The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Green Building Priority #5 – Build Smaller

Posted on October 20, 2010 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

While the trend has begun to turn around, we've been building larger and larger houses for decades. In 1950, the average house in the U.S. was about 1,100 square feet, while there were about 3.4 people per household, according to data I compiled for a 1999 article in Environmental Building News. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in 2009 the average new house in the U.S. was 2,438 square feet (down slightly from 2,518 square feet in 2008), while the average household size was 2.6 people.

What Do You Want To Know About Passivhaus?

Posted on October 20, 2010 by GBA Team in Green Building Blog

A few Green Building Advisor staff members and contributors will attend the "Passivhaus, LEED, and the City of Boston" symposium on Saturday, where Passivhaus Institute founder Dr. Wolfgang Feist will be speaking about "The concept, experience, and dissemination of Passivhaus."

Healthy Child Healthy World, Part 2

Posted on October 19, 2010 by Annette Stelmack, GBA Advisor in design-matters

To create healthy and sustainable interiors for our clients, it is essential that we understand how to enhance indoor air quality, tapping into IAQ-specific resources and expertise. GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) is at the top of my resource list.

Q&A Spotlight: Will One Radiant Floor Heat Two Stories?

Posted on October 18, 2010 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

Michael Schonlau is building a house in Omaha, Nebraska, where he can expect 6,000+ heating degree days a year. He's planning on putting a radiant-floor system in the basement slab of the ranch-style home with a footprint of about 1,600 sq. ft.

In a recent posting on GBA's page, Schonlau asked whether he'll have to install radiant loops under the subfloor of the first floor as well as the basement — or will the heat generated in the basement migrate upstairs and keep the house comfortable?

Carpet in Basements: The Issues, Solutions, and Alternatives

Posted on October 17, 2010 by Peter Yost in Green Communities

Designing dry, warm basement floors
Dry warm basement floors are designed to manage:

  1. Water at ground level - gutters and downspouts connected to splash blocks on soil sloped away from the building;
  2. Water at the footing - perimeter pipe drainage at the footing;
  3. Water in porous materials - capillaryForces that lift water or pull it through porous materials, such as concrete. The tendency of a material to wick water due to the surface tension of the water molecules. breaks—free-draining gravel and/or nonporous sheet good, like poly—underneath the slab, between the concrete walls and the soil, and between the footing and the foundation walls.

Bloggers Who Blog About Green Building Advisor

Posted on October 17, 2010 by GBA Team in Green Building Blog

THANKS, BLOGGERS!

We will continue to update and promote this page as we stumble across more bloggers talking about our little site.

Bloggers: Visit our Press Room for RSS feeds of most of our frequently refreshing stuff:


constructionmanagementdegree.org
(GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com is included in a list of Green Architecture, Construction and Renovation blogs.)

Musings on Lawsuits, Spiritual Energy, and Metal Roofs

Posted on October 16, 2010 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor in Green Building Curmudgeon

As most people in the green building world have recently learned, Henry Gifford has filed a class action suit against the USGBC and several executives of the organization. His claims include fraud and monopolistic practices. He claims that the USGBC is attempting to monopolize the building industry at the expense of anyone who doesn’t have a LEEDLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED for Homes is the residential green building program from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). While this program is primarily designed for and applicable to new home projects, major gut rehabs can qualify. AP credential. He does have a point that being a LEED AP has no direct correlation to whether or not you know anything about how buildings work or perform.

Calculating the Minimum Thickness of Rigid Foam Sheathing

Posted on October 15, 2010 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

UPDATED on December 16, 2013 with new information on the R-valueMeasure of resistance to heat flow; the higher the R-value, the lower the heat loss. The inverse of U-factor. of polyisocyanurate at cold temperatures

If you plan to install exterior rigid foam on the walls of your house, how thick should the foam be? Although the GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com Web site has addressed this question several times in our Q&A column and various blogs, the question continues to perplex readers. New questions along these lines come our way regularly.

The last time I answered the question was at the end of a long, very technical blog. In this blog, I'll cut to the chase.

Green Building Priority #6 – Ensure Durability and Reuse Existing Buildings

Posted on October 13, 2010 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

A green home should last a long time. Living in a timber-frame home in Dummerston, Vermont that was built in 1785 and having grown up in a log home in Berwyn, Pennsylvania that was built in 1710 (three centuries ago this year), I think a lot about durability. It shocks me to realize that some of the homes being built today are designed for just a fifty-year lifespan. I feel that homes should last a minimum of 500 years.

Should Batt Insulation Be Outlawed?

Posted on October 11, 2010 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor in Green Building Curmudgeon

A significant amount of my work these days is certifying homes under one or more of the available green building programs in my area, including EarthCraft House, LEEDLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED for Homes is the residential green building program from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). While this program is primarily designed for and applicable to new home projects, major gut rehabs can qualify. , and the National Green Building StandardNational Green Building Standard Based on the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines and passed through ANSI. This standard can be applied to both new homes, remodeling projects, and additions. . Recently, I have inspected several homes that were insulated with fiberglass batts, and, not surprisingly, the quality of the installation was dismal. What I saw could have been an instruction manual on how not to insulate a house. Batts were cut 2 to 3 inches wider than the stud spacing and crammed into the cavities.

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