The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Will Certified Green Homes Ever Serve Middle America?

Posted on November 17, 2010 by Michael Strong, LEED Associate, CGP in Business Advisor

Custom high-performance certified green homes? Been there, done that.

Ground-Source Heat Pumps, Part 2: Rules of Thumb

Posted on November 16, 2010 by Christopher Briley in Green Architects' Lounge

In Part One of this episode from the Green Architects' Lounge, we only scratched the surface. Now it's time to really dig in and decide if a ground-source heat pumpHome heating and cooling system that relies on the mass of the earth as the heat source and heat sink. Temperatures underground are relatively constant. Using a ground-source heat pump, heat from fluid circulated through an underground loop is transferred to and/or from the home through a heat exchanger. The energy performance of ground-source heat pumps is usually better than that of air-source heat pumps; ground-source heat pumps also perform better over a wider range of above-ground temperatures. system is right for you, and if so, to start planning for it.

In Part Two of the podcast, we discuss:

  • A tale of two houses: Chris shares a story of two houses—one a success, and one that had to abandon using a ground-source heat pump
  • Rule of thumb for flow: 3 gal. per minute per ton of heating/cooling
  • Integrated Pest Management: Get to Know Mike Potter and Bill Quarles

    Posted on November 15, 2010 by Peter Yost in Green Communities

    Each word in the phrase “integrated pest management” (IPM) is important. It means a thoughtful, systems-approach to mediate contact between people and unwanted critters—bugs, usually, but sometimes small mammals as well. We call them pests, but we really don’t care if they do their job within an ecosystem; we just don’t want them in our homes or on us.

    IPM during construction

    How to Finish Exterior Foundation Insulation

    Posted on November 15, 2010 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

    Energy gurus and building codes routinely recommend these days that foundation walls be insulated. One way of accomplishing that is by adding a layer of rigid foam insulation on the outside of the foundation.

    And that's exactly what William Poole is planning to do.

    Most of the rigid foam insulation will be underground and out of sight. But what do you do with that stretch of exposed insulation above grade?

    To Install Stucco Right, Include an Air Gap

    Posted on November 12, 2010 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

    In many areas of the country, hundreds of stucco-clad homes have suffered wall rot. Although building scientists are still researching the causes of wall rot behind stucco, it’s clear that all of these walls got wet and were unable to dry.

    The Green Countertop Dilemma

    Posted on November 11, 2010 by Ann Edminster, GBA Advisor in Green Building Blog

    During a recent visit to Eco6Design in Half Moon Bay, California, I was drooling over all the fabulous “eco” options for countertops. Serious eye candy! Vetrazzo, Fireclay Tile, Stone Age, IceStone, Fuez. I was itching to go home, rip out my pale-avocado-tile-with-black-grout counters and start afresh.

    Healthy Child Healthy World, Part 3

    Posted on November 11, 2010 by Annette Stelmack, GBA Advisor in Building Science

    Greenbuild kicks off next week with lots of anticipation and excitement. If you are going to be in Chicago, please take the opportunity to visit the Healthy Home 2010 for a CEU and a tour of a beautiful, healthy, green home. Hop on the bus and receive CEU credits from Cambria and Benjamin Moore during your ride to and from the home.

    Green Building Priority #2 — Reduce Water Use

    Posted on November 10, 2010 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

    Reducing water consumption should be a high priority not only in the parched Southwest but throughout the country. Some argue, in fact, that water is going to be an even bigger challenge than energy over the coming decades.

    LEED-H and Retrofit Guidelines Released for Public Comment

    Posted on November 10, 2010 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor in Green Building Curmudgeon

    With some interesting timing, the first drafts of the new LEED for Homes rating system and the DOE’s Residential Retrofit Guidelines were both released for review and public comment in the same week.

    How to Keep the Noise Down

    Posted on November 8, 2010 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

    A teen whose musical tastes run to head-pounding heavy metalMetallic elements with high atomic weights, including mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, and chromium. Released as industrial pollutants, some heavy metals are toxic and may accumulate to hazardous levels in the food chain. Different from Heavy Metal, which is a type of music frequently heard on job sites. classics? Uncle Ted, whose snoring would wake the dead? Who knows what's giving Robert Car pause for thought. Whatever it is, he wants to build in some effective sound-proofing.

    “I'm aware of using more than one layer of drywall,” he writes in Q&A post, “but is that the only way?”

    Increase the mass of the wall

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