Guest Blogs

Airport House: Experiments in Home Automation

Posted on May 22, 2017 by Reid Baldwin

Editor’s note: This is one of a series of guest blogs by Reid Baldwin about the construction of his house in Linden, Michigan. For a list of previous blog posts on GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com by Reid Baldwin, see the “Related Articles” sidebar below. You can read his entire blog here.

Why Real Estate Developers Are Ignoring the Middle Class

Posted on May 16, 2017 by Geoff Dembicki

The real estate industry knows there’s huge demand for less expensive homes. It’s aware that millions of people in Canada and the U.S. don’t have the financial means for a million-dollar mortgage. It gets that this is a growing problem. But real estate developers aren’t that interested in solving it. Land in cities such as Vancouver and Toronto is expensive. Developers — and the industry at large — make much bigger profits building luxury homes for wealthy people than affordable homes for the rest of us. It’s why so few new developments are targeted towards average incomes.

Clean Energy Programs Are Safe for Now

Posted on May 11, 2017 by Elizabeth Noll

Congress did its job last week in preserving funding for critical clean energy programs that create jobs and save Americans money. The just-passed Fiscal Year 2017 spending bill, which will keep the government running through September 30, largely sustains funding for efficiency standards, advanced research, renewable energy deployment, and other important clean energy initiatives.

What’s Driving the Cost of Residential Solar-Plus-Storage?

Posted on May 9, 2017 by Anonymous

By KRISTEN ARDANI and DAVID LABRADOR

The residential solar-plus-storage market has certainly received a lot of attention in recent months. With the release of new, lower-cost products and implementation of utility time-of-use and demand-charge rate structures, the overall economics of photovoltaics (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.)-plus-storage systems continue to improve — but questions remain as to what’s ultimately needed to achieve widespread deployment.

Boulder Commons Sets New Standard for Net-Zero Leases

Posted on May 8, 2017 by Kelly Vaughn

Just two miles from downtown Boulder, Colorado, a new net-zero energyProducing as much energy on an annual basis as one consumes on site, usually with renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics or small-scale wind turbines. (NZE) development is under construction: Boulder Commons. The project consists of two commercial buildings totaling roughly 100,000 square feet of professional office space and boasting a restaurant, coffee shop, and community gathering flex space — all accessible by Boulder’s vast trail and public transportation network.

Toronto Passive: High-Efficiency Lighting

Posted on May 4, 2017 by Lyndon Than

Editor's Note: Lyndon Than is a professional engineer and Certified 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. Consultant who took a year off from work to design and build a home with his wife Phi in North York, a district of Toronto, Ontario. A list of Lyndon's previous blogs at GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com appears in the sidebar below. For more, you can follow his blog, Passive House Toronto. This post originally appeared in November 2014.

Large-Scale Solar Power Is Spreading Across the U.S.

Posted on May 3, 2017 by Cheryl Katz

This article was originally published at Yale Environment 360 and is reprinted here with permission.

Airport House: Choosing and Installing an ERV

Posted on May 2, 2017 by Reid Baldwin

Editor’s note: This is one of a series of guest blogs by Reid Baldwin about the construction of his house in Linden, Michigan. For a list of previous blog posts on GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com by Reid Baldwin, see the “Related Articles” sidebar below. You can read his entire blog here.

A Forgotten Tool to Solve the Housing Crisis

Posted on April 25, 2017 by David Goldstein

“The California housing crisis is even worse than we thought… California is the hardest state in the nation for people to buy their first home.

"Since first-time home buyers are overwhelmingly younger people, the long-term results will have an enormous impact on the economic prospects of the next generation …”

Air Sealing and Insulation in the ProHOME

Posted on April 24, 2017 by Mike Guertin

Editor's note: This post originally was published as part of the ProHOME series at Fine Homebuilding magazine. Mike Guertin, an editorial adviser at the magazine, is building the house in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.

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