Guest Blogs

How to Foster Solar Innovation and Save Jobs

Posted on January 11, 2018 by Anonymous

By EDWARD BARBIER and TERRY IVERSON

The U.S. solar industry is nervously awaiting President Donald Trump’s decision whether to impose punitive duties on imported solar panels and related equipment or even restrict some of those imports altogether. It could come any day between now and late January.

Wolfe Island Passive: First Year Reflections

Posted on January 9, 2018 by David Murakami Wood

Editor's note: David and Kayo Murakami Wood are building what they hope will be Ontario's first 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. on Wolfe Island, the largest of the Thousand Islands on the St. Lawrence River. They are documenting their work at their blog, Wolfe Island Passive House. For a list of earlier posts in this series, see the sidebar below.

California Fire Damage to Homes is Less ‘Random’ Than It Seems

Posted on January 4, 2018 by Faith Kearns

In the midst of the many wildfire emergencies that have faced California this year, it can often seem that the way houses burn, or don’t, is random.

The thing is, though, it’s not. Firefighters and researchers alike have a pretty solid understanding of why some houses are more vulnerable to wildfire than others. The real challenge ultimately lies in whether those with the power to act on that knowledge will do so.

Stepping Up to Address Wind-Wildlife Impacts

Posted on January 3, 2018 by Anonymous

Note: This is part three of a series of blogs highlighting recent progress in onshore and offshore wind energy, as well as discussing some of the continued opportunities, challenges, and threats the industry faces in the near term. The series was originally published by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

By KATIE UMEKUBO

Giving Nature a Chance for a Comeback

Posted on January 2, 2018 by Anonymous

By TRAVIS WOOD

No longer constrained by repeated mowing and herbicide applications, the manicured fairways of the shuttered Highlands Golf Course in western Michigan have given way to tall grasses swaying in the breeze, interrupted only by more than two miles of looping trails in what is now The Highlands natural area. Several of the old greens are now tall and short-grass prairie plots, offering a glimpse of what the future holds for a piece of land that had been a golf course for the past 100 years.

A Quantitative Look at Solar Heat Gain

Posted on January 1, 2018 by Robert Opaluch

This article explores the viability of passive solar and solar-tempered space heating in northern U.S. regions and metro areas. I will quantify solar heating potential by looking at climate data for 22 large cities across the northern U.S. The winter climates in these cities differ not just in temperature ranges, but also in the amount of winter sunlight. Winter temperatures and cloudiness are major determinants of the potential and the cost-effectiveness of exploiting solar heat gainIncrease in the amount of heat in a space, including heat transferred from outside (in the form of solar radiation) and heat generated within by people, lights, mechanical systems, and other sources. See heat loss. for space heating.

South Australia Goes All Out on Renewables Despite Federal Focus on Coal

Posted on December 28, 2017 by Bianca Nogrady

This post originally appeared at Ensia.

U.S. Offshore Wind: Major Milestones and a Promising Future

Posted on December 27, 2017 by Anonymous

Note: This is part two of a series of blogs highlighting recent progress in onshore and offshore wind energy, as well as discussing some of the continued opportunities, challenges and threats the industry faces in the near term. The series was originally published by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

By KELLY McCOY

Urban Rustic: Building a Service Core

Posted on December 26, 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.

Flatrock Passive: Insulation and an Air Barrier

Posted on December 19, 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.

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