The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

The End of Peak Oil?

Posted on August 16, 2012 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

I first wrote about “peak oil” in 1998, reporting on an in-depth article in Scientific American by petroleum geologists Colin Campbell, PhD, and Jean Laherrère. Campbell and Laherrère believed that up to that time the world had consumed about 800 billion barrels of oil (BBO), and the known reserves of conventional crude oil totaled about 850 bbl in 1996 and another 200 BBO of conventional oil was yet to be discovered.

Photovoltaics, Part 1: Shedding Light on the Basics

Posted on August 15, 2012 by Christopher Briley in Green Architects' Lounge

In order to understand whether a photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. (PVPhotovoltaics. Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic (PV) cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow.) system is appropriate for the project you're working on, you really have to understand the metrics and basics of solar electric systems.

Phil and I sat down, turned on the mic, and did our best to convey the basic concepts and rules of thumb that most green professionals should know. Of course, this episode lays the groundwork for Part 2, in which we will cover the financial implications of a PV system.

Will Passivhaus Remain a Boutique Program?

Posted on August 14, 2012 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD in Building Science

This weekend I bought my ticket to Denver for the Passive House conference at the end of September. The program has intrigued me since I first found out about it in 2007, but I haven't gotten involved with it yet. That may be changing now.

Plans and Pricing for Our House in Maine

Posted on August 13, 2012 by Roger Normand in Guest Blogs

[Editor's note: Roger and Lynn Normand are building a Passivhaus in Maine. This is the fourth article in a series that will follow their project from planning through construction.]

So far, we have been guesstimating how much this project will cost. Yes, we could use estimates based on cost per square foot, but there are are several design factors that influence that equation.

Living Without Electricity Bills

Posted on August 10, 2012 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Chuck Reiss, a builder in northwest Vermont, had a bold plan in 2007: he wanted to build a cluster of six superinsulated homes on a 24-arce site in Hinesburg. Reiss planned to install a roof-mounted PVPhotovoltaics. Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic (PV) cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. array on each house, with the goal of making the homes net-zero energyProducing as much energy on an annual basis as one consumes on site, usually with renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics or small-scale wind turbines., or close to it.

Fixing Those Drainage Problems, 30 Years Later

Posted on August 9, 2012 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

When I bought the house in West Dummerston, Vermont, where my wife and I have lived for the past thirty years, one of the first things I did was fix the drainage problems that were dumping water into our basement…

Or so I thought. Let me explain.

Why Doesn’t Heat Flow Backwards?

Posted on August 8, 2012 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD in Building Science

Why can't you put a cup of cold coffee on the table, wait a moment, and then enjoy a nice cup of hot coffee? We do the opposite all the time, but what makes the direction of hot-to-cold so special? If you've studied physics or taken a class in building science, you've heard that the answer is the Second Law of Thermodynamics. But what does that really mean?

Selecting a General Contractor

Posted on August 7, 2012 by Roger Normand in Guest Blogs

[Editor's note: Roger and Lynn Normand are building a Passivhaus in Maine. This is the third article in a series that will follow their project from planning through construction.]

What’s the best way to pick a residential general contractor (GC)? There are many books written on the subject. I want to focus this blog on one specific aspect: the point in time that the GC becomes a member of the team along with the architect and the homeowner.

Trade Contractor Management — Part 4

Posted on August 6, 2012 by Carl Seville in Business Advisor

It’s time to get into the nuts and bolts of trade contractor management — the control documents — what I refer to as the field checklists. Since these checklists are a key part of a larger process, it is important to understand just how the process works.

EEBA Conference Will Be Held in Arizona This Year

Posted on August 6, 2012 by GBA Team in Green Building Blog

If you're interested in attending one of the best conferences in the country, don't miss this year's conference of the Energy and Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA).

Founded in 1982, EEBA has consistently promoted superinsulation and energy-efficient residential construction techniques for the last 30 years. The three-day conference is being held in Scottsdale, Arizona on September 25 through 27.

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