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Coronavirus, Building Science, and Cancer

Well, there’s nothing like a little pandemic to completely upend our daily lives as well as our short and long-term outlooks for the future. I’ve spent far too much time reading about, listening to, and watching news about the novel coronavirus lately and I guess you may have done likewise. Here’s an update of what’s happening at Energy Vanguard as well as some good resources I’ve found. What Energy Vanguard is doing We’re still operating at full capacity but we made the decision for all of us to work from home starting Friday, 13 March. Although one EVer was sick…

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Pandemic Packs a Wallop for Construction

The coronavirus pandemic is slowing the construction trades to a crawl. At least one major U.S. cities to order construction sites to be closed as builders in firms of all sizes weigh the risks of continuing to stay on the job. Some are still showing up to work, with altered workplace rules, but many are not. Boston Mayor Martin Walsh last week halted construction projects across the city for two weeks as the coronavirus continued to spread. Only emergency projects, such as roadwork and gas hookups, could continue, Construction Dive reported. Trade unions applauded the decision. Associated General Contractors of…

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Do You Have Spare Respirators?

If you’re like me, sometimes you feel like there isn’t anything you can do to help brave medical professionals on the front lines fighting the coronavirus. Well, if you’re the type that buys in bulk, and you have extra dust masks, respirators, or respirator cartridges, consider yourself lucky. There is something significant you can do to help. We recently received the following email from James Pring, a reader who works as a scientist. Covid protection for healthcare workers needs a lot of those 3M N95 and N100 3M cartridges. If listeners have spares in their shop (new and unopened) then…

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Energy Efficiency Still Matters

Energy efficiency has driven down energy consumption per household by roughly 16% since 2005, according to data from the Energy Information Administration and the U.S. Census Bureau. Illustration courtesy of ACEEE. Energy efficiency—the quickest way to cut energy waste in our homes, workplaces, and vehicles—spans so many facets of daily life that it’s easy to take it for granted. In fact, if you attempted to summarize all of the savings and successes that have made energy efficiency such a critical part of a growing U.S. economy over the past few decades, you’d end up with more than 50 compelling indicators…

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Passive House Network Reshapes Convention Plans

Normally, this is what the North American Passive House Network conference would look like. Not this year. Conference organizers are making the program a virtual experience in the face of the global spread of the COVID-19 virus. Photo courtesy of NAPHN. The North American Passive House Network is moving forward with plans for its 7th annual national conference in June. It’s just that no one will be attending in person. NAPHN leaders announced on Monday that the conference, which had been expected to draw as many as 1000 attendees to New York City, would instead be presented on a virtual…

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Hiding a Ductless Minisplit Head

Ductless minisplits have become the standard for heating and cooling in many high-performance houses. These air-source heat pumps have many advantages over more conventional HVAC equipment, and also what some homeowners consider a glaring flaw: the indoor fan units that are typically hung on an interior wall are not especially attractive. Such is the case with CarsonB, who recently posted his plans for concealing a ductless minisplit head in the Q&A forum. “Here’s my idea to hide a minisplit head,” he writes. “Please critique and tell me why this won’t work. Keep in mind that the ducted install was a…

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