The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

An Opportunity for Users to Rate Window Manufacturers

Posted on April 26, 2012 by GBA Team in Green Building Blog

By Martin Holladay

Everybody has an opinion on windows, it seems. When specifying windows, builders usually look for good customer service. Most builders want a local rep who answers the phone, provides quick turnarounds on bids, delivers windows on time, and promptly shows up on site when something goes wrong.

Homeowners want windows that look good, operate smoothly, and don't fall apart.

Energy nerds want windows with excellent performance specifications.

Earth Day and My Career Path to Sustainable Energy

Posted on April 26, 2012 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

With Earth Day this past Sunday, I'm inspired to reflect on what motivated me — some 45 years ago(!) — to focus on a career of environmental protection and improvement, a career that has ledLight-emitting diode. Illumination technology that produces light by running electrical current through a semiconductor diode. LED lamps are much longer lasting and much more energy efficient than incandescent lamps; unlike fluorescent lamps, LED lamps do not contain mercury and can be readily dimmed. me to a significant focus on more sustainable energy solutions. Back in the late 1960s at age 12 or 13, I became immersed in "conservation" and decided that this would be my life career. This was before the modern "environmental" movement really began, and "conservation" was the term used to describe environmental protection.

A Green Remodeling Training Project

Posted on April 25, 2012 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor in Green Building Curmudgeon

Looking through the April issue of Remodeling magazine (after reading my own column in the issue), I ran across an article about John Tabor, a remodeler who used an addition to his own home to learn about green building and train his crews on technologies that they had not yet used.

How to Perform a Heat-Loss Calculation — Part 1

Posted on April 20, 2012 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

I’m going to devote the next several blogs to a discussion of heat-loss and heat-gain calculations. These calculations are the first step in the design of a home’s heating and cooling system.

In order to address this big topic in little bites, I’ll start by discussing heat-loss calculations. I’ll get around to heat-gain calculations and cooling equipment in a future blog.

Cutting-Edge Windows that Can Be Tinted on Demand

Posted on April 19, 2012 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

I've examined state-of-the-art windows and glazingWhen referring to windows or doors, the transparent or translucent layer that transmits light. High-performance glazing may include multiple layers of glass or plastic, low-e coatings, and low-conductivity gas fill. systems over the past four weeks. This week, I'll cover an innovative product that may help define the state-of-the-future: a dynamic glazing called SageGlass that can be tinted on demand. To understand what's so exciting about such a product, let's look at conventional high-performance windows.

Can Vinyl Siding be Applied Over Furring Strips?

Posted on April 18, 2012 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

Wall assemblies that incorporate rigid foam insulation over exterior 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. , followed by furring strips and siding, are becoming common. The extra layer of insulation helps reduce thermal bridgingHeat flow that occurs across more conductive components in an otherwise well-insulated material, resulting in disproportionately significant heat loss. For example, steel studs in an insulated wall dramatically reduce the overall energy performance of the wall, because of thermal bridging through the steel. through wood framing, and the furring strips create a ventilation space behind the siding that promotes drying.

Why Range Hoods Don’t Work

Posted on April 17, 2012 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor in Green Building Curmudgeon

Last month at ACI in Baltimore I attended an interesting session about range hoods. It was chock-full of useful information and very well presented (often a hit-or-miss proposition at many conferences).

I was planning on waiting until the slides were available online, but I’m anxious to share this information. I will update this post when I have a link available.

Heat-Pump Water Heaters Come of Age

Posted on April 13, 2012 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

The least expensive way to heat domestic hot water is with natural gas. Homes without access to natural gas usually choose an electric water heater, since electricity is generally cheaper than propane.

Window Performance 4 — Dealing with Edge Losses

Posted on April 12, 2012 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

Over the last three weeks I've focused on the major strategies for improving the energy performance of windows: adding extra layers of glass, increasing the thickness of the airspace between the layers of glass, adding low-emissivityAmount of heat radiation emitted from a particular body or material. Emissivity is expressed in a fraction or ratio, with the lowest values indicating low emissivity and the highest indicating the high emissivity of flat black surfaces. coatings, and replacing air with a low-conductivity gas fill. These strategies all help to reduce heat flow through an insulating glass unit (IGU), and if we do a really good job with these strategies we can achieve center-of-glass R-values of R-5 or higher.

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