Green Building News

Report Says Walmart Owners Undercut Solar Growth

Posted on October 21, 2014 by Scott Gibson

The family that owns Walmart, the country's biggest retailer, has spent millions of dollars to slow the growth of residential 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.) systems while making public claims about its commitment to sustainability, a non-profit research organization said in a report published this month.

In San Francisco, a Solar Array on Every Roof

Posted on October 20, 2014 by Scott Gibson

The president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors says that he will propose a resolution requiring all new buildings in the city, both residential and commercial, to include rooftop 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.) arrays where feasible, SFGate.com reports.

Repeal of Green Standards Upheld in New Mexico

Posted on October 17, 2014 by Scott Gibson

A New Mexico court of appeals has backed the administration of Republican Governor Susana Martinez in its repeal of energy efficiency standards that had been implemented by her predecessor, a Democrat.

According to a short article from the Associated Press on October 1, the court upheld a decision by the state's Construction Industries Commission to revise state building codes.

This New Door Design Solves an Old Problem

Posted on October 16, 2014 by Scott Gibson

UPDATED

An interior door developed by students at the University of British Columbia provides a pathway for air between adjacent rooms, reducing pressure imbalances that can degrade the efficiency of forced-air heating and cooling systems.

The VanAir ventilated door allows the passage of air, but it also includes sound-dampening features that solve a problem common to houses with forced-air heating and cooling systems: how to equalize air pressure between rooms without sacrificing privacy.

Prefabricated Foam Forms for Slab Foundations

Posted on October 15, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Borrowing an idea from Swedish builders, a New Jersey company has begun marketing prefabricated foam forms that make it possible for two workers to install a frost-protected shallow foundation in a single day with little or no digging.

A Tale of Two Houses

Posted on October 14, 2014 by Scott Gibson

As difficult as it is to meet the requirements for Passivhaus certification, builders and designers have a great deal of leeway in how they approach it. There are just a few big hurdles to clear, including limits on how much energy the building can use and how airtight the building envelopeExterior components of a house that provide protection from colder (and warmer) outdoor temperatures and precipitation; includes the house foundation, framed exterior walls, roof or ceiling, and insulation, and air sealing materials. must be.

Exactly how a builder accomplishes this is not spelled out. As long as the building meets the standard, it can win certification, either from the 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. (PHIUS) or its European counterpart, the Passivhaus Institut (PHI).

A New Weapon to Fight Water Waste

Posted on October 9, 2014 by Scott Gibson

California residents alarmed about wasted water or annoyed with the cavalier attitudes of their neighbors can do more than grumble. With the right smartphone app, they can take their complaints directly to local water agencies for action.

The Los Angeles Times reports that officials in several parts of the state have rolled out apps that allow smartphone owners to take pictures of practices that violate water restrictions or report leaks that officials may not know about.

Use of Spray Foam Insulation Drops

Posted on October 8, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Builders may be backing away from spray foam insulation.

Between 2008 and 2012, spray foam's market share grew from 3% in new home construction to 11%, a nearly four-fold increase. But last year, according to a survey from the Home Innovation Research Labs, its market share fell to about 8% as more builders returned to an old favorite: fiberglass.

NYC Mayor Wants a Smaller Carbon Footprint

Posted on October 6, 2014 by Scott Gibson

New York City Mayor Bill de Biasio is proposing steep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and he's looking to more advanced building techniques to help get the job done.

The One City, Built to Last program, which was announced on September 20, seeks to cut energy use by at least 60% from 2005 levels, a summary from New York Passive House said, and promote the use of more renewable energy.

Department of Energy Honors Innovative Builders

Posted on October 3, 2014 by Scott Gibson

The U.S. Department of Energy has selected 28 builders and construction professionals for Housing Innovation Awards, recognizing their roles in developing technologies and designs that significantly reduce energy consumption. The awards were announced at an Energy & Environmental Building Alliance conference in St. Louis on Sept. 23.

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