Green Building Curmudgeon

Loving My Minisplits

Posted on July 2, 2013 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor

Last year, still living in my little cottage due to delays and problems attempting to build a new house in my historic district, I finally got tired of the old gravity floor furnace and window air conditioners and decided to spring for a new HVAC(Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Collectively, the mechanical systems that heat, ventilate, and cool a building. system. I looked briefly at installing a central ducted system, but I realized that I had really enjoyed the zone control that the window units had afforded me.

Why Single-Family Green Homes Are Slow to Catch On

Posted on June 18, 2013 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor

As a counterpoint the the optimism I expressed in my last post about multifamily green buildings, recent discussions with single-family builders leave me feeling less than enthusiastic about the prospects for green single-family housing.

Multifamily Construction is Good News for Green Building

Posted on June 10, 2013 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor

Recently, while doing research for a series of articles I am writing for Multifamily Executive Magazine, I ran across some interesting information on the multifamily construction industry and the increasing demand for green certified buildings. Affordable housing, much of which is multifamily, has been leading the way in green building for many years, much of this due to incentives tied to low income housing tax credits (LIHTC) that promote certified projects.

ACI: The Conference Formerly Known as Affordable Comfort

Posted on May 27, 2013 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor

The 2013 ACI National Home Performance Conference, called Affordable Comfort until a few years back when the conference was renamed ACI, recently took place in Denver, Colorado. This year, the conference came complete with about six inches of snow in May — quite a shock for a transplanted Southerner.

Self-Professed Air Flow Expert Gets Hosed

Posted on May 13, 2013 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor

Among the multitude of sessions at the ACI conference in Denver recently (a total of at least 180 sessions by my count), there was a very interesting half-day workshop on airflow testing hosted by Bruce Manclark and Paul Francisco. Their setup included simulated HVAC(Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Collectively, the mechanical systems that heat, ventilate, and cool a building. ducts of various shapes and sizes, and they used a Minneapolis Duct BlasterCalibrated air-flow measurement system developed to test the airtightness of forced-air duct systems. All outlets for the duct system, except for the one attached to the duct blaster, are sealed off and the system is either pressurized or depressurized; the work needed by the fan to maintain a given pressure difference provides a measure of duct leakage. to provide air flow to test various measurement tools.

What is the Deal with Ventilation Requirements?

Posted on April 9, 2013 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor

Before I even get started, I want to point out that I am no expert on ventilation. I have learned a lot from (and rely on) many experts, including Paul Raymer, Gord Cooke, John Krigger, Joe Lstiburek, Armin Rudd, and Terry Brennan, among others. I depend on them to fuss about the details of how much ventilation a house needs.

It’s Time to Admit I’ve Been Wrong About Many Things

Posted on April 1, 2013 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor

Posted April 1, 2013

With the arrival of spring and new plant growth springing up all around, I’ve begun to reflect on my several years of writing this blog post, and I have come to the conclusion that far too often I have been overly critical and close-minded about many things. In addition, I have championed some theories and causes that contradicted many long-standing traditions in design, construction, and renovation. And it’s time to say I’m sorry.

The 2012 National Green Building Standard is Here...

Posted on March 22, 2013 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor

In the past, I have been critical of the NAHB’s National Green Building Standard (NGBSNational Green Building Standard Based on the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines and passed through ANSI. This standard can be applied to both new homes, remodeling projects, and additions. ), just as I have been of most other green building programs. While I don’t expect to lose my critical eye, I do believe I have mellowed a bit and developed new opinions about the certification process and each program's role in the industry.

Spray Foam Insulation Is Not a Magic Bullet

Posted on March 8, 2013 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been pretty hard on batt insulationInsulation, usually of fiberglass or mineral wool and often faced with paper, typically installed between studs in walls and between joists in ceiling cavities. Correct installation is crucial to performance. in the past. I feel that my complaints and concerns are well justified, but no matter which insulation product is chosen, it has to be installed properly or it just doesn’t work.

Many people mistakenly believe (myself once among them) that spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is the perfect product, is always installed right, and tightens up homes every time.

Good Ducts, Bad Ducts

Posted on February 26, 2013 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor

Whether they actually do it or not, I think almost everyone involved in high performance buildings recognizes that the best place to put our ducts is inside conditioned spaceInsulated, air-sealed part of a building that is actively heated and/or cooled for occupant comfort. . Most builders in my area haven’t made the change, and with the exception of the occasional house with an insulated basement, they still put most air handlers and ducts in the attic.

Register for a free account and join the conversation


Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!

Syndicate content