Green Homes News

Urban Rustic: Attic Insulation

Green Homes 2 - Tue, 2018-08-07 06:05
Subtitle:  The attic is an easy place to sneak in more R-value, so how does 2 feet of cellulose sound? Images: 

Editor's note: This post is one of a series by Eric Whetzel about the design and construction of his house in Palatine, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. A list of Eric's previous posts appears below. For more details, see Eric's blog, Kimchi & Kraut.

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Categories: Green Homes

Scaling Up a Model for Affordable Housing

Green Homes 2 - Tue, 2018-08-07 03:05
Subtitle:  Auburn University's Rural Studio partners with Fannie Mae to address a national housing problem Images: 

An architectural program at Auburn University that developed a model for building affordable housing is hoping to share what its students and faculty have learned on a national level in a collaboration with the government-backed mortgage lender Fannie Mae.

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Categories: Green Homes

Insulating and Air Sealing a Vaulted Ceiling

Green Homes 2 - Mon, 2018-08-06 06:04
Subtitle:  An owner-builder looks for advice on creating a trouble-free roof assembly Images: 

Kevin is working up the design for a new lakeside cabin in Tennessee, with plans currently calling for a scissor-truss roof and a vaulted ceiling over the kitchen and living area. He wants a trouble-free roof assembly, but local advice on insulation and air sealing has been hard to find.

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Categories: Green Homes

Solutions to the Attic Duct Problem

Green Homes 2 - Fri, 2018-08-03 05:18
Prime:  prime Subtitle:  If you’re used to putting ducts in the attic, moving the ducts indoors probably won’t be easy Images: 

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 with the decision to locate ducts in a vented unconditioned attic, it’s worth taking a fresh look at all of the possible solutions to the attic duct problem.

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Categories: Green Homes

Legislation Would Repeal Fossil Fuel Ban

Green Homes 2 - Fri, 2018-08-03 03:43
Subtitle:  Two U.S. senators want another crack at undoing a 2007 edict that phases out fossil fuels for new and renovated federal buildings Images: 

In a law passed in 2007, the federal government was directed to phase out the use of fossil fuels in new and renovated federal buildings by 2030. Two U.S. senators, one Democrat and one Republican, have introduced a measure that would repeal that plan and replace it with an "all-of-the-above" energy conservation law.

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Categories: Green Homes

Revisiting the Whole Earth Catalog

Green Homes 2 - Thu, 2018-08-02 06:03
Subtitle:  How its optimistic message to thing-makers, tool freaks, and prototypers reinvented the environmental movement in 1968 Images: 

By ANDY KIRK

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Categories: Green Homes

Saving Sustainably: Framing the First Floor

Green Homes 2 - Wed, 2018-08-01 06:07
Subtitle:  Advanced framing techniques use less lumber and leave more room for insulation Images: 

Editor's note: This is one 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

Electrification Can Be a Smart Investment

Green Homes 2 - Tue, 2018-07-31 05:49
Subtitle:  Making the switch from propane or oil to electric heat often saves money Images: 

To achieve the common and ambitious worldwide goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80% or more by 2050, analyses find that consumers and businesses will need to use a combination of energy efficiency and carbon-free electricity (e.g., electricity from renewable resources or nuclear) or low-carbon electricity (efficient fossil fuel use with carbon capture and storage) for transportation, space heating, and water heating (see here and here)

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Categories: Green Homes

Washington, D.C., Heads Green Roof List

Green Homes 2 - Tue, 2018-07-31 02:57
Subtitle:  A tally of vegetative roofs installed in 2017 tops 1 million square feet Images: 

Denver, Toronto, and San Francisco all have laws on the books that require vegetative roofs, and a similar plan has been proposed for New York City, but it was Washington, D.C., that 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. North American cities in the square footage of vegetative roof coverings installed in 2017.

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Categories: Green Homes

Frugal Happy: Giant Foam Box, Part 2

Green Homes 2 - Mon, 2018-07-30 06:01
Subtitle:  It’s “man battles the heat” as three layers of insulation go into the roof Images: 

Editor's Note: This post is one of a series by Chris Stratton and Wen Lee, a husband-and-wife team living in the Los Angeles area who are turning their 1963 suburban house into an all-electric, zero-net energy home. They chronicle their attempts at a low-carbon, low-cost, and joyful lifestyle on their blog Frugal Happy. This post was written by Wen.

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Categories: Green Homes

Burying Ducts in Attic Insulation

Green Homes 2 - Fri, 2018-07-27 05:30
Prime:  prime Subtitle:  Building codes provide guidance for contractors, but the details can still be tricky Images: 

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

Efforts by energy-efficiency experts to convince builders to move their ducts indoors haven’t been particularly successful. In states where slab-on-grade homes are common — in other words, in states where basements are rare — most builders still install ducts in vented unconditioned attics.

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Categories: Green Homes

We’re Using Everything Up Much Too Quickly

Green Homes 2 - Fri, 2018-07-27 02:12
Subtitle:  An annual assessment shows that “Earth Overshoot Day” is now at its earliest date ever Images: 

Humans are depleting food, water, land, and wood at a rate that cannot be sustained, going through a year's worth of resources in just 212 days, according to a new study.

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Categories: Green Homes

Pinless Moisture Meters

Green Homes 2 - Thu, 2018-07-26 06:15
Subtitle:  How to use them — and how not to use them Images: 

I got a call the other day from a builder client, who said, “Hey Peter, a new homeowner of mine is super-worried about moisture and mold and is getting scary readings with his pinless moisture meter. Help!”

Pinless moisture meters read from the surface of any material, using an electromagnetic field. Feedback from this field provides information to estimate moisture content. These meters are called “capacitance-based” meters, while pin-type moisture meters are called “resistance-based” meters.

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Categories: Green Homes

What Exactly Is a Low-Load Home?

Green Homes 2 - Wed, 2018-07-25 06:16
Prime:  prime Subtitle:  The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) has created a task force to provide guidance Images: 

I found out last month that the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) is working on a new design manual.  You certainly know of some of their other manuals:  Manual J, Manual S, Manual D, Manual T… maybe even Manual P.

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Categories: Green Homes

Designing the Cities of the Future

Green Homes 2 - Tue, 2018-07-24 05:46
Subtitle:  We need to make our urban areas more welcoming to wildlife Images: 

By WILLIAM LAURANCE

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Categories: Green Homes

Nova Scotia Rolls Out New Solar Incentives

Green Homes 2 - Tue, 2018-07-24 04:06
Subtitle:  Efficiency Nova Scotia will offer qualifying provincial residents $1 per watt on approved systems Images: 

Nova Scotia residents will soon be eligible for rebates on photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. (PVPhotovoltaics. Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic (PV) cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow.) installations of $1 per watt, an expansion of a program that already covers solar hot water and heating equipment.

Efficiency Nova Scotia, a nonprofit agency that oversees energy-savings programs for the maritime province in eastern Canada, announced that it would begin taking applications in mid-August. Rebates on pre-approved PV systems are expected to average C$7,000, and will be capped at C$10,000.

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Categories: Green Homes

Tackling a Basement Water and Radon Issue

Green Homes 2 - Mon, 2018-07-23 05:46
Subtitle:  In Colorado, a homeowner looks for comments on a plan to upgrade perimeter drainage Images: 

Rossn has been remodeling the lower level of his Colorado home and in the process discovered evidence of some moisture and bulk water issues. Although the problems are not severe enough to make the lower level a "wet basement," Rossn has developed a plan to better manage water near the house, and solve a radonColorless, odorless, short-lived radioactive gas that can seep into homes and result in lung cancer risk. Radon and its decay products emit cancer-causing alpha, beta, and gamma particles. problem at the same time.

In a Q&A post, Rossn outlines his approach in the drawing that appears on the right.

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Categories: Green Homes

Should I Build a Mechanical Room in My Attic?

Green Homes 2 - Fri, 2018-07-20 06:18
Prime:  prime Subtitle:  By the time you add up all of the costs, you’ll probably abandon the idea Images: 

In many southern states, it’s common for an HVAC(Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Collectively, the mechanical systems that heat, ventilate, and cool a building. contractor to install an air handler and ductwork in a vented unconditioned attic. In July, the attic temperature rises to 120°F. Perhaps the homeowner, irritated by his hot bedroom and concerned about his high electricity bills, sticks his head through the attic access hatch, and nearly faints. It’s a sauna up there.

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Categories: Green Homes

What Makes Plastic ‘Recyclable’?

Green Homes 2 - Fri, 2018-07-20 04:03
Subtitle:  Two trade groups seek a common definition and an end to confusion in the marketplace Images: 

Trade groups representing plastic recyclers in Europe and the U.S. are working together on a common definition of the word "recyclable" in an effort to reduce confusion in the marketplace.

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Categories: Green Homes

Putting Methane Leaks Into Perspective

Green Homes 2 - Thu, 2018-07-19 05:47
Subtitle:  The U.S. natural gas industry is leaking way more methane than previously thought Images: 

By ANTHONY J. MARCHESE and DAN ZIMMERLE

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Categories: Green Homes

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