Guest Blogs

Debating Our All-Renewable Energy Future

Posted on July 27, 2017 by Joshua Rhodes

Science is messy, but it doesn’t have to be dirty.

Footings and Frost Walls at Flatrock Passive

Posted on July 25, 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.

Empowering Customers to Choose Clean Energy

Posted on July 19, 2017 by Anonymous

By JULES KORTENHORST and JAMES MANDEL

A Net-Zero Community in Texas

Posted on July 18, 2017 by lsichelman

By LEW SICHELMAN

Richard Bruce is looking forward to moving into his new Austin, Texas, home with his wife by year's end. When construction is complete, the 1,700-square-foot abode will have three bedrooms, two bathrooms, plus lightning-fast Google Fiber internet service. But here are the real selling points: the geothermal heating and cooling system and 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. (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.) panels which will ensure the new house produces as much energy as the couple consume.

Urban Rustic: Let the Framing Begin

Posted on July 17, 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.

An Award-Winning Efficiency Program in Colorado

Posted on July 13, 2017 by Laurie Guevara-Stone

Like other forward-thinking cities, Fort Collins — a city of 167,500 located in northern Colorado — had a goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050. However, following a Rocky Mountain Institute e–Lab design charretteMeeting at the beginning of an integrative design process that sets the stage for cooperation and collaboration among all participants, including the design team, engineers, contractors, clients, and any others involved in the project. Early involvement of the entire project team is fundamental to the successful use of a systems approach to green building. , the city decided to see if it could push that goal up by 20 years.

Could a Trade Dispute With China End the U.S. Solar Boom?

Posted on July 11, 2017 by Marc Gunther

Cheap Chinese solar cells have powered a boom in the U.S. solar industry. They have helped drive down the cost of making electricity from sunlight by about 70% since 2010, leading to double-digit growth rates in rooftop and utility-scale installations, according to the industry. Last year, for the first time, solar added more generating capacity to the electricity grid than any other fuel, including natural gas. That’s welcome news to those who worry about climate change.

Efficiency Standards: A Few Steps Forward, A Few Steps Back

Posted on July 6, 2017 by Lauren Urbanek

First, some good news: After a lengthy and illegal delay, the Trump Administration finally announced that new bipartisan energy efficiency standards for ceiling fans, which will save consumers up to $12 billion over the next 30 years, will become effective on September 30. The Natural Resources Defense Council, joined by consumer advocates, other energy efficiency advocates, 10 states and the City of New York, had filed a lawsuit challenging this delay on March 31.

Which Utilities Sponsor the Best Energy Efficiency Programs?

Posted on July 5, 2017 by Anonymous

By GRACE RELF

This post originally appeared on the ACEEE blog.

Flatrock Passive: A Final Design and Energy Modeling

Posted on July 4, 2017 by David Goodyear

Editor's Note: This is the second installment in a series of blogs by David Goodyear describing the construction of his new home in Flatrock, Newfoundland. The home will be the first in the province to be 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. You can find Goodyear's complete blog here.

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