Don’t Be an Air Hole! — Part 1

Posted on April 26,2015 by ChrisBriley in airtightness

It's back to the basics with this one, folks. Back in 2013, we were asked to do a presentation at NESEA for the “Fundementals” track — something similar to our “Sprout Follies” podcast. We put together a PowerPoint presentation, and did our best to deal with the fact that our cocktails would be coffee. It was well received, so we thought it would be a good idea to share a condensed version of that presentation as a podcast here at GBA.

New Window Certified by Both Passivhaus Groups

Posted on April 26,2015 by ScottG in Passivhaus windows

A high-performance window from Colorado-based Zola Windows is the first to be certified by both the Passivhaus Institut in Germany and the Passive House Institute U.S., according to Energy Design Update. The Zola No Compromise window is available with both three- and four-pane glazing and R-values up to 15. Fixed windows can be ordered in sizes up to 10 feet high and 8 feet wide; tilt-and-turn windows come in sizes up to 5 feet wide and 9 feet high.

Dealing With Cold Weather in Climate Zone 3

Posted on April 26,2015 by CarlSeville in cold weather

We had some serious cold weather down here in Georgia recently, and although it didn’t come close to Martin Holladay’s recent experiences in Vermont, the low temperatures were a bit of a shock and caused a lot of problems.

State-of-the-Art Windows for A New Home

Posted on April 26,2015 by AlexWilson in Alpen

Having written about windows and emerging window technologies for longer than I care to admit (since before low-e coatings even existed), I must say that it’s incredibly fun to be building a house and having an opportunity to try out some of the leading-edge stuff I’ve been writing about.

FTC Warns Window Makers on Exaggerated Energy Claims

Posted on April 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.

Plans and Pricing for Our House in Maine

Posted on April 26,2015 by user-961160 in blueprint

[Editor's note: Roger and Lynn Normand are building a [no-glossary]Passivhaus[/no-glossary] in Maine. This is the fourth article in a series that will follow their project from planning through construction.] So far, we have been guesstimating how much this project will cost. Yes, we could use estimates based on cost per square foot, but there are are several design factors that influence that equation.

Historic Preservation and Green Renovation

Posted on April 26,2015 by CarlSeville in historic

At a recent round-table meeting on sustainable historic preservation, I was struck by how much alignment there is between preservation and green renovation. Now, green renovation is a wide and diverse field, and some of the deep energy retrofit people probably don’t have the same opinion on sustainable preservation standards as I do, but disagreements just help to keep things interesting and further the conversation.

Window Shades, Blinds, and Awnings

Posted on April 26,2015 by Tristan Roberts in windows

Good ways to modify windows to prevent too much solar gain in the summer.

A few weeks ago I told a story in this space that was third-hand from Gordon Hayward. Well, a lot changed in the telling, and Gordon got back to me with what really happened. Three aunts of a young man from Dorchester, Mass., came up to celebrate his graduation from a Vermont boarding school. They asked Gordon how anyone here ever slept at night: it was so dark and quiet that none of them got a wink. They thought there were at least three bears outside.

Four Affordable Ways to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Old Windows

Posted on April 26,2015 by Peterbilt in windows

There are many reasons to replace windows, but energy efficiency is not the best reason. Replacing the windows in an older house is one of the most expensive energy upgrades you can make. To improve performance of existing windows, consider storm windows, window films, and exterior roller shades before buying replacement windows. But which option is the best bang for the buck?

How Can I Make Old Windows More Energy Efficient?

Posted on April 26,2015 by Daniel Morrison in Q&A

**Q** I want to increase the R-value of the single-pane windows in my 44-year-old house in New Hampshire. I am considering using movable window insulation. Is this insulation good for limiting excess heat gain in summer? The windows also fog up easily. Will inner storm windows prevent the fogging and provide more R-value? Can you suggest other alternatives? -Patrick Clary, Dover, N. H.

GREEN BUILDING TIP: Pick Windows That Don't Waste

Posted on April 26,2015 by Daniel Morrison in green building tip

**True divided-light windows lose more heat.**

Windows That Perform Better Than Walls

Posted on April 26,2015 by user-756436 in glazing

UPDATED on March 18, 2015 The common perception that windows are “energy holes” is a bad rap. Since today’s high-solar-gain triple-glazed windows gather more heat than they lose, good windows perform better than an insulated wall. After all, a wall can only lose energy, while windows can gain energy during the day to balance energy lost at night.

Making the Case for Triple-Glazed Windows

Posted on April 26,2015 by AlexWilson in Duxton

It won’t surprise many of my readers to learn that I’m a fanatic about energy conservation and efficiency. That goes back more than 30 years to the mid-70s. During those years I’ve paid a lot of attention to windows--and seen dramatic improvement in window performance.

High-Tech Windows with Dynamic Glazings

Posted on April 26,2015 by AlexWilson in dynamic window glazing

Last week I wrote about one of the innovative building materials that I saw at this year’s Greenbuild Conference in Phoenix (phase-change drywall). This week, I’ll cover a very different innovation from the conference: dynamic window glazing.

Ten Ways to Improve a New Home

Posted on April 26,2015 by user-756436 in blower door

Buying an inefficient refrigerator is an expensive mistake. But at least the solution is simple: you can always buy a new refrigerator. If you build an inefficient house, however, you may have an unfixable problem on your hands. Some newly built homes are so poorly designed, sited, and built that it would be cheaper to demolish them and start again than to correct all their flaws.

Passivhaus Crosses the Atlantic

Posted on April 26,2015 by user-756436 in passive house

Last weekend I attended the Fourth Annual North American Passive House Conference in Champaign-Urbana, Ill. The conference offered a great opportunity to learn more about the Passivhaus standard and to discuss low-energy buildings with an experienced group of architects, engineers, and builders.

Hot-Climate Design

Posted on April 26,2015 by user-756436 in air conditioning

People who live in Florida or Texas often accuse energy-efficiency experts of having a cold-climate bias. They’re right: most energy-saving tips are written with cold-climate buildings in mind — perhaps understandably, since Americans spend about twice as much for residential heating as they do for cooling. Whatever the origins of this pervasive cold-climate bias, it’s time to rectify the situation with a few hot-climate design tips.

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