Green Building News

Passive House Conference in New York

Posted on March 25, 2014 by Scott Gibson

The NY14 Passive House Conference & Expo in New York City on June 17, 2014, will feature 18 speakers and more than 30 manufacturers or service providers, organizers said.

The one-day program runs from 8:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. at the Metropolitan Pavilion at 125 West 18th Street. Tickets purchased before the end of the month cost $125 for general admission ($95 for NYPH members). After March 31, the price goes to $195 ($145 for members). Students get lower rates.

This House is Assembled With a Screw Gun

Posted on March 24, 2014 by Scott Gibson

A French design studio has come up with a prototype for a house made from blocks of expanded polystyrene foam insulation, lengths of laminated veneer lumber and not much else.

The Pop-Up House from MultiPod Studio in Marseille is a 1,615-sq. ft. building assembled on site in just four days with nothing more than a screw gun and long screws, according to a blog by Matt Hickman at Mother Nature Network.

Experimental House on Track for Net-Zero Operation

Posted on March 19, 2014 by Scott Gibson

An experimental four-bedroom house 20 miles north of Washington, D.C., was a net-producer of electricity halfway through its first year of operation, producing a surplus of 328 kilowatt hours of power.

N.H. Town Blocks Big Wind

Posted on March 17, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Danbury, N.H., residents have voted in favor of four local ordinances that will make it tough to develop large scale wind projects in town.

At a town meeting March 11, voters adopted four proposals aimed at preserving the town's rural character and the property values and health of its residents, according to an article in The Concord Monitor.

Maine Utility Seeks Surcharge for Renewables

Posted on March 14, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Maine's largest electric utility is seeking permission from state regulators to impose a new “standby” rate that would add roughly $13 to the monthly bill of a residential customer with a grid-tied renewable energy system.

The plan would tack on $24.83 a month to the Central Maine Power power bill for a net-metered residential customer vs. the flat $12 charge for a customer without renewables, CMP said. The proposal is part of a rate case before the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

Passivhaus on Spec in Boston

Posted on March 12, 2014 by Scott Gibson

The Boston design-buildCompany that handles house design and construction. Since both services are provided by the same firm, integrated design can often be more easily achieved. group Placetailor is wrapping up work on a single-family house in the city's Roxbury district that was built on spec to 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. standard. The has was sold even before work was completed.

Website Targets LEED Program

Posted on March 11, 2014 by Scott Gibson

A Washington lawyer and public relations powerhouse who has railed against everything from the Environmental Protection Agency to Mothers Against Drunk Driving now has the LEEDLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED for Homes is the residential green building program from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). While this program is primarily designed for and applicable to new home projects, major gut rehabs can qualify. building standard in his sights.

At a website called LEEDexposed, the building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council is attacked on a number of fronts: for its "questionable science," its "arbitrary point system," and its cost to taxpayers.

It didn't take long for the website and some of its claims to make a splash.

New Web Tool Compares Energy Performance

Posted on March 10, 2014 by Scott Gibson

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) says that its Technology Performance Exchange, or TPEx, is a portal designed to help manufacturers and others who test products to share performance data with their consumers.

Maine Will Host North American Passivhaus Conference

Posted on March 7, 2014 by Scott Gibson

The two-day North American Passive HouseA 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. Conference takes place in September 2014 in Portland, Maine, with the keynote address to be delivered by Passivhaus Institut founder and director Dr. Wolfgang Feist.

Looking for Common Ground in the Solar Debate

Posted on March 4, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Two groups seemingly on opposite sites of the renewable energy divide have called on state utility regulators to adopt rate plans that encourage more renewable energy while protecting the financial interests of the companies that buy and distribute it.

In a joint statement, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) said the future of the country's electricity industry would remain promising "as long as regulatory policies are fair and forward looking."

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