Deep energy

EcoSeal: A New System for Air Sealing Homes

Posted on March 27,2015 by AlexWilson in air leak

Getting back to our Dummerston, Vermont farmhouse this week, I’m reporting on our use of a relatively new product for air-sealing homes: EcoSeal from Knauf Insulation. First some context: In the building science world, there is growing interest in achieving a robust air barrier at the sheathing layer of a house, with layers inside of that able to dry toward the interior and layers on the outside able to dry to the exterior. To make that work, the sheathing layer has to be tightly air-sealed.

Installing Cork Insulation

Posted on March 27,2015 by AlexWilson in cork

What do you do if you’re a builder and your client (that would be me) hands you a material that no one’s ever heard of, let alone installed in this country, and asks you to insulate his house with it? A lot of smart builders would run the other way. Eli Gould, our partner in the Dummerston, Vermont farmhouse we’re renovating (really re-building), took it on as a challenge.

Cork Insulation on Our Farmhouse

Posted on March 27,2015 by AlexWilson in cork

Among the innovative — some might say weird — products we’re trying out at our Dummerston, Vermont farmhouse, none is more unusual than the expanded cork insulation we’re currently installing as a layer of exterior rigid insulation. As I mentioned in a blog last summer, cork insulation has a great story behind it.

Resilient Design: Dramatically Better Building Envelopes

Posted on March 27,2015 by AlexWilson in design

When most people think about resilience — resilience to storms, for example — they think only about resilience during the event. Equally important, if not more important, I believe, is resilience in the aftermath of that event. Hurricanes, ice storms, blizzards, wildfires, tornadoes, and other natural disasters not only have an immediate impact, for which we may or may not be able to prepare, but they often have a much longer-term impact, usually through extended power outages.

Home Energy Monitoring, Part 1: Knowledge Is Power

Posted on March 27,2015 by ChrisBriley in architect

For this episode, Phil and I are joined by Peter Troast of Energy Circle to discuss home energy monitoring. Most people, I think, live their lives without much thought given to the power they are consuming when they turn on a device. They're more focused on the task at hand.

Get a Green Grip on Stimulus Cash

Posted on March 27,2015 by Fretboard in DOE

What online resources are available to remodelers and builders who want to participate in energy efficiency programs funded by the stimulus package? We identify a few sites that offer program details and contacts. We also highlight some of the challenges facing agencies charged with managing newly expanded budgets.

Minnesota Faces An Acute Shortage of Energy Auditors

Posted on March 27,2015 by user-756436 in blower door

Gearing up to Spend Weatherization Money Will Take Time ST. PAUL, Minn. — With a flood of federal dollars headed their way, Minnesota officials are scrambling to find enough home-energy auditors to ramp up the state’s low-income weatherization program. According to the Pioneer Press, “Right now, there simply aren’t enough qualified personnel to do the job.”

Is Saving Energy Expensive?

Posted on March 27,2015 by Peterbilt in deep energy retrofit

70% energy savings are not only possible, they can be affordable. Why we need, and what we don't know about, deep energy retrofits At the recent Affordable Comfort conference in Portland, Oregon, I was on a really interesting panel with Linda Wigington of Affordable Comfort, Katrin Klingenberg of the Passive House Institute US, and Alistair Jackson of O’Brien and Company (we—and the audience—had superb “adult supervision” from a leading Portland architect, Nathan Good). The question the panel wrestled with was this: Just how low can we get the total household energy use of existing homes when we do whole-house retrofits on different building types in different climates?

A guide for homeowners who want to save energy

Posted on March 27,2015 by user-756436 in Green Building News

It's one of two worthwhile books on the topic

NEWTOWN, CT — Energy expert Bruce Harley has written an excellent new book, Cut Your Energy Bills Now, which provides advice to homeowners interested in lowering their energy bills. Harley is the technical director for residential energy services for the Conservation Services Group headquartered in Westborough, Mass., and he’s an experienced weatherization hand.

Green Basics Double-Stud Walls

Install thermostats with a night setback

Posted on March 27,2015 by Peterbilt in New construction

**A night-setback thermostat saves energy by automatically adjusting indoor temperatures.** Generally easier to use than more fully-programmable thermostats, night-setback thermostats curb energy use by cutting back on heating or cooling while occupants are asleep, or the house is unoccupied. Then they normalize temperatures when the house is occupied. Night-setback thermostats save more on heating than on cooling.

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