The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Six Steps to Success With Heat-Recovery Ventilation

Posted on January 29, 2018 by Bruce Sullivan in Guest Blogs

Heat-recovery ventilators (HRVs) and energy-recovery ventilators (ERVs) remove stale air from the home and replace it (in winter) with preheated fresh air from outside. The result is better indoor air quality and lower energy use than in standard homes. The HRV itself is fairly simple: an airtight box with a heat exchange core that transfers heat from the indoor air to outside air (or vice-versa) as the air passes through the box. The box also contains two small fans to move the air. All the points below apply equally to HRVs and their close cousins, energy-recovery ventilators (ERVs).

Brick Chimneys With Multiple Flues

Posted on January 26, 2018 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

One of my first construction jobs in Vermont, back in the late 1970s, was at an architect-designed home with a massive brick chimney with four flues: one flue for the oil-fired boiler, and three flues for the home’s three wood stoves. The chimney worked fine — mostly because the house had so many air leaks that the wood stoves were never starved for combustion air.

Massive chimneys like the one I remember from that job are expensive to build, but they are often a source of pride for the owner. They provide interior thermal massHeavy, high-heat-capacity material that can absorb and store a significant amount of heat; used in passive solar heating to keep the house warm at night. ; they are durable; and they are handsome to behold.

Kingspan Kooltherm Phenolic Foam Rigid Insulation

Posted on January 25, 2018 by Peter Yost in Building Science

Improving the thermal performance of an existing attic is often challenging: workers are faced with narrow cavities, low clearances, and claddingMaterials used on the roof and walls to enclose a house, providing protection against weather. systems that make it hard to achieve desired R-values while still maintaining the necessary drying potential of the assembly.

The house at 81 Chapin Street in Brattleboro, Vermont, is no exception. It’s a 100-year-old wood-framed two-story home that Alex Beck and Candace Pearson are determined to comprehensively retrofit to high performance.

Adjusting Bath Fan Use in Winter

Posted on January 24, 2018 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD in Building Science

You may have heard or read somewhere that you should run your bathroom exhaust fan whenever you take a shower and then let it run for a while after you're done with the shower. Showers increase the humidity in the bathroom. Sometimes it gets high enough to cause condensation to appear on the mirror and other surfaces in the bathroom. And that can result in mold growth.

So you should always run your bath fan when you shower. Or so they say.

Urban Rustic: Prepping for a Basement Slab

Posted on January 23, 2018 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 One-Room Insulation Challenge

Posted on January 22, 2018 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

The one-room addition on Emerson W's home is not what anyone would realistically consider over-insulated: R-11 batts in the walls and R-19 at most in the ceiling. But the immediate issue is the floor. There's no insulation at all there, and because the addition sits on concrete piers, there's nothing to stop the wind from blowing freely below.

All About Air Purifiers

Posted on January 19, 2018 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

If you’re concerned about indoor air quality, you may have noticed ads for a type of appliance called a portable air purifier. Purchasers hope that these boxes will suck in dirty air and discharge clean air, but few homeowners know how these appliances operate.

In this article, I’ll try to answer a few basic questions about portable air purifiers:

  • How many kinds of portable air purifiers are on the market?
  • Do they work?
  • Who needs one?

California Gets New Light Bulb Efficiency Standard

Posted on January 18, 2018 by Noah Horowitz in Guest Blogs

One of the least energy-efficient products in modern history, the incandescent light bulb — a type of bulb that dates back to the days of Thomas Edison — is being permanently retired in California as of January 1, 2018, and in 2020 for the rest of the nation. California is demonstrating its environmental leadership once again by being the first state in the nation to move forward with improved energy efficiency standards for the everyday screw-based light bulb.

Rebuilding America and the ‘New Normal’ of Resilience

Posted on January 17, 2018 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs

By RADHIKA LALIT and KELLY VAUGHN

This year’s hurricane season is the most expensive on record, with $202.6 billion in damages according to Bloomberg. These storms across the Atlantic had devastating impacts on people’s lives and homes, on communities, and on infrastructure in the hardest-hit areas.

No, Wind Development Is Not a National Security Threat

Posted on January 16, 2018 by Christian Haig in Guest Blogs

Note: This is fourth and last in a series of blogs highlighting recent progress in onshore and offshore wind energy and examining some of the opportunities, challenges and threats the industry faces. The series was originally published by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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