The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Green Building Priority #9 – Create Resilient Houses

Posted on September 21, 2010 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

Climate change is underway, and some of the impacts of that change will affect our homes. We need to account for that in the design, construction, and remodeling of our homes.

Green Bandwagon Rolls on at 2010 Remodeling Show

Posted on September 20, 2010 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor in Green Building Curmudgeon

I attended the Remodeling Show in Baltimore recently, and although I did not spend as much time perusing the exhibits on the show floor as they deserved, while roaming the floor with my fellow green policeman Michael Anschel, I ran across some cool new products, some blatant examples of greenwashing, and a few things that looked interesting but that I have not yet come to conclusions on. There were some excellent educational sessions, good times with old and new friends, and even an Orioles game thrown in for good measure.

Really green or just greenwashing?

Choosing Equipment for a Whole-House Ventilation System

Posted on September 20, 2010 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

Tight, super-insulated houses need some kind of mechanical ventilation to keep indoor air healthy. Installing exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms is the simplest option. More often, energy-efficient builders install either a heat-recovery ventilator (HRV(HRV). Balanced ventilation system in which most of the heat from outgoing exhaust air is transferred to incoming fresh air via an air-to-air heat exchanger; a similar device, an energy-recovery ventilator, also transfers water vapor. HRVs recover 50% to 80% of the heat in exhausted air. In hot climates, the function is reversed so that the cooler inside air reduces the temperature of the incoming hot air. ) or an energy-recovery ventilator (ERV(ERV). The part of a balanced ventilation system that captures water vapor and heat from one airstream to condition another. In cold climates, water vapor captured from the outgoing airstream by ERVs can humidify incoming air. In hot-humid climates, ERVs can help maintain (but not reduce) the interior relative humidity as outside air is conditioned by the ERV.).

Are Dew-Point Calculations Really Necessary?

Posted on September 17, 2010 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Most builders understand that condensation can form when warm, moist air encounters a cold surface. Condensation is bad, and builders want to avoid it. There’s a solution, though: According to building scientists, we can prevent condensation problems in walls by determining a wall’s temperature profile and performing a dew-point calculation. This calculation may require the use of a psychrometric chart.

Top-10 Green Building Priorities: #10 – Make it Easy for Homeowners to be Green

Posted on September 14, 2010 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

Over the next ten weeks, I’m going to lay out my top-ten priorities for green building—starting, in Lettermanesque fashion, with #10 and working up to #1. These priorities are directed primarily toward the design and construction profession, but homeowners having a house built or work done on a house need to be part of this discussion too.

Healthy Child Healthy World, Part 1

Posted on September 14, 2010 by Annette Stelmack, GBA Advisor in Building Science

Last year I had a lengthy conversation with a dear colleague and friend, Jill Salisbury, regarding a potential opportunity to educate the residential market about healthy and sustainable homes. We were frustrated with the status quo of showhouses treading the waters of "greenwashingDissemination of misleading or false information designed to make an organization or product appear more environmentally friendly than it actually is.." Jill had the good fortune of meeting Nancy and James Chuda, founders of Healthy Child Healthy World, and was quickly inspired to pursue the idea of creating a dynamic partnership.

The Construction Process Part Three – Project Scoping

Posted on September 14, 2010 by Peter Yost in Green Communities

Project scope is a summary of the project, what will be done and what will not. The scope of any project, but particularly affordable housing projects, can be heavily flavored by budget and additional constraints, such as HUD requirements or an increase in the agreed-upon number of units (decreasing the budget for each unit). Integrating, rather than superimposing, green building is key to keeping your scope green.

How is a green project scope different?

Biomass Boilers, Part 2: Taking Wood Hauling Out of the Users' Hands

Posted on September 13, 2010 by Christopher Briley in Green Architects' Lounge

For Part Two of this Green Architects' Lounge episode, we are joined once again by our good friend Pat Coon, from Revision Heat, to discuss the topic of biomassOrganic waste that can be converted to usable forms of energy such as heat or electricity, or crops grown specifically for that purpose. boilers. In the second installment of this epic trilogy, Phil, Pat, and I wrap up our discussion of log gasification boilers and introduce our listeners to the concept of wood pellet boilers. If you missed Part One, you might want to give that a listen first, especially since it gives you the recipe for the perfect red Manhattan (which goes very well with this smoky topic).

Is Tripolymer Spray Foam Insulation a Healthy Choice?

Posted on September 13, 2010 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

When builders talk about spray-foam insulation, we assume they're referring to a two-part polyurethane compound. But not always, as a recent Q&A demonstrates.

Amanda Cordano launched an interesting but inconclusive conversation when she asked for advice on "Tripolymer product," which had been told was a green product with no health risks.

New Green Building Products — September 2010

Posted on September 10, 2010 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

In this new-product roundup, I'll look at a cover for recessed can lights, a new caulk for polyethylene, and several new water-resistive barriers (WRBs) that promise better performance than Tyvek or Typar.

A fire-resistant hat for recessed can lights
A Delaware manufacturer named Tenmat is selling an airtight hat for recessed can lights. Tenmat light covers are made from mineral wool; according to the manufacturer, they are fire-resistant.

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