green building

A Tinkerer’s Quest for Green Perfection

Posted on March 05,2015 by ScottG in compost

It was Eric Brattstrom's interest in a far-fetched scheme to heat his chicken coop with compost that eventually landed him in the Home & Garden section of the The New York Times, but the story turns out to be a lot more interesting than how to keep chickens warm in winter.

A New Green Building Ordinance in Decatur, Georgia

Posted on March 05,2015 by CarlSeville in ASHRAE 62.2

The city I live in, Decatur, Georgia — a great, if possibly overly gentrified, place to live — recently passed a unified development ordinance (UDO) requiring green building certification for all new buildings and most renovations — both residential and commercial.

A New Green Building Rating System

Posted on March 05,2015 by ScottG in energy code

For builders who find established green-building rating systems too daunting, a startup called ecoSelect is offering a simplified building standard that will be easier and cheaper to follow.

New Books on Green Building

Posted on March 05,2015 by user-756436 in book

If you are a cold-climate architect looking for a reference book that provides guidance on designing energy-efficient superinsulated buildings, I strongly suggest that you buy William Maclay’s The New Net Zero. It’s the best book on the topic by far.

More Builders Going Green

Posted on March 05,2015 by ScottG in green building

Increased buyer interest in green building is helping to make it a more important part of the housing market, according to a new study by McGraw Hill Construction. The percentage of builders of single-family homes who said that more than 90% of their projects are green grew from 12% in a 2011 study to 19% this year, and is projected to rise to 38% by 2018. The percentage of builders who said that less than 16% of their projects were green shrank proportionally, from 63% in 2011 to 38% in the most recent study. That number should fall to 16% by 2018.

A Green Building Conference in Montreal

Posted on March 05,2015 by user-756436 in Conference

Although I live in the middle of nowhere, in the woods of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, my house is only a two-and-a-half-hour drive from the cosmopolitan city of Montreal, Quebec. A few weeks ago I made the drive north to meet a few green builders from Quebec and to attend a green building conference called Ecohabitation 2014. Montreal is a fun city where it's easy to buy a decent baguette. The city also offers the chance to sample delicious food prepared by Quebecois born in Lebanon, Tunisia, Mexico, India, and many other countries.

Green Building is a Growing Business

Posted on March 05,2015 by ScottG in business

A new study from McGraw Hill Construction suggests a number of reasons why builders should get up to speed on green building. First, the green building market is growing. According to a summary of the report, the green share of the single-family residential market has grown from 2% in 2005 to 23% in 2013 and should reach between 26% and 33% of the market by 2016. That would be worth as much as $105 billion.

Green Buildings Aren’t Truly Green Without Location Efficiency

Posted on March 05,2015 by ab3 in green building

I was one of the lucky ones. I spent only two hours in my car when the big snowstorm of 2014 hit Atlanta on Tuesday. We got only about 2 inches of snow in my part of the city, but I made the mistake of going out for lunch at a restaurant right next to Emory University and the CDC compound. It took Jeffrey and me an hour and 45 minutes to drive the 2 miles back to the office. In the first photo below, you can see that the roads themselves were still in good shape at 2 o'clock, at least where we were.

153 Green Building Acronyms and Initials

Posted on March 05,2015 by ab3 in abbreviation

Acronyms and initials (let's call that AI, for short, not to be confused with the other AI, which stands for artificial intelligence, or AIA, which stands for American Institute of Architects) are part of the jargon of every field. Our field, whether you call it building science, green building, home performance, or something else, is no exception.

Dallas Green Building Law Takes Effect

Posted on March 05,2015 by ScottG in building code

Builders in Dallas, Texas, are now required to meet one of several green-building standards for all residential and commercial projects. Under terms of a resolution adopted in 2008, the requirement was completely implemented on Oct. 1, 2013. Builders on residential projects will have to meet the minimum requirements of LEED for Homes, GreenBuilt Texas, or the National Green Building Standard. Water use must be reduced by 20%.

Yes, Green Building Can Be Fun

Posted on March 05,2015 by ScottG in fun designs

Maybe "funky" or "fanciful" aren't the first words that come to mind when you think of green building. In a design world that seems devoted to number crunching and building science minutiae, some architects and designers are finding ways to make their building projects more entertaining. The editors at Inhabitat have published six such houses that may change your mind about green building, including this airplane home in Oregon made from a salvaged Boeing 727.

Steven Winter Associates Wins Green Building Awards

Posted on March 05,2015 by ScottG in award

Steven Winter Associates has been honored by the Connecticut Green Building Council for its contributions to three residential projects in the state, including the second house in the country to win certification under the U.S. Department of Energy's Challenge Home program.

Does a Composting Toilet Stink Up Your House?

Posted on March 05,2015 by ab3 in compost

Ten years ago I was building a green home. It had passive solar features, was built out of structural insulated panels, sent all the greywater out to the back yard to water fruit trees, and was going to be super energy efficient. One feature above all others, though, captured people’s attention when I described the house to them — the composting toilet.

Embarking on the Building Science Learning Curve

Posted on March 05,2015 by ab3 in Building Science

I just returned from Arizona, where I spoke at this year's conference of the Structural Insulated Panel Association. Since the conference was in Tucson, I also took the opportunity to visit with my friend David Butler of Optimal Building Systems.

How to Install a Branched-Drain Graywater System

Posted on March 05,2015 by ab3 in gray water

Back in the summer of 2003, I was finishing up the green home I'd started building in 2001. One of the last pieces we had to complete was the graywater system, and we'd already put a lot of work into it before we ever moved a spadeful of dirt.

Nostalgia for the Hippie Building Heyday

Posted on March 05,2015 by user-756436 in back to the land

A discredited theory of embryonic development held that “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” — in other words, that the the developmental stages of an embryo (its ontogeny) mimic the stages of evolutionary development experienced by the species (its phylogeny). One piece of evidence supporting the theory: in early stages of development, a human embryo has a tail.

Should Flex Duct Be Banned?

Posted on March 05,2015 by ab3 in Bailes

Ah, flex duct. That bane of home performance contractors and green builders everywhere. If you’ve seen only one forced-air duct system that uses flex, you’ve most likely seen a bad installation.

Why Is the U.S. Green Building Council So Out of Touch?

Posted on March 05,2015 by ab3 in all glass

Yesterday I read a short interview with Rick Fedrizzi,* the CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and it got me to thinking about that organization. They're probably the largest, most well known green building organization in the world.

On the Path to More Green Building

Posted on March 05,2015 by CarlSeville in energy code

We are in a very conservative, practically radical, political environment in where taxes, regulation, and almost anything that smells of “government” is beaten back as soon as it comes up. As energy codes become more rigorous, we see efforts to beat them back.

It’s 2012 — Do You Know Where Your LEED for Homes Is?

Posted on March 05,2015 by CarlSeville in certification

LEED for Homes 2012, the new version planned for release at the end of this year, is in the third and final comment period before it is voted on and officially adopted. Comments are open only through March 20, so if you work with this program, it behooves you to check it out and make your comments soon. I spet several hours recently reviewing the current draft and this post will include my opinion on where it is better than the current one and where it could still use some improvement.

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