The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Position Yourself as an Expert Eco-Builder: Stay Connected With Your Customers

Posted on December 30, 2009 by Michael Strong, LEED Associate, CGP in Business Advisor

Rapid changes in the residential construction industry are providing new profit and diversification opportunities for builders. Those who see and understand these opportunities can position themselves as experts in the field and provide exemplary service to gain an important edge in the marketplace. Knowing where you stand in relation to your competition is paramount. Educating and communicating that position to prospective customers is equally important.

Part 7 of a 7-part series


7. Stay connected with your customers

’Twas the Night Before Christmas

Posted on December 23, 2009 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

’Twas the night before Christmas, when blizzards and chills
Strain my budget by raising my energy bills;
All the stockings were swaying — a cold winter breeze
Made my home’s leaky envelope feel like Swiss cheese
(The old windows and ceilings have so many gaps
That the kids have to sleep in their kerchiefs and caps) —
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
And I yanked up the creaky old single-pane sash.

Vapor Retarders

Posted on December 23, 2009 by Lynn Underwood, GBA Advisor in Code Green

9 Steps to A Greener Code

New homes built using the 2009 International Residential Code (IRCInternational Residential Code. The one- and two-family dwelling model building code copyrighted by the International Code Council. The IRC is meant to be a stand-alone code compatible with the three national building codes—the Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA) National code, the Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI) code and the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) code.) or International Energy Conservation Code (IECC International Energy Conservation Code.) will be more energy efficient than ever. As a consequence, a builder’s world may become a bit more complex and, in some cases, a bit more expensive.

Last-Minute Shopping List for Christmas

Posted on December 22, 2009 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

You’re down to the last few days before Christmas. You’re looking for that meaningful, special gift for a family member, special friend, or co-worker. Buy a gift that keeps on giving—by saving energy! Below, is my top-10 list of energy-saving holiday gifts.

Martin’s Energy Quiz

Posted on December 18, 2009 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

This week’s blog is an energy efficiency and building science quiz. Remember, using Google for research is cheating. Answers are at the bottom of the page.

1. During the winter, a home inspector climbs into an attic and notices that the underside of the roof sheathing is covered with frost and the rafters have stains indicating mold. The most likely cause of these problems is:
a. A roof leak
b. Insufficient insulation on the attic floor
c. Air leakage paths between the wet basement and the attic.
d. Bats or squirrels.

Yet Another Rant About Buildings and Food

Posted on December 16, 2009 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor in Green Building Curmudgeon

I saw a commercial the other day for yet another new prepared food product, Marie Callender's Home-Style Pasta Creations, sold in microwaveable plastic containers that heat the pasta and sauce separately, presumably making them taste more like something you make at home. I don’t know how they taste, but it sure looks like they will produce a lot of plastic waste if they are successful.

Vacuum-Insulated Windows

Posted on December 16, 2009 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

Last week we took at look at one way to achieve very-high-performance windows: adding additional layers of glazing and multiple low-emissivity (low-e) coatings. This week, we’ll look at another option that’s even higher-tech: vacuum-insulated glass.

Green-Building Appraisal and Financing Issues

Posted on December 16, 2009 by Michael Chandler, GBA Advisor in Green Building Blog

I have a customer who is pre-approved for a $400,000 new home. We have the land and a design that fits my customer's budget. But the bank’s appraiser says that if we build it as designed (passive solar with solar hot water, radiant floor, spray foam in the roof, high-performance windows and insulation), they won’t appraise it for the cost of construction, and the owners will need to come up with a bigger down payment. They don’t have the cash, so we’ll have to eliminate the solar and spray foam so that they can get the loan.

Position Yourself as an Expert Eco-Builder: Update Your Website

Posted on December 15, 2009 by Michael Strong, LEED Associate, CGP in Business Advisor

Rapid changes in the residential construction industry are providing new profit and diversification opportunities for builders. Those who see and understand these opportunities can position themselves as experts in the field and provide exemplary service to gain an important edge in the marketplace. Knowing where you stand in relation to your competition is paramount. Educating and communicating that position to prospective customers is equally important.

Part 5 of a 7-part series


5. Update your website

Exceeding the Energy Code

Posted on December 14, 2009 by Lynn Underwood, GBA Advisor in Code Green

9 Steps to A Greener Code

New homes built using the 2009 International Residential Code (IRCInternational Residential Code. The one- and two-family dwelling model building code copyrighted by the International Code Council. The IRC is meant to be a stand-alone code compatible with the three national building codes—the Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA) National code, the Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI) code and the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) code.) or International Energy Conservation Code (IECC International Energy Conservation Code.) will be more energy efficient than ever. As a consequence, a builder’s world may become a bit more complex and, in some cases, a bit more expensive.

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