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Advocacy Matters! Join us for Contractor Lobby Day 2018
Brian Toll, President of ecobeco
Last fall, a group of Maryland contractors hit the Hill to meet with legislators and their staff. Our goal was simple – to educate lawmakers on what we do and why it matters, and explain what types of policies can help our businesses grow. One meeting we had turned out to be particularly important, and that was our meeting with Senator Van Hollen (D-MD). [continue reading]
Common Problems with Cold Weather Ventilation
When I woke up Saturday morning, the temperature outdoors was -40 degrees†. The wind chill was -100 degrees! It was just unbelievably, impossibly, inhumanly cold outside. Fortunately, that was on a mountaintop in New Hampshire and not where I was. I happened to have woken up on a mountaintop in North Carolina, where the temperature was a much warmer -3° F. [continue reading]
Using God Talk—or Not—to Help the Planet?
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...
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
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]
“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
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
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
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
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]