exterior walls/roofs

The Energy Star Homes Program Raises the Bar with Version 3

Posted on March 04,2015 by user-756436 in Energy Star home

Beginning on January 1, 2012, homes enrolled in the Energy Star Homes program will need to comply with a new specification — dubbed Energy Star Version 3 — that is stricter than the current Version 2 specification.

Disappointing Energy Savings for Energy Star Homes

Posted on March 04,2015 by user-756436 in energy savings

If you’re interested in residential energy efficiency, you’re probably familiar with the marketing pitch of the EPA’s Energy Star Homes program. Among the program’s claims:

My Forays Into Multifamily Affordable Housing

Posted on March 04,2015 by CarlSeville in New Home

After a decades-long career in high-end, single-family renovation and construction, and a relatively new business providing consulting and certification services for the same market, I recently became involved in several multifamily projects. Starting with National Green Building Standard (NGBS) certification on a market-rate apartment building that was completed in 2010, I am now in the early stages of LEED certification for several affordable projects throughout the southeast.

Where Does the Housewrap Go?

Posted on March 04,2015 by user-756436 in drainage plane

Let’s say you’re building a house with plywood or OSB sheathing. You plan to install 2 or 4 inches of rigid foam on the exterior of the wall sheathing, followed by vertical rainscreen strapping and siding. Where does the housewrap go? Depending on who you talk to, you get two different answers:

  • It goes between the rigid foam and the vertical strapping, or
  • It goes between the sheathing and the rigid foam.

Solar Decathlon 2011: Appalachian State’s Solar Homestead

Posted on March 04,2015 by Fretboard in energy efficient homes

To the extent they try to squeeze a lot of innovation into small packages, all Solar Decathlon entries reflect a pioneering spirit. But Appalachian State University’s entry, the Solar Homestead, also reflects homebuilding strategies that arose from the pioneering spirit of an entirely different era – that of Appalachia’s early settlers, whose houses and outbuildings were designed to help them cope with isolation and wilderness conditions in the mountains of North Carolina.

Deep Energy Retrofit: Apply the Energy Efficiency Pyramid

Posted on March 04,2015 by ChrisBriley in deep energy retrofit

This is the last installment in the Green Architects' Lounge trilogy on deep energy retrofits. In this episode, Phil and I discuss the importance of sizing your new HVAC system to the heat load of your newly renovated house. (This is where that energy audit information, which we mentioned in previous episodes, is going to come in handy.)

Deep Energy Retrofit: Focus on the Envelope

Posted on March 04,2015 by ChrisBriley in Green Architects Lounge

This is part two of the Green Architects' Lounge three-part series on deep energy retrofits. In this episode, Phil and I discuss what we believe is the most crucial part of a DER: the exterior building envelope. There is no single solution. Here, we must be nimble and thoughtful, and deal with the structure that we're given and apply the skills we've learned (and by we, I mean all of you listeners as well).

What Is a Deep Energy Retrofit?

Posted on March 04,2015 by ChrisBriley in Green Architects Lounge

I recently heard that a good blog is like a red party dress: long enough to cover the important parts, but short enough to maintain one's attention. By that measure, the Green Architects' Lounge podcast episodes are like royal wedding gowns with long trains that flow down the aisle. This is great if you like wedding gowns, but ... Because we feel that many short dresses are better than a single long one, we've decided to divide our episodes into smaller, more manageable parts, and release them with greater frequency. (Time to switch metaphors...)

Can Exterior Foam Insulation Cause Mold and Moisture Problems?

Posted on March 04,2015 by ScottG in deep energy retrofit

Many builders add one or more layers of rigid foam insulation to the outside of a house to lower heat losses. Rigid insulation has an R-value of up to 6.5 per inch, but it also can be an effective vapor retarder. Ed Welch touched off an extended discussion in the Green Building Advisor's Q&A section when he asked whether the foam would trap moisture inside walls, creating mold as well as the potential for structural decay.

Green Basics Insulation Overview

New Green Building Products — January 2009

Posted on March 04,2015 by user-756436 in Green Building News

LAS VEGAS, NV — Wandering the trade show floor at the International Builders' Show in Las Vegas today, I stumbled upon several intriguing new products. Here are four of them.

Serious Energy windows

Serious Energy, a window manufacturer that recently acquired Alpen Windows, has made several improvements to Alpen’s line of windows with pultruded fiberglass frames. Windows from Serious Energy (formerly known as Serious Materials) are available with Heat Mirror glazing from Southwall Technologies.

Green Basics Siding Choices
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