The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Radon and Airtightness

Posted on April 5, 2010 by Peter Yost in Green Communities

We are always trying to avoid unintended consequences of our best efforts to improve home performance. A good example of this is radonColorless, odorless, short-lived radioactive gas that can seep into homes and result in lung cancer risk. Radon and its decay products emit cancer-causing alpha, beta, and gamma particles. gas and air tightness levels in homes during energy retrofits. How are the two levels related and what can we do about it if they are?

A bit of background on radon

7 Steps to an Energy-Efficient House: 3. The Walls

Posted on April 5, 2010 by Betsy Pettit in Green Building Blog

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.

Step 3: Insulate your walls


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How to Sell Green Products to Builders and Remodelers

Posted on April 5, 2010 by Michael Strong, LEED Associate, CGP in Business Advisor

As you know I recently returned from speaking to over 400 sales professionals at two different companies. The first company is a multi-state regional retailer of building products. The second company is a national green products manufacturer/installer. Both groups sold directly to builders/remodelers and both groups wanted to learn more about green building for themselves and also what resources they could share with their builders who wanted to become greener.

Greenprints Recap

Posted on April 2, 2010 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor in Green Building Curmudgeon

I attended Greenprints last month, a great little regional green building conference put on by Southface Energy Institute every year in Atlanta. It served its purpose well, bringing together for education and networking a wide range of industry professionals interested in sustainable building. There were three separate tracks: residential, commercial, and sustainable communities' economy and policy, along with some additional workshops and post-conference training classes.

Researchers Predict U.S. Furnace Industry Is Doomed

Posted on April 1, 2010 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

OAK RIDGE, TENN., April 1 — According to Andrei Constantinescu, a senior researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, it won’t be long before new American homes no longer require central heating. “Every year, the heat produced by electronic gadgets is increasing,” explained Constantinescu. “By 2014, most new American homes won’t need a furnace.”

As televisions get larger, their heat output increases. “Four plasma TVs can heat a house in Kentucky,” said Constantinescu. “If you throw in a set-top box and two or three computers, you should be fine as far north as Maine.”

How Did Water Damage this Brick Basement?

Posted on March 30, 2010 by Rob Wotzak in Q&A Spotlight

In a recent discussion from our Q&A forum, Chris Ermides tries to determine what caused severe deterioration of a brick column in the basement of his Victorian home. Chris knows that his basement could use some moisture remediation, but he is puzzled that none of the nearby brick walls have similar signs of decay. Fortunately, the chimney that the column once supported is long gone, and the load of the adjacent beams rests comfortably on lally columns, but Chris is still determined to solve this mystery.

Green Building Myth: Adding Solar is the Best Way to Green a Home

Posted on March 30, 2010 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

The last several weeks I’ve written about common myths of green building: that it has to cost more to build green, that green building is mostly about materials, that green products don’t work as well as conventional

Efflorescence = Water Damage — Building Science Podcast

Posted on March 29, 2010 by Joe Lstiburek, GBA Advisor in Building Science

This podcast series is excerpted from a two-day class called "Building Science Fundamentals" taught by Dr. Joe Lstiburek and Dr. John Straube of Building Science Corporation.

Mac Daddy Windows

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

I took the opportunity to go on an all-expenses-paid trip to tour the Marvin Windows factory recently. After spending the weekend with my buddy Michael Anschel in Minneapolis (don’t miss our upcoming presentation at ACI in Austin—North vs.

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