The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Solar Hot Air Collectors

Posted on March 20, 2015 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

A solar hot air collector is basically a black box with glass on one side. Instead of heating fluid that circulates through tubing, a solar hot air collector is like a parked car. When the sun shines on the collector, the air inside gets hot. A solar hot air collector usually includes a hot air duct connection at the top and a return-air duct connection at the bottom. To improve efficiency, most solar hot air collectors have a black metal baffle or screen behind the glass that allows air flow on both sides.

Six Myths of Sustainable Design

Posted on March 19, 2015 by Lance Hosey in Guest Blogs

A couple of weeks ago, the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce published an opinion piece titled, "Why green building has hit the wall, and what to do about it." The author, long-time green building advocate Jerry Yudelson, laments the relatively low rate of green building certification and asks, "Why hasn't the current system had more marketplace success?"

A Beautiful Near-Net-Zero-Energy Home in Utah

Posted on March 18, 2015 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD, GBA Advisor in Building Science

It's the day after St. Patrick's Day, so let me tell you a wee bit about the O'Mearas. Kevin and Svetlana O'Meara live in a beautiful home in Utah that's oh-so-close to being a net-zero-energy home. After I wrote about how home building is like skiing two years ago, Kevin invited me out to see their home and this year I managed to to do so.

Should Your Old Wood Windows Be Saved?

Posted on March 18, 2015 by Rob Yagid in Green Building Blog

Old wood windows are as charming as they are maddening. While they offer appealing craftsmanship and an authentic sense of home, they typically leak like a sieve. With rising fuel costs, an unstable economy, and a catatonic housing market, it’s simply becoming more and more difficult to look at those old units with pride.

A Second Look at a Surprising Study on Energy

Posted on March 17, 2015 by Steven Nadel in Guest Blogs

Steven Nadel is the executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. This post originally appeared on the ACEEE blog. GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com posted a news story about the original study in January.

Housing Is Back. Is It Better?

Posted on March 17, 2015 by Boyce Thompson in Green Building Blog

Tens of thousands of homebuilders in this country went out of business during the recession, as new-home starts contracted by 75%. One of the biggest sectors of the American economy was devastated.

Does a Fireplace Belong in a Green Home?

Posted on March 16, 2015 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

Clara Kim and her husband are nearly finished planning their new custom home. Only a few details remain before they can seek construction bids. But one of the remaining loose ends has major energy implications.

A Balanced Ventilation System With a Built-In Heat Pump

Posted on March 13, 2015 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

A small manufacturing company in Illinois called Build Equinox has developed a new ventilation appliance called the Conditioning Energy Recovery Ventilator, or CERV. Build Equinox was founded by an engineer, Ty Newell, and his son Ben Newell. (Ty Newell designed and built the Equinox House, which was described in a GBA article published in 2011.)

New LED Lights on the Scene

Posted on March 12, 2015 by Greg Labbe in Guest Blogs

In 1999, I went through the back service doors of Wolf Electric, a local supplier, and fumbled my way along the poorly lit, uneven floors to drop $37 and tax for one light bulb: a compact fluorescent light (CFLCompact fluorescent lamp. Fluorescent lightbulb in which the tube is folded or twisted into a spiral to concentrate the light output. CFLs are typically three to four times as efficient as incandescent lightbulbs, and last eight to ten times as long. CFLs combine the efficiency of fluorescent light with the convenience of an Edison or screw-in base, and new types have been developed that better mimic the light quality of incandescents. Not all CFLs can be dimmed, and frequent on-off cycling can shorten their life. Concerns have been raised over the mercury content of CFLs, and though they have been deemed safe, proper recycling and disposal is encouraged. ) made by Philips.

Cold-Climate Collaboration

Posted on March 12, 2015 by matthew omalia in Green Building Blog

I practice architecture in mid-coast Maine, a cold area that can experience some of the country’s most beautiful and most brutal weather. This undoubtedly has had an impact on my approach to design. As an architect, I believe I’m composing a long-term picture of resource consumption, durability, and comfort in the homes I help to create. As a result, I feel it’s my responsibility to be as mindful about the implications of my designs as possible.

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