The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

California’s Real Water Crisis

Posted on August 6, 2015 by Glen MacDonald in Guest Blogs

The current drought afflicting California is indeed historic, but not because of the low precipitation totals. In fact, in terms of overall precipitation and spring snowpack, the past three years are not record-breakers, according to weather data for the past century.

Relative Humidity Doesn’t Tell You How Humid the Air Is

Posted on August 5, 2015 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD, GBA Advisor in Building Science

There's a problem with relative humidity. I hear it a lot when I talk to people about moisture problems. A client with high humidity in his home recently told me he didn't understand how it could be more humid inside his home than it was outdoors. The indoor relative humidity (RH) was 60% while it was only 50% outdoors. Do you see the problem?

The President’s New Solar Initiative for All

Posted on August 4, 2015 by Philip Henderson in Guest Blogs

America has been in a solar energy boom. 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.) installations have increased over 400 percent since 2010. As installations have grown, the cost of PV equipment has dropped dramatically, further fueling adoption and growth in rooftop solar, commercial projects, and even utility projects. This solar energy boom reduces the need for electricity from dirty power plants, reduces utility bills, and creates thousands of jobs.

Trouble on the Roof

Posted on August 3, 2015 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

Jeremy Ballard is living in a relatively new home built with structural insulated panels (SIPs), and he's already spotted something that's keeping him up at night. The weather in Kentucky is turning hot and humid, and with the humidity has come condensation on corrugated metal panels installed on the interior of the roof.

Liquid-Applied Flashing

Posted on July 31, 2015 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

By now, most conscientious builders know that window rough openings need to be carefully flashed before a window is installed. For residential builders, the most common way, by far, to flash window rough openings is with peel-and-stick flashing.

However, an increasing number of builders are taking a closer look at something different: liquid-applied flashing.

Roofing and Cladding for the Orenco Passivhaus

Posted on July 30, 2015 by Mike Steffen in Guest Blogs

This is Part 4 of a blog series describing construction of the Orchards at Orenco project in Oregon. The first installment was titled The Largest Passivhaus Building in the U.S.

The 2015 Solar Cooking Festival

Posted on July 29, 2015 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD, GBA Advisor in Building Science

If you've ever wanted to learn how to cook with the sun, the 2015 Solar Cooking Festival in Sacramento was the place to be.

This is the second year of the event, which is hosted by Solar Cookers International. They had quite a variety of solar cookers on display, from simple, two-panel low-temperature solar cookers to large, high-temperature cookers with concrete bases. There was also a cook-off and lots of advice for those who want to learn more.

Beyond Recycling

Posted on July 28, 2015 by Josh Lepawsky in Guest Blogs

Agbogbloshie, Ghana, is in the news again. International media — including The Guardian, Al Jazeera, and The Washington Post — have helped turn this place into an infamous example of electronic waste (e-waste) dumping.

I study global flows of discarded electronics, and that research leads me to think that such images badly misrepresent Agbogbloshie, which has been called “the world’s biggest e-waste dumpsite.”

After Lithium-Ion, What?

Posted on July 27, 2015 by Matthieu DuBarry and Arnaud Devie in Guest Blogs

Many of us would be hard-pressed to spend a day without using a lithium-ion battery, the technology that powers our portable electronics. And with electric vehicles (EVs) and energy storage for the power grid around the corner, their future of this battery technology appears pretty bright.

Misconceptions About HRVs and ERVs

Posted on July 24, 2015 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Since refrigerators have been around for almost a hundred years, most Americans know what a refrigerator is used for. But heat-recovery ventilators (HRVs) and energy-recovery ventilators (ERVs) have only been around for about 30 years, and many Americans still don’t know much about these appliances.

GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com regularly receives questions that show that some homeowners are confused about the purpose of these appliances, so it’s worth examining and debunking common misconceptions about HRVs and ERVs.

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