The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

The Construction Process – Part 1: Building Assessment

Posted on February 10, 2010 by Peter Yost in Green Communities

Peter:
Amy and I are going to tackle the construction/renovation process, broken down into six components:

1. Building Assessment
2. Contractor Selection
3. Project Scoping
4. Project Documentation
5. Implementation/Construction
6. Commissioning/Homeowner Education

Keep in mind that each of these will be presented from the green building context we laid out in our last blog: emphasis on overall resource efficiency, process not just products, and maintaining if not improving the health and safety of occupants.

Tax Credits for Solar Energy Systems

Posted on February 10, 2010 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

I’ve been addressing tax credits for home energy improvements the past few weeks. This week, we’ll look at what’s available for solar energy systems.

GREEN BUILDING TIP: Sell Energy to Your Utility Company

Posted on February 7, 2010 by Daniel Morrison in Green Building Blog

Photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. panels and are one of the design cornerstones of zero-energy homes, which produce as much electricity over the course of a year as they consume.

Installing enough PVPhotovoltaics. Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic (PV) cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. to accomplish this costs tens of thousands of dollars, but as the price of photovoltaic modules continues to fall and efficiencies go up, net-zero performance will be available to many more U.S. homeowners.

It’s OK to Skimp On Insulation, Icynene Says

Posted on February 5, 2010 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

While energy experts often advise builders to exceed minimum code requirements for insulation, Icynene Incorporated, a manufacturer of open-cell spray polyurethane foam, is swimming against the tide. Surprisingly, Icynene is trying to convince builders to install less insulation than the code requires.

Become a Master Certified Green Professional

Posted on February 4, 2010 by Peter Yost in Building Science

As part of a new Master Certified Green Professional designation, NAHB worked with GreenBuildingAdvisor to develop a rigorous training course covering green home building, full of building science and quality construction details. This course premiered at the International Builders Show in Las Vegas just last week.

Will Solar Panel Mounts Cause Roof Leaks?

Posted on February 4, 2010 by Daniel Morrison in Q&A Spotlight

Our latest Question of the Week comes from a homeowner in New Jersey. Monica is uncertain of the best way to insulate the roof of a new second-story addition on her Cape Cod home. She wonders whether it's wise to insulate directly under the 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. — especially since the mounting system for her photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. array requires 54 holes to be drilled in her asphalt shingle roof.

Tax Credits for Window Replacement

Posted on February 2, 2010 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

Last week, I provided an overview of the 30% federal tax credits that are in place for 2009 and 2010 for residential energy upgrades. Most of the provisions of those tax credits are very good. In the rush to do a lot very quickly, though, some mistakes were made. One such mistake, in my opinion, has to do with the credit provided for window replacement.

Time for Some Respect

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

I had a discussion several months ago with a designer I know regarding energy efficiency in a project she is working on. She recently took the initiative to become a licensed residential contractor and is now managing entire projects. I applaud her for making this transition and for working hard to maintain her professionalism in an industry where there are a lot of fly-by-night operators. The homeowner is interested in making the house more efficient, and our conversations focused on those aspects of the project.

GREEN BUILDING TIP: Use a Certified Irrigation Pro

Posted on February 1, 2010 by Daniel Morrison in Green Building Blog

As much as 60% of all household water consumption can go to outdoor uses. Irrigation systems should be designed not to waste potable water. A good system delivers water efficiently at the right time. Systems that distribute water indiscriminately, like lawn sprinklers, are inherently wasteful.

While lawn and garden work are tempting DIY projects, a certified pro can help you accomplish your water conservation goals more efficiently. At least they can help you make better choices when designing the system.

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