The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Do It Now: Review Your Company’s Health Insurance Policy

Posted on April 27, 2011 by Michael Chandler, GBA Advisor in Business Advisor

With the economic downturn, I've been looking for ways to get better value for overhead dollars, and one thing that really stands out is the cost of our company-paid health care insurance.

Solar Decathlon 2011: Team Massachusetts’ 4D Home

Posted on April 26, 2011 by Richard Defendorf in 2011 Solar Decathlon

One of the key design variables in Team Massachusetts’ Solar Decathlon entry, 4D Home, is the configuration of its interior, which, with the repositioning of two sliding partitions, can be quickly altered to accommodate a variety of situations, from a dinner party attended by several guests to a permanent addition to the family.

What’s the Difference Between Energy and Power?

Posted on April 25, 2011 by Tristan Roberts in Energy Solutions

How many mystery writers does it take to change a 60-watt lightbulb?

Two — one to screw the bulb almost all the way in, and one to provide a surprising twist at the end.

How many Energy Solutions columnists does it take to change a 60-watt lightbulb?

One — all he does is tell you what a watt is and he doesn't even change the lightbulb.

How Thick Can Foam Be Installed Beneath a Roof Deck?

Posted on April 25, 2011 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

This week’s Q&A Spotlight begins with a confused architect. Like many other architects and builders, John Brooks had become accustomed to seeing spray-in polyurethane foam that completed encapsulated the rafters when sprayed on the underside of roof decks.

He’d seen Building America projects that included foam at this thickness, and points to numerous projects at GreenBuildingAdvisor where the same thing had been done.

Passivhaus, Part 3: So You Want to Be a Passivhaus Consultant?

Posted on April 24, 2011 by Christopher Briley in Green Architects' Lounge

You can also subscribe to the Green Architects' Lounge on iTunes. That way, you'll never miss a show—and it's free.

A New Way to Duct HRVs

Posted on April 22, 2011 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

UPDATED June 27, 2013 with an author's postscript

Millwork Plant Shows Some Sustainable Stuff

Posted on April 21, 2011 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor in Green Building Curmudgeon

As I write this, I am sitting on a tour bus heading back to Atlanta after a short trip to the Koetter Woodworking facility in southern Indiana. Its local distribution outlet, InsiDesign, regularly brings a group of designers, architects, builders—and now, consultants—up for a few days of education, sales, networking, and copious amounts of food and drink each evening.

Solar Decathlon 2011: Team Belgium’s DIY E-Cube

Posted on April 19, 2011 by Richard Defendorf in 2011 Solar Decathlon

Many Solar Decathlon designs are elaborations on the cube, in part because houses conforming to that shape tend to be relatively simple to dissemble, transport, and reassemble. Team Belgium, representing Ghent University, saw the cube as a starting point — but also as a destination — for its Solar Decathlon 2011 entry.

Can Conditioned Attics Be Too Big?

Posted on April 18, 2011 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

James Fincher is a builder in Oklahoma who’s leaning toward designs with conditioned attics insulated with spray polyurethane foam.

However, he’s not convinced that a conditioned attic is the best approach in a large home — something, say, in the 4,000 sq. ft. to 5,000 sq. ft. range.

The problem, as he puts it in his Q&A post, is the “sheer volume” of attics in a house this large, and whether the increase in volume will force him to use a bigger HVAC(Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Collectively, the mechanical systems that heat, ventilate, and cool a building. system.

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