The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Lambs’ Wool Insulation Enters US Market

Posted on August 1, 2010 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor in Green Building Curmudgeon

I had an interesting meeting recently with a group of gentlemen who plan to distribute lambs’ wool insulation imported from New Zealand. Their company, Lambsulation, is gearing up to distribute throughout the US. They contacted me to get my impressions of their product and how they might effectively market it to the green building community. I know that wool is a good insulator. As a kid at sleep-away camp, I clearly remember having to wear wool sweaters that made my skin itch when camping, so we would stay warm in case we got wet.

Air-Sealing Tapes and Gaskets

Posted on July 30, 2010 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

UPDATED March 8, 2013

After this article was published, Martin Holladay conducted a test of eleven air-sealing tapes on a variety of materials. To read the results of Holladay's testing, see Backyard Tape Test and Return to the Backyard Tape Test.

Dehumidifiers

Posted on July 27, 2010 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

Last week, after reviewing a little physics regarding condensation and latent heat, I described how air conditioners remove unwanted humidity. This week I’ll examine how dehumidifiers work in removing moisture and when it makes sense to use them.

Mechanical Ventilation for Affordable Existing Housing

Posted on July 27, 2010 by Peter Yost in Green Communities

Everyone needs fresh air; it’s just hard to figure out how much we need when we are indoors.

The First Energy Star House: 'Surprisingly Easy'

Posted on July 27, 2010 by Danny Kelly in Guest Blogs

Once our construction company was launched on a path toward green building, we knew we had to convince our customers of the advantages of building green. But we quickly found out that our customers weren’t interested in doing anything that added any cost to their homes; so we decided to build our first Energy StarLabeling system sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy for labeling the most energy-efficient products on the market; applies to a wide range of products, from computers and office equipment to refrigerators and air conditioners. house on speculation.

In Search of the Most Energy-Efficient Windows

Posted on July 26, 2010 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

It seems like a very long time ago, doesn't it, that windows were considered simple building components? As long as they opened and closed and let in sunlight most of us were content. We know now that windows are anything but simple. They're an essential part of an energy efficient building envelopeExterior components of a house that provide protection from colder (and warmer) outdoor temperatures and precipitation; includes the house foundation, framed exterior walls, roof or ceiling, and insulation, and air sealing materials.; they must simultaneously admit sunlight (and a certain amount of solar energy — but not too much), minimize heat loss or gain, prevent drafts, and last a generation or two.

Green Building Vocabulary Disputes

Posted on July 23, 2010 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

As any builder knows, construction terms vary from job site to job site; one carpenter’s furring strip is another carpenter’s strapping. Like carpenters, building scientists are inconsistent when it comes to technical terms — in part because building science is a relatively young field.

In new fields of learning (including building science), vocabulary generally wanders at first, and eventually converges once consensus is reached. Reaching agreement on technical terms is useful. It helps achieve a desirable goal: efficient communication.

Work-Life Integration

Posted on July 22, 2010 by Michael Chandler, GBA Advisor in Green Building Blog

We all know people who hate their jobs and count the days until Friday or retirement. And we know folks who live for expensive hobbies and passions that consume their paychecks, or who count their worth by the size of their compensation package.

A Custom Builder’s Journey to Green

Posted on July 21, 2010 by Danny Kelly in Guest Blogs

I recently attended several conferences in Raleigh, North Carolina, few hours from my home: the national RESNET conference, the National Green Building Conference, the North Carolina Home Builders Association’s Building Code Council and Green Building Council. At each of these meetings, the new IRCInternational Residential Code. The one- and two-family dwelling model building code copyrighted by the International Code Council. The IRC is meant to be a stand-alone code compatible with the three national building codes—the Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA) National code, the Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI) code and the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) code. Energy Code and the new Energy StarLabeling system sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy for labeling the most energy-efficient products on the market; applies to a wide range of products, from computers and office equipment to refrigerators and air conditioners. standards were discussed. (There are lots of big changes headed our way.)

Removing Moisture from Homes with Air Conditioners

Posted on July 20, 2010 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

Last week, I addressed strategies for controlling moisture sources in homes during the summer — one of the contributors to discomfort during hot humid summers. This week, I’ll examine how to remove unwanted humidity using air conditioning equipment, starting with some fundamentals.

To understand moisture removal, it’s important to brush up on a bit of physics. Air is able to hold only a finite amount of water vapor, and that amount is governed by the temperature of the air.

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