The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Installing Mineral Wool Insulation Over Exterior Wall Sheathing

Posted on August 26, 2011 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

A subset of green builders have always been grumpy about foam. Such builders look at rigid foam panels and spray foam as suspect products: they are made from petroleum, laced with mysterious chemicals, and impermeable to vapor flow.

Job-Site Recycling: PVC

Posted on August 25, 2011 by Scott Gibson in Green Building Blog

Few building materials have caused more of a ruckus than polyvinyl chloride.

PVC is a light, durable and versatile plastic. Formed into a variety of building materials, it requires virtually no maintenance, and it never needs painting. These attributes make it seemingly ideal for door and window frames, pipe, floor tile, wall coverings, siding, and many other products.

Reviewing Submissions for Government Funding

Posted on August 24, 2011 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor in Green Building Curmudgeon

I just finished up two long days sitting in a conference room with over 25 other people reviewing green building proposals for a federal agency that must remain unnamed. Both interesting and mind-numbing, the process of reading, evaluating, grading, discussing, and writing reports was an arduous and informative process.

Some Home ‘Improvements’ Cry Out for Unimprovement

Posted on August 24, 2011 by Tristan Roberts in Energy Solutions

Home unimprovement, noun. During renovation, the removal from a building of misguided features or home “improvements” added during previous renovations.

It’s always satisfying to see a name given to a phenomenon that you already know well, and that is just what happened for me recently with “home unimprovement.” Yes, the prefix is intentional: home improvement can result in things that aren’t “improvements” at all, and the only logical thing to do is to “unimprove” them.

How to Sell Green Upgrades: A Few Small Things

Posted on August 23, 2011 by Michael Strong, LEED Associate, CGP in Business Advisor

Offering your client small upgrades that have tangible green benefits for them (and profit opportunities for you) always makes sense. And when your business is not as strong as you would like, it becomes even more imperative that you not let these opportunities slip away.

Here are two of my favorite easy-to-sell small upgrades that can improve the performance of your home and make you extra money to boot.

Concerns When Using Spray Foam in Retrofits

Posted on August 23, 2011 by Peter Yost in Green Communities

Both closed- and open-cell spray foams are used widely to improve the thermal performance of existing homes. Installed properly, it’s hard to beat spray foam’s contribution to air tightness and R-value. But we need to keep our eyes on three important issues: quality installation, worker protection during installation, and safe re-entry times.

How spray foams work

Planning a New Home: Where to Spend the Money?

Posted on August 22, 2011 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

A tight, well-insulated 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. is fundamental to a high-performance house. So is a heating and cooling system that keeps it comfortable with a minimum input of energy. What happens when the construction budget can’t handle the added costs of high-quality windows and extra insulation as well as high-efficiency mechanicals?

That basic question is what’s plaguing Dave W as he works to complete plans for his new home.

A Bold Attempt to Slay R-Value

Posted on August 19, 2011 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

R-valueMeasure of resistance to heat flow; the higher the R-value, the lower the heat loss. The inverse of U-factor. is the poor stepchild of building science metrics. Although it is often essential for builders, designers, and engineers to know a material’s R-value, this useful metric is regularly abused, derided, and ridiculed for its shortcomings. “R-value doesn’t measure assembly effects: thermal bridges, air movement, thermal massHeavy, high-heat-capacity material that can absorb and store a significant amount of heat; used in passive solar heating to keep the house warm at night. , moisture content — all of which can all affect thermal properties,” explained Chris Schumacher, an engineer and researcher at Building Science Corporation, at a summer symposium in 2009. “R-value doesn’t do a good job describing the entire system.”

Choosing a High-Performance Wall Assembly

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

Jesse Lizer’s new house will be in Climate Zone 6, where he can expect 7,400 heating degree days a year. High R-values in the 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. are a high priority.

Energy Upgrade or 401(k)?

Posted on August 17, 2011 by Tristan Roberts in Energy Solutions

Sure, I’ve heard of placentas before, but my mental image of them was of some kind of amorphous blob that sort of disappeared after the baby was born.

Register for a free account and join the conversation


Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!