The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Flooding Is More Than a Coastal Problem

Posted on September 11, 2017 by Nina Lam in Guest Blogs

Catastrophic flooding in Houston from Hurricane Harvey is the latest reminder that floods kill more people in the United States than any other type of natural disaster and are the most common natural disaster worldwide. Many communities along U.S. coastlines have begun to take heed and have slowed development in coastal flood zones. The bad news, as Harvey shows, is that inland communities are also at risk — and in some, development in flood zones is increasing.

What’s Wrong, and What’s Right, With Residential Building in Texas

Posted on September 8, 2017 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

For four days in late August 2017, the remnants of Hurricane Harvey dropped between 40 and 51 inches of rain on the Houston area, causing catastrophic flooding. Tens of thousands of homes have been severely damaged or destroyed, and dozens of people have lost their lives.

FTC Settles Charges Over Deceptive ‘Zero VOC’ Claims

Posted on September 7, 2017 by Stuart Kaplow in Guest Blogs

Four paint companies have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they deceptively promoted products as containing zero volatile organic compounds (VOCsVolatile organic compound. An organic compound that evaporates readily into the atmosphere; as defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, VOCs are organic compounds that volatize and then become involved in photochemical smog production.) or as emission free, including during and immediately after application. Some promotions also made explicit safety claims.

Specifically, the first FTC complaint alleges:

An Interesting Moisture Problem in a Trendy Restaurant

Posted on September 6, 2017 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD in Building Science

I've got the curse, you know. I can't walk into a building and not check out what's going on with ductwork, windows, and anything else that lets me apply what I know about building science.

Recently, I went to lunch at a trendy restaurant near Emory University and of course looked up at the ceiling. You can see what caught my attention in photo at right. The restaurant is only three or four years old, so I've been watching this problem get worse for a while now.

I have a few ideas about what's happening here. Do you?

Promoting Green Infrastructure

Posted on September 5, 2017 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs

By THOMAS FISHER and MADELINE GOLDKAMP

Natural assets — “green infrastructure” — can provide communities with invaluable ecosystem services that clean our air, filter our water, mitigate natural disasters, and improve our quality of life.

Fixing a Poorly Insulated Roof

Posted on September 4, 2017 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

Chris Butson's Utah home sits at an elevation of 6,000 feet and experiences everything from sub-zero temperatures in the winter to 100-degree summer days. Built in 1994, the house has what Butson believes is an underinsulated roof that contributes to big electric bills and massive ice dams.

Green Cohousing Communities — and Other Options

Posted on September 1, 2017 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

The typical green home featured on GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com is a single-family home in a suburb or rural area. This type of development — often called “sprawl” — is decried by environmentalists and urban planners, who instead sing the praises of multifamily buildings in dense urban neighborhoods.

If you are a greenie who now lives in a suburb or rural area, where is the best place to move to? In this essay, I’ll examine several options.

Seeking Higher Ground

Posted on August 31, 2017 by Rob Moore in Guest Blogs

The Natural Resources Defense Council has released a groundbreaking report, Seeking Higher Ground, that takes a hard look at the plight of people whose homes are repeatedly flooded and the difficulties they face in acquiring assistance to move somewhere safer.

Carbon Capture Is Not Dead

Posted on August 30, 2017 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs

By DAVID HAWKINS and GEORGE PERIDAS

After almost seven years of design and construction work, and over $7 billion spent, the much-publicized Kemper County coal gasification power plant will now run on natural gas without capturing any carbon. Does this mean carbon capture and storage (CCS) for power plants is not ready for prime time?

Simple Techniques for Lowering the Cost of Zero-Energy Homes

Posted on August 29, 2017 by Bruce Sullivan in Guest Blogs

In an effort to find ways to make zero-energy homes more affordable, San Joaquin County Habitat for Humanity (SJC Habitat) went farther than most. Headquartered in Stockton, California, the non-profit organization found ways to make their zero-energy homes cost less to build than their standard, moderately energy-efficient homes.

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