The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

How to Insulate the Attic in a 1910 Remodel

Posted on August 29, 2016 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

Tim Lange is taking on a major renovation of his 1910 home in North Dakota that will include a new roof, exterior spray-foam insulation, and new doors and windows. His quandary is what to do in the attic.

"I think I've got a good handle on the exterior insulation process — using window bucks to create an 'outie' style window is the current plan," Lange writes in a Q&A post at GBA. "The third floor and attic are where I need some help."

High Humidity in Unvented Conditioned Attics

Posted on August 26, 2016 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

If you convert your vented unconditioned attic to an unvented conditioned attic by installing open-cell spray foam on the underside of your roof sheathingMaterial, usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), but sometimes wooden boards, installed on the exterior of wall studs, rafters, or roof trusses; siding or roofing installed on the sheathing—sometimes over strapping to create a rainscreen. , you may be surprised to discover that your attic is now the most humid room in your house.

Why? We don't know. Although building scientists haven’t achieved a consensus on the answer, we do have enough information to paint a picture of what’s going on.

A Business Model for Net-Zero Energy Districts

Posted on August 25, 2016 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs


Seven Reasons to Gut Your Aging Bathroom

Posted on August 24, 2016 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD, GBA Advisor in Building Science

If your home is old enough for a bathroom renovation, you may want to go ahead and completely gut it. I remodeled my bathroom this year and began with a complete demolition. If I hadn't, a number of problems would have been unavailable for repair... or even undiscovered.

Here's what I found when I opened up the walls and ceiling of my 1970 condo in the Atlanta, Georgia area.

Build Disaster-Proof Homes Before Storms Strike

Posted on August 23, 2016 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs


Off-Grid in Canada: Solar Was the Only Real Choice

Posted on August 22, 2016 by Craig Anderson in Guest Blogs

This is one of a series of posts by Craig Anderson describing the off-the-grid house he built with his wife France-Pascale Ménard near Low, Québec. Craig writes about the "Seven Hills Project" in a blog called Sunshine Saved. For a list of Craig's previous posts, see the list of "Blogs by Craig Anderson" in the sidebar below. This post originally appeared in November 2015.

Attaching Corner Trim on Walls With Rigid Foam

Posted on August 19, 2016 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Many readers have built homes with 4 inches or 6 inches of rigid foam on the exterior side of their walls. Typically, these walls include vertical 1x4 furring strips, 16 inches or 24 inches on center, on the exterior side of the rigid foam. The furring strips perform at least three functions: they hold the foam in place, they create a rainscreenConstruction detail appropriate for all but the driest climates to prevent moisture entry and to extend the life of siding and sheathing materials; most commonly produced by installing thin strapping to hold the siding away from the sheathing by a quarter-inch to three-quarters of an inch. gap, and they provide something for the siding to be fastened to.

It’s Time to Plan for Electric Vehicles on the Grid

Posted on August 18, 2016 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs


If you think electric vehicles are still a niche technology, think again. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that more than 1 million electric vehicles (EVs) were on the road in 2015, including 400,000 in the United States. In order to limit global warming to 2 C° or less, the agency says the world will need 150 million EVs by 2030 and 1 billion by 2050, implying a 21% compound annual growth rate from now until 2050.

Mechanical and Electrical Systems at the Orchards at Orenco Project

Posted on August 17, 2016 by Mike Steffen in Guest Blogs

This is Part 6 of a blog series describing construction of the Orchards at Orenco project in Oregon. The first installment was titled The Largest Passivhaus Building in the U.S.

If Carbon Pricing Is So Great, Why Isn’t It Working?

Posted on August 16, 2016 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs


Earth’s atmosphere has long served as a free dump for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases generated by humans. That is changing as policy-makers embrace economists’ advice that the best way to cut greenhouse gas emissions is to charge an atmospheric disposal fee. As a result, governments are increasingly tacking on a price for carbon when fossil fuels are sold or consumed, allowing their economies to internalize some of the social and economic costs associated with burning coal, oil, and natural gas.

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