The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

How to Finish Exterior Foundation Insulation

Posted on November 15, 2010 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

Energy gurus and building codes routinely recommend these days that foundation walls be insulated. One way of accomplishing that is by adding a layer of rigid foam insulation on the outside of the foundation.

And that's exactly what William Poole is planning to do.

Most of the rigid foam insulation will be underground and out of sight. But what do you do with that stretch of exposed insulation above grade?

To Install Stucco Right, Include an Air Gap

Posted on November 12, 2010 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

In many areas of the country, hundreds of stucco-clad homes have suffered wall rot. Although building scientists are still researching the causes of wall rot behind stucco, it’s clear that all of these walls got wet and were unable to dry.

The Green Countertop Dilemma

Posted on November 11, 2010 by Ann Edminster, GBA Advisor in Green Building Blog

During a recent visit to Eco6Design in Half Moon Bay, California, I was drooling over all the fabulous “eco” options for countertops. Serious eye candy! Vetrazzo, Fireclay Tile, Stone Age, IceStone, Fuez. I was itching to go home, rip out my pale-avocado-tile-with-black-grout counters and start afresh.

Healthy Child Healthy World, Part 3

Posted on November 11, 2010 by Annette Stelmack, GBA Advisor in design-matters

Greenbuild kicks off next week with lots of anticipation and excitement. If you are going to be in Chicago, please take the opportunity to visit the Healthy Home 2010 for a CEU and a tour of a beautiful, healthy, green home. Hop on the bus and receive CEU credits from Cambria and Benjamin Moore during your ride to and from the home.

Green Building Priority #2 — Reduce Water Use

Posted on November 10, 2010 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

Reducing water consumption should be a high priority not only in the parched Southwest but throughout the country. Some argue, in fact, that water is going to be an even bigger challenge than energy over the coming decades.

LEED-H and Retrofit Guidelines Released for Public Comment

Posted on November 10, 2010 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor in Green Building Curmudgeon

With some interesting timing, the first drafts of the new LEED for Homes rating system and the DOE’s Residential Retrofit Guidelines were both released for review and public comment in the same week.

How to Keep the Noise Down

Posted on November 8, 2010 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

A teen whose musical tastes run to head-pounding heavy metalMetallic elements with high atomic weights, including mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, and chromium. Released as industrial pollutants, some heavy metals are toxic and may accumulate to hazardous levels in the food chain. Different from Heavy Metal, which is a type of music frequently heard on job sites. classics? Uncle Ted, whose snoring would wake the dead? Who knows what's giving Robert Car pause for thought. Whatever it is, he wants to build in some effective sound-proofing.

“I'm aware of using more than one layer of drywall,” he writes in Q&A post, “but is that the only way?”

Increase the mass of the wall

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Green Building

Posted on November 5, 2010 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor in Green Building Curmudgeon

My recent post about banning fiberglass batt insulation (thanks for all the wonderful comments) was inspired by a couple of pre-drywall inspections on homes I am in the process of certifying under the EarthCraft House program.

How Risky Is Cold OSB Wall Sheathing?

Posted on November 5, 2010 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

During the winter months, wall 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. is usually cold. Cold sheathing is risky, since it tends to accumulate moisture during the winter. Unless the sheathing can dry out during the summer months, damp sheathing can rot.

Passive House: After Hours

Posted on November 5, 2010 by Christopher Briley in Green Architects' Lounge

I left Maine with a plan. I had already corresponded with Dr. Wolfgang Feist (founder of the Passivhaus Instiut) and Katrin Klingenberg (head of PHIUS, Passive HouseA residential building construction standard requiring very low levels of air leakage, very high levels of insulation, and windows with a very low U-factor. Developed in the early 1990s by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist, the standard is now promoted by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany. To meet the standard, a home must have an infiltration rate no greater than 0.60 AC/H @ 50 pascals, a maximum annual heating energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (4,755 Btu per square foot), a maximum annual cooling energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (1.39 kWh per square foot), and maximum source energy use for all purposes of 120 kWh per square meter (11.1 kWh per square foot). The standard recommends, but does not require, a maximum design heating load of 10 W per square meter and windows with a maximum U-factor of 0.14. The Passivhaus standard was developed for buildings in central and northern Europe; efforts are underway to clarify the best techniques to achieve the standard for buildings in hot climates. Institute U.S.) and asked if I might be able to interview them for Green Building Advisor and the Green Architects' Lounge. Both had indicated a willingness to do so, but the schedule for the event at the Boston Architectural College on October 23 was pretty full and they really didn't know if there would be time.

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