NGBS

A New Green Building Ordinance in Decatur, Georgia

Posted on March 29,2015 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.

Seeking the Elusive Grade 1 Batt Installation

Posted on March 29,2015 by CarlSeville in air sealing

Having spent much of my time writing for GBA whining and complaining about the state of the insulation industry, it is now time for me to eat a little crow. The insulation work at one of our multifamily certification projects has, amazingly, met – and even possibly exceeded – my expectations for quality.

Multifamily Green Building Certification Still Has Issues

Posted on March 29,2015 by CarlSeville in air sealing

Much of my work these days involves certification of multifamily buildings, and, thanks to a boom in apartment construction, my partner and myself are staying occupied. The one major contrast from single-family residential work, with which I am most familiar from my days as a contractor, is the long lead time. I still find it amusing that I sign a contract, have an initial start-up meeting with the developer and contractor, and often don’t see the project for another year or more, when the builder is ready for our insulation and air-sealing inspections.

Can’t Anyone Get Things Right?

Posted on March 29,2015 by CarlSeville in duct

In my business of certifying buildings, most of my work involves working with architects, contractors, and trade contractors who are trying to create green buildings. Unfortunately, they frequently miss the mark in some key areas. Many of them are well intended but don’t have a broad enough view of their projects. Others only do the minimum required to meet a green building standard forced on them by someone else. And a few, thankfully, seem to get it and work hard to do the right things. This post, the first in a series about problems I run across, will focus on HVAC.

Batt Insulation is Still Making Me Batty

Posted on March 29,2015 by CarlSeville in Air Barriers

I recently performed the pre-drywall inspection on a small home seeking LEED certification. The local building inspector had visited and approved the batts for covering up.

The ICC 700 Green Standard’s Energy Requirements Ramp Up

Posted on March 29,2015 by Fretboard in American National Standards Institute

After navigating the educational offerings, the product rollouts, and the more celebratory rituals that accompany the International Builders’ Show, which for three days in January took over the Las Vegas Convention Center, it may have been hard to stay focused, or even awake, once it was all over.

LEED for Homes Online Scoring Tool Needs a Lot More Work

Posted on March 29,2015 by CarlSeville in LEED for Homes

The USGBC just released its online scoring tool for LEED for Homes, a much-anticipated advance in the program. After months of announcements and requests for people to sign up, the tool was finally available to the public on February 28th. I took some time to run through it, and I can report there are things to like about it, but it needs a lot more work to be truly useful.

Green Building Programs: Time for a Do-Over?

Posted on March 29,2015 by CarlSeville in BPI

I’ve been involved with green building certification programs for about 10 years now, starting with my work with Southface and the Greater Atlanta Homebuilders Association in developing the EarthCraft Renovation program.

Can Swimming Pools Be Green?

Posted on March 29,2015 by user-756436 in energy efficiency

Question: What do the following homes have in common?

  • An 11,000-square-foot home in St. Charles, Ill., touted as “one of the greenest homes in the Chicago area.”
  • A 5,100-square-foot home at Live Oaks Estates in San Rafael, Calif., marketed as green by an Eco-Broker.
  • A 6,100-square-foot home in West Vancouver, British Columbia, aiming for LEED for Homes Gold certification.
  • A 3,000-square-foot home on Block Island, R.I., aiming for LEED for Homes Silver certification.

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