The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

The History Of Insulation

Posted on August 27, 2010 by John Straube in Building Science

In our last episode, Dr. John talked about How Heat Moves Through Homes and why radiant barriers work better in outer space than on earth.

In this episode, Dr. John talks about the history of insulation, how different materials work, and where they make sense.

TRANSCRIPT
The history of insulation comes about because of the history of structural engineering. Now, I’m a recovering structural engineer, which is probably why I like to think of it that way.

Window Reflections Can Melt Vinyl Siding

Posted on August 27, 2010 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

UPDATED September 3, 2013

In almost every corner of the U.S., reports are increasing of vinylCommon term for polyvinyl chloride (PVC). In chemistry, vinyl refers to a carbon-and-hydrogen group (H2C=CH–) that attaches to another functional group, such as chlorine (vinyl chloride) or acetate (vinyl acetate). siding that has been melted by sunlight bouncing off nearby windows. This melted-siding pandemic makes vinyl manufacturers very nervous — so nervous that the topic is rarely discussed.

Green From the Start Redux, or Trying to Build Green in a Historic District

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

In case you haven’t read my earlier posts about my aborted attempt to build myself a house, Green From the Start Home Edition, Green From the Start Home Edition, Volume 2, and the dismal ending to the first half my saga, What We Have Here Is a F

Is America Ready for a Home Urinal?

Posted on August 24, 2010 by Alex Wilson in Water Efficiency

There are some significant advantages to urinals when it comes to bathroom maintenance (I won't go into the messy details of splashing that happens when males stand and urinate into a toilet). With ultra-efficient urinals (often called one-pint urinals) and waterless urinals, there are also very significant water savings that are achieved.

Saving Energy by Conserving Water

Posted on August 24, 2010 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

It takes a lot of energy to transport and treat water in this country, and it takes a lot of water to produce the energy we use. To put this a different way: when we save water we save energy, and when we save energy we save water.

Deconstruction versus Demolition

Posted on August 24, 2010 by Peter Yost in Green Communities

Demolition is pretty straightforward—you test for and then remove any hazardous regulated materials before you knock the building down and crunch it up for the landfill. Masonry rubble may make its way to clean fill or aggregate and some metals are likely to get pulled out for recycling.

Two primary types of deconstruction
Deconstruction is “unbuilding”—taking a building apart, often reversing the order of the construction of the building. There are two general categories of deconstruction.

Is Bubble Wrap Duct Insulation a Good Idea?

Posted on August 23, 2010 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

Lora's question seemed innocent enough, but it was enough to touch off a war of words and prove that building science isn't always as dryly academic as you might guess. It can, in fact, get downright cantankerous.

Lora's HVAC(Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Collectively, the mechanical systems that heat, ventilate, and cool a building. installer wanted to insulate the ducts in her house with double-wrapped bubble wrap "as a cheaper way to achieve R-6." Fine, she thought, but does the stuff really work?

‘Walls Need to Breathe’ and 9 Other Green Building Myths

Posted on August 20, 2010 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Just for fun, I’ve rounded up ten oft-repeated statements that are either half-truths or outright falsehoods. I’m sure some readers will disagree with my conclusions; if you’re one of them, don’t hesitate to post a comment.

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