Green Building News

Vermont Utility Makes (Another) Efficiency Offer

Posted on June 22, 2017 by Scott Gibson

On the heels of offering customers a deal on Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries and deep discounts on Leaf electric vehicles, Green Mountain Power is rolling out a new plan aimed at saving customers money and reducing loads on the grid.

Officials Investigate Role of Cladding in London Tower Fire

Posted on June 21, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Investigators in London are studying whether an aluminum-faced claddingMaterials used on the roof and walls to enclose a house, providing protection against weather. that contained rigid foam insulation contributed to the speed at which fire engulfed a 24-story apartment building on June 14, killing at least 79 people.

Paving Roads With Recycled Plastic

Posted on June 16, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A Scottish startup company has developed a method for supplementing conventional bitumen asphalt with pellets of recycled plastic, producing a stronger and more durable pavement.

MacRebur describes MR6 as a high-performance asphalt binderGlue used in manufactured wood products, such as medium-density fiberboard (MDF), particleboard, and engineered lumber. Some binders are made with formaldehyde. See urea-formaldehyde binder and methyl diisocyanate (MDI) binder. additive that reduces the amount of bitumen needed to make asphalt, simultaneously reducing the amount of oil going into pavement and finding a use for the millions of pounds of waste plastic that now go into landfills every year.

Spending on Energy Efficiency Creates Jobs, Democrats Report

Posted on June 14, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Democrats on the U.S. Joint Economic Committee pressing for changes in President Trump's proposed 2018 budget argue that threatened energy-efficiency programs such as 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. and the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) are potent job creators that deserve continued federal support.

Attic Stairs for High-Performance Houses

Posted on June 8, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A New York-based retailer is offering a pull-down attic stair designed to solve a knotty problem in high-performance houses with unconditioned attics.

Unless a builder cobbles together a well-sealed attic hatch, or builds an insulated and air-sealed door and stairwell, the hole in the attic floor will mean a lot of wasted heating and cooling energy as well as serious air leaks.

Rethinking the Small House Sweet Spot

Posted on June 6, 2017 by Scott Gibson

With the launch of The Cottages at Willett Brook, Justin McIver thought he'd found the ideal house size for 55-plus buyers who were ready to downsize but weren't interested in squeezing into a house of just a few hundred square feet. Turns out he was almost right.

Maine Firm Develops a New Type of Insulated Block

Posted on June 2, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A Maine-based concrete block manufacturer, Genest Concrete, has developed an insulated block combining concrete and expanded polystyrene. The blocks are designed to be assembled with a thin layer of adhesive rather than conventional mortar.

Tesla’s Solar Roof Has a Competitor

Posted on June 1, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A Palo Alto, California, company says that it has developed a building-integrated 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. system with a top layer of tempered glass that looks like a standing-seam metal roof. The solar panels can be installed for $3.25 a watt — roughly the cost of a conventional racked solar array.

Lumber Dispute Drives Up Construction Costs

Posted on May 26, 2017 by Scott Gibson

An ongoing trade battle between Canada and the U.S. over softwood lumber has pushed up the cost of building a typical single-family home by several thousand dollars, according to the National Association of Home Builders, and prices could be going higher yet.

Fiberglass and Cellulose Makers Tangle Again

Posted on May 23, 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.

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