The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Coming in From the Cold

Posted on March 24, 2015 by Phil Kaplan in Guest Blogs

In the Northeast, there is a proud history of the craftsman, the homebuilder, the DIY hero and heroine. They work with sturdy tools, with local materials, with real wood. They brave the mean winters, cut each stick with caution, are frugal with lumber. They measure twice, and cut once. They have done this the same way over many years and the product is consistent, steady, exactly the same as it would have been, had it been built in 1953.

There’s only one problem. We live in a very different world than we did in 1953.

Why Tiny Houses Make Sense

Posted on March 23, 2015 by Gabriella Morrison in Guest Blogs

With past housing booms and crashes and the potential, if not probability, for history to repeat itself, many of us in the tiny house world understand these risks and the need to protect ourselves from future housing crises by living tiny.

We were recently directed by Ryan Mitchell from The Tiny Life website to an informative article which covers housing trends, the economy, and where things are headed. The author, Richard Florida, points out that another perfect storm for a real estate crash is brewing (much like the 2008 crash).

Solar Hot Air Collectors

Posted on March 20, 2015 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

A solar hot air collector is basically a black box with glass on one side. Instead of heating fluid that circulates through tubing, a solar hot air collector is like a parked car. When the sun shines on the collector, the air inside gets hot. A solar hot air collector usually includes a hot air duct connection at the top and a return-air duct connection at the bottom. To improve efficiency, most solar hot air collectors have a black metal baffle or screen behind the glass that allows air flow on both sides.

Six Myths of Sustainable Design

Posted on March 19, 2015 by Lance Hosey in Guest Blogs

A couple of weeks ago, the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce published an opinion piece titled, "Why green building has hit the wall, and what to do about it." The author, long-time green building advocate Jerry Yudelson, laments the relatively low rate of green building certification and asks, "Why hasn't the current system had more marketplace success?"

A Beautiful Near-Net-Zero-Energy Home in Utah

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

It's the day after St. Patrick's Day, so let me tell you a wee bit about the O'Mearas. Kevin and Svetlana O'Meara live in a beautiful home in Utah that's oh-so-close to being a net-zero-energy home. After I wrote about how home building is like skiing two years ago, Kevin invited me out to see their home and this year I managed to to do so.

Should Your Old Wood Windows Be Saved?

Posted on March 18, 2015 by Rob Yagid in Green Building Blog

Old wood windows are as charming as they are maddening. While they offer appealing craftsmanship and an authentic sense of home, they typically leak like a sieve. With rising fuel costs, an unstable economy, and a catatonic housing market, it’s simply becoming more and more difficult to look at those old units with pride.

A Second Look at a Surprising Study on Energy

Posted on March 17, 2015 by Steven Nadel in Guest Blogs

Steven Nadel is the executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. This post originally appeared on the ACEEE blog. GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com posted a news story about the original study in January.

Housing Is Back. Is It Better?

Posted on March 17, 2015 by Boyce Thompson in Green Building Blog

Tens of thousands of homebuilders in this country went out of business during the recession, as new-home starts contracted by 75%. One of the biggest sectors of the American economy was devastated.

Does a Fireplace Belong in a Green Home?

Posted on March 16, 2015 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

Clara Kim and her husband are nearly finished planning their new custom home. Only a few details remain before they can seek construction bids. But one of the remaining loose ends has major energy implications.

A Balanced Ventilation System With a Built-In Heat Pump

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

A small manufacturing company in Illinois called Build Equinox has developed a new ventilation appliance called the Conditioning Energy Recovery Ventilator, or CERV. Build Equinox was founded by an engineer, Ty Newell, and his son Ben Newell. (Ty Newell designed and built the Equinox House, which was described in a GBA article published in 2011.)

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