The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Can a Kitchen Downdraft Fan Be Connected To an HRV?

Posted on January 21, 2010 by Daniel Morrison in Q&A Spotlight

Powerful kitchen exhaust fans do a good job of removing cooking odors and smoke. They also have the potential to depressurize a house, causing water heaters to backdraft and pulling ashes out of the fireplace and onto the hearth.

Help Us Get Better

Posted on January 20, 2010 by Daniel Morrison in Green Building Blog

Today we're one year old!

Thanks to all of you who have registered for Green Building Advisor, and to those who have signed up for GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com PRO membership — thanks for paying our salaries.

To help us better understand who you are, what you want, and how we can help you more effectively, please take a few minutes to fill out this short survey.

The link takes you to SurveyMonkey.com, a web-based survey service, so don't be alarmed that you're leaving Green Building Advisor.

Thank you very much for your help,

Innovative Financing for Energy Improvements

Posted on January 19, 2010 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

One of the greatest challenges to energy improvements is the financing needed to make those improvements. Conventional home improvement and business loans have such short terms (usually less than ten years) that the interest costs are often greater than the energy savings—making such loans hard to afford for most families and businesses. Also, it’s hard to justify putting money into a house if you’re not sure how long you’ll be there.

GREEN BUILDING TIP: Design for Efficient Lighting

Posted on January 18, 2010 by Daniel Morrison in Green Building Blog

A mix of lighting sources allows you to use the type of light you need: task lighting for reading, food preparation and other activities — where strong, concentrated light is helpful — or ambient lighting where more general illumination is better. Not all lights have to be on all the time, and natural light can be a significant contributor when floor plans are designed accordingly.

Steve’s Garage

Posted on January 17, 2010 by michael maines in Building Science

Once a month in Portland, Maine, a group of builders, carpenters, architects, engineers, energy auditors, insulation contractors, and other fans of building science get together for, to quote the invitation, “an informal discussion for building professionals to ask, learn, debate, knock around, support, agonize over, ridicule, flog and answer the challenges and concepts of the best building practices.”

Home Dashboards Help to Reduce Energy Use

Posted on January 15, 2010 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

In recent years, the technology of our cars has advanced at a more rapid rate than the technology of our homes. A new car’s dashboard has gauges that display all kinds of information, including the amount of fuel in the car’s tank, the oil pressure, the electrical system voltage, and sometimes the tire pressure. Many new cars even have a real-time fuel-efficiency gauge that displays miles per gallon.

When Will We Reach Beautiful Simplicity in Green Building?

Posted on January 15, 2010 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor in Green Building Curmudgeon

Sometimes the complexity of building science makes me a little crazy. The worst manifestation of this is when I make recommendations to clients or building pros at meetings or in seminars. Rarely is there a single, clear-cut solution to most problems. “It depends” is usually the right answer. It depends on the climate. It depends on the materials used. It depends on existing conditions. It depends on so many things that the average person slips quickly into MEGO mode (My Eyes Glaze Over).

Can Spray Foam Rot Your Roof?

Posted on January 14, 2010 by Daniel Morrison in Q&A Spotlight

Ice dams are a familiar problem in New England and other parts of the country where winters are long and cold. Snow on under-insulated and under-ventilated roofs melts, pools and refreezes to form a dam. Water backs up under the shingles and much to the horror of homeowners often finds its way inside the building.

Spray foam polyurethane insulation is supposed to be a hedge against that problem. By forming an effective seal around rafters, and offering respectable R-values, foam should be blocking the migration of cold air into the roof where it can condense into water.

Welcome!

Posted on January 14, 2010 by Amy Hook in Green Communities

Amy:
Welcome to the Enterprise Green Communities NSP blog. Our hope is that this becomes an open forum for NSP recipients, sub-recipients, and project teams to discuss some of the challenges and successes you are experiencing as it relates to your green initiatives across the country. With the newness of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, we are all in the same place – learning lots of new regulations, interpretations, and minute details. Enterprise Green Communities is hoping that the existence and continual use of this blog will help you through every step of the green initiative you are building into your Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Peter Yost, with GreenBuildingAdvisor.com, will be co-authoring this blog with me, teaching us all about the science behind green building. I will be co-authoring and consistently checking in, answering questions, and joining the discussions in the hopes of learning from you and hopefully, helping a little.

GREEN BUILDING TIP: Pick Windows That Don't Waste

Posted on January 13, 2010 by Daniel Morrison in Green Building Blog

True divided-lightTrue divided light sash have small panes of glass separated by muntins. Because large pieces of glass used to be difficult (or expensive) to make, older houses have windows with two, four, or six small lights per sash. These multiple-light sash are also called "divided-light sash" or sometimes "divided-light windows." windows lose more heat.

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