The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Design for Disassembly

Posted on March 19, 2012 by Vera Novak in Guest Blogs

In his seminal book “Cradle to Cradle,” designer William McDonough advocated that objects should be designed with the end in mind. This has been codified by the EU End-of-Life Directive, which has improved upon the traditional recycling of cars as junk, or co-mingled material.

A Superinsulated House in Rural Minnesota

Posted on March 16, 2012 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Electric resistance heating systems have a bad reputation. While the required equipment is cheap (and sometimes cheap-looking), homes with electric heat are known for their high fuel bills.

German Innovation in Solar Water Heating

Posted on March 15, 2012 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

I was in Boston last week for the annual Building Energy conference, sponsored by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association. Each year this conference provides an opportunity to connect with friends and colleagues, catch up on leading-edge building design, and learn about product innovations in energy conservation and renewable energy.

‘All New Construction and Retrofits Must Be Carbon-Neutral’

Posted on March 14, 2012 by Lenny Antonelli in Green Building Blog

Reprinted with permission from Construct Ireland magazine.

How to Choose Insulation

Posted on March 13, 2012 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor in Green Building Curmudgeon

[Editor's note:This is an excerpt of the “Insulation and Air Sealing” chapter of Carl's new textbook, Green Building. Carl's publisher, Cenage Learning, has allowed us to make the whole chapter available as a free download.]

Occupant Behavior Makes a Difference

Posted on March 9, 2012 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Energy experts often repeat the cliché, “There’s no such thing as a zero-energy home — just zero-energy homeowners.” Energy monitoring data from two well-publicized Massachusetts homes — the so-called Montague Urban Homestead house in Turners Falls and the home of Matt and Laura Beaton in Shrewsbury — prove the cliché to be true.

Traffic Calming – Saving Lives and Saving Energy

Posted on March 8, 2012 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

Brattleboro, Vermont hasn't been a good place to be a pedestrian recently. In the past nine months there have been nine accidents in which pedestrians were hit by vehicles, including two fatalities (one immediate and the other from injuries six weeks later).

Is the Pretty Good House the Next Big Thing?

Posted on March 7, 2012 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD, GBA Advisor in Building Science

I love the Pretty Good House concept! The folks up in Maine who've been developing this idea in their monthly green building discussion group (Steve's Garage) have struck a chord with a lot of us who design, build, or verify green homes. The growing complexity and expense of green building and energy programs has ledLight-emitting diode. Illumination technology that produces light by running electrical current through a semiconductor diode. LED lamps are much longer lasting and much more energy efficient than incandescent lamps; unlike fluorescent lamps, LED lamps do not contain mercury and can be readily dimmed. to growing frustration.

It’s 2012 — Do You Know Where Your LEED for Homes Is?

Posted on March 6, 2012 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor in Green Building Curmudgeon

LEED for Homes 2012, the new version planned for release at the end of this year, is in the third and final comment period before it is voted on and officially adopted. Comments are open only through March 20, so if you work with this program, it behooves you to check it out and make your comments soon.

I spet several hours recently reviewing the current draft and this post will include my opinion on where it is better than the current one and where it could still use some improvement.

Fiberglass versus Cellulose

Posted on March 5, 2012 by Erik North in Guest Blogs

The two least expensive and most commonly used residential insulation are fiberglass and cellulose. Granted, fiberglass is about 50 times more common — but a distant second is still second.

Unless the homeowner opts for spray foam, the insulation choice usually comes down to fiberglass vs. cellulose. So what are the advantages and disadvantages of each one? How are they similar and how are they different?

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