The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

More About Global Warming and Insulation

Posted on April 20, 2016 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD, GBA Advisor in Building Science

Well, I really stirred things up with my last article on insulation and global warming. My intention was to explain why Alex Wilson's results could be doing a disservice to the green building community. In the end, I was rightly accused of have done a disservice myself.

So, here goes with Part Three of my take on the global warming impact of insulation. Let's see if I can get closer to the truth this time.

Getting to Zero Waste

Posted on April 19, 2016 by Steven Cohen in Guest Blogs

One of the goals of a sustainable city is to effectively manage material flows into and out of the city. Garbage, or what environmental engineers call solid waste, presents some of the most difficult challenges to urban sustainability.

Out With The Old, In With The New

Posted on April 18, 2016 by Dana Dorsett in Guest Blogs

Your old furnace or boiler is gasping its last breath and it’s time to pull the trigger on something newer, more reliable, and more efficient. How do you quickly size the new equipment?

If you leave the sizing calculations to HVAC(Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Collectively, the mechanical systems that heat, ventilate, and cool a building. contractors, most would replace the old furnace with equipment that has a comparable output rating. That would guarantee that you wouldn’t get cold, but at least 19 times out of 20, that would be a mistake.

Is Your Ventilation System Working?

Posted on April 15, 2016 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

What’s a “faith-based ventilation system”? It’s a ventilation system installed by a contractor who never verifies the air flow rates after the equipment is installed.

So, will this type of ventilation system work? It’s hard to say — because no one measured anything.

Regulating Rain Barrels Is Not the Best Idea

Posted on April 14, 2016 by Adell Amos in Guest Blogs

Many of us never think about who gets to use the drops of rain that fall from the sky. But it’s an increasingly pertinent question as more people look to collect rainwater as a way to conserve water, live off the grid, or save money on water bills.

As a result, many states in the arid West are now asking whether rain barrels are allowed under existing law and policy and, in some cases, are setting limits on the practice of rainwater catchment.

The Downside of Low Gas Prices

Posted on April 13, 2016 by John DeCicco in Guest Blogs

Retail gasoline prices are now as low as they were in the “roaring ‘90s.” The 1990s, that is, when the energy crisis of the 1970s had faded from American consumers’ memories, the economy was strong and the market share of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) had more than tripled over the decade.

Number Crunching on a Deep Energy Retrofit

Posted on April 12, 2016 by Christopher Peck in Guest Blogs

Christopher Peck's original post, The Big Rewards of a Deep Energy Retrofit, was published here on March 15, 2016. That blog and this one both originally appeared at The Resilient Investor.

Finding Insulation That’s Safe

Posted on April 11, 2016 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

On top of all the other problems anyone building a new house is bound to encounter, Carolyn Farrow has a concern that outweighs all others: her daughter's health.

"Our toddler has a lot of chemical sensitivities and respiratory issues and insulation decisions are completely overwhelming me," she writes in a post at GBA's Q&A forum. "I can't find any contractors that I trust."

The allergist and pediatrician treating Farrow's daughter say she could react to virtually any type of insulation, and they are not comfortable making any specific recommendations.

Managing Lead Paint Hazards

Posted on April 8, 2016 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

About 37 million American homes and apartments have some interior lead paint on walls and woodwork. Any house built before 1978 — the year when most types of lead paint were withdrawn from the market in the U.S. — may contain lead paint. If lead paint is present on friction surfaces (for example, window sash), or if any lead paint is flaking or deteriorated, any children under the age of 6 or pregnant women who live in the house are at risk.

Blue Heron EcoHaus: Making an ICF Foundation

Posted on April 7, 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 Let Construction Begin. The blog below was originally published in June 2015. (A complete list of Kent Earle's GBA blogs is provided in the “Related articles” sidebar below.)

Register for a free account and join the conversation


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