The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

New, Vented Crawl Spaces Should Be Illegal

Posted on December 28, 2015 by Brian Knight in Guest Blogs

For new homes, vented crawl spaces should be illegal. That may seem harsh, considering the entrenchment of this common, code-compliant construction detail. I am on board for most local and common practices when they're done right, but it's tough denying that most building science research is condemning the classic vented crawl space in a humid climate. It's time for this building practice to be outlawed for new construction.

Climate Affects Home Design

Posted on December 25, 2015 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

If you go to one of the many web sites that sell house plans, you can use filtering software to sort through hundreds of available plans by a variety of criteria: square feet, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, number of stories, or even “number of garage bays.”

On most of these sites, however, you can’t sort by climate zone. Why? Because most house plan companies ignore climate. They’re happy to sell customers in Minnesota the same house plan that they sell customers in Florida.

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change

Posted on December 24, 2015 by Adil Najam and Henrik Selin in Guest Blogs

At 7:27 p.m. local time on Saturday, December 12, 2015, a new Paris Agreement on global climate change was born after four years of taxing labor. Its much-anticipated birth was quickly followed by copious self-congratulations by many of the parents in the room who almost all were overcome by joy and bursting with pride.

For Storing Electricity, Utilities Turn to Pumped Hydro

Posted on December 23, 2015 by John Roach in Guest Blogs

In the past decade, wind energy production has soared in Spain, rising from 6% of the country’s electricity generation in 2004 to about 20% today. While that is certainly good news for boosters of clean energy, the surge in renewables has come with the challenge of ensuring that electric power is available when customers want it, not just when the wind blows.

One Man’s Quest for Energy Independence — Part 3

Posted on December 22, 2015 by Paul Kuenn in Guest Blogs

This is the third in a series of blogs by Paul Kuenn describing energy-efficiency improvements to his home in Appleton, Wisconsin. To read the first blog in the series, click here.

Choosing the Right Water-Resistive Barrier

Posted on December 21, 2015 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

Yes, James Timmerberg's new house will have a water-resistive barrierSometimes also called the weather-resistive barrier, this layer of any wall assembly is the material interior to the wall cladding that forms a secondary drainage plane for liquid water that makes it past the cladding. This layer can be building paper, housewrap, or even a fluid-applied material. (WRB) on the exterior walls.

Martin’s 2015 Christmas Poem

Posted on December 18, 2015 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Green Building Blog

To Our Coy Leaders
With apologies to Andrew Marvell

The Big Picture on Ultra-High-Def TV

Posted on December 17, 2015 by Noah Horowitz in Guest Blogs

A shift to the next generation of televisions known as Ultra-High-Definition (UHD), and sometimes 4K, could cost U.S. consumers an additional $1 billion annually unless further energy efficiency improvements are made, according to our new report.

Is Your House Too Leaky Because of Fiberglass?

Posted on December 16, 2015 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD, GBA Advisor in Building Science

I read a lot of stuff online about insulation and air barriers and other building science topics. I see a fair number of articles bashing certain products or materials. Sometimes it's because the author sells a competing product. Sometimes they just don't like a product. Take fiberglass insulation, for example. What thoughts just went through your head?

Some Notes on This Year’s Greenbuild Conference

Posted on December 15, 2015 by Stuart Kaplow in Guest Blogs

The U.S. Green Building Council's annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo wrapped up November 20 in in Washington, D.C. The question I have been asked most about Greenbuild is, “What was the highlight?”

My response: Greenbuild is the target-rich environment for green building people. The thousands of attendees represent more sustainability and green building business opportunities in a single place than will exist anywhere else on the planet this year. So, the highlight is the people.

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