Guest Blogs

7 Steps to an Energy-Efficient House: 7. Renewable Energy

Posted on May 19, 2010 by Betsy Pettit

Editor's introduction: With energy prices rising again, many homeowners are planning energy-efficiency improvements to their homes. But most people are unsure of where to begin, and even seasoned builders don’t always know which priorities should rise to the top of the list. Betsy Pettit, an architect at , recommends starting where you can get the most bang for the buck.

7 Steps to an Energy-Efficient House: 5. Mechanicals

Posted on May 3, 2010 by Betsy Pettit

Editor's introduction: With energy prices rising again, many homeowners are planning energy-efficiency improvements to their homes. But most people are unsure of where to begin, and even seasoned builders don’t always know which priorities should rise to the top of the list. Betsy Pettit, an architect at , recommends starting where you can get the most bang for the buck.

Step 5: Replace your furnace, boiler, or water heater

7 Steps to an Energy-Efficient House: 4. Windows

Posted on April 24, 2010 by Betsy Pettit

Editor's introduction: With energy prices rising again, many homeowners are planning energy-efficiency improvements to their homes. But most people are unsure of where to begin, and even seasoned builders don’t always know which priorities should rise to the top of the list. Betsy Pettit, an architect at , recommends starting where you can get the most bang for the buck.

7 Steps to an Energy-Efficient House: 2. The Roof

Posted on April 15, 2010 by Betsy Pettit

Editor's introduction: With energy prices rising again, many homeowners are planning energy-efficiency improvements to their homes. But most people are unsure of where to begin, and even seasoned builders don’t always know which priorities should rise to the top of the list. Betsy Pettit, an architect at , recommends starting where you can get the most bang for the buck.

Step 2: To stop air leaks and reduce heat loss, seal up your home's cap

7 Steps to an Energy-Efficient House: 1. The Basement

Posted on April 6, 2010 by Betsy Pettit

Editor's introduction: With energy prices rising again, many homeowners are planning energy-efficiency improvements to their homes. But most people are unsure of where to begin, and even seasoned builders don’t always know which priorities should rise to the top of the list. Betsy Pettit, an architect at , recommends starting where you can get the most bang for the buck.

A Contrarian View of Passive Solar Design

Posted on January 26, 2010 by peter powell

By Peter Powell, AIA

I have designed over 60 passive solar homes over the last 35 years and have lived in seven of them. Based on that experience, I have come to a few conclusions which, although contrary to conventional passive wisdom, I have found to be valid. I must qualify these comments by saying that most of my experience has been in the Northeast, primarily in Maryland and Pennsylvania, in areas with 4,000 heating degree days and up. The following comments mostly apply to new construction in similar or colder climates.

Lessons Learned the Hard Way

Posted on December 2, 2009 by Ed Welch

Five years ago, I completed a green remodel of my family’s home. We included green features like solar electric panels, a solar hot water system, recycled lumber, Trex decking, and many other green products. But since the remodeling work was completed, we’ve had years of consistently high propane bills, and I began to question whether my house is actually any greener or more sustainable that the average home.

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