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Ventilation Failures and Vocabulary Lessons

A report from the recent EEBA conference in Texas

Posted on Oct 21 2016 by Martin Holladay

During the last week of September, I attended the annual conference sponsored by the Energy and Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA). This year’s conference was held in Frisco, Texas.

EEBA was founded in Minnesota in 1982; the original name of the organization was the Energy Efficient Building Association. Thirty-four years later, EEBA is still going strong.

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Image Credits:

  1. All photos: Randy Martin

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Naming Building Parts is Tricky

A guide for homeowners who sometimes forget the names of building components

Posted on Oct 2 2015 by Martin Holladay

This blog is directed to homeowners. If you are a builder or an architect, you should probably click on a different GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com article.

Homeowners who send questions to GBA sometimes don't know what to call the parts of their building. (If it's a diffuserIn a forced-air heating/cooling system, the diffuser is a register or grille attached to ducting through which heated or air conditioned air is delivered to the living space. In a tubular skylight or an electric light fixture, the diffuser is a cover plate through which scattered light is delivered., grille, register, or duct termination, there's a fair chance that someone will decide to just call it a "vent.") I've rounded up some of the most confusing terms used by builders and architects and clarified their definitions.

Since a drawing can be a handy way to clarify a definition, I made some quick sketches to illustrate my points.

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‘Building Enclosure,’ Not ‘Building Envelope’

Language matters, and I’ve decided to join the enclosure crowd

Posted on Nov 21 2012 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD

When I wrote about the debate over the terms “building envelope” vs. “building enclosure” recently, I favored the former but overall felt agnostic on whether we should choose one over the other. I didn't think I'd change my mind.

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Green Building Vocabulary Disputes

Watch out — sloppy terminology may earn you a scolding from the word police

Posted on Jul 23 2010 by Martin Holladay

As any builder knows, construction terms vary from job site to job site; one carpenter’s furring strip is another carpenter’s strapping. Like carpenters, building scientists are inconsistent when it comes to technical terms — in part because building science is a relatively young field.

In new fields of learning (including building science), vocabulary generally wanders at first, and eventually converges once consensus is reached. Reaching agreement on technical terms is useful. It helps achieve a desirable goal: efficient communication.

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