927 Lee Road 268, Valley, AL (706) 773-9274

The Concrete-Free Floating-Plywood Slab Assembly

More than 10 billion tons of concrete are used each year, making it the second-most consumed substance on Earth (after water). Just the production process for cement accounts for 8% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. In this video, Josh Salinger, owner of Birdsmouth Design-Build, is on-site in Portland, Ore., to show us how to create a more eco-friendly slab assembly by laying two layers of graphite polystyrene (GPS) foam insulation on top of compacted stone, covering that with a polyethylene vapor barrier, and finally topping it all off with two floating layers of tongue-and-groove (T&G) plywood. RELATED LINKS https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/article/the-concrete-free-floating-plywood-slab-assembly


The BS* + Beer Show: Breweries and Building Science

For this episode of the BS* + Beer Show, we put away the BS and focus on beer for a change. Maine Chapter friends Dan Edelman and Christie Mahaffey each give us a thought-provoking brewery tour; Dan shares his home-brew setup and Christie talks about Foundation Brewing in Portland, Maine, which she and her husband, Joel, own and run. According to Mike Maines, “Christie makes one of the very best beers in Portland, which has a lot of good beer.” If hops are your thing, this one’s for you! Enjoy the show! [embedded content] Join us on September 9 from…


Has the Era of ‘Peak Oil’ Arrived?

This post originally appeared at Yale Environment 360. May was arguably the worst month ever for big oil—and the best for its opponents—as courts and corporate shareholders sided with environmental activists to humble the biggest of the fossil-fuel giants, culminating in “Black Wednesday.” On that day, May 26, three events occurred that would have seemed nearly impossible not long ago: activists angry at ExxonMobil’s climate policies won three seats on its board of directors; Chevron shareholders voted to force the company to start cutting emissions; and a judge in the Netherlands ruled that Shell must slash its emissions by 45%…


Energy-Smart HVAC

The total peak heat load for this house is 21,000 Btu. To put that into perspective, 21,000 Btu is about the heat load that you’d have for a bedroom suite in a code-built house, yet we have that same heat load in this entire home with 4700 sq. ft. of conditioned space. Not only do we have an incredibly low heat load, we also have equipment that sips energy—that uses as little energy as possible—but still maintains a healthy and properly tempered indoor environment. This is accomplished by using components that are not often paired together on the U.S. market:…


Code Council Pushing Merits of Newest Energy Code

The International Code Council is stepping up efforts to convince more government officials to adopt the newest version of the International Energy Conservation Code. By the end of 2023, the code-writing organization would like to see one-third of all Americans covered by the 2021 IECC. The campaign, called “Code on a Mission,” cites the energy efficiency gains in the most recently energy code, and the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The ICC publishes a new version of the IECC, as well as the International Residential Code, every three years. The “model code,” which has to be adopted by state…


Flux: A Building Science Term Defined

At first glance, the word “flux” looks like it may not be appropriate in polite company. In fact, though, it’s a word used in physics all the time. Flux comes from the same Latin root that gives us “flow.” The two are still intimately connected because things that flow can be quantified by their flux. And that’s where building science comes in. You may have already dealt with flux and not realized it. One of the fundamental principles of building science is controlling the flow of moisture, air, and heat. Let’s zero in on heat. When we talk about heating…

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