All Blog Posts (1,324)

The Process Approach of Human-Building Interaction (HBI)

Reposted from i.e., the Center for Energy and Environment's Innovation Exchange blog -- http://mncee.org/Innovation-Exchange/ie/

In the early nineties, I began developing interactive CD-ROMs to teach school age children about energy and environmental issues. We created games to teach these concepts. An essential step in our process was…

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Added by Lester Shen on June 26, 2013 at 7:00am — No Comments

Warning: This Blog Post Contains Gross Generalizations

I try to avoid generalizations, especially the gross kind, but sometimes you have to climb up on the mountain to get the big picture.

My wife and I were recently discussing the cover story in the May 20, 2013 Time magazine called “Millennials’ Moment”. The subtitle is “They’re…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on June 25, 2013 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Window Improvement vs. Window Replacement

Most energy audit reports place windows very low on their list of energy improvement priorities. This isn't surprising because of the relatively high cost of replacement windows coupled with what are commonly marginal improvements in their thermal performance. Since audit reports generally prioritize energy efficiency improvement opportunities according to their cost vs. thermal benefit  (fuel savings) ratio, the energy…

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Added by Robert (Bob) Bacon on June 22, 2013 at 11:25am — 2 Comments

Zero to 60 - Scores of Green Appraisers Hit the Streets Overnight in Colorado

Home builder Sean Smith feels like Sisyphus – the Greek mythological figure doomed for eternity to push boulders uphill only for them to crash downhill when he neared the top.  Smith’s boulder?  Higher appraisal prices for the green homes he builds in metro Denver.

 

“We built a house a couple of years…

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Added by Melissa Baldridge on June 21, 2013 at 7:05am — 31 Comments

More Evidence of Link Between Energy Efficient Homes and Occupants' Health.

New Study: "Impact of LEED-Certified Affordable Housing on Asthma in the South Bronx"

Here is more evidence that the occupants of energy efficient, healthy, and affordable housing enjoy better health compared to those in traditional low-income housing. The results of an in-depth study by Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City of residents who recently moved into LEED-certified low-income multifamily housing showed:

  • Decreases in continuous daily respiratory…
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Added by Jim Gunshinan on June 20, 2013 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Code Conflict Between 2012 IRC and 2012 IECC

It has come to my attention that there may be a building science-based conflict in the language of the 2012 International Residential Code (IRC) and 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).

The 2012 IECC sets the mandatory blower door tested and certified air infiltration rate at 5 ACH50 in CZ1 & 2 and an even tighter 3 ACH50 in CZ 3 and above. The problem lies in the fact that the new…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on June 19, 2013 at 1:09pm — 3 Comments

Home Performance and HVAC Contractors: Recent Legislative Initiative In Texas

As energy auditors and raters went about their business of testing homes, performing energy audits and HVAC system inspections, they discovered and reported certain “problems” to the homeowners of Texas. For example, they reported that HVAC systems were oversized, or suffering from massive duct leakage! In late 2011, The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), which oversees the HVAC industry,…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on June 19, 2013 at 11:07am — 3 Comments

The Benefits Of Using Energy Star Shingles

In the harsh economic climate, saving money is of interest to everyone. Here is one method that you might not have considered.

Added by Greg Traster on June 17, 2013 at 9:28am — No Comments

Three WWWs to completing the Appraisal Institute’s Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum

The Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum is a form used to standardize the reporting of high performance house features from green certifications to incentives offered.  The Addendum can be downloaded in a PDF format from the Appraisal Institute’s Website.  It is seems there is much confusion on who should be completing the Addendum, why they should complete it and what they…

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Added by Sandra K. Adomatis, SRA on June 16, 2013 at 6:18pm — 3 Comments

Excellent PBS Energy Program Worth Watching

In case you missed it, PBS has been airing a series "EARTH: The Operators Manual".  The  recent episode which aired last week "Energy Quest USA" is well worth watching...

While many of us discuss methods and marketing for audits and retrofits, I believe it is the community neighbor-to-neighbor programs and activities that engage the homeowner and get results. The show profiles communities making smart energy choices based on economics and the environment. Below is a link to the…

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Added by Jose Macho on June 14, 2013 at 9:01am — No Comments

Efficiency

Prior to any real consideration of adopting alternative energy sources like wind or solar, it is paramount to consider a homes energy inefficiencies.  Cost savings are negated, almost immediately, when you attempt to power a home through revolutionary methods and antiquated building materials / practices.

The two subject matters have to be in congruence for the conversation of 'renewable', 'green' (whatever that really means) and 'sustainable' to carry any relative meaning.

A…

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Added by Tyler Gillette on June 13, 2013 at 3:39pm — No Comments

Passive Proponent—Q&A with Brandon Weiss

President and founder of Chicago-based Weiss Building & Development, Brandon Weiss is a third-generation builder who credits time spent in Europe to his sustainable approach to life.

While he’s built more than 90 high-performing homes since he started his company in 2005, it wasn’t until recently that he started work on his own family home.…

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Added by Macie Melendez on June 13, 2013 at 8:32am — 3 Comments

Why Getting a Quantum Heat Pump is a Better Choice?

Hot water is a basic necessity in every home and office during winters. So it is very important to have some efficient source to heat water. Rather than using those traditional methods such as fire to get warm water, you can avail the benefits of advanced heating technology using a quantum heat pump.



Using such an energy-efficient heat pump can ease up your life to a significant extent. With its…

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Added by Jack Sadyak on June 12, 2013 at 10:58pm — 3 Comments

Momentum builds for energy efficiency...but is the wolf at the door?

It says something that Ernest Moniz chose to deliver his first public talk as US energy secretary to an energy efficiency crowd.

His appearance last week at EE Global in Washington, D.C. was a surprise of sorts. And the timing was significant. Moniz had only been confirmed as energy secretary three hours before taking the podium at the Alliance to Save Energy’s annual conference.

Why did he make the stop?

Probably not because of the size of the crowd. About 550 people…

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Added by Elisa Wood on May 30, 2013 at 9:04am — 25 Comments

Scrutinizing Condensing Boilers With the Second Law of Thermodynamics (SLT)

“It’s amazing. Every year, we find somebody who comes up with a way of going around the second law (of Thermodynamics) and somehow convinces people who are very smart that it will work.”      MIT lecture on  Thermodynamics and & Kinetics, Spring 2008

 

 

Since the 1980s, hot water condensing boilers (CB) have…

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Added by Igor Zhadanovsky on May 29, 2013 at 9:31am — 15 Comments

Change is Hard—How Do You Get People to Accept It?

Changing one’s daily routine and making big decisions about money is hard. When a home performance contractor asks a customer to consider an audit, they are asking a lot. Besides the cost of the audit and any retrofit measures the homeowner chooses to pay for, which is probably the biggest challenge, there is also the inconvenience. The audit and retrofit may require the homeowner to take time off from work. Having workers climb in and out of the attic, under the crawlspace, and drill holes…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on May 28, 2013 at 2:37pm — No Comments

HOMES Act introduced with Bi-Partisan Sponsorship

We don't see a lot of bi-partisan bills in Congress these days. Here's one focusing on home energy-efficiency from a WV-R and a VT-D, both on the energy committee, the HOMES Act, HR 2128 (http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.uscongress/legislation.113hr2128) introduced yesterday.  Now, I'm not holding my breathe on passage, but I take it as a good sign that energy-efficiency is part of the…

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Added by Mike Rogers on May 24, 2013 at 12:46pm — 3 Comments

Less oil, more courage: Energy and Art

Hard to admit, but I'm not all fun-facts all the time. Sometimes I even pay attention to things that aren't energy related. So, rather engineering geek-speak that dominates the energy efficiency professional’s lexicon, today’s post is about “energy art” as a counterbalance to the usual “art of energy” commentary. This is a subject I've been following for many years and it's inspiring to see what artists can do with solar panels, radiators, and flame.
 
Today, I'm…
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Added by Paul Scheckel on May 22, 2013 at 11:30am — No Comments

Lykans $29, Vampires $0 !

Just wondered, does anyone know of a better looking intelligent managed power strip? Ethereal Star Wars Design Power Strip I've used this one for about a year and estimate it has saved about $29. Their calculations say it saves when fully loaded:…

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Added by Tom DelConte on May 20, 2013 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

The Universe Is Made of Stories

The late poet and political activist Muriel Rukeyser famously said, The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms. It’s not just words that make up stories. A scientific equation is a story, and so is getting up from my seat and stretching—it’s the story of back care for an editor. We can tell a story with the expression on our faces. What does it tell you when a loved one rolls her eyes at you, or blows you a kiss? How do you feel when a stranger winks at you? Flips you the bird? That last…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on May 17, 2013 at 11:30am — No Comments

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