The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

The History of the Chainsaw Retrofit

Posted on August 14, 2009 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

To achieve the carbon reductions needed to prevent a global ecological catastrophe, almost every house in North America will need a deep-energy retrofit. If the projecting elements on a home’s exterior — especially the eave and rake overhangs — can be stripped away, the best retrofit option is to wrap the exterior of the house with an airtight membrane and a deep layer of insulation, followed by new siding, roofing, and windows.

Understanding Indoor Air Quality (2) — Building Science Podcast

Posted on August 11, 2009 by Joe Lstiburek in Building Science

This podcast series is excerpted from a two-day class called "Building Science Fundamentals" taught by Dr. Joe Lstiburek and Dr. John Straube, of Building Science Corporation.

How Not to Save Energy

Posted on August 11, 2009 by Rob Moody in Building Science

In the last two blog posts, I shared highlights from a talk given by building scientist Michael Blasnik at the Department of Energy's National Weatherization Training Conference, particularly the problems with inaccurate computer models in determining weatherization strategies and effective home energy improvement measures.

The Hardest Insulating Job Ever

Posted on August 11, 2009 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

I’ve done a bunch of home weatherizing and insulating projects over the years; let me tell you about the worst.

Ground Gutters

Posted on August 11, 2009 by Michael Maines in Building Science

The rubble stone foundation walls wept every time it rained, creating a dank, humid basement. The destructive power of ice dams, and a huge, overhanging elm tree created maintenance issues, leaving our clients unwilling to replace the gutters original to the old two-story house. The lot sloping to the rear left the downhill neighbors’ yards saturated much of the year. How were we going to solve these problems? By installing a ground gutter system.

Getting Insulation Out of Your Walls and Ceilings

Posted on August 7, 2009 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

More and more builders have realized the advantages of leaving stud bays empty and putting all of a home’s insulation outside of the wall and roof 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. . If done correctly, exterior insulation can help produce a building that is almost airtight, very well insulated, and almost immune to water damage.

Drainage on Exterior Walls

Posted on August 5, 2009 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

Last week I wrote about “deep-energy retrofits”—strategies for dramatically reducing the energy consumption of an existing house. In northern climates, such retrofits often involve adding a layer of rigid insulation to the exterior of a house. If you’re removing the siding to add insulation, this is a great time to provide a drainage layer—or “rainscreen”—before reinstalling siding.

How Many Green Building Principles Are There?

Posted on August 4, 2009 by Carl Seville in Green Building Curmudgeon

Lately I have been struggling with identifying the core concepts of green building and remodeling. For years I was comfortable with a list of four items: energy efficiency, durability, indoor environmental quality, and resource efficiency. Then I got an earful from my little unibrowed buddy, Michael Anschel, who pinpoints five core concepts: energy efficiency, water efficiency, resource efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and site and community impact.

Understanding Indoor Air Quality (1) - Building Science Podcast

Posted on August 3, 2009 by Joe Lstiburek in Building Science

This podcast series is excerpted from a two-day class called "Building Science Fundamentals" taught by Dr. Joe Lstiburek and Dr. John Straube, of Building Science Corporation.

Programmable Thermostats Save Energy Automatically

Posted on August 3, 2009 by Lynn Underwood in Code Green

9 Steps to A Greener Code

New homes built using the 2009 International Residential Code (IRCInternational Residential Code. The one- and two-family dwelling model building code copyrighted by the International Code Council. The IRC is meant to be a stand-alone code compatible with the three national building codes—the Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA) National code, the Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI) code and the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) code.) or International Energy Conservation Code (IECC International Energy Conservation Code.) will be more energy efficient than ever. As a consequence, a builder’s world may become a bit more complex and, in some cases, a bit more expensive.

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