The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

An Overview of the 2012 Energy Code

Posted on September 16, 2011 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

UPDATED and CORRECTED on 9/22/2011

Are you ready for the 2012 code? Each revision of the International codes tends to ratchet up energy performance requirements, and the 2012 revision is no exception.

Although its adoption may be a long ways off in some jurisdictions — after all, many rural areas of the U.S. still have no building codes at all — the 2012 International codes may become law in some areas as soon as next year.

I’m Beginning to Really Hate Eco-Bling

Posted on September 15, 2011 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor in Green Building Curmudgeon

On hearing the news that three photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturers, at least one a recipient of federal loan money, have recently declared bankruptcy, I once again started thinking about my frustration with people’s attachment to putting cool “stuff” on their buildings before making sure that those buildings actually operate well.

Utility Wind Energy: Bad News for Bears

Posted on September 14, 2011 by Tristan Roberts in Energy Solutions

Author's Note: Please see the comment thread at the bottom of this article for more discussion on the width of the ridgeline road. Since posting this article I learned of other permitting documents indicating a much narrower road than discussed in this article.

One of my favorite pieces of Vermont trivia has been that the tallest man-made structure in the state is the Bennington Battle Monument, at 306 feet tall — and construction of it was completed in 1889.

Stuff I Learned at Joe Lstiburek’s House, Part 2

Posted on September 13, 2011 by Michael Chandler, GBA Advisor in Green Building Blog

In the Southeast where I live and build, we mostly rely on ducted HVAC(Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Collectively, the mechanical systems that heat, ventilate, and cool a building. systems for heating and (especially) for cooling. So when I attended the Westford Building Science Symposium in early August, I was very excited to sit in on David Hill's presentation on HVAC systems, especially as Dr. Joe's introduction paraphrased Samuel Clemens’ observation: "It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us into trouble; it's the things we know that just ain't so."

Is Green Building for Everyone?

Posted on September 12, 2011 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

Is green building too narrow in focus, suitable only for people who keep the windows closed and let mechanical systems regulate temperature and humidity? What about people who like fresh air, even in winter, and are looking for minimal intervention from mechanical heating and cooling equipment?

That seems to be at the heart of a question from Maria Hars, a GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com reader who lives in a passive solar house built 30 years ago in northern Massachusetts.

New Green Building Products — September 2011

Posted on September 9, 2011 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

About every six months, I report on new products that catch my eye. This round-up features products from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean: high-performance windows from Maine, Ontario, and Lithuania; high-performance doors from Poland; and high-performance tapes from Switzerland.

Never Promise That You Can Stop Ice Damming

Posted on September 8, 2011 by Pat Dundon in Guest Blogs

By Pat Dundon

Never tell anyone that you will stop ice.

I went to the building science conventions and thought I was bulletproof. But it turns out … not so much.

Building for Reduced Flood Risk

Posted on September 7, 2011 by Tristan Roberts in Energy Solutions

A lot can change in two hours. At 8 a.m. Sunday, I walked the length of our half-mile driveway here in southern Vermont, checking the culverts and water bars, all fortified and cleared the day before. All good. The brook next to our driveway was raging, but staying within its banks. The Green River was doing the same across the town road.

Let There Be Light — on the GU24 base for CFLs and LEDs

Posted on September 6, 2011 by Peter Yost in Green Communities

Are we really ready to say goodbye to incandescent light bulbs? The ones that give off 10% light and 90% heat? The ones with the shortest life span? The ones that have the lowest initial price, don’t flicker, are always instant on-instant off, and give off the “right” color and quality of light? Not so fast and not so easy…

We have been here before: 2- and 4-pin CFL fixtures!

The Pros and Cons of Running a Dehumidifier

Posted on September 6, 2011 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

Superinsulation is the most effective weapon we have against wintertime heat losses. R-values of 60 or more in the roof and 40 in exterior walls can slow the movement of heat to a crawl, keeping energy costs far below what they’d be in a conventionally built house.

Yet Harry Seidel puts his finger on a potential problem. During the summer, any heat generated inside the house will have just as much trouble getting out of the house.

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