Understanding and Measuring Mean Radiant Temperature

11 hours 48 min ago
Subtitle:  Mean radiant temperature, a major component of thermal comfort, is easy to measure Images: 

All the way back in 1993, one of my first research projects at the NAHBNational Association of Home Builders, which awards a Model Green Home Certification. Research Center was assessing the performance of radiant ceiling panels for the Department of Energy’s Advanced Housing Technology Program. (The final report was titled “An Evaluation of Thermal Comfort and Energy Consumption for the Enerjoy Radiant Panel Heating System.”)

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Categories: Green Homes

Bill Would Roll Back New Solar Tariffs

13 hours 25 min ago
Subtitle:  Nevada representative introduces the Protecting American Solar Jobs Act Images: 

A proposed federal law, HR 5571, would reverse the 30% tariff on imported solar panels ordered by President Donald Trump in January. The bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on April 19 by Representative Jacky Rosen, a Democrat from Nevada, and four co-sponsors.

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Categories: Green Homes

Sweaty Southern Slabs

Wed, 2018-04-25 05:01
Prime:  prime Subtitle:  Here’s why wet concrete and stone in winter are common along the coast Images: 

If you live anywhere in a warm, humid coastal area, you're no doubt familiar with wet concrete in winter. Some days you walk outside and find the carport slab is soaking wet. How did it happen? Did rain blow into the carport? If it's not rain, is it moisture from the ground that came up through the concrete? Could it be condensation from the water vapor in the air? Let's take a look.

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Categories: Green Homes

New Idaho Law Discourages Energy Code Updates

Wed, 2018-04-25 04:33
Subtitle:  The measure prohibits local jurisdictions from requiring tougher energy codes than those adopted statewide Images: 

What happens when a community decides that the statewide building code doesn't go far enough and adopts a newer version of a model code with tougher rules on energy conservation?

In Idaho, one of those communities was Boise, the state capital and Idaho's largest city.

A new Idaho law will prohibit towns and cities from preempting the state's energy code with more stringent requirements in the future.

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Categories: Green Homes

What Will We Do With All Those Solar Panels When Their Useful Life Is Over?

Tue, 2018-04-24 04:40
Subtitle:  As solar power booms, businesses are exploring ways to ensure valuable components don’t end up in landfills Images: 

This post originally appeared at Ensia.

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Categories: Green Homes

Beautiful Simplicity

Mon, 2018-04-23 04:43
Subtitle:  Envisioning a straightforward path to green building Images: 

Back in 2010, I presented a case for simplifying green building certification. I was frustrated with the complexity of every green building program I was working in and felt there had to be a better path for builders and consultants to create and verify high-performance buildings.

Little did I know that eight years later I would be involved in several projects seeking similar simplification.

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Categories: Green Homes

Henri Fennell’s Advice on Cathedral Ceilings

Fri, 2018-04-20 06:48
Prime:  prime Subtitle:  It’s all about the air barrier Images: 

I first interviewed Henri Fennell, the celebrated spray foam consultant from North Thetford, Vermont, about twenty years ago. Back then, Joe Lstiburek, the founding principal at Building Science Corporation, called Henri “the foam god.” While Fennell’s former company, Foam-Tech, closed up shop years ago, Fennell hasn’t retired. He now works as a consultant, specializing in problems related to spray foam insulation or air leakage.

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Categories: Green Homes

Efficiency Advocates to Study Energy Audits

Fri, 2018-04-20 05:00
Subtitle:  If you've had an energy audit at your house, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy would like to hear from you Images: 

Residential energy audits are supposed to give homeowners a clear idea of how they can reduce energy use and save money, but a lack of guidelines and standards for auditors means their reports may instead be unpersuasive or difficult for homeowners to understand.

That, at least, is the theory behind a new research effort ledLight-emitting diode. Illumination technology that produces light by running electrical current through a semiconductor diode. LED lamps are much longer lasting and much more energy efficient than incandescent lamps; unlike fluorescent lamps, LED lamps do not contain mercury and can be readily dimmed. by Dr. Reuven Sussman, a psychologist at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, and it's the reason Sussman is gathering energy audit reports from anyone who would care to send him one.

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Categories: Green Homes

The Surprising Way Fumes From Farms Are Harming Our Health

Thu, 2018-04-19 06:02
Subtitle:  Ammonia from farm animal waste and fertilizers plays a little-known role in producing health-harming air pollution Images: 

This post originally appeared at Ensia.

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Categories: Green Homes

A Follow-up From Northern Minnesota

Wed, 2018-04-18 06:10
Subtitle:  An architect reports on his first year in a low-energy house Images: 

Editor's note: Architect Elden Lindamood wrote about the construction of his house in northern Minnesota in a series of blogs at GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com in 2016. The first of them was called A Low-Energy House for Northern Minnesota. Here's his report on the first year of occupancy.

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Categories: Green Homes

Set-Top Box Energy Use to Shrink Another 20%

Tue, 2018-04-17 07:00
Subtitle:  Progress results from a collaboration between pay-TV services and environmental groups Images: 

The amount of energy consumed by the set-top boxes used to access pay TV in our homes is due to go down another 20% due to new commitments made by leading service providers such as Comcast, AT&T, and Dish Network.

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Categories: Green Homes

California Lenders Sued Over PACE Financing

Tue, 2018-04-17 03:21
Subtitle:  Attorneys claim that contractors pushed loans on homeowners who can't afford the payments Images: 

Los Angeles County and two private lending partners have been sued by attorneys representing homeowners who say they were talked into taking out loans for energy upgrades but can't afford them and now risk losing their homes to foreclosure.

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Categories: Green Homes

Backing Up a Minisplit Heating System

Mon, 2018-04-16 06:10
Subtitle:  A homeowner considers ceiling resistance heaters to supplement his minisplits Images: 

Low temperatures where David Gadbois lives aren't Siberian, but he's still interested in supplementing his ductless minisplit heating system with electric resistance heaters, something to provide a boost on just the coldest days of the year.

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Categories: Green Homes

Exterior Insulation for an Ugly Brick Building

Fri, 2018-04-13 05:09
Prime:  prime Subtitle:  The best way to insulate an old brick building is with a continuous exterior layer of rigid foam Images: 

How do you insulate an old building with exterior walls made of structural brick? The best approach, according to building science professor John Straube, is to install a continuous layer of exterior insulation. Straube told me, “It’s a great solution for ugly buildings.”

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Categories: Green Homes

Lighting Loophole Cuts Into Energy Savings

Thu, 2018-04-12 08:59
Subtitle:  T12 fluorescent tubes should be mostly gone by now, but there are still plenty of them on store shelves Images: 

The most inefficient type of fluorescent tube should have been pushed out of the market by a 2012 Department of Energy lighting standard, but a loophole has allowed millions of them to stay on store shelves and in American homes and businesses, the Appliance Standards Awareness Project says.

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Categories: Green Homes

Saving Sustainably: An Introduction

Thu, 2018-04-12 05:18
Subtitle:  How to design and build your own net-zero home when you don't have much construction experience Images: 

Editor's note: This is the first in a series of blogs detailing the construction of a net-zero energyProducing as much energy on an annual basis as one consumes on site, usually with renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics or small-scale wind turbines. house in Point Roberts, Washington, by an owner/builder with relatively little building experience. You'll find Matt Bath's full blog, Saving Sustainably, here. If you want to follow project costs, you can keep an eye on a budget worksheet here.

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Categories: Green Homes

HVAC Design Requirements in the International Building Codes

Wed, 2018-04-11 05:36
Prime:  prime Subtitle:  A look at what the codes actually require for load calculations and duct design Images: 

Building codes, especially those related to energy efficiency, have improved a lot over the years. With building enclosures, this has made a big difference. We now have more insulation, less thermal bridgingHeat flow that occurs across more conductive components in an otherwise well-insulated material, resulting in disproportionately significant heat loss. For example, steel studs in an insulated wall dramatically reduce the overall energy performance of the wall, because of thermal bridging through the steel. , and tested air barriers. On the mechanical side, the improvements are significant — reduced duct leakage and mechanical ventilation in airtight homes — but there's still a gap between some code requirements and what's being installed.

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Categories: Green Homes

Urban Heat: Can White Roofs Help Cool World’s Warming Cities?

Tue, 2018-04-10 05:07
Subtitle:  New research indicates that making surfaces more light-reflecting can have a significant impact on lowering extreme temperatures in rural areas as well as cities Images: 

This post originally appeared at Yale Environment 360.

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Categories: Green Homes

Researchers Claim to Develop a Concrete Alternative

Mon, 2018-04-09 14:22
Subtitle:  The composite contains desert sand, an abundant material that can't be used in conventional concrete Images: 

Researchers in the U.K. claim to have found a way to use desert sand in a composite construction material that's just as strong as concrete but has only half of its carbon footprintAmount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that a person, community, industry, or other entity contributes to the atmosphere through energy use, transportation, and other means. .

Four post-graduate students from Imperial College London developed a material they're calling Finite that could help address a global shortage of construction-grade sand used as fine aggregate in concrete, the publication Dezeen reported.

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Categories: Green Homes

What Makes a City Green?

Mon, 2018-04-09 05:20
Subtitle:  Sustainable cities need more than parks, cafés, and a riverwalk Images: 

By TRINA HAMILTON and WINIFRED CURRAN

There are many indexes that aim to rank how green cities are. But what does it actually mean for a city to be green or sustainable?

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Categories: Green Homes

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