The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

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.

Will Tidal and Wave Energy Live Up to Their Potential?

Posted on November 5, 2015 by Sophia V. Schweitzer in Guest Blogs

Editor's note: This blog was originally posted at Yale Environment 360.

Boilers Don’t Boil

Posted on November 4, 2015 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD, GBA Advisor in Building Science

Boilers for heating homes are common in some areas. Not here in Georgia, where I live, but my friends in the colder climates have them.

This type of heating equipment takes a fuel like natural gas or fuel oil, burns it to create heat, and then puts that heat into water circulating through the distribution system. Since it's called a boiler, naturally it must be heating the incoming water up to the boiling point and creating steam. Right?

Building an Airtight Envelope

Posted on November 3, 2015 by Michael Trolle in Guest Blogs

Editor's note: This is the third 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.”

Are We Recycling Too Much of Our Trash?

Posted on November 2, 2015 by Thomas Kinnaman in Guest Blogs

A recent credible study suggests the amount of waste Americans dispose in landfills each year is over twice what the EPA had been estimating.

Although this news may not surprise the country’s disposal facilities (who already knew the quantity of waste they take in), the study may strike an old nerve for many Americans – that our society generates too much garbage. The answer, we have been repeatedly told, is to recycle our waste. In fact, plans for zero waste or 100% recycling have been hatched in places including Berkeley, California, and Indianapolis, Indiana.

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