, people who cannot access transportation are excluded from their own communities and trapped inside “transit deserts.” This term, which one of us (Junfeng Jiao) coined, describes areas in a city where demand for transit is high but supply is low.

The Joy of Flex

Posted on August 16, 2017 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD in Building Science

I recently spoke at the Westford Symposium on Building Science. You may know it better as Building Science Summer Camp, since that's what everyone calls it. I'll fill you in on what you missed if you weren't there.

To Net Zero and Beyond

Posted on August 15, 2017 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs

By SHILPA SANKARAN

Last month, we at the Net-Zero Energy Coalition (NZEC) published our second annual inventory of zero energy (ZE) residential buildings in the U.S. and Canada, titled “To Zero and Beyond: 2016 Residential Zero Energy Buildings Study.”

Prior to our first inventory report, existing data on residential zero energy was spotty. We believed it was crucial for us to quantify the current state and track progress in order to truly understand the reality of the zero energy movement.

Urban Rustic: Kneewalls, Subfloor, and Exterior Walls

Posted on August 14, 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.

Stair Design Basics

Posted on August 11, 2017 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Stair design requires attention to all of the usual rules of residential design. Stairs should be graceful, useful, and comfortable. In addition, stairs must also be safe. Clearly, safety is more important for stair design than for most design issues (for example, ceiling height or window orientation).

Once you understand the basic principles of stair design, you’ll probably notice that lots of stairs lack a graspable handrail, or have inconsistent riser heights, or are dimly lit. Examples of flawed stairs are unfortunately common.

Fusing Green and Universal Design

Posted on August 10, 2017 by Rosemarie Rossetti in Guest Blogs

On June 13, 1998, my husband, Mark Leder, and I went for a bicycle ride on a rural wooded trail in Granville, Ohio. After riding for a few minutes, Mark thought he heard a gunshot and slowed down to investigate. As he scanned the scene he saw a large tree falling. He shouted, “Stop!” But the warning was too late. I was crushed by a 7,000-pound tree and paralyzed from the waist down.

Raised-Heel Trusses Make Better Enclosures

Posted on August 9, 2017 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD in Building Science

A comfortable, energy-efficient home begins with a good building enclosure. That means control layers. You've got to control the flows of moisture, air, and heat.

The Airport House: Measuring Results

Posted on August 8, 2017 by Reid Baldwin in Guest Blogs

Editor’s note: This is the last in a series of guest blogs by Reid Baldwin about the construction of his house in Linden, Michigan. For a list of previous blog posts on GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com by Reid Baldwin, see the “Related Articles” sidebar below. You can read his entire blog here.

There’s Rot in the Roof

Posted on August 7, 2017 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

Chuck Kramer's home in Enumclaw, Washington, was built in the 1980s with unvented cathedral ceilings, insulated with cut-and-cobble rigid foam insulation and roofed with cedar shakes. A small section of the roof is showing signs of water damage, and now Kramer is trying to find a way of repairing the problem area without tearing into the rest of the roof.

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