Green Building News

Congress Plays with the Light Bulb Mandate

Posted on December 22, 2014 by Scott Gibson

For the fourth year in a row, Congress has added a rider to the federal budget prohibiting the Department of Energy from spending any money on enforcing a switch to a new generation of more efficient light bulbs.

It's nothing new (Richard Defendorf wrote about it in this GBA report back in 2011), and it probably doesn't matter.

Houses by Northwest Builder Win Awards

Posted on December 19, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Two houses in Oregon built by Hammer & Hand have won 2014 Green Home of the Year awards from Green Builder magazine, and the Pacific Northwest firm has gone to unusual lengths to explain how high-performance houses like these are made.

California City Pushes Water Conservation

Posted on December 18, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Lancaster has joined many other California communities addressing the state's drought with a measure that beginning in 2015 will require all new houses to have plumbing capable of recycling gray water.

The city of 160,000 north of Los Angeles last year approved zoning changes that require developers to install 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.) panels on all new houses. Now, Greentech Media reports, they also will have to incorporate "recycle-ready" plumbing in all new houses.

Reviving Old Masonry Buildings

Posted on December 17, 2014 by Scott Gibson

A New York City firm that specializes in materials for high-performance buildings has published an online book that explains how historic masonry buildings can be retrofitted using the products that the company sells.

High Performance Historic Masonry Retrofits is the work of 475 High Performance Building Supply, the Brooklyn-based company. Along with a number of CAD drawings, the book is available as a free download.

The Case for West-Facing Solar Panels

Posted on December 16, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Most 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.) panels face south because the owners of the panels want to generate the most electricity possible. But a recent report says that shifting more PV panels to the west would produce electricity at a time when the electricity is much more useful to utilities, reducing the need for utilities to buy costly power to meet peak loads.

British Columbia Updates Its Energy Code

Posted on December 12, 2014 by Scott Gibson

British Columbia is preparing to usher in a new building code that will set higher standards for energy efficiency and ventilation.

According to an article posted at the Journal of Commerce, the amendments to the province's building code will establish minimum insulation requirements, plus performance standards for heating and cooling systems, hot water appliances, and doors, windows, and skylights.

Tiny Houses to the Rescue

Posted on December 11, 2014 by Scott Gibson

A New Jersey state senator has proposed a $5 million "Tiny Home Pilot Program" to create clusters of houses, each no larger than 300 square feet, to provide more housing for the state's poor.

The website NJ.com reported the proposal from Senator Raymond Lesniak, a Union Democrat, would fund the program for three years.

Passivhaus Hits a Big Milestone

Posted on December 10, 2014 by Scott Gibson

At least symbolically, it was a refurbished Craftsman bungalow in Santa Cruz, California, that helped nudge the total of certified floor area meeting the Passivhaus standard beyond the 1 million square meter mark, the German-based Passivhaus Institut said.

Curbside Recycling for Polystyrene Foam

Posted on December 8, 2014 by Scott Gibson

In a first for the province of Nova Scotia, a waste recycling agency has launched a curbside recycling program for expanded polystyrene (EPSExpanded polystyrene. Type of rigid foam insulation that, unlike extruded polystyrene (XPS), does not contain ozone-depleting HCFCs. EPS frequently has a high recycled content. Its vapor permeability is higher and its R-value lower than XPS insulation. EPS insulation is classified by type: Type I is lowest in density and strength and Type X is highest.) foam, turning waste foam into blocks of condensed material that can be sold to manufacturers and turned into new products.

Two years in the making, the program got off the ground in mid-November, according to an article in the The Kings County Advertiser and Register.

Reinventing a Passive Solar Design

Posted on December 5, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Albuquerque, New Mexico, was an incubator for alternative building technologies when Jon Davis graduated from the University of New Mexico in the early 1970s and started building passive solar adobe houses.

Although not an architect, Davis had studied the principles of passive solar design in school, and after graduation embraced superinsulated buildings and, eventually, structural insulated panels (SIPs).

Register for a free account and join the conversation


Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!

Syndicate content