Green Building Curmudgeon

Architect Turned Master Marketer Writes a Book

Posted on September 30, 2013 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor

Architect, urbanist, and new media guru Steve Mouzon's latest book, New Media for Designers and Builders, is a how-to manual for business owners who want to use social media and other marketing methods to promote themselves for fun and profit. It is truly a 21st-century book, since it is available in PDF and iPad formats, and since much of the content is published on separate websites accessed through embedded links.

Finally! Starting Construction At My House

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

After paying for two home designs, with one turned down and one approved by the local historic commission, I ultimately decided not to build a new house, mostly for financial reasons. Instead, I am renovating my existing cottage and adding a small office, a storage area, and a screened porch (an excellent feature in the South).

Ceiling Fans Are Evil

Posted on July 16, 2013 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor

I can’t count the number of times I have walked past a neighbor’s home and seen the porch ceiling fans running with no one there to appreciate them. All the fans are doing is wasting electricity and contributing a little heat to the outdoor air. I am tempted (although I have never acted on the impulse) to pull the chains and turn the fans off or leave the neighbors a note.

Get Your Own Healthy Green Home for Only $15 Million

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

An article in the New York Times recently featured a company specializing in super-high-end healthy homes. The company, Delos Living, has created something it calls the WELL Building Standard — a standard designed to improve occupants' health through a series of what the company maintains are unique features and technologies.

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.

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