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Hybrid Solutions: High Savings

Hybrid Solutions: High Savings | 2020-11-04 | Walls & Ceilings This website requires certain cookies to work and uses other cookies to help you have the best experience. By visiting this website, certain cookies have already been set, which you may delete and block. By closing this message or continuing to use our site, you agree to the use of cookies. Visit our updated privacy and cookie policy to learn more. This Website Uses CookiesBy closing this message or continuing to use our site, you agree to our cookie policy. Learn More This website requires certain cookies to work and…

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How to Design Building Electrification Programs That Work

As policymakers in several states realize the importance of efficient electrification of the country’s buildings to fight climate change, the next question that needs answering is how to help Americans upgrade to healthier, more efficient appliances that are powered with increasingly clean electricity. A series of webinars recently hosted by the Natural Resources Defense Council showcased three programs that are already blazing the way forward on building electrification. Best practices from these early efforts should be incorporated into the many building electrification programs that are being designed and launched in the coming months. America’s electric grid continues to get cleaner…

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The BS* + Beer Show: Scary Building Failures

This episode of the BS* + Beer show features guests Michael Anschel and Carl Seville, a.k.a. The Green Police. (“One is mental. The other is a curmudgeon.”) Halloween is the theme and “Scary Building Failures” is the topic. Suffice it to say, much silliness ensues. And, of course, there are some great building lessons to be gleaned from the duo’s vault of disasters. “Penetration nightmares,” missing overhangs, “insulating” paints, illegal use of flex duct, no kick-out flashing, white roofs, and combustion appliances are just a few of the scenarios discussed. Michael rails against the Passive House standard, wood furring strips,…

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Using a Blower Door for Zonal-Pressure Testing 

By now, most of us working in the green-building industry know what a blower door is. It’s a tool to measure the air tightness of a house. I’ve owned my Minneapolis Blower Door since 2009. Many states have adopted mandatory tightness testing on all new construction. In my area—Grand Rapids, Minn.—the minimum is three air changes per hour at 50 Pascals (3ACH50), most new homes I test are around 2ACH50. Test results for existing homes vary widely. Some would pass today’s requirements, while others I have tested were as high as 20ACH50. Finding air leaks in these older homes can…

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Hemp’s Promising Future in Construction

This post originally appeared at Ensia. It has become almost a cliché to discuss the benefits of hemp, the supposed wonder plant with almost endless uses—from woven fibers to edible seeds to bioplastics. “Of course, hemp is that magic crop that does everything,” says Nicholas Carter, an environmental researcher who, along with Tushar Mehta, a Toronto-based doctor, runs the website Plant Based Data. His work involves reading through scientific papers and studies and summarizing the most important work supporting plants as a source of food and other important uses. Given the hype, Carter wondered just how much power hemp really…

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The BS* + Beer Show: Finding (or Making) Skilled Tradespeople

This episode of the BS* + Beer Show features guests Kate Stephenson, Bob Kovacs, and Heather Thompson talking about recruiting people into the trades. Bob believes exposing young people to trade professionals is key to developing the next-generation workforce. Kate feels adult training and certification programs provide a path for people looking to make a career change. Heather is a proponent of in-house trainings. There is discussion around leveraging the prohibitive cost of college to make the trades a viable alternative. The hiring process is considered as a possible deterrent for women entering the field, which leads to talk about…

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