The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Is Spraying Mist on Your Air Conditioner the Answer to High Bills?

Posted on July 1, 2015 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD, GBA Advisor in Building Science

This time of year, air conditioners are running like mad to keep people cool in their homes. Here in Atlanta, we've had a couple of weeks of hot, muggy weather, with a little break on Sunday. Now we're heading back to the mid-90s with high dew points again.

As a result, some people are starting to dread those air conditioning bills arriving and wondering what they can do to save energy. Is the Kickstarter-funded Mistbox the answer?

Could Pool Pumps ‘Store’ Renewable Energy Better than Giant Batteries?

Posted on June 30, 2015 by Sean Meyn in Guest Blogs

As more wind and solar energy comes online, the people who run the power grid have a problem: how do they compensate for the variable nature of the sun and wind?

California plans to spend billions of dollars for batteries to even out the flow of power from solar and wind, much the way shock absorbers smooth out bumps on the road. But do they need to? Not at all!

In my research, I’ve found that we can accommodate a grid powered 50 percent by renewable energy without the use of batteries.

At a Pretty Good House in Maine, Siding and Septic

Posted on June 29, 2015 by stephen sheehy in Guest Blogs

This is Part 3 of a blog series describing the construction of Stephen Sheehy’s house in Maine. The first installment was titled Pretty Good, Not So Big Maine House.

Hygric Buffering and Hygric Redistribution

Posted on June 26, 2015 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Water causes all kinds of problems for buildings. When rain leaks into walls through a poorly flashed window sill, or when the humidity in summer air contacts a cold water pipe and condenses, mold or rot can easily develop.

One possible way to handle localized leaks or intermittent humidity spikes is to build with hygroscopic materials that provide hygric buffering and hygric redistribution. To say the same thing in simpler terms: installing building materials that can absorb and store water may help handle moisture events.

Surge in Renewables Remakes California’s Energy Landscape

Posted on June 25, 2015 by Cheryl Katz in Guest Blogs

This article was originally published at Yale Environment 360. It is reprinted here with permission.

Four Ventilation Quotes That Will Take Your Breath Away

Posted on June 24, 2015 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD, GBA Advisor in Building Science

Looking back over my last several articles, I see that I’ve been going off the deep end. Psychrometrics, hygrothermalA term used to characterize the temperature (thermal) and moisture (hygro) conditions particularly with respect to climate, both indoors and out. analysis of double-stud walls, the physics of water in porous materials... That’s some heavy stuff. So this week I’m going light with some fun quotes about ventilation and indoor air quality.

Site Work Begins for a Pretty Good House in Maine

Posted on June 23, 2015 by stephen sheehy in Guest Blogs

This is Part 2 of a blog series describing the construction of Stephen Sheehy’s house in Maine. The first installment was titled Pretty Good, Not So Big Maine House.

Is This Insulation Too Good To Be True?

Posted on June 22, 2015 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

Jan Verschuren has a nicely roofed older house, and a problem to go with it. Cedar shingles have been installed over skip sheathingMaterial, usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), but sometimes wooden boards, installed on the exterior of wall studs, rafters, or roof trusses; siding or roofing installed on the sheathing—sometimes over strapping to create a rainscreen. , making for a roof that's not only historically correct but one that allows air to circulate freely beneath the roof deck. Verschuren's next objective is to insulate between the 2x4 rafters, and here's where he has run into a snag.

How To Buy a Ductless Minisplit

Posted on June 19, 2015 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Green builders usually specify high-performance windows and above-code levels of insulation, while striving to reduce air leaks in their homes. As a result of these efforts, most green homes have relatively low heating and cooling loads.

Goldman Sachs Is Our Best Bet Against Climate Change

Posted on June 18, 2015 by Bryan Birsic in Guest Blogs

Although it may not be the obvious hero, Goldman Sachs — usually more Vampire Squid than White Knight — and its cohorts could be responsible for transitioning the renewables sector from a fragmented and esoteric industry to one of mainstream dominance. Goldman Sachs has facilitated the development of world-encompassing industries before and they will do it again.

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