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Urban Rustic: Installing an ERV

Editor’s note: This post is one of a series by Eric Whetzel about the design and construction of his house in Palatine, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. A list of Eric’s previous posts appears below. For more details, see Eric’s blog, Kimchi & Kraut. Building with Passive House principles in mind, we knew that in addition to maintaining a tight building envelope and installing substantial amounts of insulation, we also would need continuous mechanical ventilation. Our system, using either a heat-recovery ventilator (HRV) or an energy-recovery ventilator (ERV), would have to be highly efficient. It would need to hold onto…

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Bike-Friendly Cities Should Be Designed for Everyone

This narrow street, lined with parked cars but devoid of people, is both unwelcoming and unsafe for cyclists. Image credit: Anne Lusk CC BY-ND Anne Lusk, CC BY-ND Designing for bikes has become a hallmark of forward-looking modern cities worldwide. Bike-friendly city ratings abound, and advocates promote cycling as a way to reduce problems ranging from air pollution to traffic deaths. But urban cycling investments tend to focus on the needs of wealthy riders and neglect lower-income residents and people of color. This happens even though the single biggest group of Americans who bike to work live in households that…

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Coal-Fired Power Plants Are Polluting Groundwater: Analysis

A new analysis of data collected from coal-fired power plants shows that groundwater contamination from coal ash dumps is nearly universal. The Guardian writes that of the 265 coal power plants in the U.S. that monitor groundwater, 242 of them report unsafe levels of at least one pollutant. Contaminants include arsenic, a known carcinogen, as well as cobalt, cadmium, and lithium. The study, led by Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) attorney Abel Russ, is based on data that became available to the public for the first time in 2018, three years after new federal coal ash regulations were issued. EIP and Earthjustice,…

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Getting Schooled on Passive House

Phil Kaplan and I have not been active podcasters for a while. (The last couple of years, life had other plans for us.) But we’re back and committed to a new season of the Green Architects’ Lounge for 2019! We’ll be issuing about one episode a month this year. It all started back in November when we were asked if we’d host a cocktail hour and record a live episode the evening before the PassivhausMAINE Fall Forum. We had a blast and talked about a subject dear to both of our firms, Passive House Schools. Phil’s firm, Kaplan Thompson Architects,…

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Energy Efficiency Delivers Green Dividends in Red and Blue States

Energy efficiency programs, such as the installation of smart meters, is much cheaper than building new energy plants and can win support on both ends of the political spectrum. Image credit: Lloyd DeGrane / Midwest Energy News The Green New Deal, a bundle of proposed policies that would combat climate change, create green jobs, and address economic inequities, is eliciting the usual partisan debate over what to do about global warming. But one humble and noncontroversial way to reduce carbon pollution has been gathering steam in red and blue states alike: energy efficiency. Policies like those that encourage the retrofitting…

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Echelon Helps Police Station Open Ahead of Schedule

Echelon Helps Police Station Open Ahead of Schedule | 2019-03-05 | 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…

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