Guest Blogs

Are Traffic-Clogged Cities Ready for Congestion Pricing?

Posted on February 21, 2018 by John Rennie Short

New York is the latest city to contemplate as a way to deal with traffic problems. This strategy, which requires motorists to pay fees for driving into city centers during busy periods, is a rarity in urban public policy: a measure that works and is cost-effective.

Flatrock Passive: Blower Door Test Comes up Roses

Posted on February 20, 2018 by David Goodyear

Editor's Note: This is one of a series of blogs by David Goodyear describing the construction of his new home in Flatrock, Newfoundland, the first in the province built to the Passive HouseA residential building construction standard requiring very low levels of air leakage, very high levels of insulation, and windows with a very low U-factor. Developed in the early 1990s by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist, the standard is now promoted by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany. To meet the standard, a home must have an infiltration rate no greater than 0.60 AC/H @ 50 pascals, a maximum annual heating energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (4,755 Btu per square foot), a maximum annual cooling energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (1.39 kWh per square foot), and maximum source energy use for all purposes of 120 kWh per square meter (11.1 kWh per square foot). The standard recommends, but does not require, a maximum design heating load of 10 W per square meter and windows with a maximum U-factor of 0.14. The Passivhaus standard was developed for buildings in central and northern Europe; efforts are underway to clarify the best techniques to achieve the standard for buildings in hot climates. standard. The first installment of the GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com blog series was titled An Introduction to the Flatrock Passive House. For a list of Goodyear's earlier blogs on this site, see the "Related Articles" sidebar below; you'll find his complete blog .

Americans Are Saving Energy by Staying at Home

Posted on February 15, 2018 by Anonymous

By ASHOK SEKAR and ERIC WILLIAMS

Information and communication technologies are radically transforming modern lifestyles. They are redefining our concept of “space” by turning homes and coffee shops into workspaces. (This article was written in a coffee shop.) Instead of going to the theater, many people sit in the comfort of their homes and stream movies. Online purchasing of food, groceries, and consumer products has transformed shopping. Personal interactions, from the casual to the intimate, are increasingly virtual instead of face to face.

Can Mirrors Boost Solar Panel Output?

Posted on February 13, 2018 by Joshua M. Pearce

Falling costs for solar power have ledLight-emitting diode. Illumination technology that produces light by running electrical current through a semiconductor diode. LED lamps are much longer lasting and much more energy efficient than incandescent lamps; unlike fluorescent lamps, LED lamps do not contain mercury and can be readily dimmed. to an explosive growth in residential, commercial and utility-scale solar use over the past decade. The levelized cost of solar electricity using imported solar panels — that is, the solar electricity cost measured over the life of the panels — has dropped so much that it is lower than electricity from competing sources such as coal in most of America.

Integrating HRVs With Air Handlers

Posted on February 12, 2018 by Bruce Sullivan

This is the second of two articles about heat-recovery and energy-recovery ventilators based on training developed by Bruce Manclark and Dan Wildenhaus of . Part 1, which covers equipment selection, is available here. This post originally appeared at the .

Can a Tech Company Build a City? Ask Google

Posted on February 8, 2018 by Anonymous

By SARAH BARNS

Sidewalk Labs, the urban innovation startup owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, has announced a partnership with the City of Toronto to develop a new waterfront precinct. Time to ask Google: Can you build a city?

The Quayside precinct, dubbed “Sidewalk Toronto,” is to become a 500-hectare (1,236-acre) sandpit for testing a suite of new tech products. The aim is to radically reimagine the way a city is made. (Further reading: .)

States Step Up for Progress on Efficiency Standards

Posted on February 7, 2018 by Lauren Urbanek

In the face of threatened rollbacks and inaction on national appliance energy efficiency standards by the Trump administration, the states are stepping up to protect their citizens and climate. Driven by their desire for climate leadership as part of the , states including California, New York, and Washington are hard at work to ensure that their citizens will save energy and money with more efficient appliances and equipment.

Urban Rustic: Installing a Solar Electric System

Posted on February 6, 2018 by Eric Whetzel

Editor's note: This post is one of a series by Eric Whetzel about the design and construction of his house in Palatine, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The first blog in his series was called An Introduction to a New Passive House Project; a list of Eric's previous posts appears below. For more details, see Eric's blog, .

We’re Pouring Millions of Tons of Salt on Our Roads

Posted on February 1, 2018 by Anonymous

By GREG BREINING

If you live — and drive — in a northern or mountainous climate, you’ve seen highway trucks spreading loads of rock salt on snowy highways to melt the ice. But where does the salt go?

The FHA Problem with PACE

Posted on January 31, 2018 by Anonymous

By JACOB CORVIDAE and MARTHA CAMPBELL

Last month, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced it will stop insuring new mortgages on homes with property assessed clean energy (PACE) loans. As to what motivated its decision —

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