Guest Blogs

What’s Driving the Cost of Residential Solar-Plus-Storage?

Posted on May 9, 2017 by Anonymous

By KRISTEN ARDANI and DAVID LABRADOR

The residential solar-plus-storage market has certainly received a lot of attention in recent months. With the release of new, lower-cost products and implementation of utility time-of-use and demand-charge rate structures, the overall economics of photovoltaics (PVPhotovoltaics. Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic (PV) cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow.)-plus-storage systems continue to improve — but questions remain as to what’s ultimately needed to achieve widespread deployment.

Boulder Commons Sets New Standard for Net-Zero Leases

Posted on May 8, 2017 by Kelly Vaughn

Just two miles from downtown Boulder, Colorado, a new net-zero energyProducing as much energy on an annual basis as one consumes on site, usually with renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics or small-scale wind turbines. (NZE) development is under construction: . The project consists of two commercial buildings totaling roughly 100,000 square feet of professional office space and boasting a restaurant, coffee shop, and community gathering flex space — all accessible by Boulder’s vast trail and public transportation network.

Toronto Passive: High-Efficiency Lighting

Posted on May 4, 2017 by Lyndon Than

Editor's Note: Lyndon Than is a professional engineer and Certified 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. Consultant who took a year off from work to design and build a home with his wife Phi in North York, a district of Toronto, Ontario. A list of Lyndon's previous blogs at GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com appears in the sidebar below. For more, you can follow his blog, . This post originally appeared in November 2014.

Large-Scale Solar Power Is Spreading Across the U.S.

Posted on May 3, 2017 by Cheryl Katz

This article was originally published at and is reprinted here with permission.

Airport House: Choosing and Installing an ERV

Posted on May 2, 2017 by Reid Baldwin

Editor’s note: This is one of a series of guest blogs by Reid Baldwin about the construction of his house in Linden, Michigan. For a list of previous blog posts on GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com by Reid Baldwin, see the “Related Articles” sidebar below. You can read his entire blog .

A Forgotten Tool to Solve the Housing Crisis

Posted on April 25, 2017 by David Goldstein

“The California housing crisis is even worse than we thought… California is the hardest state in the nation for people to buy their first home.

"Since first-time home buyers are overwhelmingly younger people, the long-term results will have an enormous impact on the economic prospects of the next generation …”

Air Sealing and Insulation in the ProHOME

Posted on April 24, 2017 by Mike Guertin

Editor's note: This post originally was published as part of the at Fine Homebuilding magazine. Mike Guertin, an editorial adviser at the magazine, is building the house in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.

Energy Star Delivers Big for America: Why Put It at Risk?

Posted on April 20, 2017 by Noah Horowitz

Imagine owning a brand that’s both well-known and widely trusted by consumers and businesses all over America. Now imagine that it turns a $50 million annual investment into $30+ billion worth of annual customer utility bill savings, and has resulted in branded sales of more than 5 billion products since its inception. That’s one heck of a rate of return and a brand that any CEO would die for.

Urban Rustic: An Introduction to a New Passive House Project

Posted on April 18, 2017 by Eric Whetzel

Editor's note: This is the first in a series of posts by Eric Whetzel about the design and construction of his house in Palatine, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Eric's blog is called .

Trump Budget Threatens to Leave Poor Families in the Cold

Posted on April 13, 2017 by Anonymous

By KHALIL SHAHYD

When her furnace started acting up, Alicia Dickenson knew her family had a problem. “I’m not going to have money for a new furnace,” the Ohio resident told her local paper. “How am I going to make it through the next winter?” When Dickenson found out that she qualified for home weatherization — including an upgraded, more efficient furnace — her relief was immense. “Huge,” she said.

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