Guest Blogs

Selling a House With Solar Panels Is Not for the Faint of Heart

Posted on June 8, 2017 by Stuart Kaplow

There are more than a million houses in the U.S. with solar panels installed on the roof and that number is increasing. Failing to address this issue properly when the house is sold can be legally difficult if not dangerous.

Some of the most common inquiries to this law firm arise from a failure to transfer ownership of installed solar panels correctly from one homeowner to the next.

Silent Saver Under Attack

Posted on June 6, 2017 by Anonymous

By LOWELL UNGAR

This post originally appeared on the ACEEE Blog.

Are you happy to have cheap, efficient light bulbs that don’t flicker and hum? How about a large refrigerator that uses less electricity than the old incandescent bulb? A small government office has played a key role in all of these innovations and now helps the average American family save almost $500 each year in lower energy bills.

Does Wasting Home Heating Make You See (Infra)Red?

Posted on June 5, 2017 by Jacob Corvidae

Have you ever wanted X-ray vision, or to see the hidden features of your home? The City of Vancouver has launched a new effort to make energy use more visible to its residents, complete with rainbow-colored images of their homes that show details invisible to the naked eye. Using thermal imaging to show heat loss in roughly 15,000 homes in five neighborhoods, Vancouver aims to help residents uncover wasted energy.

Space as a Green Metric

Posted on June 1, 2017 by Kristina Eldrenkamp

“Green” can be an empty term if it’s not defined in measurable ways. This conviction has informed our efforts to assign performance metrics to projects and to monitor progress towards meeting these over time. Some of the ways we document performance include our energy and water use tracking program and our protocols for protecting occupants against indoor pollutants (from activities like cooking).

An Introduction to the Flatrock Passive House

Posted on May 31, 2017 by David Goodyear

Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of posts by David Goodyear describing the construction of his new home in Flatrock, Newfoundland, 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. You can find Goodyear's complete blog here. This post was originally published in January 2017.

Urban Rustic: The Cedar Siding Is Here — Let’s Burn It

Posted on May 30, 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. For more details, see Eric's blog, Kimchi & Kraut.

Young Adults and the Construction Trades

Posted on May 25, 2017 by Rose Quint

NAHBNational Association of Home Builders, which awards a Model Green Home Certification. conducted a national poll of young adults aged 18 to 25 to find out how this age group feels about a career in the construction trades. The majority of young adults (74%) say they know the field in which they want to have a career. Of these, only 3% are interested in the construction trades.

Most of the young people interested in the trades say that the two most important benefits of this career choice are good pay (80%) and the attainment of useful skills (74%). Less than half cite as benefits that the work is seasonal (15%) or that it does not require a college degree (37%).

Clean Energy Programs Are Safe for Now

Posted on May 23, 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.

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.

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