The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

New 2011 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria

Posted on February 11, 2011 by Amy Hook in Green Communities

Our team here at Enterprise Green Communities is elated to present the 2011 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria. The Enterprise Green Communities Criteria contain detailed information that address aspects of design, development and operations. The Criteria are grouped into the following eight categories:

• Integrative Design
• Location and Neighborhood Fabric
• Site Improvements
• Water Conservation
• Energy Efficiency
• Materials Beneficial to the Environment
• Healthy Living Environment
• Operations and Maintenance

How to Sell Green Upgrades: Tankless Water Heaters

Posted on February 8, 2011 by Michael Strong, LEED Associate, CGP in Business Advisor

If you do not already include tankless water heaters as part of the signature features in your homes and remodels, you should at least understand why so many folks are in love with the benefits. The reasons just may surprise you — and hopefully motivate you to learn how to sell more of them and how to better satisfy your clients.

When I sell tankless water heaters, I do not sell them based on their perceived water efficiency or that they provide instant hot water. In fact those are myths that I usually have to dispel first before talking about their benefits.

How to Insulate a Slab Foundation—With Straw-Bales?

Posted on February 7, 2011 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

Superinsulated houses need insulation under the slab as well as in the walls and roof, and the most common choice for sub-slab insulation is rigid foam.

Things I Learned in the Great White North

Posted on February 5, 2011 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor in Green Building Curmudgeon

Although I grew up in New York and attended college in New England, I have lived in the South for more than 30 years and have become physically acclimated to warmer weather and more accustomed to local building practices. My moderate-climate building experience is what leads me to speak up frequently about the fact that much of the information on GBA, as well as in the building science community as a whole, tends to be cold climate focused.

Are Energy Codes Working?

Posted on February 4, 2011 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Residential energy codes have evolved rapidly over the last two decades. The origin of many of our current energy codes can be traced back to the Model Energy Code (MEC), which was first introduced in 1992. The MEC eventually evolved into the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC International Energy Conservation Code.).

Heating with Oil or Gas: What’s to Like?

Posted on February 2, 2011 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

I think it's safe to say that nobody likes to burn oil. Maybe it's the people I hang around with, but we go straight from talking about the cold weather we've been having to how much oil we've been burning (for myself, it's in our Buderus oil-fired boiler that we heat with, along with cordwood in the house and a pellet stove in the adjoining garage apartment). Whether it's because of financial or planetary concerns, everyone seems to wince when they talk about how many gallons of oil or gas they've been through.

Rigid Insulation Rehabs

Posted on January 31, 2011 by Peter Yost in Green Communities

We tend to put insulation into empty roof and wall cavities because, well, they’re empty. If a rehab gives access to the bare exterior or interior of framing assemblies, how do we decide what type of and how much rigid insulation to add, and what are the pros and cons of putting the rigid insulation on the exterior or the interior of the assemblies?

Design all assemblies to dry

Is Radiant Floor Heat Really the Best Option?

Posted on January 31, 2011 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

Lukas Smith, a framer by trade, is building a 3,100-sq. ft. house in southern Ontario and plans to install a radiant-floor system in the basement slab as well as the first and second floors. The house will be built with structural insulated panels (SIPs) and have R-values of 33 in the walls and 50 in the roof.

The Return of the Energy Quiz

Posted on January 28, 2011 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

When I published my first Energy Quiz over a year ago, a reader posted the comment: “I want another quiz.” Okay — we aim to please.

Remember, using Google for research is cheating. Answers are at the bottom of the page.

1. Evaporative coolers:
a. Perform better in a dry climate than a humid climate.
b. Perform better in a humid climate than a dry climate.
c. Don’t work very well anywhere in the U.S.

Blog Review: Eco Build Trends Blog

Posted on January 27, 2011 by GBA Team in Green Building Blog

By Martin Holladay

Vera Novak’s Eco Build Trends blog covers green construction, environmental responsibility, and building science issues. Her diverse background — as a building science student and a former employee working in the ICFInsulated concrete form. Hollow insulated forms, usually made from expanded polystyrene (EPS), used for building walls (foundation and above-ground); after stacking and stabilizing the forms, the aligned cores are filled with concrete, which provides the wall structure. (insulated concrete forms) industry — gives her an experienced take on many green building topics. Novak expects to receive her PhD in construction from Virginia Tech this year.

To give a flavor of her blog, here’s a sample of some of her writing.

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