Green Building News

U.S. Panel Maker Joins Solar Competition in China

Posted on July 7, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Ecocor, the Maine-based maker of high-performance structural panels, is going to China.

The company says it has signed on as the industry partner for Team MTL, a group of students from McGill University and Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, that's entering the Solar Decathlon China competition next year.

U.S. Adds Tariffs on Canadian Softwood

Posted on July 3, 2017 by Scott Gibson

The U.S. Commerce Department has announced new tariffs on Canadian softwood, the second set of duties imposed since April.

The Hill reports that the preliminary anti-dumping duties are as much as 7.7%. This is in addition to the department's imposition of countervailing duties of between 3% and 24% on Canadian lumber imports, announced in April.

High-Performance Builders See Gains Ahead with Panelized Construction

Posted on June 30, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Two New England design/build firms are increasing their commitment to high-end panelized designs, betting that homebuyers will be increasingly interested in well-executed, energy-efficient homes at less than custom prices.

Maine-based GO Logic, known for high-performance houses in a contemporary New England architectural style, has launched a line of panelized houses called GO Home, along with a new website that makes it easier for buyers to pick layouts, finishes, and features.

A Passive House Door for Pets

Posted on June 28, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Typical pet doors are verboten in a Passive House. Most pet door are convenient for a dog or cat, but are way too leaky to keep out the drafts.

Treehugger's Lloyd Alter came across a solution at the 21st International Passivhaus Conference in Vienna and posted this report about the PetWalk, a vault-like, insulated door that won't mess up a blower-door test and still lets the family pet come and go at will.

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.

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