The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

MPC and Joe L

Building Scientists Meet for a Roundtable Discussion

Posted on January 3, 2009 by Michael Chandler in Green Building Blog

One of the advantages to being part of the GreenBuildingAdvisor team is an invitation to Joe Lstiburek’s Building Science Summer Camp (that's Joe, on the right, and me in the photo). This is an invitation-only gathering of 200 of the top building scientists, engineers, and architects in America. Of course, builders and remodelers are invited, too. I was there as a member of Peter Yost and Dan Morrison’s new GreenBuildingAdvisor project. Lstiburek is on the advisory team, too. The experience was absolutely amazing.

blog-Whats wrong-air-handler-in-attic

Heating and cooling the outside

Posted on January 1, 2009 by Daniel Morrison in Green Building Blog

What's wrong with this picture?

a) The air handler and duct work are in the hottest and coldest part of the house.
b) The wall insulation isn't working.
c) There's more insulation on the wall than on the ductwork.
d) All of the above.

I wonder if the people who live in this house have young kids. And I wonder if they ever say to those young kids "Close the door, we're not heating (cooling) the outside." I used to hear it from my Mom, and I'm sure most every other person since the cave man days has heard it too.

Fenway park

An Overview of HID Lighting

Posted on December 30, 2008 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

Three recent columns provided a brief history of lighting, an overview of fluorescent technology, and a look at the challenges of improving streetlights. Following a side trip into the issue of “passive survivability,” I’m returning this week to illumination with an overview of high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting.

Unintended Consequences

Unintended Consequences

Posted on December 24, 2008 by Carl Seville in Green Building Curmudgeon

I was listening to NPR the other day and heard a very interesting segment on problems in the paper-recycling industry.

It seems that the bottom has fallen out of the market for wastepaper to be recycled. The price recently fell from $150/ton to about $20/ton, making recycling very difficult from a financial perspective. The primary side effect of this is that more paper will be put in landfills until the market comes back up.

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.

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