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Martin Holladay

Editor Martin Holladay has worked as a roofer, remodeler, builder, and plumbing wholesale counterperson. He built his first passive solar house in northern Vermont in 1974, and has lived off the grid since 1975. In 1980, Holladay bought his first photovoltaic module, which is still producing electricity after all these years.

After the 1988 Armenian earthquake, Holladay spent 18 months in the mountains of northern Armenia, where he helped build medical clinics and housing. In the 1990s, he worked for four years as a project manager for a nonprofit developer of low-income housing.

In 1999, Holladay accepted a position as associate editor at the Journal of Light Construction, and became editor of Energy Design Update in 2002.

Holladay joined the team in November 2008. His Musings of an Energy Nerd blog is among the most popular of GBA blogs.

Recent Articles

  • Article

    Insulating Tight Spaces at the Eaves

    In most of the U.S. — everywhere but Climate Zone 1 — building codes require the installation of ceiling insulation rated at R-38 or R-49. Achieving these R-values with cellulose…

  • Musings of an Energy Nerd

    Is it Time to Move Away From ACH @50 Pascals?

    A residential blower door test result is usually performed at a pressure difference of 50 Pascals, and the results are reported as an airflow rate in cfm. A report might…

  • Musings of an Energy Nerd

    Building with Cob and Straw

    There are two camps in the green building world. One camp — the one focusing on energy efficiency — gets most of the world’s attention. The other camp — natural…

  • Musings of an Energy Nerd

    Vapor Diffusion Ports

    Cathedral ceiling assemblies and unvented conditioned attics often suffer from problems with damp roof sheathing. For years, building scientists have been proposing a variety of solutions to these damp sheathing…

  • Musings of an Energy Nerd

    Insulating Basement Walls With Embedded Joists

    If you visit the basement of an older home, you may notice that the floor joists above your head are embedded in the foundation walls. This is rare in a…

  • Musings of an Energy Nerd

    Insulating Scissors Trusses

    A scissors truss is a roof truss that creates a sloped ceiling instead of a horizontal ceiling. Unlike parallel-chord trusses — a type of truss that creates a sloped ceiling…

  • Musings of an Energy Nerd

    Preventing Lightning Damage

    Recently, lightning struck near the garage and house of good friends of mine, a Vermont couple named Susan and Stan. Lightning destroyed a tree, fried all of the electronics and…

  • Musings of an Energy Nerd

    Solutions to the Attic Duct Problem

    In last week’s blog, I discussed the practice of burying attic ducts in deep insulation. Since burying ducts is simply one of several ways to address the energy waste associated…

  • Musings of an Energy Nerd

    Burying Ducts in Attic Insulation

    You shouldn’t install ducts in a vented unconditioned attic. As most GBA readers know, ducts belong inside a home’s thermal envelope, not in an environment that’s cold in the winter…

  • Musings of an Energy Nerd

    Should I Build a Mechanical Room in My Attic?

    In many southern states, it’s common for an HVAC contractor to install an air handler and ductwork in a vented unconditioned attic. In July, the attic temperature rises to 120°F.…