The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

Creating M-Line Homes

Posted on October 3, 2016 by john abrams in Guest Blogs

In 1980 a woman named Madeline Blakeley asked me to look at a piece of land with her. She was a librarian in her early sixties whose husband had recently died. They had no children and had always lived in rented apartments. Her dream was to own a piece of property.

Zehnder Develops a Ductless ERV

Posted on September 30, 2016 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Anyone who lives in a tight house needs a ventilation system. Unfortunately, most ventilation systems are expensive. If you decide to install a high-quality heat-recovery ventilator (HRV(HRV). Balanced ventilation system in which most of the heat from outgoing exhaust air is transferred to incoming fresh air via an air-to-air heat exchanger; a similar device, an energy-recovery ventilator, also transfers water vapor. HRVs recover 50% to 80% of the heat in exhausted air. In hot climates, the function is reversed so that the cooler inside air reduces the temperature of the incoming hot air. ) or energy-recovery ventilator (ERV(ERV). The part of a balanced ventilation system that captures water vapor and heat from one airstream to condition another. In cold climates, water vapor captured from the outgoing airstream by ERVs can humidify incoming air. In hot-humid climates, ERVs can help maintain (but not reduce) the interior relative humidity as outside air is conditioned by the ERV.) with dedicated ductwork, your ventilation system might cost you between $6,000 and $8,000.

Off-Grid in Canada: An Energy Model of the House

Posted on September 29, 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.

Installing an Exhaust Fan During a Bathroom Remodel

Posted on September 28, 2016 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD, GBA Advisor in Building Science

Remember my bathroom remodeling project? I took the liberty of gutting our outdated, decaying bathroom while my wife was out of town in April. I found some interesting air leakage pathways when I opened the walls. I fixed that. I found termite damage. I fixed that.

Our 1970 condo didn't have an exhaust fan in this bathroom because, hey, who needs a bath fan when you have a window? I fixed that. Here's how.

Toxic Dust: The Dangerous Brew in Every Home

Posted on September 27, 2016 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs

By VEENA SINGLA

As I was frantically cleaning my apartment last month in preparation for a visit from my parents, I paused for a moment to stare at the dark smudge on the damp cloth I was dusting with. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that little dust smudge contains a whole universe of toxic chemicals — chemicals that pollute the globe and build up in wildlife and humans, that can cause cancer, or are linked to birth defects in babies.

Heading Off Ice Dams

Posted on September 26, 2016 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

With the onset of another winter just a few months away, Jake Rabe is looking for suggestions on how to prevent the recurrence of ice dams on his older Ontario home.

"Each winter I have to deal with ice damming along two sides of the roof — nowhere else," he writes in a Q&A post at Green Building Advisor. "The areas in question are a low-slope roof (3/12 pitch, east and west side of the ridge) and a cathedral style roof (8/12 pitch)... My goal is to stop the ice damming."

Adopting a Green Lifestyle

Posted on September 23, 2016 by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor in Musings of an Energy Nerd

I’ve always struggled with the word “green.” I’m not quite sure what “green building” means, but most definitions include the idea of environmental responsibility.

To get a better handle on environmental responsibility, it might be useful to create a list of green values or aims. Here’s my stab at creating such a list.

Green values include:

  • Avoiding actions that injure biodiversity.
  • Avoiding actions that destroy important habitat, especially habit for threatened species.
  • Avoiding actions that increase the likelihood of species extinction.

Is ‘Range Anxiety’ Really Justified?

Posted on September 22, 2016 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs

By JESSIKA TRANCIK

Electrifying transportation is one of the most promising ways to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, but so-called range anxiety — concern about being stranded with an uncharged car battery — remains a barrier to electric vehicle adoption. Is range anxiety justified given current cars and charging infrastructure?

It’s a question my research group and I addressed in a paper published in Nature Energy, by taking a close look at this problem with a new model.

How Dirty Is Your Electricity?

Posted on September 21, 2016 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD, GBA Advisor in Building Science

Lately I've been working on my presentation for the 10th anniversary of the North American Passive House Conference. It's on the global warming impact of insulation, a followup to my latest article about Alex Wilson's work on that subject.

Flood, Rebuild, Repeat: The Need for Flood Insurance Reform

Posted on September 20, 2016 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs

By LUCAS EASTMAN

Can you imagine living in a property that has flooded 10 times? How about 20 times? It’s hard to fathom enduring that kind of situation, yet owners of 2,109 properties across the United States experience just that. Not only has each of these properties flooded more than 10 times, but the National Flood Insurance Program has paid to rebuild them after each flood. One home in Batchelor, Louisiana, flooded 40 times and received a total of $428,379 in flood insurance payments.

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