The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

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The First … Charrette?

Posted on March 27, 2009 by Ann Edminster in Green Building Blog

Okay, so you’ve put your stellar team together, and everyone’s agreed about how the integrated design process is going to unfold. It may be new to them, but they’re game. Now you’re going to hold a charrette to kick off the process. What happens there?

First of all, what’s a "charrette" anyway?

Small giants

Book Review: Small Giants

Posted on March 26, 2009 by Michael Chandler in Business Advisor

Small Giants was written by Bo Burlingham, who also co-authored The Great Game of Business and A Stake in the Game with Jack Stack. His point is that, while it’s easy to feel beleaguered as a small-business owner — competing against bigger companies with deeper capital reserves and expert boards of directors and investors — the business is better able to follow the leader's intuition and to harvest information more quickly and act on it with less need for justification.

IRC

Cracking the Code

Posted on March 26, 2009 by Lynn Underwood in Code Green

It’s complex and hard to read… That’s why they call it a Code!

If you’re going to build green or otherwise, you'll need to crack the code. The process begins with a permit and you'll pass a series of inspections. Here’s a primer of the code, but it's worth getting a copy to read as well.

Pavers

Helping the Environment, One Drop at a Time

Posted on March 26, 2009 by Carl Seville in Green Building Curmudgeon

There is a lot of discussion about pervious paving and its contribution to the environment. Standard paving materials collect pollutants like oil, chemicals, and rubber tire particles from vehicles, pesticides, and dirt, only to have rain wash it off into our waterways, degrading our fresh water supply. Natural landscapes allow rain to percolate down through the soil, taking various pollutants with it, filtering and cleaning them as they flow down, typically arriving clean and clear by the time they reach the water table.

Communication

How to Communicate With Your Inspector

Posted on March 25, 2009 by Lynn Underwood in Code Green

The words may be the same, but our understanding is poles apart…

Imagine you’re in another country where no one speaks English, and you just want to find your way to the hotel. How do you communicate? Carefully, right? You’ll have a similar problem if you are a first-time homebuilder communicating with a building inspector...especially about green products or materials.

Communication is key

SAVE

Product Verification – Are We SAVED?

Posted on March 25, 2009 by Carl Seville in Green Building Curmudgeon

Following up on my comments on green product verification – One More Thing to Worry About– I recently learned about ICC ES-SAVE (Sustainable Attributes Verification and Evaluation), yet another program to verify the sustainability of products.

Race

Ready, Set, Go!

Posted on March 25, 2009 by Ann Edminster in Green Building Blog

When I was a kid, every race started with those three words. What do they mean, anyway? They mean that some things need to happen before a process really takes off. An integrated design process is no exception.

USGBC Education Provider Program

LEED Can Change, Part Three: The Education Program

Posted on March 24, 2009 by Rob Moody in Building Science

Here’s where I start to get a bit giddy (I know that’s geeky). When I was teaching high school environmental science, I had my students create and carry out green building projects. Partially due to my excitement about the topic, I had some of the best results in that class of any unit that I taught. The basic model that I utilized for most of my major lessons was the same: I would verbally present the content, followed by a demonstration of the topic, and conclude with a lab or project so that the kids could experience the concept first-hand.

hygrometer

Moisture Sources, Relative Humidity, and Mold

Posted on March 24, 2009 by Peter Yost in Building Science

A little water goes a long way

We hear a lot about how moisture can be an indoor pollutant in tight houses. But just how much moisture can be a problem; how does boiling a pot of water compare to a 15-minute shower? This keeps some of us mold worrywarts up at night, so I thought it would be a good idea to run some numbers.

Understanding R-Value 2

Understanding R-Value

Posted on March 24, 2009 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

R-valueMeasure of resistance to heat flow; the higher the R-value, the lower the heat loss. The inverse of U-factor. measurements are subject to a fair amount of ridicule, especially by marketers of radiant barriers. As it turns out, however, the ridicule is mostly unwarranted.

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