Making Green Affordable, Part 2

Posted on April 18,2015 by ChrisBriley in affordability

Part Two of this episode brings us to construction details for high-performance affordable homes. Again, I feel the need to point out that we are not talking about low-income housing or housing that makes a difference between shelter and non-shelter. I'm talking about high-performance homes that will compete, on a financial level, with those cheap vinyl boxes that litter suburbia and urban areas alike. Phil and I have refreshed our drinks and are ready to talk about building envelope construction from the bottom up. Let's get started.

Intus Introduces a Wood-Framed Window

Posted on April 18,2015 by ScottG in Intus

Intus has introduced a new triple-glazed window, the Premier 78 Alu Mira Advanced, which combines a pine frame, high-density foam, and exterior aluminum cladding. Intus says the windows, which are manufactured in Lithuania with lumber from Germany and Austria, are suitable for Passivhaus construction. The argon-filled glazing has a U-value of 0.088, and when combined with the frame has a U-value of 0.14, the equivalent of about R-7.

Study Shows That Expensive Windows Yield Meager Energy Returns

Posted on April 18,2015 by user-756436 in net zero

An architectural cliché from the 1970s — the passive solar home with large expanses of south-facing glass — is making a comeback. In recent years, we’ve seen North American designers of Passivhaus buildings increase the area of south-facing glass to levels rarely seen since the Carter administration. What’s the explanation for all this south-facing glass? We’re told that there’s no other way for designers to meet the energy limit for space heating required by the Passivhaus standard: namely, a maximum of 15 kWh per square meter per year.

Looking Through Windows — Part 3

Posted on April 18,2015 by user-961160 in Passivhaus

[Editor's note: Roger and Lynn Normand are building a [no-glossary]Passivhaus[/no-glossary] in Maine. This is the seventh article in a series that will follow their project from planning through construction.] Woe are we with windows! We started seriously exploring window options in June. Two months later, we are STILL hung-up on windows. Most people who build new homes go look at window samples in few building supply stores, check the features, open and close the display units, get a price, and quickly decide, “Let’s go with this one.”

Cool Window and Glazing Products from the AIA Convention

Posted on April 18,2015 by AlexWilson in BIPV

I just spent three days at the American Institute of Architects annual convention in Washington, DC, including a fair amount of time at the massive trade show there. I didn’t make it all the way through the acres of exhibits over the eight hours or so I walked the floor, but I saw some really interesting products. I’m highlighting here a few of the windows and glazing-related products I found.

Window Performance 4 — Dealing with Edge Losses

Posted on April 18,2015 by AlexWilson in double glazing

Over the last three weeks I've focused on the major strategies for improving the energy performance of windows: adding extra layers of glass, increasing the thickness of the airspace between the layers of glass, adding low-emissivity coatings, and replacing air with a low-conductivity gas fill. These strategies all help to reduce heat flow through an insulating glass unit (IGU), and if we do a really good job with these strategies we can achieve center-of-glass R-values of R-5 or higher.

New Green Building Products — September 2011

Posted on April 18,2015 by user-756436 in door

About every six months, I report on new products that catch my eye. This round-up features products from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean: high-performance windows from Maine, Ontario, and Lithuania; high-performance doors from Poland; and high-performance tapes from Switzerland.

More Job Site Visits in Maine

Posted on April 18,2015 by user-756436 in co-housing

On my second day in Maine, I toured seven energy-efficient buildings in various stages of construction. In last week’s blog, I reported on my visit to Richard Renner’s office and Jesse Thompson’s house. This blog picks up the story with a report on my visit to three sites: an ongoing deep-energy retrofit project, a new home in Falmouth, and an unusual co-housing project. If you're the type of reader who prefers pictures to words, you're in luck: this week's blog is loaded with photos.

Folding Glass for Passivhaus Projects

Posted on April 18,2015 by Fretboard in passive house

NanaWall Systems is a veteran in the folding-glass-wall business. Launched in 1986, the company significantly expanded its lineup after 1996, when it forged a partnership with Solarlux Technologies, based in Bissendorf, Germany.

Visiting Passivhaus Job Sites in Washington State

Posted on April 18,2015 by user-756436 in airtight

On March 16, 2011, I flew to Seattle for a three-day visit to Washington state. Although the main purpose of my visit was to attend the spring conference of Passive House Northwest, I devoted a day and a half to visiting Passivhaus buildings and construction sites in Seattle and Olympia. With the help of my gracious hosts, Dan Whitmore and Albert Rooks, I was able to see four Passivhaus sites and a large workshop where Passivhaus wall panels were being assembled indoors.

Are High-Performance Windows Worth Their High Cost?

Posted on April 18,2015 by ScottG in glazing

Randy George is in the final planning stages for a new house he will be building this summer in Vermont, and from the sound of it he won't have much trouble staying warm through those long winters. In addition to R-45 walls, an R-65 roof and R-20 slab, the house will have air infiltration rates lower than one air change per hour at 50 pascals of depressurization. Although not quite meeting the Passivhaus standard, that's extremely tight construction.

In Search of the Most Energy-Efficient Windows

Posted on April 18,2015 by ScottG in fiberglass window

It seems like a very long time ago, doesn't it, that windows were considered simple building components? As long as they opened and closed and let in sunlight most of us were content. We know now that windows are anything but simple. They're an essential part of an energy efficient building envelope; they must simultaneously admit sunlight (and a certain amount of solar energy — but not too much), minimize heat loss or gain, prevent drafts, and last a generation or two.

DOE Kicks Off R-5, Low-E Window Program

Posted on April 18,2015 by Fretboard in DOE

Earlier this year, the Department of Energy, through its Builder Technology Program, put out request-for-proposals to manufacturers and vendors interested in selling triple-glazed and low-e windows at volume and at affordable prices. The ultimate aim was to help builders and other industry professionals overcome the principal barrier to their use of R-5 and low-e windows – cost.

7 Steps to an Energy-Efficient House: 4. Windows

Posted on April 18,2015 by Betsy Pettit in deep energy retrofit

Editor's introduction: With energy prices rising again, many homeowners are planning energy-efficiency improvements to their homes. But most people are unsure of where to begin, and even seasoned builders don’t always know which priorities should rise to the top of the list. Betsy Pettit, an architect at [Building Science Corporation](, recommends starting where you can get the most bang for the buck.

Register for a free account and join the conversation

Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!

Syndicate content