The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Insights from Successful Net-Zero Builders

Posted on July 4, 2018 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs


The Takeover of the EPA

Posted on July 3, 2018 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs


Flatrock Passive: Taking a Tour

Posted on July 2, 2018 by David Goodyear in Guest Blogs

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 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.

Fasteners for Concrete and Brick

Posted on June 29, 2018 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Builders who install rigid foam insulation need to know what type of fasteners to use for a variety of substrates. One challenging situation involves installing rigid foam or furring strips over concrete, as might happen when rigid foam is installed on the interior of a basement wall. But even builders who are familiar with fastening methods for concrete might wonder if the same techniques are appropriate for brick walls.

Making Bendable Concrete

Posted on June 28, 2018 by Victor C. Li in Guest Blogs

Spring construction season is underway, and many tons of concrete will be used in the coming months. Unfortunately, concrete is a brittle material: Placed under stress, it cannot bend very far before it fractures. Some pavements that are being poured now will crack within a few years and require expensive repairs. New concrete will be mixed, and the cycle will start again.

An Update on the Residential Ventilation Debate

Posted on June 27, 2018 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD in Building Science

It's been a while since I've written about what I had been calling "The Great Ventilation Debate" back when Joe Lstiburek was battling the ASHRAE 62.2A standard for residential mechanical ventilation systems established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Among other requirements, the standard requires a home to have a mechanical ventilation system capable of ventilating at a rate of 1 cfm for every 100 square feet of occupiable space plus 7.5 cfm per occupant. residential ventilation committee. The 62.2 committee meets in person twice a year at the two ASHRAEAmerican Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). International organization dedicated to the advancement of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration through research, standards writing, publishing, and continuing education. Membership is open to anyone in the HVAC&R field; the organization has about 50,000 members. conferences, and they just met last Friday and Saturday in Houston, Texas.

A few things have happened over the past few years, so let me give you a brief update.

Frugal Happy: Our House Becomes a Giant Foam Box

Posted on June 26, 2018 by Chris Stratton and Wen Lee in Guest Blogs

Editor's Note: This post is one of a series by Chris Stratton and Wen Lee, a husband-and-wife team living in the Los Angeles area who are turning their 1963 suburban house into an all-electric, zero-net energy home. They chronicle their attempts at a low-carbon, low-cost, and joyful lifestyle on their blog Frugal Happy. This post was written by Wen.

Do I Really Need to Heat the Basement?

Posted on June 25, 2018 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

Irene lives in a 1901 house in the Pacific Northwest with an unfinished basement that's slowly been improved but is still unheated. In previous remodeling, Irene removed fiberglass insulation that had been installed on the upper sections of the basement walls and improved drainage to solve a water infiltration problem.

Now, the object is to air seal the basement, but Irene has been thrown a curve by an HVAC(Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Collectively, the mechanical systems that heat, ventilate, and cool a building. contractor, as she explains in a post in the Q&A forum.

Using a Dimple Mat to Keep a Basement Wall Dry

Posted on June 22, 2018 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Homeowners with problematic basements often post questions on They generally complain that their basements are damp, and that basement moisture problems aren’t easy to fix.

Solutions to damp basement problems are only indirectly connected to the topic of green building. In recent years, however, green builders — that is, builders who focus on energy efficiency — have become experts on moisture problems in buildings, in part because insulation problems are intimately tied to moisture problems.

Do Solar Panels Need to be Cleaned?

Posted on June 21, 2018 by Peter Yost in Building Science

I was at my brother’s house in Lee, New Hampshire, recently and looked up to see that his 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 looked a bit dull (see Image #2 below). His PV array is easy to get to — the long north slope of his roof has a walkable 5:12 pitch — so we went up and took a closer look.

Register for a free account and join the conversation

Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!