All Blog Posts (912)

Policing DIY.com - stop bad building advice at the source

I am always looking for good information and resources to share with customers about building science.  I really want to engage people to understand building science, and empower them to work on their own homes more.  Sometimes, the task of deconstructing misinformation is bigger than I realize...

 

Cruizing the internet this afternoon, seeking recources for some customers who intend to take on their own basment remodel.  I have found lots of good DIY guides on the DIY Network,…

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Added by Ginger MacDonald on May 26, 2011 at 10:40am — 1 Comment

Why the incandescent deserves its death

First off, there is no law actually calling for the death of the incandescent.  The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 actually states…

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Added by Chris Kaiser on May 25, 2011 at 7:07am — 14 Comments

Design, circa 1997

At a job site meeting this past week, our newest design clients handed Abe a small pile of dog-eared, marked-up “inspiration” magazines. They contained pictures and ideas collected by the homeowners, and demonstrated their affection for clean lines, neutral colors, and a judicious use of space. …

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Added by Cara Luecht on May 20, 2011 at 10:50am — 1 Comment

How the poor may boost clean tech

It’s not surprising that a company liked Greenhouse Holdings, which builds eco-friendly infrastructure, would have a thriving California-based operation.  But as John Galt, the company’s executive chairman and founder, told Renewable Energy World magazine, the company is not just focusing on wealthy…

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Added by Elisa Wood on May 20, 2011 at 4:27am — No Comments

Energy efficiency absorbs water

Efforts have been underway for decades to conserve both energy and water, but never in concert. This is unfortunate because energy uses a lot of water and water uses a lot of energy.

Two leading conservation organizations have set out to bring the efforts together. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and the Alliance for Water Efficiency this week published a white paper that describes the co-dependence of water and energy resources, and outlines strategies to use…

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Added by Elisa Wood on May 13, 2011 at 10:30am — No Comments

The Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump's Big Brother - CITY MULTI

In my last four HVAC Design jobs, I've specified ductless mini-split heat pumps. I have four more such jobs underway now.

Why mini-splits?

  • Efficiency (up to 26 SEER)
  • Variable Refrigerant…
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Added by Chris Laumer-Giddens on May 11, 2011 at 8:02am — 1 Comment

Energy efficiency and the annoying guy next door

Who would have thought backyards would cause so much trouble for the North American energy industry? First came the NIMBYs, the not-in-my-backyard protesters who block power projects from being built near them. And now we have the GIMBBYs – the give-me-a-bigger-backyard homeowners who are unwittingly getting in the way of energy efficiency.

GIMBBYs aren’t worried about seeing wind turbines or transmission lines from their backyards as are the NIMBYs. It’s the guy next store that they…

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Added by Elisa Wood on May 6, 2011 at 12:48pm — 1 Comment

Energy Efficient Appliances - Add Appeal To Your Home Listing

If you can afford it, go for an Energy Star rated appliance. You'll save in energy costs in the long run and if you ever decide to sell your home, it may have greater appeal.



Energy efficient appliances are of great interest to home buyers. First and foremost, these appliances save energy, which translates into lower utility bills.



Additionally, eco-friendly buyers appreciate the efforts made by the seller.

For More…

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Added by Tampa Real Estate on May 5, 2011 at 2:41pm — 1 Comment

Three Simple Acts That Can Make A Difference

 

This past April 22nd was Earth Day 2011, and it's official theme was A Billion Acts of Green. The basic idea is that, if at least a billion of us each pledged to perform some relatively simple “act of green”, we’d all be that much closer to a greener, more sustainable world. Here are examples of three simple, relatively low cost (lightweight, if you…

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Added by John Poole on May 5, 2011 at 1:39pm — No Comments

No Carts Before Horses - Design for Energy Efficiency Early

My recent visit to Savannah for the USGBC's green product expo charged up my historic preservation bug and got me to thinking about how to apply building science to historic buildings.

Most of us that have ever lived in, owned, or even just visited a historic home…

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Added by Chris Laumer-Giddens on May 4, 2011 at 4:30am — No Comments

What Tokyo Must Do



Few countries have been dealt such a tragic combination of natural and manmade disasters as Japan. The part of the disaster that I understand is the shortage of electricity. I wrote a book, Saving Electricity in a Hurry, in 2005 while working at the International Energy Agency.1 In the book, I explained the measures that a government must take in order to quickly reduce electricity demand while protecting…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on May 1, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Energy efficiency and Weight Watchers

We’ve been hearing for years that the energy efficiency industry needs to find its equivalent to the cell phone. These days industry folks refer to it as the ‘killer app,” the revolutionary product or service that consumers can’t resist.

But lately, partly because I’m dieting, I’ve been thinking what energy efficiency really needs is something akin to a Weight Watchers dessert.

Let me explain…

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Added by Elisa Wood on April 29, 2011 at 10:32am — No Comments

When you absolutely, positively NEED to get efficient overnight!

Every once in a while, we have an experience that completely crumbles some long-standing preconceived notion, and this week I’m pleased to share my revelation with you. I’ve just returned from a week-long trip to Cuba with a group of twenty other energy professionals sponsored by Solar Energy International andGlobal Exchange. The purpose of the trip was to explore…
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Added by Paul Scheckel on April 28, 2011 at 12:28pm — 6 Comments

Bringing Design/Build to Home Performance

I interviewed architect Chris Laumer-Giddens, of Energy Vanguard, on the company's new integrated design-build / home-performance model last week. I'm reposting the interview here, with Chris's permission. -- Leah Thayer, daily5Remodel…

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Added by Leah Thayer on April 28, 2011 at 8:00am — 3 Comments

Willowside Rd., Day 14

John and Jane Doe's report is basically written. I have a template that I use that has been slowly built and improved over the past projects. It's a fine start but still requires a fair amount of custom writing, since each house has enough unique issues that need to be addressed.  There's report software out there such as Recurve's, EAI, or BizEE, but none have that personal touch that comes from a written report.  So here's some items from the report:





Target Infiltration: 0.25… Continue

Added by David Willson on April 26, 2011 at 8:30pm — 4 Comments

100 Homes and Counting...

On April 15, 2011, Homes for Our Troops, a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 2004 that's dedicated to helping veterans who have returned home from combat with serious disabilities and injuries since September 11, 2001, kicked off the build of its 101st home in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Homes for Our Troops is building this particular home (see photo) for U.S. Army Sergeant Jude Recendez who lost both of his… Continue

Added by Macie Melendez on April 26, 2011 at 12:56pm — No Comments

Willowside Rd., Day 10, part 2

OK, I'm back from getting the dimensions of Doe's house, enter all the information into EnergyPro, and do an initial calculation. It looks like the house as it is has a HERS of 147, which means that the model predicts that it will use about one and a half times as much energy as a 'reference home', which is this exact same home if it was built to today's energy code requirements and has by definition a HERS of 100. 147 is not too bad but way above what we want. Let's see if we can get it below… Continue

Added by David Willson on April 25, 2011 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Willowside Rd., Day 10

Well, it's taking a bit longer to get to John Doe's report than I'd expected and I've one molar less than a few days ago and a big hole in my jaw.  But, here we are.



I use EnergyPro because I learned it some years ago and I'm familiar with it. Plus, it's the one that's accepted by EUC (Energy Upgrade California), which I plan on applying for this project. Looking over the audit form, everything looks good. We should be able to easily improve Doe's house enough to get a couple of… Continue

Added by David Willson on April 24, 2011 at 8:30pm — No Comments

ACCA Existing Residential Building Improvement Standard: Some Thoughts

My company, Building Efficiency Resources  (www.TheBER.com) is--among other things--a HERS providership.  We see a tremendous opportunity now and into the future for Raters on the retrofit side, and we are devoting considerable effort to exploring and developing ways for our Raters to seize that opportunity.  We bring to that task a clear understanding that not all Certified Raters are highly knowledgeable about existing homes, and that the farther back we…

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Added by Ed Voytovich on April 24, 2011 at 9:14am — 2 Comments

Willowside Rd., Day 7

Note: the following is not a comprehensive listing of all the details involved in a full audit.  It's meant to be a general description of the process so please don't think that you can read this and do one yourself.  Your and the homeowners' safety requires a full Building Performance training, at a minimum.

 



John and Jane are delightful. Pretty… Continue

Added by David Willson on April 23, 2011 at 8:30pm — No Comments

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