The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Katrina

Making Houses Resilient to Power Outages

Posted on December 23, 2008 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

The ice storm a week-and-a-half ago illustrated, all too clearly, the vulnerability of our homes. Hundreds of thousands of homes in New England lost power in the storm, which deposited up to an inch of ice on trees the night of December 11th, and tens of thousands were still without power a full week later, despite heroic efforts by utility crews. This illustrates why all houses should be designed and built to achieve “passive survivability,” an idea that, nationally, I’ve been advancing for the past three years.

Doorbrow

Am I Hallucinating or What?

Posted on December 22, 2008 by Carl Seville in Green Building Curmudgeon

I got a press release in the mail today for a new product called “Doorbrow”, including the following points:

“…a revolutionary new product…” , “…will minimize water intrusion and sun deterioration…”, “…prevents leaks between a building and its entry door, effectively eliminating water intrusion…”

Modular Home

Trailer Park Trash Goes Green

Posted on December 22, 2008 by Carl Seville in Green Building Curmudgeon

I recently had the privilege of watching modular homes be built in a factory and then installed on the job site, and I must say, I came away pretty impressed. These are two homes that when complete will be LEEDLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED for Homes is the residential green building program from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). While this program is primarily designed for and applicable to new home projects, major gut rehabs can qualify. certified, as well as meet the requirements for EarthCraft House and the new NAHB Green Building ProgramThe NAHB Green Building Program includes: the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines, the National Green Building Conference, the NAHB Green website, the Green Building Program Hotline, the National Green Building Program Awards, the Certified Green Professional Designation, and the green building training and education that support the designation and guidelines..

Modular homes, also known as "systems built," are a far cry from the old mobile home that was rolled to the site and finished with an aluminum skirt (and a couple of pink flamingos, for good measure). While each component of a modern modular home is roughly the size of a mobile home, they are assembled onsite into medium to large homes that to all but the most knowledgeable visitor look no different than a stick built home.

Adoption Curve

Losing Ground

Posted on December 22, 2008 by Carl Seville in Green Building Curmudgeon

When I first ventured into green building early in the 21st century, I was ahead of most people on the curve. Using materials and methods that were practically unheard of in the industry, I was able to quickly take a leadership position in green remodeling.

Over the next few years, the daily demands of running a construction business made it difficult to keep up with the industry as much as I would have liked, and now, having stopped building and renovating, I find myself falling further behind every day.

Attic

Build Green or Build Wrong

Posted on December 22, 2008 by Carl Seville in Green Building Curmudgeon

And an Added Benefit is that it's Good for Your Business.

Yep, I said it. Green is right. If you don’t build green, you are doing at least some of your work wrong. Not all of it, but certainly some of it. If you are building everything the right way, then you are probably building green, or very close.

Farm

More Stuff About Buildings and Food

Posted on December 22, 2008 by Carl Seville in Green Building Curmudgeon

As I was putting some jelly on bread the other day, I got to thinking about how we get our food.

Industrial farms use petroleum-based fertilizer, harvest their crops with huge machinery or, often, by exploiting migrant workers, process and store the food in refrigerated containers, ship it across the country to distribution centers, then truck it to stores to which we drive our cars (sometimes many miles) to buy this “fresh” food.

Starter Castle

Green from the Start, Part II

Posted on December 22, 2008 by Carl Seville in Green Building Curmudgeon

OK, in "Green From the Start, Part I" we talked about what to avoid when designing a green house. Let’s take a more positive approach and consider what we should do. Let’s start with a basic principle—design what you need and no more.

Stress

Green From the Start, Part 1

Posted on December 22, 2008 by Carl Seville in Green Building Curmudgeon

Each year my business model shifts a little (or a lot), often having nothing to do with any actions that I take. Lately I have been certifying homes under several green building programs including EarthCraft House and LEED for HomesLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED for Homes is the residential green building program from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). While this program is primarily designed for and applicable to new home projects, major gut rehabs can qualify. . Working with builders who have a wide range of experience in green building gives me an opportunity to teach them how to make their homes more sustainable, and most of them appreciate the opportunity to learn and improve their work.

Cop

Laying down the law

Posted on December 16, 2008 by Carl Seville in Green Building Curmudgeon

Enforcing New Requirements on Your Green Job Site

OK, so you have encouraged, set expectations, inspected, maybe even pleaded and begged, but you still aren’t getting what you want. So what is there to do?

It’s time for some enforcement. When you have provided direction and given complete information to your team, as professionals they are responsible for delivering the performance for which you have contracted.

Inspection

You only get what you expect when you inspect

Posted on December 16, 2008 by Carl Seville in Green Building Curmudgeon

Most Often, Self-Policing isn't Enough

The best way to make sure that your projects meet the performance level you are seeking is to inspect the work at critical points when there is still time to make needed corrections.

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