The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Designing Houses That Keep Their Cool

Posted on July 4, 2013 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

Summer is here, with a pattern of hot weather and (in our part of the country) high humidity. We can be glad in Vermont that we’re not dealing with temperatures approaching 120°F, as are Phoenix and Las Vegas. (Death Valley was predicted to hit 130°F the other day, just four degrees shy of the highest temperature ever recorded on earth — 100 years ago.)

Insulated Rooflines and Shingle Temperatures

Posted on July 3, 2013 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD in Building Science

One of the most common questions I get when I describe homes with insulated rooflines is, "What does that do to the shingles?" Some roofing companies have made noise about this topic, saying that if the shingles can't conduct heat downward into the attic, the shingle lifetime will be greatly reduced.

Loving My Minisplits

Posted on July 2, 2013 by Carl Seville in Green Building Curmudgeon

Last year, still living in my little cottage due to delays and problems attempting to build a new house in my historic district, I finally got tired of the old gravity floor furnace and window air conditioners and decided to spring for a new HVAC(Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Collectively, the mechanical systems that heat, ventilate, and cool a building. system. I looked briefly at installing a central ducted system, but I realized that I had really enjoyed the zone control that the window units had afforded me.

Fixing a Hot-Water Problem

Posted on July 1, 2013 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

John Metcalfe's San Francisco renovation included the installation of two tankless water heaters and a small circulation pump in his four-story, 3,200-sq. ft. home. The water heaters, connected in series, are located on the second floor, which is a more or less central location.

His hot-water problems should be over, right? Except they're not.

How Much Fresh Air Does Your Home Need?

Posted on June 28, 2013 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAEAmerican Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). International organization dedicated to the advancement of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration through research, standards writing, publishing, and continuing education. Membership is open to anyone in the HVAC&R field; the organization has about 50,000 members. ) has had a residential ventilation standard since 2003, when ASHRAE 62.2A standard for residential mechanical ventilation systems established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Among other requirements, the standard requires a home to have a mechanical ventilation system capable of ventilating at a rate of 1 cfm for every 100 square feet of occupiable space plus 7.5 cfm per occupant. (“Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings”) was first approved for publication. (For more information on providing fresh air for homes, see Designing a Good Ventilation System.)

What’s New with Water-Resistive Barriers

Posted on June 27, 2013 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

I remember years ago — I hate to remember how many; it must have been around 1982 or 1983 — writing for New England Builder (now the Journal of Light Construction) about Tyvek housewrap. It was then a fairly new product — and really a new idea: a material that would wrap over the outside of a house to provide an air barrierBuilding assembly components that work as a system to restrict air flow through the building envelope. Air barriers may or may not act as a vapor barrier. The air barrier can be on the exterior, the interior of the assembly, or both. and improve energy performance.

An Epidemic of Duct Disease and Enclosure Problems

Posted on June 26, 2013 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD in Building Science

When an air conditioner breaks down in hot weather, homeowners reach for their phone. The HVAC(Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Collectively, the mechanical systems that heat, ventilate, and cool a building. company then sends someone out to the home with the immediate goal of getting the AC running again so the occupants will cool off. The thing is, though, that most homes have problems that run deeper than the cause of the broken air conditioner.

EEBA’s Excellence in Building Conference is Worth the Trip

Posted on June 25, 2013 by Brian Pontolilo in Green Building Blog

Each year, the editors at Fine Homebuilding and GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com hit a bunch of trade shows and conferences. We go for a number of reasons. The big shows (IBS, KBIS, and AIA) are where the big product releases happen and where we can expose the most people to our brand. We often have our own booth at these shows, and along with our contributors, we sometimes have the opportunity to speak about relevant topics in home building and design.

Should I Insulate My Garage Door?

Posted on June 24, 2013 by Erik North in Guest Blogs

Two of the core questions an auditor asks during a home inspection are, “Where is the thermal boundary?” and “Where is the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts?” (Those two questions run neck and neck.) The thermal boundary is the demarcation line for energy movement between the unconditioned exterior and conditioned interior air. This can be a bit fuzzy sometimes and one part of that fuzziness can be the garage door on an attached garage.

New Green Building Products — June 2013

Posted on June 21, 2013 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

My file of interesting new green building products is bulging again, so it’s time to highlight a few items that have caught my attention.

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