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.
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.
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.
This post originally appeared at Ensia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
This post originally appeared at Yale Environment 360.
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.
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?
At Green Building Advisor, we urge readers who are planning to build a new home to seek out a builder who understands energy-efficient construction methods. Is this advice easy to follow? And once the new owners move into their energy-efficient home, are they happy with the home’s performance?
The governor of Massachusetts has introduced legislation that by 2021 would require that people selling their homes provide potential buyers with home energy performance ratings.
The Boston Globe said the measure filed by Gov. Charlie Baker earlier in the week would be the first of its kind in the U.S.