The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Planning a Retrofit in the Pacific Northwest

Posted on November 13, 2017 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

Brad Steeg's Seattle home was built in 1915, and from the description he provides in this post at GBA's Q&A forum, it's not hard to understand why Steeg is so uncomfortable during the winter: not much insulation, single-pane windows, and lots of air leaks.

"During the winter, my thermostat reads 70° but it still feel cold because the cold walls and ceiling suck the heat out of my body," Steeg writes.

Kitchen Design

Posted on November 10, 2017 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Every decade, kitchen design becomes more complicated. It’s gotten to the point where some residential designers subcontract the work to a specialist.

If you are a humble owner-builder, do your kitchen preferences even matter anymore? Of course they do. If you’re building a house, you should certainly have a say in matters affecting kitchen design — even if your ideas are different from those of the experts.

Reeling from the California Wildfires

Posted on November 9, 2017 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs

By Clare Trapasso, realtor.com.

How Many Tons of Air Does a 2.5 Ton Air Conditioner Move?

Posted on November 8, 2017 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD in Building Science

We live in this invisible stuff called air. (But of course you knew that.) We pump it into and out of our lungs. We exhaust it from our bathrooms and kitchens. We cycle it through our heating and air conditioning systems. If we're lucky, we live in a home that even brings outdoor air inside as part of a whole-house ventilation system. But we're missing something.

Transforming the Real Estate Market

Posted on November 7, 2017 by Radhika Lalit in Guest Blogs

The U.S. residential real estate market is booming, with new home sales steadily rising over the last few years. In March 2017, over 621,000 new single-family homes were sold (at a seasonally adjusted annual rate) at a median sales price of $345,800. Imagine if most of these new home developments were 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. (NZE), which not only delivers the homeowner annual energy savings but also enhances the overall performance, comfort, and resilience of these homes.

Bringing Passive House to Production Building

Posted on November 6, 2017 by Zack Semke in Guest Blogs

It’s clear to me that if we hope to avert catastrophic climate change we need to start viewing our buildings as clean energy power plants. As I’ll show you below, it’ll be easier than you think. Global experts emphasize three things: we face a climate crisis emergency; we have the means to solve the crisis; and our future depends on determined local climate action, now.

With reversals in the U.S. climate policy underway and the Paris climate agreement in question, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the clean energy transition is already underway.

Rethinking the Rules on Minimum Foam Thickness

Posted on November 3, 2017 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

When builders ask for advice about installing rigid foam on the exterior side of a wall, I usually refer them to one of my articles, “Calculating the Minimum Thickness of Rigid Foam Sheathing.” The article explains that the R-valueMeasure of resistance to heat flow; the higher the R-value, the lower the heat loss. The inverse of U-factor. of the rigid foam layer needs to be high enough to keep the OSB or plywood sheathing above the dew point during the winter. For example, a house with 2x6 walls in Climate Zone 6 would need rigid foam with a minimum R-value of R-11.25.

Huge Water Savings in a Small Product

Posted on November 2, 2017 by Ed Osann in Guest Blogs

A huge source of water waste lies buried in yards across California and the U.S.: the pop-up sprinklers many homeowners use to irrigate turf grass. Now California's investor-owned energy utilities, ledLight-emitting diode. Illumination technology that produces light by running electrical current through a semiconductor diode. LED lamps are much longer lasting and much more energy efficient than incandescent lamps; unlike fluorescent lamps, LED lamps do not contain mercury and can be readily dimmed. by Pacific Gas & Electric, are proposing new standards for spray sprinkler bodies that could save jaw-dropping amounts of tap water, as well as the energy to pump and treat it.

Flatrock Passive: Foam Sheathing and Window Details

Posted on November 1, 2017 by David Goodyear in Guest Blogs

Editor's Note: This is one of a series of blogs by David Goodyear describing the construction of his new home in Flatrock, Newfoundland, the first in the province built to the Passive HouseA residential building construction standard requiring very low levels of air leakage, very high levels of insulation, and windows with a very low U-factor. Developed in the early 1990s by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist, the standard is now promoted by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany. To meet the standard, a home must have an infiltration rate no greater than 0.60 AC/H @ 50 pascals, a maximum annual heating energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (4,755 Btu per square foot), a maximum annual cooling energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (1.39 kWh per square foot), and maximum source energy use for all purposes of 120 kWh per square meter (11.1 kWh per square foot). The standard recommends, but does not require, a maximum design heating load of 10 W per square meter and windows with a maximum U-factor of 0.14. The Passivhaus standard was developed for buildings in central and northern Europe; efforts are underway to clarify the best techniques to achieve the standard for buildings in hot climates. standard. The first installment of the GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com blog series was titled An Introduction to the Flatrock Passive House. For a list of Goodyear's earlier blogs on this site, see the "Related Articles" sidebar below; you'll find his complete blog here.

The Unequal Burden of Noise

Posted on October 31, 2017 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs

By Joan Casey, Peter James, and Rachel Morello-Frosch

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