Green Building Blog

The Pretty Good House: A Better Building Standard?

Posted on October 5, 2012 by michael maines

The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEANorth East Sustainable Energy Association. A regional membership organization promoting sustainable energy solutions. NESEA is committed to advancing three core elements: sustainable solutions, proven results and cutting-edge development in the field. States included in this region stretch from Maine to Maryland. www.nesea.org) held its annual meeting in Portland, Maine, on September 15th, 2012. After a day of tours of local sustainably designed projects and some pre-meeting smorgasbord grazing, the meeting started with a round of speeches by board and association directors. (Exciting changes are coming; stay tuned!). Then the meeting continued with the entertainment portion of the evening: a panel-style discussion about the Pretty Good House.

(At Least) 3 Things Are Wrong With This Window Installation

Posted on September 28, 2012 by GBA Team

Last week, GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com published a photo of a recently installed window in an new house under the headline, “What's Wrong With This Picture?”

The photo showed the window from the interior. Some of the flexible flashing material was visible on the rough sill and the rough jamb.

The list of problems outlined below was prepared by James Steacy of IBACOS.

Updated Encyclopedia Page on Photovoltaic Systems

Posted on September 27, 2012 by GBA Team

Only a few years ago, the installed cost of a grid-connected 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.) system was about $7 per watt. Now that inexpensive PV modules are widely available, the price has been cut in half (to about $3.50 per watt) in many areas of the U.S.

As architect Jesse Thompson pointed out in his GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com guest blog, PV Systems Have Gotten Dirt Cheap, falling PV prices are a game-changer.

What’s Wrong With This Window Installation?

Posted on September 21, 2012 by GBA Team

Readers are invited to identify as many installation errors they can spot in the attached photo of a window installed in the rough opening of a new home.

This is the latest in our ongoing series, “What’s Wrong With This Picture?” (To see two previous photos in the series, click the links in the box below.)

The photo comes from James Steacy of IBACOS (a Building America program partner in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).

Video Series: Replacing a Window in a Brick House

Posted on September 19, 2012 by GBA Team

Brick walls can seriously complicate window installation and can sometimes confuse even the most experienced builders. Fortunately for us, Mike Sloggatt, who has thirty years' experience working on brick houses, was available to show us how to assess the situation and do the job right.

Better Video Delivery Mechanism

Posted on August 22, 2012 by Daniel Morrison

When we developed GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com a few years ago, we knew that we would need, want, and eventually have a deep video program, but because the pile of work to do in order to meet our deadline was pretty darned big, and because we were a bunch of print guys and gals building this thing, we decided to let the video program sit on the back burner. We produced some, but didn't spend the resources to go hog-wild.

EEBA Conference Will Be Held in Arizona This Year

Posted on August 6, 2012 by GBA Team

If you're interested in attending one of the best conferences in the country, don't miss this year's conference of the Energy and Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA).

Founded in 1982, EEBA has consistently promoted superinsulation and energy-efficient residential construction techniques for the last 30 years. The three-day conference is being held in Scottsdale, Arizona on September 25 through 27.

New Advisors on the GBA Team

Posted on July 25, 2012 by Daniel Morrison

Chris Briley and Phil Kaplan are architects in southern Maine. They are smart, talented, funny, and they are go-getters. Chris and Phil began podcasting a couple of years ago on iTunes. One of our contributing editors, Scott Gibson, pointed them out to us, and we asked them to podcast on GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com.

A New Net-Zero Community

Posted on July 5, 2012 by Scott Gibson

Two southern Maine builders have teamed up with Kaplan Thompson Architects on a subdivision that will include as many as 26 houses built to net-zero standards.

The first of the houses in a Wells, Maine, subdivision called Brackett Estates, is a 1750-sq. ft., three-bedroom model called the Appledore, which was completed in mid-June. The two-story, all-electric house includes double-stud walls insulated to R-40, triple-glazed windows, and a roof insulated to R-60 with dense-pack cellulose. It's on the market for $429,000, or just under $250 a sq. ft.

Among its other energy features:

EnerPHit — The Passive House Approach to Deep Retrofit

Posted on May 28, 2012 by Lenny Antonelli

Reprinted with permission from Construct Ireland magazine.

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