Green Building Blog

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Are Heat Pumps Green?

Posted on September 30, 2008 by Daniel Morrison

Not If the Electricity that Powers the Pump is Generated by Burning Coal
An article in the Home and Garden section of the New York Times titled "Time to Worry About Heat Bills," by Jay Romano, talks about a winter heating option that will save you money: electric heat pumps. With the price of gas and oil skyrocketing, the article reasons, an electric heat pump will be a money saver this winter and eventually will end up "paying for itself."

But is it green?

Day 1 at Building Science Summer Camp

Posted on September 30, 2008 by Daniel Morrison

The Best and the Brightest Meet Every Year to Talk Green Building

What did I do for summer vacation? I went to camp, met with our advisory team, learned about physics, ate food from Alaska, Dallas, Miami, and Maine. And there were Cubans with cigars, too.

Day 2 at Building Science Summer Camp

Posted on September 30, 2008 by Daniel Morrison

More Reports from the Best Minds in the Green Building Business

What did I do for summer vacation? I met with our advisory team, learned about physics, ate food from Alaska, Dallas, Miami, and Maine. And there were Cubans with cigars, too.

air filter

Are All Air-Filter Ratings Equal?

Posted on September 30, 2008 by Daniel Morrison

Effectiveness Ratings Change, Depending on the Size of the Particles Being Filtered.

Some filters labeled as 99% effective are only 10% effective when you change the sampling method. Particle size matters and so does sampling method. Don't let your lungs take up the slack._

Wrapping up Day 2 of building science summer camp, Dieter Weyel, Ph.D., talked about filters, filtration, and ratings. Turns out there are some pretty important differences. Particles, like everything else, have to obey the laws of physics.

Michael Chandler Blog Profile

The Greenest Beverage? Tap water. But What About Adult Beverages?

Posted on August 30, 2008 by Michael Chandler

Bottles are greener than cans, but is beer the greenest choice?

In a quest to discover the most environmentally benign beverage for backyard barbecues, one builder sifted through the options to help us drink greener.

I have nothing against water: I make coffee with it, paddle a canoe in it, and I even drink it every day. But it's not always what my empty hand is looking for when I settle down in the backyard and fire up the Weber.

Greening My Home: Biodiesel

Posted on August 28, 2008 by Daniel Morrison

Air sealing and insulating are a great first step, but switching fuels is a lot quicker and easier. I'll do the insulating after I get a bonus check!

I was standing in the cold on a dark December night, pouring diesel fuel from a five-gallon jug into the side of my house, when it really clicked: Houses consume a huge amount of oil. I had always gotten uptight about gas mileage in my cars and trucks (I had a full-size Ford pickup at the time) but, until that cold night, how much our houses gobble up had never really hit home.

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