The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Should Flex Duct Be Banned?

Posted on November 28, 2012 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD, GBA Advisor in Building Science

Ah, flex duct. That bane of home performance contractors and green builders everywhere. If you’ve seen only one forced-air duct system that uses flex, you’ve most likely seen a bad installation.

Installing a Photovoltaic System

Posted on November 27, 2012 by Marc Rosenbaum in Guest Blogs

[Editor's note: What follows is a compilation of blog entries by Marc Rosenbaum describing the performance of the photovoltaic system installed on the roof of his Massachusetts house.]

Walls Without Water-Resistive Barriers

Posted on November 26, 2012 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

Unless a builder has opted for a Zip System wall or is willing to ignore building code requirements, a layer of housewrap or building felt typically covers any exterior sheathingMaterial, usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), but sometimes wooden boards, installed on the exterior of wall studs, rafters, or roof trusses; siding or roofing installed on the sheathing—sometimes over strapping to create a rainscreen. before the siding is applied. This water-resistive barrierSometimes also called the weather-resistive barrier, this layer of any wall assembly is the material interior to the wall cladding that forms a secondary drainage plane for liquid water that makes it past the cladding. This layer can be building paper, housewrap, or even a fluid-applied material., or WRB, helps to protect the sheathing from damage in the event that water is driven past the siding.

All About Wall Rot

Posted on November 23, 2012 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Contractors who specialize in repairing rotten walls won’t run out of work any time soon. The epidemic of wall-rot problems that began more than 20 years ago shows no signs of abating. In fact, wet-wall specialists are often called to investigate problems in developments where most of the homes have rotting walls — and in some cases, these homes are only six years old.

A Few Product Highlights from GreenBuild

Posted on November 22, 2012 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

I attended the GreenBuild Conference and related meetings in San Francisco last week. This is the largest conference and trade show in the green building field, and it is increasingly becoming the national event where large manufacturers roll out new building products.

Described below are a few product highlights from the trade show that caught my eye as I wandered around. I only got through about a quarter of the trade show.

‘Building Enclosure,’ Not ‘Building Envelope’

Posted on November 21, 2012 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD, GBA Advisor in Building Science

When I wrote about the debate over the terms “building envelope” vs. “building enclosure” recently, I favored the former but overall felt agnostic on whether we should choose one over the other. I didn't think I'd change my mind.

Seeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal — Part 2

Posted on November 20, 2012 by Roger Normand in Guest Blogs

[Editor's note: Roger and Lynn Normand are building a Passivhaus in Maine. This is the 16th article in a series that will follow their project from planning through construction.]

If you have read my previous blog (“Seeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal – Part 1”), you know that the appraiser failed to list or value any of the green/energy efficient aspects of EdgewaterHaus. Does it matter?


Choosing an Efficient Refrigerator

Posted on November 19, 2012 by Marc Rosenbaum in Guest Blogs

When we moved into our house, it had the original Maytag 18.5-cubic-foot refrigerator that was installed in 2000. It had one feature I had never lived with before: an icemaker.

It took me some time to realize that the weird sounds I occasionally heard coming from the fridge was it cranking out the cubes. We don't use much ice, and being middle-aged actually learned in our youth how to fill ice cube trays (similar to being able to count, and tell time by the big hand and the little hand, and other lost arts), so eventually I turned that feature off.

All About Energy Efficient Mortgages

Posted on November 16, 2012 by Brentt Taylor in Guest Blogs

A relatively new home financing option — the energy efficient mortgage — can let home buyers qualify for larger loans than they might otherwise, while improving their homes with environmentally friendly, cost-cutting upgrades that can reduce energy bills.

An energy efficient mortgage (EEM) is a great way to help a family improve their home and save money while doing good for the environment, and securing one is a lot simpler than you might think.

Holladay Recognized by Fellow Blogger

Posted on November 15, 2012 by Patrick McCombe in Green Building Blog

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Martin Holladay for more than 10 years, so it came as no surprise to me that his passion for sustainable building and his journalistic chops were recently recognized by the website Retro Renovation. The site’s regular blogger, Pam Kueber, told readers that Martin is “pretty much my favorite blogger in the universe.”

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