The most recent blogs at Lakesideca Advisor

There’s Mold in My Attic

Posted on November 27, 2017 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

A three-season cabin built in the 1940s became a year-round dwelling two years ago, but owner Marty Pfeif has discovered an alarming problem: a bumper crop of mold in the attic.

In a post at the Q&A forum, Pfeif ticks off the particulars, including no apparent attempts at air-sealing, "shake and rake" R-19 insulation on the attic floor and some batting against the walls, no vapor barrier, and a ridge vent but no gable vents.

What’s the Definition of ‘Lakesideca’?

Posted on November 24, 2017 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Recently I spent some time accumulating definitions of “green building” from as many sources as possible. These various definitions included ten different characteristics of green buildings.

Of course, not all definitions agree, and none of the definitions include all ten of the characteristics that I identified in the various definitions.

The three most common characteristics appeared in most of the definitions. According to most sources, a green building:

  • (1) Is energy-efficient.
  • (2) Is water-conserving.

These Southern Cities Are Going 100 Percent Clean (Energy)

Posted on November 22, 2017 by Robynne Boyd in Guest Blogs

If the South were its own nation, it would be the seventh-largest carbon emitter in the world, according to the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC). The region has more than 200 coal-fired power plants, and in southern states are few and far between.

California Needs to Rethink Urban Fire Risk

Posted on November 21, 2017 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs


We recently witnessed the wind-driven Tubbs fire blast its way through densely urbanized neighborhoods in northern California, causing dozens of fatalities and thousands of home losses. This tragic event easily ranks as the most catastrophic fire in . Stories of how fast the fire spread and how little time people had to evacuate are stunning.

Is Your Drinking Water Safe?

Posted on November 20, 2017 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs


Revisiting Ventilation

Posted on November 17, 2017 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

My comprehensive article on residential ventilation systems, “Designing a Good Ventilation System,” was published back in 2009. A few things have changed in the last eight years, so it’s time to revisit the topic.

Urban Rustic: Ventilation Baffles

Posted on November 16, 2017 by Eric Whetzel in Guest Blogs

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, .

The Four Laws of Thermodynamics

Posted on November 15, 2017 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD in Building Science

Building science is an odd subject. Few colleges and universities teach it. The majority of those who work on buildings call themselves engineers, architects, and contractors, not building scientists. And many of those who do invoke the term can explain at least one implication of the second law of thermodynamics (we'll get to that below) but may not know what the other laws of thermodynamics are, why their numbering is so peculiar, or even how many there are. Do you?

How the Suniva Trade Dispute is Reshaping the Solar Industry

Posted on November 14, 2017 by Anonymous in Guest Blogs


Planning a Retrofit in the Pacific Northwest

Posted on November 13, 2017 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

Brad Steeg's Seattle home was built in 1915, and from the description he provides in this post at GBA's Q&A forum, it's not hard to understand why Steeg is so uncomfortable during the winter: not much insulation, single-pane windows, and lots of air leaks.

"During the winter, my thermostat reads 70° but it still feel cold because the cold walls and ceiling suck the heat out of my body," Steeg writes.

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