The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Huge Water Savings in a Small Product

Posted on November 2, 2017 by Ed Osann in Guest Blogs

A huge source of water waste lies buried in yards across California and the U.S.: the pop-up sprinklers many homeowners use to irrigate turf grass. Now California's investor-owned energy utilities, 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. by Pacific Gas & Electric, are proposing new standards for spray sprinkler bodies that could save jaw-dropping amounts of tap water, as well as the energy to pump and treat it.

Flatrock Passive: Foam Sheathing and Window Details

Posted on November 1, 2017 by David Goodyear in Guest Blogs

Editor's Note: This is one of a series of blogs by David Goodyear describing the construction of his new home in Flatrock, Newfoundland, the first in the province built to the Passive HouseA residential building construction standard requiring very low levels of air leakage, very high levels of insulation, and windows with a very low U-factor. Developed in the early 1990s by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist, the standard is now promoted by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany. To meet the standard, a home must have an infiltration rate no greater than 0.60 AC/H @ 50 pascals, a maximum annual heating energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (4,755 Btu per square foot), a maximum annual cooling energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (1.39 kWh per square foot), and maximum source energy use for all purposes of 120 kWh per square meter (11.1 kWh per square foot). The standard recommends, but does not require, a maximum design heating load of 10 W per square meter and windows with a maximum U-factor of 0.14. The Passivhaus standard was developed for buildings in central and northern Europe; efforts are underway to clarify the best techniques to achieve the standard for buildings in hot climates. standard. The first installment of the GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com blog series was titled An Introduction to the Flatrock Passive House. For a list of Goodyear's earlier blogs on this site, see the "Related Articles" sidebar below; you'll find his complete blog here.

The Unequal Burden of Noise

Posted on October 31, 2017 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs

By Joan Casey, Peter James, and Rachel Morello-Frosch

Lead Paint and Old Clapboards

Posted on October 30, 2017 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

Gregg Zuman's house in Beacon, New York, was built near the start of the Civil War, and like most any building of that era it's in need of a few repairs. At the moment, Zuman is stuck on what to do about the clapboard siding.

Living Without Electricity

Posted on October 27, 2017 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

This year’s hurricane season brought extensive power outages to areas of Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. In some cases, electricity was restored in two or three days. In much of Puerto Rico, however, the electricity has been off for weeks, and may not be restored for months.

Water Tables and Basements

Posted on October 26, 2017 by Peter Yost in Building Science

When we bought our home (built in 1907), I called in a favor from an electrician friend of mine to upgrade the 60-amp to a 100-amp service. Having worked together in New Hampshire where many of our projects were on sites full of ledge, he smirked when he told me: “Here, you go try and drive this 12-foot copper grounding rod.”

When Are Door Undercuts Sufficient for Return Air?

Posted on October 25, 2017 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD in Building Science

Most people don't know that simply closing a door in their home can make them sick, increase their energy bills, or reduce their comfort. We live in this invisible stuff called air. We pull many pounds of it into our lungs each day. A typical air conditioner, heat pumpHeating and cooling system in which specialized refrigerant fluid in a sealed system is alternately evaporated and condensed, changing its state from liquid to vapor by altering its pressure; this phase change allows heat to be transferred into or out of the house. See air-source heat pump and ground-source heat pump., or furnace easily moves 20 tons of air a day. (Yes, I'm talking about 40,000 pounds! We'll save that calculation for another day, though.) And the simple act of closing a door changes the dynamics of a house in ways that can have profound impacts on the people inside the home.

Self-Driving Cars Will Mean More Sprawl

Posted on October 24, 2017 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs

By Timothy Hodgetts

Self-driving cars will change how we live, in all sorts of ways. But they won’t just affect us humans — the coming revolution in autonomous transport has significant implications for wildlife as well. Nature conservationists and planners need to think hard about the impact of driverless vehicles, most notably in terms of renewed urban sprawl.

Urban Rustic: Up on the Roof

Posted on October 23, 2017 by Eric Whetzel in Guest Blogs

Editor's note: This post is one of a series by Eric Whetzel about the design and construction of his house in Palatine, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The first blog in his series was called An Introduction to a New Passive House Project; a list of Eric's previous posts appears below. For more details, see Eric's blog, Kimchi & Kraut.

A Better Bath Fan Termination for Soffits

Posted on October 20, 2017 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Most bathroom exhaust fans are installed poorly. Because of twisted ductwork, improper terminations, and (in some cases) inappropriate backdraft dampers, the actual air flow through the exhaust fan is much less than the fan rating.

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