You have probably seen those amazing images of the world at night as observed from space—hundreds of times. Below is one photo, but many others show expanded views of smaller areas. I still marvel at how those necklaces of light show the shapes of our cities. The lights tell stories, too. For example, the Korean peninsula appears surgically sliced at the Demilitarized Zone,…Continue
With winter right around the corner, many of us start looking at various ways to reduce heat loss and improve energy savings. One of the most common practices of improving energy savings is by installing or improving our homes insulation. This is especially true for those of us who have the luxury of living above a crawl space. Installing or improving crawl space insulation can be very beneficial. But it can also have expensive, negative effects if not done correctly. Here is a list of a few…Continue
While hard-surface flooring is on every list for improving indoor air quality, the type of hard-surface flooring may be problematic, especially if your clients' health is already compromised.
This article on formaldehyde levels in laminate flooring emphatically waves the health flag. The article is based on testing of Chinese-made laminate…Continue
Added by Shawna Henderson on October 10, 2014 at 10:50am — No Comments
For more information on energy auditing, visit:Continue
The Efficient Windows Collaborative (EWC) has released a mobile app based on it web-based Window Selection Tool. The app is currently available and can be downloaded on iTunes.
The Window Selection Tool mobile app is a step-by-step decision-making tool to help…Continue
Added by Kerry Haglund on September 30, 2014 at 10:57am — No Comments
In July 2013, the State Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) voted to adopt the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (2012 IECC) and ASHRAE 90.1-2010 with MA amendments as the new baseline energy code. The BBRS allowed for the new regulations to run concurrently with the current energy regulations until July 1, 2014. During that time, either set of energy regulations could be used when applying for…Continue
Added by Everblue Training on October 8, 2014 at 6:56am — No Comments
Three people who together helped increase the energy efficiency of lighting systems across the world have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Tuesday.…Continue
Added by Diane Chojnowski on October 9, 2014 at 7:32am — No Comments
In case you haven't heard, last year RESNET created a task force to look at ways to improve the consistency of results among certified home energy raters (aka HERS raters). In mid-August, executive director Steve Baden sent an email about the latest developments in the process. He also attached a document titled…Continue
Added by Allison A. Bailes III on October 2, 2014 at 11:34am — No Comments
Home Energy magazine (HEM) has been publishing articles about residential energy efficiency for 30 years. Our articles, editorials, letters, and advertisements provide a kind of window into the evolution of energy conservation technologies, policies, and organizations. Initially, the focus was on audits and simple retrofits, such as weather-stripping and insulation. In those…Continue
We now know that people learn effectively when they construct their own learning, rather than being told about it. The instructor moves off the stage and becomes the Guide on the Side.…Continue
I was first impressed by Rob Nicely when I heard him speak these words to an audience of builders, designers, and building scientists: "We’re the warriors of sustainability...We already know everything we need to know to build sustainable buildings—the question is, Can we internalize it into our culture and incorporate that learning into our practices?"Continue
Added by Tom White on September 24, 2014 at 10:30am — No Comments
The National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP) met in Raleigh, North Carolina, for its annual training conference. Here are some personal highlights:
Added by Jim Gunshinan on September 23, 2014 at 2:03pm — No Comments
Mini-Split Heat Pumps are Quirky and Still Effective
The name "mini-splits" generally refers to heat pump systems with one outdoor unit and one or several smaller capacity air handlers. The efficiency of their operation comes via the inverter compressor and variable refrigerant…Continue
Liz Vogel replaced the windows and updated the heating system in her small multifamily building in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. But she still noticed that parts of her home were not staying warm in winter. So she set out to solve the mystery of the missing heat. She saw icicles hanging from her roof, and that was a clue that pointed to where heat was escaping. The presence of these “ice dams” meant that Liz was paying to heat her roof and melt the snow instead of heating her…Continue
Let the games begin! Please note that registration has opened for the upcoming 2015 Race to Zero Student Design…Continue
Added by Stacy Hunt on September 5, 2014 at 1:49pm — No Comments
We're testing a newly-produced informational video, which our Michigan home inspectors share with their recent home-buying clients, to see how effective it is in driving demand for energy upgrades. Watch it at http://www.nachi.org/michigan-home-inspection-follow-up-survey.htm and share your thoughts.
Note to Homeowners: This article is primarily aimed at the Home Performance industry. I strive for radical transparency, so I put this in the public sphere for you to read as well.
Energy efficiency rebate programs from gas and electric utilities have become pretty common nationwide. They give rebates for replacing your furnace or adding insulation to your home. While these programs seem like a good idea, they can actually…Continue
The September/October 2014 issue of Home Energy marks the magazine’s 30th year in print. To celebrate that milestone, an industry-wide call for nominations found noteworthy professionals in home performance who were 30 years of age or younger. The feature article introduces the young people who the industry can count on to lead the home performance industry for the next 30 years.
Home Energy’s associate editor, Macie Melendez, compiled the nominations and…Continue
When is it ok to put your ducts into an attic, tight up against the Roof Deck? With more conventional building techniques, I would have to argue: NEVER! I do not care how the homeonwer pleads to keep their storage space, you cannot count on delivering cool air to the conditioned space with said branch duct. Even if you did figure out a way to secure the duct to the peak without crushing the inside diameter, the CFM is not the problem. The real issue becomes the dry bulb temperature of…Continue
As I had brought up years ago, ACCA's Manual S was in dire need of an update. Written in 1995, Manual S Residential Equipment Selection was passed by with huge technical and efficiency strides within the…Continue