The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Will Europe Stop Trashing U.S. Forests in the Name of Bioenergy?

Posted on July 7, 2016 by Kenneth Richter in Green Building Blog

Since 2010, the Natural Resources Defense Council's Our Forests Aren’t Fuel campaign to save southeastern forests from logging for bioenergy has sounded the alarm about this issue and targeted the European Union for reform.

In 2009, the EU passed binding legislation to ensure the EU meets its climate and energy targets, including a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a requirement that 20% of EU energy be generated from renewable sources, and a 20% improvement in energy efficiency, all by 2020.

Blue Heron EcoHaus: Insulation, Air-Sealing, and a Solar Array

Posted on July 6, 2016 by Kent Earle in Guest Blogs

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 Siding and Soffits at the Blue Heron EcoHaus. The blog below was originally published in September 2015. (A complete list of Kent Earle's GBA blogs is provided in the “Related articles” sidebar below.)

Off-Grid in Canada: The Building Envelope

Posted on July 5, 2016 by Craig Anderson in Guest Blogs

This is the second in a series of posts by Craig Anderson describing the off-the-grid house he built with his wife France-Pascale Ménard near Low, Québec. The first installment was titled Building an Off-Grid Home in Canada. Craig writes about the "Seven Hills Project" in a blog called Sunshine Saved.

Will This Roof Design Have Problems?

Posted on July 4, 2016 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

Planning a new house in Climate Zone 6, Chad Kotlarz is reviewing his architect's plans for the roof — and discovers he has a few misgivings.

The unvented roof will be framed with 2x12 rafters, sheathed with plywood and capped with standing-seam metal roofing. Closed-cell spray foam will insulate the rafter bays, and the interior of the cathedral ceiling will be finished with gypsum drywall. An exposed truss with a collar tie provides structural support.

Can Rural Living Be As Green As Urban Living?

Posted on July 1, 2016 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Rural residents are surrounded by greenery and breathe fresh air. Urban residents are surrounded by concrete and breathe polluted air.

On the other hand, rural residents live in wasteful single-family homes and depend on private cars for transportation. Urban residents live in efficient apartments and use public transportation.

So which lifestyle is greener? According to most analysts, urban living is better for the planet than rural living. But a few aspects of the question remain unsettled.

Are Energy-Saving Settings Bad for the Environment?

Posted on June 30, 2016 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs

By PETER FAIRLEY

Volkswagen’s deceptive engine controls, uncovered last year, gave its cars a dual personality: one for everyday operation and a secret greener one used to rank higher than warranted on vehicle emissions tests. Regulators in the U.S. and Europe are now examining whether some television manufacturers similarly misbehaved, programming their screens to detect a standard video test clip, dial down their brightness and thus cheat on energy consumption tests.

Complex Three-Dimensional Air Flow Networks

Posted on June 29, 2016 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD, GBA Advisor in Building Science

A lot of discoveries and research work over the past four decades have ledLight-emitting diode. Illumination technology that produces light by running electrical current through a semiconductor diode. LED lamps are much longer lasting and much more energy efficient than incandescent lamps; unlike fluorescent lamps, LED lamps do not contain mercury and can be readily dimmed. to our current understanding of air leakage in buildings. I’ll mention a few here, but I want to focus on one: the MAD AIR paper by John Tooley and Neil Moyer. The full title of the paper was, Mechanical Air Distribution And Interacting Relationships. The first letters of those words spell out MAD AIR.

The Case Against More Ethanol

Posted on June 28, 2016 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs

Editor's note: This is a rebuttal to “The Case for More Ethanol,” a guest blog published at GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com on June 27, 2016.

The Case for More Ethanol

Posted on June 27, 2016 by Timothy Wirth and C. Boyden Gray in Guest Blogs

For almost as long as there have been cars, gasoline has been the dominant fuel in transportation. But for a host of reasons — environmental, climate change, public health, and economic — the time has come to consider mixing higher blends of biofuels with gasoline. And in the United States, the best source for that biofuel today, surprisingly, is corn.

Resilient Food Supply Systems

Posted on June 24, 2016 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com has published a lot of articles about resilience — for example, articles pointing out that well-insulated buildings with low levels of air leakage are more resilient than code-minimum buildings. In other words, in the event of a disruption to energy supplies, such a building can ride out a cold spell — even one lasting for weeks — without risking frozen pipes.

A few GBA bloggers, including Alex Wilson and Tristan Roberts, advise anyone concerned about resilience to consider where their food will come from during an emergency.

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