Green Building News

Fiberglass and Cellulose Makers Tangle Again

Posted on May 19, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A long-running feud between the fiberglass and cellulose insulationThermal insulation made from recycled newspaper or other wastepaper; often treated with borates for fire and insect protection. industries has broken out in a new round of mudslinging, drawing a public rebuke from an agency that oversees truth and accuracy in advertising.

The latest spat started with the publication of three online articles that challenge the performance claims for cellulose while suggesting that the insulation, made mostly from newspaper, is a potential fire and safety hazard.

UMass Opens ‘Landmark’ Timber Building

Posted on May 19, 2017 by Scott Gibson

The University of Massachusetts at Amherst officially opened the new Design Building late last month, calling it the most advanced cross-laminated timber structure in the U.S. and the largest building of its kind in the Northeast.

Tesla Will Take Your Solar Roof Order Now

Posted on May 18, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Tesla has now answered one of the big remaining questions about its textured glass Solar Roof — just how much will it cost? — and the estimates show some homeowners could benefit financially over time despite substantial upfront costs, according to an analysis published by Consumer Reports.

CEO Elon Musk promised last fall that the innovative roofing tiles, which can be made to look like one of several roof coverings, would cost less than a conventional roof.

Kentucky Coal Museum Goes Solar

Posted on May 12, 2017 by Scott Gibson

The exhibits inside are all about the glory days of coal, but it will be the solar panels on the roof that knock as much as $10,000 off the power bills for the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum.

Housed in a former International Harvester commissary, the museum features exhibits detailing the history of coal mining in the city of Benham and surrounding parts of Harlan County, a bastion of mining in eastern Kentucky. The museum, which opened in 1994, is owned by Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College.

GAF Dives Into the Residential Solar Market

Posted on May 11, 2017 by Scott Gibson

GAF is branching out from its familiar role as a manufacturer of roof coverings to offer a line of residential solar panels called DecoTech.

The low-profile panels are attached to the roof with a proprietary frame that GAF developed, skipping conventional metal racks that keep panels elevated slightly above the roof surface and require installers to drive fasteners through roofing shingles. The edges of the array are flashed to prevent water intrusion.

Mineral Wool Makers Dropping Formaldehyde Binders

Posted on May 4, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Two manufacturers of mineral wool insulation have announced that they will stop using binders containing formaldehydeChemical found in many building products; most binders used for manufactured wood products are formaldehyde compounds. Reclassified by the United Nations International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2004 as a “known human carcinogen." in at least some of their products, a move aimed at addressing long-standing health concerns and meeting tougher green certification requirements.

Home Depot’s Lead Paint Compliance Under Review

Posted on May 2, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Two federal agencies are investigating The Home Depot after receiving reports that its contractors did not comply with lead paint regulations.

WSB-TV, a television station in Atlanta where Home Depot is headquartered, said that it spent months investigating claims of "questionable business practices" and uncovered a number of customer complaints about contract work involving the removal of lead paint.

How the GBA Site Displays Readers’ Names

Posted on April 28, 2017 by Martin Holladay

In early February 2017, the GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com web site developed a new glitch: our site stopped displaying reader's names properly when they posted questions or comments on the site.

Instead of displaying "Elizabeth Stanton" or "Pablo Picasso," the GBA web site started identifying new GBA readers as "N/A N/A" or "User-43289." More recently, the site has begun registering new users with aliases like "YellowFrog" or "RedSoxFan."

Congress Urged to Save Energy Star Program

Posted on April 28, 2017 by Scott Gibson

More than 1,000 U.S. businesses and organizations have signed a letter to Congressional leaders urging that they oppose the Trump administration's plan to withdraw federal funding for the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy StarLabeling system sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy for labeling the most energy-efficient products on the market; applies to a wide range of products, from computers and office equipment to refrigerators and air conditioners. program.

Vermont Utility Expands Heat Pump Program

Posted on April 26, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Vermont's largest electric utility is beefing up its campaign to get ductless minisplit heat pumps into the homes of more people as it expands its no-money-down pitch to consumers in its entire service area.

Homeowners who sign up get a heat pump from one of three manufacturers and finance the cost of the installation over 15 years, making loan payments from $49 to $81 per month for a single-head heat pump. There is no down payment, and Green Mountain Power says that heating bills in this Climate Zone 6 state can be reduced by between 25% and 50%. Maintenance is included.

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