The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Energy-Efficiency Retrofits: Insulation or Solar Power?

Posted on April 29, 2010 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

For our country to achieve the carbon emission reductions necessary to avoid a planetary catastrophe, many experts contend that almost every house in the country will need to have retrofit work that achieves deep cuts in energy use.

There’s a major stumbling block, however: deep energy retrofits are frighteningly expensive —in the range of $80,000 to $250,000 per house. With costs so high, many homeowners are asking: how long is the payback period for a deep-energy retrofit?

Now’s a Good Time to Replace Your Heating System

Posted on April 27, 2010 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

If your heating system is old and inefficient, now is a great time to replace it with a new, high-efficiency model. There are eight months remaining to take advantage of the 30% federal tax credit that’s available for installing energy-efficient gas- or oil-fired furnaces and boilers, as well as air-source heat pumps.

Poll: Why Does Green Building Matter?

Posted on April 26, 2010 by Daniel Morrison in Green Building Blog

Everyone has their own reason for wanting to build green. A couple of years ago as a fun little experiment I asked people at Building Science Summer Camp what the most important aspect of Green Building was. I expected a pretty straight across the board "Energy Efficiency" answer. I wasn't surprised to get health, global warming, durability, and forest conservation as answers, but I was surprised that I got them so frequently.

Building Houses and Saving Energy in Nicaragua

Posted on April 26, 2010 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

There's a reason this week's blog is late: I just returned from a week in Nicaragua.

I'm posting a few photos from Central America. My next blog should appear on schedule at the end of the week.

Can We Make Comfort (and Energy Efficiency) Affordable?

Posted on April 26, 2010 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor in Green Building Curmudgeon

I recently returned from my third ACI conference in Austin. Formerly known as Affordable Comfort, this get-together is another geekfest on par with Resnet, but with a broader appeal. Until recently, ACI was a relatively small affair, appealing to the narrow and evolving home performance industry. Attendance this year was up dramatically to almost 2,000 people.

7 Steps to an Energy-Efficient House: 4. Windows

Posted on April 24, 2010 by Betsy Pettit in Guest Blogs

Editor's introduction: With energy prices rising again, many homeowners are planning energy-efficiency improvements to their homes. But most people are unsure of where to begin, and even seasoned builders don’t always know which priorities should rise to the top of the list. Betsy Pettit, an architect at Building Science Corporation, recommends starting where you can get the most bang for the buck.

Poll: Why Do You Build Green?

Posted on April 22, 2010 by Daniel Morrison in Green Building Blog


Today everyone is talking about the things we talk about at Green Building Adsvisor every day — today we're fashionable!

We at Green Building Advisor want to know why it is that you have chosen to design, build, and remodel according to green building guidelines. Environmental reasons? Quality reasons? Moral obligation? Financial opportunity?

Earth Day + 40

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

The 40th anniversary of Earth Day arrives this week to relatively little fanfare. We’re focused on other things: high unemployment, a moribund economy, residual sniveling over health insurance reform. But 40 years is an important milestone.

High Performance Scopes of Work

Posted on April 19, 2010 by Peter Yost in Green Communities

What are Scopes of Work?
Scopes of work (SOW) are part of the legal contract between the general contractor or client and the trade contractors, detailing exactly what must be done to complete his or her work and achieve the desired result, an assembly or system that works. A program of SOW connects the work of individual trades so that the work of each produces the desired result: a home that works.

A ‘Magic Box’ For Your Passivhaus

Posted on April 16, 2010 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

By designing a tight envelope with thick insulation, Passivhaus designers work hard to whittle a home’s space heating load to a bare minimum. Many European designers strive to get the heating load so low that all space heat can be provided by raising the temperature of the ventilation air.

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