The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

How Tight is Too Tight?

Posted on July 21, 2009 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

The first question I usually get when I start talking about insulating and buttoning-up houses is, “Won’t my house be too tight?” It’s a very logical question.

Tight houses need fresh air

Tight Houses: A Good Idea (and Code Requirement)

Posted on July 20, 2009 by Lynn Underwood in Code Green

9 Steps to A Greener Code

Recent spikes in energy costs have increased the attention on regulatory measures that limit energy waste. Those same energy price increases have also gained the attention of President Obama, who made energy efficiency central to his stimulus package, specifying the need to improve energy efficiency in 2 million homes.

STEP 1: AIR SEALING (Section N1102.4.2)

Ben's Chili Bowl

The Bloginning

Posted on July 20, 2009 by Rob Moody in think-spot

I’m in my mid-30s. Facebook, Twitter, Digg and the like are new concepts to me. I saw my wife reconnecting with tons of friends, which made Facebook seem like a fun and actually very powerful tool. It wasn’t really until November that I understood the extent of the power of social networking.

Cap and Trade

Cap and Trade

Posted on July 17, 2009 by Lynn Underwood in Code Green

One June 26th, the U.S. House of Representatives, by a mere seven votes, passed H.R. 2454, American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. The bill had almost 1,000 pages, and extensive changes were drawn up in a 300-page manager’s amendment!

Potager 2

The Perfect Potager

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

When people say that it costs more to build green, they are only half right. To build another generic house full of features that everyone is supposed to want but nobody really needs, using designer “green” products purchased at retail prices, would indeed cost more than building the same thing with conventional products. One of the keys to building green, though, is to think critically about every aspect of your home and to determine what is and is not necessary.

GBA Radio  - Podcast: Building Science Fundamentals

How Air Affects a House (2) - Building Science Podcast

Posted on July 16, 2009 by John Straube 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.

In Defense of the Lawn

In Defense of the Lawn

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

Environmentalists often bad-mouth lawns. The anti-lawn stance was summed up in a recent essay by Kerry Trueman, who wrote, “The typical American lawn is pretty much an unmitigated environmental disaster.”

CFL types

More Lighting Options, Please?!

Posted on July 15, 2009 by Ann Edminster in Green Building Blog

Lighting energy-efficiency continues to improve, and last fall the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) extended Energy StarLabeling system sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy for labeling the most energy-efficient products on the market; applies to a wide range of products, from computers and office equipment to refrigerators and air conditioners. labeling to LEDLight-emitting diode. Illumination technology that produces light by running electrical current through a semiconductor diode. LED lamps are much longer lasting and much more energy efficient than incandescent lamps; unlike fluorescent lamps, LED lamps do not contain mercury and can be readily dimmed. fixtures. While few Energy Star-labeled LEDs have yet made it to market, and some see the labeling as premature (see post from 9/5/08), this move nevertheless signals a significant step forward for “green” lighting.

IRC 2009

What's All This Hot Air About Air-Sealing Measures?

Posted on July 15, 2009 by Lynn Underwood in Code Green

Significant changes in the energy provisions of the 2009 edition of the 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.) include air-sealing measures. Section N1102.4, "Air Leakage," has been completely rewritten to include detailed prescriptive air-sealing measures.

insulation image

How Much Insulation is Needed?

Posted on July 15, 2009 by Alex Wilson in Energy Solutions

Standard residential construction in much of the country is 2x4 framing with fiberglass insulation, achieving a paltry R-10 or so in the walls. If insulation is installed at all on the foundation walls, it’s rarely more than an inch thick, and insulation is almost never put under slabs. In Vermont, we typically do a lot better. Act 250, enacted nearly four decades ago, required developers to improve energy performance and that led to a widespread switch to 2x6 framing in home building.

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