Guest Blogs

Solar Power Alone Won’t Solve Energy or Climate Needs

Posted on December 7, 2017 by Jatin Nathwani

Recent reports that solar capacity will soon exceed nuclear capacity reveal an important fact. It also hides a crucial distinction needed to understand the context of energy production, and the use and consequences of choices among supply options for the future.

Urban Rustic: Air Sealing the Attic Floor

Posted on December 5, 2017 by Eric Whetzel

Editor's note: This post is one of a series by Eric Whetzel about the design and construction of his house in Palatine, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The first blog in his series was called An Introduction to a New Passive House Project; a list of Eric's previous posts appears below. For more details, see Eric's blog, Kimchi & Kraut.

Why Solar Microgrids Are Not a Cure-All for Puerto Rico’s Power Woes

Posted on December 4, 2017 by Anonymous

By PETER FOX-PENNER

In addition to its many other devastating human consequences, Hurricane Maria left the island of Puerto Rico with its power grid in ruins. Power was knocked out throughout the island, with an estimated 80% of its transmission and distribution wires incapacitated. When hospitals and other critical users could not get backup power and water supplies ran low, an extended outage became a humanitarian crisis that has yet to be resolved.

Flatrock Passive: Installing Windows and Doors

Posted on November 28, 2017 by David Goodyear

Editor's Note: This is one of a series of blogs by David Goodyear describing the construction of his new home in Flatrock, Newfoundland, the first in the province built to the 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. standard. The first installment of the GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com blog series was titled An Introduction to the Flatrock Passive House. For a list of Goodyear's earlier blogs on this site, see the "Related Articles" sidebar below; you'll find his complete blog here.

These Southern Cities Are Going 100 Percent Clean (Energy)

Posted on November 22, 2017 by Robynne Boyd

If the South were its own nation, it would be the seventh-largest carbon emitter in the world, according to the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC). The region has more than 200 coal-fired power plants, and renewable energy policies in southern states are few and far between.

California Needs to Rethink Urban Fire Risk

Posted on November 21, 2017 by Anonymous

By MAX MORITZ

We recently witnessed the wind-driven Tubbs fire blast its way through densely urbanized neighborhoods in northern California, causing dozens of fatalities and thousands of home losses. This tragic event easily ranks as the most catastrophic fire in modern California history. Stories of how fast the fire spread and how little time people had to evacuate are stunning.

Is Your Drinking Water Safe?

Posted on November 20, 2017 by Anonymous

By SUSAN BOSER and DIANE OLESON

Urban Rustic: Ventilation Baffles

Posted on November 16, 2017 by Eric Whetzel

Editor's note: This post is one of a series by Eric Whetzel about the design and construction of his house in Palatine, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The first blog in his series was called An Introduction to a New Passive House Project; a list of Eric's previous posts appears below. For more details, see Eric's blog, Kimchi & Kraut.

How the Suniva Trade Dispute is Reshaping the Solar Industry

Posted on November 14, 2017 by Anonymous

By MAGGIE PARKHURST and JOEL BINSTOCK

Reeling from the California Wildfires

Posted on November 9, 2017 by Anonymous

By Clare Trapasso, realtor.com.

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