All Blog Posts Tagged 'efficiency' (78)

Housing Bale-Out - Boulder Architect Streamlines Green Building


Straw-bale houses have come a long way since Midwestern homesteaders used to stack sod on the Great Plains and call it home.  More recently, 20th century straw-bale builders were either crunchy, granola types hand-crafting their own über-green homes, or affluent greenies seeking to create off-grid trophy houses, budgets be damned.  In all cases, though, straw-bale has been the preserve of the one-off – designed and built one at a time.  Until now.




Added by Melissa Baldridge on September 14, 2011 at 10:51am — 1 Comment

Are there green premium "Hot Spots"?

There is much talk and some progress towards an elusive premium for green homes.UCLA economics professor Matthew Kahn breaks it down. He uses three criteria to predict areas more likely to have a green premium:

  • High electricity prices.
  • More environmentally-minded citizens.
  • MPG-type labels that certify energy…

Added by Laura Reedy Stukel on September 3, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Recap: Train-the-Trainer Session for 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007

*This post was drafted by Isaac Elnecave and Michael Hairston members of the MEEA Policy Team


This week, the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) held a train-the-trainer session for the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1 – 2007 at the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul, Minnesota. This training was sponsored and funded by the US Department of Energy and hosted attendees from several Midwest states including North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota.…


Added by Andrew Navolio on August 15, 2011 at 8:34am — No Comments

Discover the Solutions for Drafty Uncomfortable Homes

The energy efficiency movement is starting to impact the awareness of how the indoor conditions of an existing building can be greatly improved. Homeowners who once dread the winter months and thought that they had to live with the pain of a drafty uncomfortable home are now increasingly seeking to improve these homes.

This search often brought homeowners out into the marketplace looking for solutions and the best professional help. As a result, we are…


Added by David Allen on February 2, 2011 at 11:48am — No Comments

The New Rules of Home Improvement

Many homeowners are beginning to recognize the higher standards that are being demanded from home improvement contractors.The new rules of certification, accreditation and independent verification have complemented well the old ways of selecting a contractor so that the two establish a benchmark that bodes well for the professional perception of the industry. It is not a coincidence that in 2010 credentialing and training organizations have achieved their highest…


Added by David Allen on January 27, 2011 at 7:30am — 1 Comment

Energy Auditing Ourselves

A short while ago I was in a meeting that centered on creating a flexible winter weatherization plan that would have a wide degree of application.  While such plans are not uncommon in the least, I was surprised to hear that we, as inhabitants, came up as a serious aspect of energy inefficiency.

As someone who works with material and energy inefficiencies,…


Added by Nathan Christensen on January 17, 2011 at 12:00pm — 5 Comments

Goodbye to the Light Bulb We All Know and Love

You know which light bulb I mean. It’s the one you’ve burned your hands on when trying to unscrew it too soon after it’s been turned off. It’s the one you put in the lamp in your living room to read by in your comfortable chair; the one you use to light the stairways at night. It’s the 100-watt incandescent that uses… Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on January 14, 2011 at 11:00am — No Comments

The Next Big Leap

“So what can we do to keep homes improving from an energy efficiency standpoint?”

For a long time, answers such as “improve insulation” or “designed better HVAC” systems would have likely been what first came to mind. However, with new building guidelines,…


Added by Nathan Christensen on January 5, 2011 at 7:03am — 3 Comments

The Many Shades Of One Color: Part 2

To continue on from our last conversation, I would first like to offer a definition as to what I personally believe a “green product” should strive to do.

A green product can generally be defined as a product that, from raw material extraction, to end-of-life disposal, lessens its impact on the environment as thoroughly as possible.

While being mindful of the previously stated definition, I would like to ask each of you to look around right now, where ever you location, and…


Added by Nathan Christensen on December 17, 2010 at 9:02am — No Comments

The Many Shades of One Color: Part 1

Green is almost undeniably one of the most marketed colors as it relates to the environment, sustainability, and energy. But what exactly does “green” mean in relation to environmental and energy issues?

More importantly, can a modern product or process really be considered green, and if so, by what benchmark? For example, we know that CFLs use less energy than incandescent lights, but does consuming less energy really make a product greener?

To begin, the word green has… Continue

Added by Nathan Christensen on November 29, 2010 at 11:00am — 2 Comments

Taking the Home Energy Scoring Tool a Step Further

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) puts a great deal of focus and concern into the area of weatherization. An abundant amount of recovery act funding went towards weatherization and in return the reduction of energy consumption. In an attempt to make the auditing and assessing aspect of weatherization readily available and understood by both experts and consumers alike the DOE has created the Home Energy Scoring Tool.

This tool is available online for free and unlike similar…


Added by Silas Inman on November 11, 2010 at 1:00pm — 4 Comments

TopTenUSA: The most energy efficient products

TopTen USA is a new non-profit organization that makes it easy for consumers to find the most energy efficient products. World Wildlife Fund is a partner in TopTen USA and blogs about the new website:



Added by Diane Chojnowski on November 10, 2010 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Man’s Best (and Most Energy Efficient?) Friend

My cousin Mark is a pretty smart guy who reads widely. (All my cousins are above average.) Here is what Mark sent to me in an e-mail about dogs:…


Added by Jim Gunshinan on November 9, 2010 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Energy efficiency: Real estate’s next granite counter top?

By Elisa Wood

A lot of good economic reasons exist to pursue energy efficiency. Still the average person tends not to. This is no surprise. If I cannot see, touch, buy, sell, trade or save efficiency, if it’s invisible, how can I pay it any real attention?

Often on the vanguard, Boston-based Conservation Services Group is working on an…


Added by Elisa Wood on November 8, 2010 at 2:18pm — 4 Comments

Free Hands-On Thermal Imaging Training Seminars

We, at Fluke, have always been big advocates for education. As some of you know, we deliver hands-on (yes, hands-on—that means you get to play with the imagers!) training seminars all around the country. These seminars are designed to teach you the fundamentals of thermal imaging, how to troubleshoot faster and find problems using the latest thermal imaging technology, and… Continue

Added by Fluke Thermal Imaging on November 3, 2010 at 5:14pm — No Comments

Energy Savings to the Cloud

You may have noticed the term 'cloud' or 'cloud computing' circulating around popular media. This has become an increasingly popular term and is used quite frequently by Microsoft in their recent advertising campaigns in order to create buzz. Although it is a widely used term it is not a widely understood concept. What makes cloud computing unique, or how does it work? Is it just a new term that means the internet or online?

According to Wikipedia cloud computing is web-based…


Added by Silas Inman on November 1, 2010 at 2:00pm — 4 Comments

Manage Heating with Awareness

It is commonly known that heat rises, if you need an example, open your freezer and see where the cold air goes. This same principle applies to hot air balloons; the hot air causes the balloon to rise. Many home performance professionals understand what this means for a home in the winter. Unfortunately, the average consumer may not understand how important this concept is. On average 60% of heat escapes through the roof of a house, attic or roof insulation can go a long way in reducing…


Added by Silas Inman on November 1, 2010 at 9:00am — No Comments

Home Performance Business—Getting In the Door

There is a hot and heavy dialogue taking place in an online group that I belong to, made up mostly of people who are in the business of auditing homes and then making homes more energy efficient, healthy, and comfortable. The main gist of the discussion is, Do we rely on the government to encourage people to make their homes more efficient, or is it up to the market? Does this sound familiar? Tune into any election debate in the…


Added by Jim Gunshinan on October 19, 2010 at 12:56pm — No Comments

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