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The BS* + Beer Show: Advancements in Framing

This episode of the BS* + Beer show features guests Andy Engel, Alexandra Baczek, and Mark Wille discussing “Advancements in Framing.” We look at the industry’s progression from timber framing to balloon framing to platform framing to advanced framing, and consider related materials including panel and board sheathing, LVLs, CLT, Larsen trusses, Tstuds, and SIPs.  Andy, the traditionalist among us, shares his perspective after four decades in the field. He describes his experience with balloon and timber frames, the challenges of working on homes with no sheathing, the changes he has seen in the quality of lumber, and the importance…

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DOE Sees Sharp Drop in Cost of Solar Electricity

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $128 million in grants aimed at reducing the cost of utility-scale solar electricity from current levels of 4.6 cents per kilowatt hour to 3 cents per kWh in four years and 2 cents per kWh by 2030, moving the original timetable up by five years. What Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm called “this first burst of funding” is part of the Biden administration’s goal of a complete transition to clean energy by 2035. Nearly a third of the money—$40 million—is earmarked for research into a family of crystalline materials called perovskites, which the department…

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Does My Insulation Settle or Expire?

Does My Insulation Settle or Expire? | 2021-04-14 | 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…

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What has COVID Taught Us?

It’s been over a year since I last went to my favorite brewery for a beer with friends, over a year since the phrase “social distancing” entered the lexicon, and over a year since I started viewing N-95 masks as a precious commodity. Before the pandemic, I’d never heard of a Zoom meeting. Now, I’m a sophisticated enough Zoom user to turn off the video feed in long meetings to avoid the embarrassment of nodding off. The pandemic has touched most of us personally. Two acquaintances and my favorite singer died of COVID-19. I know several other people who’ve survived.…

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The Science Behind Frozen Wind Turbines

Winter is supposed to be the best season for wind power. Winds are stronger, and since air density increases as the temperature drops, more force is pushing on the blades. But winter also comes with a problem: freezing weather. Even light icing can produce enough surface roughness on wind turbine blades to reduce their aerodynamic efficiency, which reduces the amount of power they can produce, as Texas experienced in February. Frequent severe icing can cut a wind farm’s annual energy production by over 20%, costing the industry hundreds of millions of dollars. Power loss isn’t the only problem from icing,…

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The BS* + Beer Show: Unbuild It Takeover

This episode of the BS* + Beer show features a few of the industry’s top dogs (and amateur comedians): Steve Baczek, Peter Yost, and Jake Bruton. The hosts of the Unbuild It podcast stage a takeover of our regularly scheduled program to shake things up a bit, and offer innovative suggestions for how those in the residential building sector might move the needle in the right direction when it comes to carbon drawdown and greening the real estate market—among other issues. Enjoy the show! [embedded content] Join us on Thursday, April 15, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. EST when builder…

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