The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor


Complexity and Contradiction at the NAHB

Posted on June 21, 2009 by Michael Chandler in Business Advisor

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is actively fighting the American Clean Energy Security Act, arguing that additional energy savings beyond 30% will be impossible.

NeoCon 2009

Starting a Revolution at NeoCon

Posted on June 19, 2009 by Annette Stelmack in design-matters

The beautiful, green city of Chicago just hosted NeoCon World's Trade Fair, where the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) partnered with NeoCon in hosting its annual conference. It was a great success, bringing together the residential and commercial interior design communities under one enormous roof at the Chicago Merchandise Mart, which, by the way, is a LEED-EB silver-certified building.

Builder with cell phone

Test Your Green Readiness — Part 1

Posted on June 19, 2009 by Dina Lima in Business Advisor

Going green is a business decision, and it is no small undertaking. Going green has to have a purpose. You do not want to go green just because everyone else is doing it. You need to be able to quantify its benefits for your business, your personal life, and your community.

Plug load problem 2

Tackling the Plug Load Problem

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

The biggest energy load in most houses is space heating. When it comes to electricity, the list of major loads usually includes air conditioners, water heaters, and lighting.

Almost all other residential electrical loads are usually categorized as “plug loads.” According to a paper by Sam Rashkin, Glenn Chinery, and David Meisegeier, “plug loads are the fastest growing energy load in the residential sector.”

LEED Homes Logo 2

Equal-Opportunity Feather Ruffling

Posted on June 18, 2009 by Carl Seville in Green Building Curmudgeon

It seems as though the National Green Building StandardNational Green Building Standard Based on the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines and passed through ANSI. This standard can be applied to both new homes, remodeling projects, and additions. , and NAHBNational Association of Home Builders, which awards a Model Green Home Certification. in general, have been getting a lot of heat here and elsewhere lately, so I think it is time to ruffle the feathers of 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. and the USGBCUnited States Green Building Council (USGBC). Organization devoted to promoting and certifying green buildings. USGBC created the LEED rating systems.. In my work providing certification under both programs, I have uncovered many of their deep, dark secrets. Both have very specific requirements and unique gaps that will be addressed in detail in future articles on

Solar Wall

Passive Hot Air from Everyday Materials

Posted on June 17, 2009 by Michael Maines in design-matters

At the Unity, Maine, headquarters of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), engineer Jay LeGore has harnessed the power of the sun to replace about 200 gallons of propane a year.

Electric water heater

Off-Peak Electric Water Heating

Posted on June 16, 2009 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

Twenty-five years ago, if you had predicted that I might be suggesting that electric water heating could be a good option, I’d have asked what you were smoking. I agreed with the argument that it’s dumb to use such a high-grade form of energy (electricity) for such a low-grade energy need—a need that can be satisfied with renewables, such as solar energy or wood heat. I was also aware—and still am—of the significant environmental impacts of many of our power-generation options.

But here I am, suggesting that electricity can sometimes be a pretty good option for water heating. What’s up?

Sacred Space

A Sacred Space

Posted on June 16, 2009 by Michael Maines in design-matters

How can you design buildings without being passionate about how they are built and the materials they're made from? How can you engineer something strictly by the numbers, sneering at the “artytechs” who actually care about the user experience?

GBA Radio  - Podcast: Building Science Fundamentals

Insulation Retrofits on Old Masonry Buildings - Building Science Podcast

Posted on June 15, 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.

Designing a Good Ventilation System

Posted on June 15, 2009 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

UPDATED on April 15, 2016

Most green builders include some type of mechanical ventilation system in every home they build. That’s good. Since green buildings usually have very low levels of air leakage, mechanical ventilation is usually essential.

Unfortunately, several research studies have shown that a high number of mechanical ventilation systems are poorly designed or installed.

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