Guest Blogs

Build Disaster-Proof Homes Before Storms Strike

Posted on August 23, 2016 by Anonymous

By T. REED MILLER

Off-Grid in Canada: Solar Was the Only Real Choice

Posted on August 22, 2016 by Craig Anderson

This is one of a series of posts by Craig Anderson describing the off-the-grid house he built with his wife France-Pascale Ménard near Low, Québec. Craig writes about the "Seven Hills Project" in a blog called Sunshine Saved. For a list of Craig's previous posts, see the list of "Blogs by Craig Anderson" in the sidebar below. This post originally appeared in November 2015.

It’s Time to Plan for Electric Vehicles on the Grid

Posted on August 18, 2016 by Anonymous

BY CHRIS NELDER

If you think electric vehicles are still a niche technology, think again. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that more than 1 million electric vehicles (EVs) were on the road in 2015, including 400,000 in the United States. In order to limit global warming to 2 C° or less, the agency says the world will need 150 million EVs by 2030 and 1 billion by 2050, implying a 21% compound annual growth rate from now until 2050.

Mechanical and Electrical Systems at the Orchards at Orenco Project

Posted on August 17, 2016 by Mike Steffen

This is Part 6 of a blog series describing construction of the Orchards at Orenco project in Oregon. The first installment was titled The Largest Passivhaus Building in the U.S.

If Carbon Pricing Is So Great, Why Isn’t It Working?

Posted on August 16, 2016 by Anonymous

BY PETER FAIRLEY

Earth’s atmosphere has long served as a free dump for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases generated by humans. That is changing as policy-makers embrace economists’ advice that the best way to cut greenhouse gas emissions is to charge an atmospheric disposal fee. As a result, governments are increasingly tacking on a price for carbon when fossil fuels are sold or consumed, allowing their economies to internalize some of the social and economic costs associated with burning coal, oil, and natural gas.

Looking for a Breakthrough in Cement and Concrete

Posted on August 9, 2016 by Robert Hutchinson

The toughest climate challenges involve large global industries, with no good substitutes. One of these literally produces the material under our feet — concrete. Every year, each of us in the U.S. uses about one-third of a ton. Fast-growing developing countries use far more. Globally we produce over 4 billion metric tons of Portland cement per year — the key ingredient in concrete and responsible for the majority of its CO2 footprint — driving over 5% of total anthropomorphic CO2.

Floating Solar: A Win-Win for Drought-Stricken Lakes

Posted on August 8, 2016 by Philip Warburg

The Colorado River’s two great reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, are in retreat. Multi-year droughts and chronic overuse have taken their toll, to be sure, but vast quantities of water also are lost to evaporation. What if the same scorching sun that causes so much of this water loss were harnessed for electric power?

Installing floating 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. arrays, sometimes called “floatovoltaics,” on a portion of these two reservoirs in the southwestern United States could produce clean, renewable energy while shielding significant expanses of water from the hot desert sun.

Blue Heron EcoHaus: Blower Door Testing

Posted on August 4, 2016 by Kent Earle

Editor's note: Kent Earle and his wife, Darcie, write a blog called Blue Heron EcoHaus, documenting their journey “from urbanites to ruralites” and the construction of a superinsulated house on the Canadian prairies. Their previous blog on GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com was called Insulation, Air-Sealing, and a Solar Array. The blog below was originally published in January. (A complete list of Kent Earle's GBA blogs is provided in the “Related articles” sidebar below.)

When Spray Foam Goes Bad

Posted on August 2, 2016 by Greg Labbe

When spray foam goes bad, it’s hard not to feel a bit sick. Sick because this high-performance insulation has a big carbon footprintAmount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that a person, community, industry, or other entity contributes to the atmosphere through energy use, transportation, and other means. and proper installation is key to its performance. When it’s not installed correctly, it can get expensive for the client, the contractor, and the planet.

Green and Cool Roofs Provide Relief for Hot Cities

Posted on July 28, 2016 by Ashish Sharma

More than half of the world’s population lives in cities, and the United Nations projects that this share will rise to 70% by 2050. During the daytime, these expanding urban areas absorb more solar energy than the surrounding countryside. At night they radiate the heat back to the atmosphere. Higher temperatures in cities compared to the areas around them create what are known as urban heat islands (UHIs).

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