The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

The 7 Biggest Opportunities for HVAC Contractors

Posted on February 6, 2013 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD in Building Science

Heating and air conditioning contractors have a lot of opportunities to make homes better and to be profitable. The surprising thing is just how few HVAC(Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Collectively, the mechanical systems that heat, ventilate, and cool a building. companies take advantage of all the opportunities that are available to them.

A New Encyclopedia Article on Skylights

Posted on February 5, 2013 by GBA Team in Green Building Blog

GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com's library of articles and blogs continues to expand. The newest article to be added to the ever-deeper GBA Encyclopedia covers skylights.

Spraying Polyurethane Foam Over an Existing Roof

Posted on February 4, 2013 by Mike Litchfield in Guest Blogs

When Taya and Stephen Shoup's old tar-and-gravel roof began leaking, the couple hoped to find a replacement roofing that would be energy-conserving, leakproof, cost-competitive, and reasonably green. As the house's roof 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. doubled as a finished ceiling, the old insulation was scant. They broiled in the summer and hemorrhaged money during the heating season.

A Chat With Henry Gifford

Posted on February 1, 2013 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Most builders and designers involved with green building have heard of Henry Gifford. Energy efficiency experts admire his deep knowledge of heating systems and his straight talk about the unacceptably high number of HVAC(Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Collectively, the mechanical systems that heat, ventilate, and cool a building. problems in run-of-the-mill new buildings in the U.S. At the headquarters of the United States Green Building Council (USGBCUnited States Green Building Council (USGBC). Organization devoted to promoting and certifying green buildings. USGBC created the LEED rating systems.), on the other hand, he is something of a pariah — due in part to his 2010 lawsuit that accused the USGBC of making “deceptive marketing claims.”

State-of-the-Art Windows for A New Home

Posted on January 31, 2013 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

Having written about windows and emerging window technologies for longer than I care to admit (since before low-e coatings even existed), I must say that it’s incredibly fun to be building a house and having an opportunity to try out some of the leading-edge stuff I’ve been writing about.

Ventilation Requirements for Weatherized Homes

Posted on January 30, 2013 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD in Building Science

I went to school with Cajuns in south Louisiana, and fights were a big deal. They happened frequently, and when they did, a small crowd would gather. The noise would grow quickly and soon everyone in the schoolyard would run over to where the fight was happening. One day in sixth grade, we exploited this tendency and staged a fight between two shoes at recess. Sure enough — our tight circle of boys banging two shoes on the ground and making a lot of noise brought the whole school to us.

Report from the International Builders’ Show

Posted on January 29, 2013 by Michael Chandler in Green Building Blog

I recently returned from the International Builders' Show, an annual extravaganza put on by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHBNational Association of Home Builders, which awards a Model Green Home Certification.). This year it was held in Las Vegas from from January 22 to 24, 2013.

Most of us attendees didn’t get much time to cruise the show floor, because the educational resources were so rich. NAHB improved the format by adding several different levels of course offerings. They eliminated the last half-day and selected much more carefully for just the best teachers for the premium-priced educational track.

Major Thermal Bypasses

Posted on January 29, 2013 by Erik North in Guest Blogs

First, a bit about my writing: I write in longhand, whenever I have some spare time. Between audits, at lunch, after the gym, when stopping for a coffee. Then I type the notes up. The thing is that I find a lot more spare time in my walking-around day than at the home or office. To say there is a bottleneck getting these notes into electronic form is a disservice to good-flowing bottles everywhere. This is by way of explaining an upcoming sentence.

Construction Begins — and We Encounter a Few Snafus

Posted on January 28, 2013 by Roger Normand in Guest Blogs

[Editor's note: Roger and Lynn Normand are building a Passivhaus in Maine. This is the 22nd article in a series that will follow their project from planning through construction.]

Window Installation Tips for a Deep Energy Retrofit

Posted on January 25, 2013 by Joel Schuman in Guest Blogs

In May 2011 we began a deep energy retrofit of our old, cold, drafty house in Saugerties, New York. Because the house was poorly and cheaply built in the 1840s (apparently from scraps and salvage), we were leery of opening up the walls from the outside, lest we find that the clapboard siding and incomplete 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. were all that had kept the house from collapsing.

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