Green Building News

Honda Builds an Experimental House

Posted on April 15, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Honda's long list of consumer products already includes cars, outboard motors, portable generators, motorcycles, and lawnmowers — so why not houses?

Future of LEDs: Lower Cost, Higher Efficacy

Posted on April 14, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have been more expensive than compact fluorescent lamps, but the gap is narrowing and the cost of these two types of lights should be comparable in roughly a decade, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's annual energy predictions.

At the same time, the efficacy of LEDs — the amount of light in lumens per watt of electricity — will continue to go up, more than tripling by 2020 as the efficacy of CFLs remains about the same.

Ductless Minisplits for DIYers

Posted on April 11, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Friedrich is launching a ductless minisplit heat pumpHeating and cooling system in which specialized refrigerant fluid in a sealed system is alternately evaporated and condensed, changing its state from liquid to vapor by altering its pressure; this phase change allows heat to be transferred into or out of the house. See air-source heat pump and ground-source heat pump. designed for installation by a homeowner with only modest mechanical skills and no professional HVAC(Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Collectively, the mechanical systems that heat, ventilate, and cool a building. training.

Vermont Raises Net-Metering Limits

Posted on April 10, 2014 by Scott Gibson

The Vermont Legislature has voted to raise the cap on net-metering, clearing the way for more homeowners to get paid for the excess power they generate.

Net-Metering Is Preserved in Kansas

Posted on April 9, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Kansas state legislators have rejected a measure that would have ended net-metering, the rate system that allows homeowners to sell excess solar and wind-generated power to their utilities.

Instead, Midwest Energy News reports, lawmakers passed a compromise that preserves net meteringArrangement through which a homeowner who produces electricity using photovoltaics or wind power can sell excess electricity back to the utility company, running the electric meter backwards. but lowers the reimbursement rate to the utility's avoided cost.

Wood Buildings Make a Happy Planet

Posted on April 8, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Harvesting more wood for use in bridges and buildings and using less steel and concrete would sharply reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and lower carbon dioxide emissions, a study ledLight-emitting diode. Illumination technology that produces light by running electrical current through a semiconductor diode. LED lamps are much longer lasting and much more energy efficient than incandescent lamps; unlike fluorescent lamps, LED lamps do not contain mercury and can be readily dimmed. by Yale University has found.

By increasing the amount of wood that’s harvested annually from 20% of sustainable growth to 34% of sustainable growth, carbon emissions could be reduced by between 14% and 31%, scientists from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the University of Washington’s College of the Environment said.

PHIUS Posts Window Data

Posted on April 7, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Passive House Institute U.S. has posted detailed performance data about windows online for ready access by builders and designers.

The Certified Data for Windows program is organized by manufacturer, and includes key values such as the window's solar heat gain coefficient, its center-of-glass U-factor, and its whole-window installed U-factor.

Indiana Cancels Energy-Efficiency Effort

Posted on April 4, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Energizing Indiana has saved more than 1 billion kilowatt hours of energy in the last two years, but that apparently wasn't enough for Indiana state lawmakers to keep the energy-efficiency program in business.

Lawmakers voted last week to end the program by the end of the year and Gov. Mike Pence, a Republican, allowed the bill to take effect without his signature.

Three U.S. Projects Are Passivhaus Award Finalists

Posted on April 2, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Two residential projects in the United States have been named finalists in an international design competition sponsored by the PassivhausA 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. Institut: a three-unit townhouse in North Philadelphia and a renovated brownstone in Brooklyn, N.Y.

A third project, an artists’ studio on Long Island, N.Y., is a finalist in the office and special-use buildings category. It was designed by Ryall Porter Sheridan architects.

ASHRAE Will Help Develop National Green Standard

Posted on April 1, 2014 by Scott Gibson

The National Green Building Standard is getting an update, this time with the assistance of a well-known society of engineers.

The National Association of Home Builders announced that the 2015 rewrite of the standard first approved in 2009 would be with the help of ASHRAEAmerican Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). International organization dedicated to the advancement of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration through research, standards writing, publishing, and continuing education. Membership is open to anyone in the HVAC&R field; the organization has about 50,000 members. , the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers, as well as the International Code Council.

The new edition will be called the ICC/ASHRAE 700 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. ).

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