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A U.S.-Made Door for Passivhaus Buildings

Posted on March 26,2015 by Fretboard in door

Builder Hammer & Hand, based in Portland, Oregon, has developed a design and production strategy for exterior doors that conform to the Passivhaus performance standard.

Testing the Effect of Plastic Pipes on Potable Water

Posted on March 26,2015 by Fretboard in cross-linked polyethylene

Plastic building products are no strangers to controversy. But at least one of the concerns dogging the use of plastic pipes in green buildings is now being addressed by scientific research.

FTC Warns Window Makers on Exaggerated Energy Claims

Posted on March 26,2015 by Fretboard in energy efficiency

Early this year, five window makers agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that the firms had made deceptive claims about the energy efficiency and energy cost savings that their windows could deliver. But that was just one step in the agency’s quest to address deceptive marketing in this building-component category.

DOE Announces Winners of its ‘Apps for Energy’ Competition

Posted on March 26,2015 by Fretboard in Apps for Energy

Application developers are busy people. There are now hundreds of thousands of apps available for PCs and mobile devices, whether they’re running an Apple operating system, Google’s Android, HTML 5, or a mobile or PC version of the Microsoft platform. But just knowing there’s an app for every issue and craving doesn’t mean you’ll find it in the vast inventory of the app store.

Consumers Associate Green Building With High Quality

Posted on March 26,2015 by Fretboard in appraisals

American consumers are increasingly aware of green construction programs. This increasing awareness is being driven by rising energy costs as well as marketing by builders and building material manufacturers. Moreover, consumers perceive green buildings to be of higher quality than buildings that barely meet code.

Large-Scale Solar at Fort Bliss in Texas

Posted on March 26,2015 by Fretboard in Breakthrough Institute

Fort Bliss – whose 1.2 million acres stretch from West Texas, near El Paso, into New Mexico – is the U.S. Army’s largest post by land area, and it faces a commensurately large conservation challenge: severe reductions in the base’s energy and water use, and a 90% reduction in trash headed for landfill.

ICC Releases 2012 International Green Construction Code

Posted on March 26,2015 by Fretboard in building code

On March 28, the International Code Council released the 2012 International Green Construction Code (IgCC), aimed at helping state and local governments provide direction and oversight of green design and construction. The ICC notes that the 2012 IgCC is written to offer flexibility to jurisdictions that adopt the code by establishing several levels of compliance, starting with the core provisions of the code, and then offering requirement options that can be customized to fit the needs of a local community.

FTC Rattles Windows Over Energy Savings Claims

Posted on March 26,2015 by Fretboard in energy savings

Because they can be expensive but also critical to the comfort and performance of a house, windows tend to be selected and installed carefully, particularly in custom projects aimed at a high level of energy efficiency.

USGBC and Home Depot Launch Green Products Site

Posted on March 26,2015 by Fretboard in Home Depot

The U.S. Green Building Council and Home Depot have collaborated on a microsite on the retailer’s website that allows homeowners and homebuilders to search the store’s database for green products, many of which can contribute points or help meet prerequisites for LEED for Homes projects.

Possible Relaxation of Passivhaus Standard Stirs Debate

Posted on March 26,2015 by Fretboard in Katrin Klingenberg

It seems fair to say the Passivhaus standard will be a source of debate for the foreseeable future.

Early Lessons from the Living Building Challenge

Posted on March 26,2015 by Fretboard in Amanda Sturgeon

If you ask the folks at the green-building certification program Living Building Challenge, there’s really nothing like occupying a building for a year and monitoring its performance if you want to learn how it operates and what might be improved.

Green Building’s Growing Market Power

Posted on March 26,2015 by Fretboard in energy efficiency research

The unveiling last week of McGraw-Hill Construction’s Green Home Builders and Remodelers Study, at the National Association of Home Builders’ International Builders’ Show, in Orlando, Florida, affirmed — and put into sharper focus — previous observations (many of them anecdotal) about green building and its advances in the homebuilding and remodeling markets.

Hanley Award Goes to Energy Star’s Sam Rashkin

Posted on March 26,2015 by Fretboard in architect

Architect and urban planner Sam Rashkin made the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star for Homes program, which he has managed since its launch in 1995, one of the most widely cited standards in the residential construction industry.

Utility Buys Champion Decathlon House

Posted on March 26,2015 by Fretboard in energy efficient homes

Last summer, as the 2011 Solar Decathlon team representing University of Maryland toiled away at its contest entry, a 920-sq.-ft. one-bedroom consisting of two “shed” modules arranged in a staggered, split-butterfly configuration, the hope was that the building would eventually be sold to a couple whose annual income was in the $75,000-to-$115,000 range.

The Strange Geography of Thermostat Settings

Posted on March 26,2015 by Fretboard in energy efficiency

When it comes to creating wintertime comfort with a thermostat, the calculations would seem to be pretty straightforward: factor in the building occupants’ notion of comfort and what they’re willing to pay to heat the building interior to satisfy those notions, then set the thermostat accordingly and be done with it.

Encouraging Progress on Carbon Reduction

Posted on March 26,2015 by Fretboard in 2030 Challenge

Back in May 2007, major building-design industry groups agreed to a benchmark against which they could measure progress toward their goal of increasing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions in residential and commercial buildings.

The Smart Meter’s Contentious Opponents

Posted on March 26,2015 by Fretboard in Department of Energy

One of the more spirited consumer movements in the energy-management realm has been the stop-smart-meters trend. In fact, there is a nonprofit group called Stop Smart Meters! Based in California, Stop Smart Meters! is one of more than 50 groups and individuals nationwide advocating against utility-installed, wirelessly connected “smart meters.” These citizens have been tirelessly calling into question the accuracy and safety of the devices, and have voiced concerns about their vulnerability to security breaches.

PHIUS Measures Its Approach to Spray Foam

Posted on March 26,2015 by Fretboard in blowing agent

On December 12, GBA posted an item about a Passive House Institute U.S. proposal to disallow use of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation using hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) blowing agents with a high global warming potential. PHIUS also was considering extending the stricture to other petroleum-based insulation materials whose embodied energy is linked to greenhouse gas emissions.

The PV/Solar-Thermal Switch-up

Posted on March 26,2015 by Fretboard in California

A recent story about market forces at work in the solar-power world underscored the notion that large-scale photovoltaic systems, at least in regions where sun exposure favors their use, are dominating the renewable-energy landscape.

Weatherization’s Home-Stretch Recovery

Posted on March 26,2015 by Fretboard in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

The Weatherization Assistance Program – which emerged as a major administrative challenge and political target after its budget vastly expanded under the federal stimulus bill – turns out to be meeting expectations.

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