The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

One Man’s Quest for Energy Independence — Part 1

Posted on November 19, 2015 by Paul Kuenn in Guest Blogs

In 1987, my wife and I purchased a one-story, 1,200-square-foot ranch with a basement in Appleton, Wisconsin. It had been built in 1960. Its 2x4 walls were filled with 3 inches of fiberglass batting; the house had single-pane windows. The basement slab had been poured directly onto clay without a gravel drainage base. There was sectional tile drain around the exterior perimeter and one sump. The house had a large patio door facing west and a bay window facing east, and only two windows on the south side.

Not All Energy Savings Are Equal

Posted on November 18, 2015 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD, GBA Advisor in Building Science

The world of electricity is changing quickly. With all the photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. modules out there generating solar power and the advent of the smart meter, there's a revolution going on within the electric utility industry.

I wrote a little bit about this revolution recently when I discussed the duck curve. Near the end of that article, I mentioned that Matt Golden said something about the "new world where EE [energy efficiency] is dead." So I spoke with Matt last week, and here's some of what he said.

Solar Power Can Cut Consumers’ Bills and Still be Good for Utilities

Posted on November 17, 2015 by Richard Flarend in Guest Blogs

The cost of solar energy continues to fall, so it is no surprise that more people are adopting solar.

This rapid growth of rooftop solar, however, has 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. many electric utilities to try to apply the brakes. A number have lobbied to change the net-metering policies that credit consumers for the excess solar power they generate. Does this make sense?

A Low-Energy House for Northern Minnesota

Posted on November 16, 2015 by Elden Lindamood in Guest Blogs

I am an architect. I have spent the last five years thinking about, sketching, drafting, changing, overanalyzing, second guessing, and fretting about the house that my partner Catherine and I would someday build on our rural land in northern Minnesota. This is probably not unlike the experience of many non-architect dreamers, but the difference is that I am armed with AutoCAD and REMDesign energy modeling software to analyze every conceivable scenario.

Where Does the Air Come From?

Posted on November 13, 2015 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Most American homes have a bewildering array of diffusers, registers, and grilles that blow air out or suck air in. For many homeowners, these apertures are somewhat mysterious. We all know that there must be a duct behind each grille, but where does the duct lead?

The Four Keys to a High-Performance Home

Posted on November 12, 2015 by Michael Trolle in Guest Blogs

Editor's note: This is the fourth and last installment in a series of blogs by Michael Trolle about the construction of his Passivhaus home in Danbury, Connecticut. The first part was published as “Building My Own Passive House.”

An Introduction to the Duck Curve

Posted on November 11, 2015 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD, GBA Advisor in Building Science

You may think there's no more boring topic than electric utilities. Power plants. Transmission lines. Engineers with flat top haircuts and pocket protectors full of pens in their white short-sleeved shirts.

Well, let me tell you two words that might help make them more interesting: duck curve. If you haven't heard this term yet, you're not alone.

Windows, Housewrap, and Roofing Underlayment

Posted on November 10, 2015 by Brian Post in Guest Blogs

Editor's note: This is the third in a series of blogs chronicling the design and construction of a house owned by Brian Post and Kyra Salancy. The first blog in the series was titled Building a Small House in the White Mountains.

With the framing and 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. completed, our shell contractor installed the windows in mid-October 2013. Fortunately, based on a tip from the crew, we also had drywall for the second story delivered through a large upstairs rough opening before the final window installation.

Designing a Low-Slope Roof That Works

Posted on November 9, 2015 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

If only Kevin Hoene's choices for a new roof boiled down to a choice between an EPDM membrane and metal, his life would probably seem a whole lot simpler.

But Hoene, building a new home in Illinois and on the boundary between Climate Zones 4 and 5, will soon be weighing the pros and cons not only of different roof coverings, but also of what type of insulation to use, whether it should go above or below the 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. , and whether the roof should be vented or unvented. In other words, nothing seems off the table.

Another North American Magic Box

Posted on November 6, 2015 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Over the past few years, GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com has published several articles on “magic boxes” — a type of combination appliance that functions as a ventilation system, heating system, and cooling system. Most recently, I wrote about the CERV, a magic box manufactured in Illinois. Now a Canadian manufacturer has come out with a magic box that resembles the CERV.

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