home building

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62 Things We Should Ban to Improve Home Building

Let’s clean this mess up once and for all

Posted on Jul 12 2017 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD
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Let's face it. The state of home building isn't good. Yes, we have building science and energy codes and green building programs out the wazoo. We have cool new products and home energy raters and even Joe Lstiburek. Despite all this, we still have wild ductopuses, holey air barriers, and insipid insulation installations.

And I've finally lost my patience. I think the only way to improve the state of home building in America is to ban these things.


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  1. Energy Vanguard

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Questions to Ask Your Prospective Builder

Getting the answers could help you avoid picking the wrong builder

Posted on Apr 26 2017 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD
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You're having your dream house built. You're into the design phase, working with an architect or looking through collections of house plans. You're doing your homework, trying to find out how to ensure you get a top quality house. And that's when you run into all this stuff about building science, high performance homes, HVAC(Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Collectively, the mechanical systems that heat, ventilate, and cool a building. design, blower door testing, and the like. Now you're hooked.


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Image Credits:

  1. Energy Vanguard

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Should Home Builders Pay the Energy Bills?

Rick Chitwood suggests seven measures to transform the HVAC industry, including a requirement that new home builders pay the energy bills for the first three years

Posted on Feb 19 2014 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD

Three questions have been nagging at Rick Chitwood over the past 5 or 6 years. First, why is the HVAC(Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Collectively, the mechanical systems that heat, ventilate, and cool a building. industry in California, where he lives and works, so pathetic?

Second, why have California’s strict energy standards, which have been in effect since 1978, not corrected the problem?

Third, how is it that he, who came to the HVAC business through a nontraditional route, has become a leader in the industry?


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Image Credits:

  1. Energy Vanguard

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If Only Green Homes Could Be Sold Like Breakfast Cereal

Why do consumers care more about the technical specifications of their shredded wheat than their homes?

Posted on Aug 2 2013 by Martin Holladay

Just the other day, I was looking at a box of breakfast cereal. The largest lettering on the box were the three words naming the cereal: Frosted Shredded Wheat. Next in prominence came the tag line: “Contains 6 g. of fiber per serving.”

You’re probably thinking, “so what?” Manufacturers of processed food make claims like this so frequently that we’ve all gotten used to them.


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