All Blog Posts (949)

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

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

Willowside Rd., Day 6

The batteries are charged, camera's in the truck, and the blank forms are in the briefcase.  Two of us will arrive at John Doe's at 8:30 tomorrow - Wednesday - morning.  It should be a brisk and partly cloudy day, enough difference between inside and out to get good, clear IR camera pix.  First a short sit-down with the owner, then quick walk through with the camera, a Worst Case Combustion Zone test (let me know if you want more info on that; I'm may write a post about why it's vitally… Continue

Added by David Willson on April 22, 2011 at 8:30pm — No Comments

What's Denver doing on the EV-Ready list?

Guest Blog by Cara Miale

April 20, 2011

Looking at the list of the most EV-ready cities just released by Ford, it’s no surprise many of them are coastal. On the east and west coasts energy is pricey, so the pressure is on to achieve innovation that will control costs and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

But what’s up with Denver out there in the middle of the map, all by its…

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Added by Elisa Wood on April 22, 2011 at 9:35am — No Comments

Willowside Rd., Day 2

I caught up with John Doe while he was on the way to work this morning, apologized for not getting back to him last night, and checked in about Tuesday of next week, April 12th, for his test-in Audit.  The weather forecast is for a perfect day: cool and clear, which should allow distinctive IR photos of air infiltration pathways during the blower door test.



I stopped in at Harmony Farms, my favorite farm & garden store, on Hwy 116 this afternoon to talk to Ali Ghorbani, who is… Continue

Added by David Willson on April 21, 2011 at 8:46pm — No Comments

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