Green Architects' Lounge

Home Energy Monitoring, Part 3: The Wrap-Up

Posted on February 23, 2011 by Christopher Briley

In this final part of the episode, Phil and I continue our chat with Peter Troast of Energy Circle about home energy monitoring. We conclude this epic trilogy by discussing:

  • Cost. How much are these systems going to set you back?
  • Renewables. These are the perfect tools for monitoring the generation of electricity by your installed renewables too.
  • Home Energy Monitoring, Part 2: Types of Monitoring Systems

    Posted on January 25, 2011 by Christopher Briley

    In Part 2 of this episode, Phil and I continue our conversation with Peter Troast of Energy Circle and delve into the different kinds of home energy monitoring systems available to the homeowner. From the Kill A Watt outlet monitor that you can rent from your public library, to the full circuit-by-circuit monitor you can access from your iPhone, we try to cover it all.

    Types of monitors discussed in this part of the podcast:

  • The single outlet monitor, like the Kill A Watt
  • Home Energy Monitoring, Part 1: Knowledge Is Power

    Posted on January 18, 2011 by Christopher Briley

    For this episode, Phil and I are joined by Peter Troast of Energy Circle to discuss home energy monitoring. Most people, I think, live their lives without much thought given to the power they are consuming when they turn on a device. They're more focused on the task at hand.

    Ground-Source Heat Pumps, Part 3: Five Questions

    Posted on December 1, 2010 by Christopher Briley

    I sent an email to Jeff Gagnon and Jim Godbout, and asked them five basic questions about ground-source heat pumpHome heating and cooling system that relies on the mass of the earth as the heat source and heat sink. Temperatures underground are relatively constant. Using a ground-source heat pump, heat from fluid circulated through an underground loop is transferred to and/or from the home through a heat exchanger. The energy performance of ground-source heat pumps is usually better than that of air-source heat pumps; ground-source heat pumps also perform better over a wider range of above-ground temperatures. installations. In this part of the Green Architects' Lounge podcast, Phil and I take some time to review and compare their answers. We also take a moment to touch on the subject of ozone-depleting refrigerants.

    Ground-Source Heat Pumps, Part 2: Rules of Thumb

    Posted on November 16, 2010 by Christopher Briley

    In Part One of this episode from the Green Architects' Lounge, we only scratched the surface. Now it's time to really dig in and decide if a ground-source heat pumpHome heating and cooling system that relies on the mass of the earth as the heat source and heat sink. Temperatures underground are relatively constant. Using a ground-source heat pump, heat from fluid circulated through an underground loop is transferred to and/or from the home through a heat exchanger. The energy performance of ground-source heat pumps is usually better than that of air-source heat pumps; ground-source heat pumps also perform better over a wider range of above-ground temperatures. system is right for you, and if so, to start planning for it.

    In Part Two of the podcast, we discuss:

  • A tale of two houses: Chris shares a story of two houses—one a success, and one that had to abandon using a ground-source heat pump
  • Rule of thumb for flow: 3 gal. per minute per ton of heating/cooling
  • Passive House: After Hours

    Posted on November 5, 2010 by Christopher Briley

    I left Maine with a plan. I had already corresponded with Dr. Wolfgang Feist (founder of the Passivhaus Instiut) and Katrin Klingenberg (head of PHIUS, 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. Institute U.S.) and asked if I might be able to interview them for Green Building Advisor and the Green Architects' Lounge. Both had indicated a willingness to do so, but the schedule for the event at the Boston Architectural College on October 23 was pretty full and they really didn't know if there would be time.

    Ground-Source Heat Pumps, Part 1: The Basics

    Posted on October 26, 2010 by Christopher Briley

    If you've done any amount of research on ground source heat pumps, chances are that you've heard from people who say that you'd be insane to consider them as a viable system for your house—AND you've heard from others who say you'd be insane NOT to use them.

    Where insanity and green architecture meet, you shall find Phil and me mixing a Dark and Stormy and turning on the mike to act as your good-natured guides. For this episode, we will attempt to demystify this polarizing heating and cooling system.

    In Part One of the podcast, we cover the basics and discuss:

    Biomass Boilers, Part 3: Summing It All Up

    Posted on September 24, 2010 by Christopher Briley

    For Part Three of this Green Architects' Lounge episode, we are joined once again by our good friend Pat Coon, from Revision Heat, to discuss the topic of biomassOrganic waste that can be converted to usable forms of energy such as heat or electricity, or crops grown specifically for that purpose. boilers. We complete the trilogy with a succinct discussion on cost and tax incentives (unfortunately, $1,500 is all you'll get from the U.S.). This is after Phil shares his "Hot Zigg!" (our expression for a good idea). Phil just wants a consistent wood pellet rating system. Is that too much to ask?

    Biomass Boilers, Part 2: Taking Wood Hauling Out of the Users' Hands

    Posted on September 13, 2010 by Christopher Briley

    For Part Two of this Green Architects' Lounge episode, we are joined once again by our good friend Pat Coon, from Revision Heat, to discuss the topic of biomassOrganic waste that can be converted to usable forms of energy such as heat or electricity, or crops grown specifically for that purpose. boilers. In the second installment of this epic trilogy, Phil, Pat, and I wrap up our discussion of log gasification boilers and introduce our listeners to the concept of wood pellet boilers. If you missed Part One, you might want to give that a listen first, especially since it gives you the recipe for the perfect red Manhattan (which goes very well with this smoky topic).

    Biomass Boilers: A Greener Alternative to Heat the Home?

    Posted on August 16, 2010 by Christopher Briley

    For this Green Architects' Lounge podcast, we are joined once again by our good friend Pat Coon, from Revision Heat, to discuss the topic of biomassOrganic waste that can be converted to usable forms of energy such as heat or electricity, or crops grown specifically for that purpose. boilers—both gasification log boilers and wood pellet boilers. As we did with the Deep Energy Retrofit episode, we've divided the original recording into three blog-size pieces that are better suited for this format.

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