The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

What Will We Do With All Those Solar Panels When Their Useful Life Is Over?

Posted on April 24, 2018 by Nate Berg in Guest Blogs

This post originally appeared at Ensia.

Beautiful Simplicity

Posted on April 23, 2018 by Carl Seville in Green Building Curmudgeon

Back in 2010, I presented a case for simplifying green building certification. I was frustrated with the complexity of every green building program I was working in and felt there had to be a better path for builders and consultants to create and verify high-performance buildings.

Little did I know that eight years later I would be involved in several projects seeking similar simplification.

Henri Fennell’s Advice on Cathedral Ceilings

Posted on April 20, 2018 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

I first interviewed Henri Fennell, the celebrated spray foam consultant from North Thetford, Vermont, about twenty years ago. Back then, Joe Lstiburek, the founding principal at Building Science Corporation, called Henri “the foam god.” While Fennell’s former company, Foam-Tech, closed up shop years ago, Fennell hasn’t retired. He now works as a consultant, specializing in problems related to spray foam insulation or air leakage.

The Surprising Way Fumes From Farms Are Harming Our Health

Posted on April 19, 2018 by Lindsey Konkel in Guest Blogs

This post originally appeared at Ensia.

A Follow-up From Northern Minnesota

Posted on April 18, 2018 by Elden Lindamood in Guest Blogs

Editor's note: Architect Elden Lindamood wrote about the construction of his house in northern Minnesota in a series of blogs at GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com in 2016. The first of them was called A Low-Energy House for Northern Minnesota. Here's his report on the first year of occupancy.

Set-Top Box Energy Use to Shrink Another 20%

Posted on April 17, 2018 by Noah Horowitz in Guest Blogs

The amount of energy consumed by the set-top boxes used to access pay TV in our homes is due to go down another 20% due to new commitments made by leading service providers such as Comcast, AT&T, and Dish Network.

Backing Up a Minisplit Heating System

Posted on April 16, 2018 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

Low temperatures where David Gadbois lives aren't Siberian, but he's still interested in supplementing his ductless minisplit heating system with electric resistance heaters, something to provide a boost on just the coldest days of the year.

Exterior Insulation for an Ugly Brick Building

Posted on April 13, 2018 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

How do you insulate an old building with exterior walls made of structural brick? The best approach, according to building science professor John Straube, is to install a continuous layer of exterior insulation. Straube told me, “It’s a great solution for ugly buildings.”

Saving Sustainably: An Introduction

Posted on April 12, 2018 by Matt Bath in Guest Blogs

Editor's note: This is the first in a series of blogs detailing the construction of a 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. house in Point Roberts, Washington, by an owner/builder with relatively little building experience. You'll find Matt Bath's full blog, Saving Sustainably, here. If you want to follow project costs, you can keep an eye on a budget worksheet here.

HVAC Design Requirements in the International Building Codes

Posted on April 11, 2018 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD in Building Science

Building codes, especially those related to energy efficiency, have improved a lot over the years. With building enclosures, this has made a big difference. We now have more insulation, less thermal bridgingHeat flow that occurs across more conductive components in an otherwise well-insulated material, resulting in disproportionately significant heat loss. For example, steel studs in an insulated wall dramatically reduce the overall energy performance of the wall, because of thermal bridging through the steel. , and tested air barriers. On the mechanical side, the improvements are significant — reduced duct leakage and mechanical ventilation in airtight homes — but there's still a gap between some code requirements and what's being installed.

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