The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Oakdale

How Big Should a House Be?

Posted on March 20, 2009 by Carl Seville in Green Building Curmudgeon

I am in the process of planning to build myself a new house. I currently live in a 700-square-foot cottage built in 1925 that I have determined is ready for replacement. While it functions fine, the basic design does not lend itself to renovation, and, considering the scale and design of other homes in the neighborhood, investing in the structure would not be wise.

LEED Home Logo

Logo Wars

Posted on March 19, 2009 by Carl Seville in Green Building Curmudgeon

I am a provider representative for the LEED for Homes program. Working through an official provider licensed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), I certify homes under this august program. I appreciate all the work that has gone into this very rigorous certification system, and, while I certainly have some issues with it, I try to support and promote it when I can.

thermal bridge - steel

Thermal Bridging

Posted on March 19, 2009 by Peter Yost in Building Science

Everything is relative — especially when it comes to 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. . Thermal bridging occurs wherever assembly components with low R-values relative to surrounding materials span from the inside to the outside of a building assembly. Thermal bridging takes place in wood-framed assemblies because, although wood is a pretty good insulator at about R-1 per inch, it is at least three times more thermally conductive than any cavity insulation, which start at about R-3.5 per inch.

Trondheim

Shedding light on Windows

Posted on March 19, 2009 by Michael Maines in design-matters

Window design helps make the most of your site

Double glazed. Triple glazed. Low emissivityAmount of heat radiation emitted from a particular body or material. Emissivity is expressed in a fraction or ratio, with the lowest values indicating low emissivity and the highest indicating the high emissivity of flat black surfaces.. Passive solar. Windows are talked about a lot in green building. While it is important to compare their technical merits, more subtle decisions need to be made during the design process. Imaginative window design can help you enjoy your house more and make it greener at the same time.

Energy Auditors Make You Tube Video

A Music Video For Energy Auditors

Posted on March 18, 2009 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Is it possible to make a funny music video on the topic of residential energy audits? It sounds unlikely. But a group of Stanford University students have risen to the challenge. Check it out.

BO

Everyone has a boss...even your Building Inspector

Posted on March 17, 2009 by Lynn Underwood in Code Green

The role of the modern building official

So you’ve hired an architect to design a green home and now are submitting plans for a permit. The plans examiner behind the counter at Town Hall casts a jaundiced eye and questions the viability of your proposal. He tells you to get engineering for the newly developed building material you've selected.

LEED AP

LEED Can Change, Part Two: LEED AP

Posted on March 17, 2009 by Rob Moody in think-spot

Changes for the LEED Accredited Professional Program for 2009

As a builder, I have a pet peeve that I would like to share because I think it could be productive to other builders in particular and the building community in general. When I go to a green building event, an AIA educational event or most higher-level green education events, the facilitator inevitably asks the crowd questions about their backgrounds.

“How many architects are in the crowd? Show me your hands. How many engineers? How many LEED APs? Any builders?”

Integrated Design Teams

Integrated Design Teams

Posted on March 17, 2009 by Annette Stelmack in design-matters

The Role of the Interior Designer
For me, being an interior designer is about my "project community." Clients ask us into their lives on an incredibly intimate level and then generously invite us to bring their dreams to fruition. We connect with their family members, ask questions about their lifestyles, and learn their daily habits. They take us into their bedrooms, bathrooms, and closets as they open their lives to us.

This level of trust compels us to achieve the clients' goals with the highest standards.

What is an "integrated design approach"?

Choosing an Energy-Efficient Television

Choosing an Energy-Efficient Television

Posted on March 17, 2009 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Last weekend I reluctantly undertook the unpleasant task of buying a new television. The task was unpleasant for several reasons: I have a countercultural aversion to updating electronic devices; I hate shopping; and I especially hate shopping at the only area retailer that sells televisions, a particularly repellent megastore headquartered in Arkansas.

Harman Pellet Stoves image

Understanding Pellet Stoves

Posted on March 17, 2009 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

I resisted buying a pellet stove for a long time for a number of reasons. First, I would be tied to a fuel source that I don’t have control over — and whose price might go up if demand exceeds supply.

Second, pellet stoves don’t work without electricity, and I didn’t want to risk freezing pipes in the event of a power outage. Third, I don’t really like the noise of the fan and the blowtorch-like flame. Fourth, I had heard about technical problems with early pellet stoves. And fifth, good pellet stoves cost a lot.

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