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Recent Blogs
Using God Talk—or Not—to Help the Planet?

Using God Talk—or Not—to Help the Planet?

Jim Gunshinan

I am always impressed with the work of Susan Shelton and the Shelton Group. So an email message with the subject line from her office, “Age, religion & environmental messaging: what works?” immediately caught my attention. [continue reading]

Rebuilding After a Hurricane, and the Next, and the Next...

Rebuilding After a Hurricane, and the Next, and the Next...

Kelly Vaughn

This year’s hurricane season is the most expensive on record, with $202.6 billion in damages according to Bloomberg. These storms across the Atlantic had devastating impacts on people’s lives and homes, on communities, and on infrastructure in the hardest-hit areas. [continue reading]

Degree Days Shuffle

Degree Days Shuffle

Jim Gunshinan

A 2015 study, “Impacts of global warming on residential heating and cooling degree-days in the United States,” comparing heating degree-days (HDD), cooling degree-days (CDD), and HDD + CDD across the United States during the historical period 1981–2010 and the future period 2080–2099 predicts that New York City weather will become more like today’s Oklahoma City weather and Seattle’s will become more like present day San Jose’s weather. In general, ... [continue reading]

Cool—and Warm—Clothing

Cool—and Warm—Clothing

Jim Gunshinan

“Why do you need to cool and heat the whole building? Why don’t you cool and heat individual people?” asked Yi Cui, professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford University. [continue reading]

Smarter Homebuilding: How to Best Incorporate Smart Tech Features

Smarter Homebuilding: How to Best Incorporate Smart Tech Features

Eric Murrell

The old way of integrating technology into a home could be a major headache. If a client doesn’t know exactly what kind of tech they want early in the building process, they could later face the agony of tearing into drywall or missing out on certain features altogether. Speakers and security products required hard wiring, advanced lighting systems required an electrician, and something as simple as installing outdoor security cameras presented its own ... [continue reading]

Building Science Can be Fun

Building Science Can be Fun

Jim Gunshinan

We've come a long way in understanding and providing homeowners with the means to create healthy indoor air. But comfort is a separate matter from good IAQ. Ian Walker and Robert Bean, building scientists from the United States and Candid respectively, and both experts on ventilation, discuss this and much more in an entertaining yet very interesting and informative video produced by Debra Little.  [continue reading]

People Who Save Energy

People Who Save Energy

Jim Gunshinan

According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), there are millions of workers in the country creating homes that are more energy efficient, and safer and more comfortable to live in. In fact, the Department of Energy puts that number at more than 2-million people working for energy efficiency in the United States. Compare that to the 1.9 million workers producing electricity, coal, natural gas, and gasoline. And the number working for energy ... [continue reading]

Coping with Dust and Smoke From Fires

Coping with Dust and Smoke From Fires

Alex Stadtner

October will long be remembered in Northern California, where wildfires destroyed over 8,000 structures, killed scores, and forever changed Sonoma and Napa counties. Survivors face new threats and hazards seldom addressed in design-build magazines and chat rooms. [continue reading]

Integrating Building Performance with Design

Integrating Building Performance with Design

Elizabeth Grant

Now, more than ever, it is important for design professionals to be advocates of environmentally responsible design. Architects should aim to create places that occupants care about and care for, and maintain and enjoy for a long time. Unfortunately, architects may not have adequate training or experience to handle performance mandates relating to building integrity and comfort. This can result in situations where these parameters are either inadequately addressed, or are relegated to consulting engineers ... [continue reading]

New Home Builders Tackle Zero-Energy Home Building in Connecticut

New Home Builders Tackle Zero-Energy Home Building in Connecticut

Amber Schilberg

Connecticut’s 2016 Zero Energy Challenge reinforces the growing interest in the zero-energy home building movement. In addition to increased participation among experienced homebuilders, the 2016 challenge had an influx of inexperienced zero-energy home builders trying their hand at zero-energy homebuilding for the first time, with two winning. [continue reading]

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