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3.2 Billion Pounds of Progress!

No, we’re not talking about a collective Weight Watchers group-loss goal or the number of plastic straws no longer used by quick serve restaurants, but insulation. According to the results of a new survey released by NAIMA, its member companies in the U.S. and Canada used 3.2 billion pounds of recycled materials in the production of residential, commercial, thermal, and acoustical insulation products in 2017. This achievement is an extension of the industry’s longstanding commitment to substantial use of recycled content in the production of fiberglass and mineral wool insulation products. Click here to read more about the impact of…

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Moody’s Global Construction Industry Outlook 2019

We forecast global revenue growth of around 5% on average for rated construction companies. This will be driven by output growth across all industry segments and most continents, supported by robust economic growth prospects and low interest rates. Our revenue growth forecast is towards the upper end of our 0%-6% range for a stable outlook. We forecast a global book-to-bill ratio, our second outlook metric, at 1.2x on average which reflects the current healthy industry conditions and suggests sustained revenue growth during 2019 and beyond. Revenue will grow fastest in Asia Pacific and North Americawith rates of up to 10%…

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Saving Sustainably: Installing Drains and Vents

Editor’s note: This is one in a series of blogs detailing the construction of a net-zero energy house in Point Roberts, Washington, by an owner-builder with relatively little building experience. A list of Matt Bath’s GBA articles can be found at the bottom of this page. You’ll find Matt Bath’s full blog, Saving Sustainably, here. If you want to follow project costs, you can keep an eye on a budget worksheet here. Now that the frame of the house is complete and safe from the elements, I have some flexibility on what to do next. I could, for instance, decide…

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Designing an Air Barrier for a Timbered Cathedral Ceiling

The house that Dennis Miller plans on building next spring will include a cathedral ceiling with timber trusses exposed on the interior. The issue, as Miller explains in this Q&A post, is making sure the ceiling gets an effective air barrier that will prevent moisture problems in the roof. “In a regular ceiling I’d think a continuous plane of drywall would do the job,” Miller writes. “However, this is a cathedral ceiling built on timber kingpost trusses that are exposed to the interior. In this case, the ceiling drywall is not continuous but broken into sections by the exposed timbers.”…

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Power Outages Grew Longer in 2017

U.S. customers lost power for an average of 7.8 hours last year, nearly double the length of time from the previous year. (Photo: Portland General Electric / CC BY-ND / Flickr) The lights went out for nearly 8 hours last year for the average electricity customer in the U.S. as the number of hurricanes and other major weather events rose, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said. The average cumulative outage of 470 minutes was about double that of the year before, and the EIA analysis said that most of the rise could be attributed to major weather events. Excluding the…

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High-Tech Toilets Will Be Game Changers

An enormous market awaits a toilet that doesn't have to be connected to a water source or a sewer system. With the publication of technical standards, competition is underway to develop such a product. Some prototypes are already undergoing testing. (Photo: Bricoleurbanism / CC BY-NC / Flickr) Ready. Set. Go! The race to the high-tech toilet of the future is officially on. In early October, the International Organization for Standards, better known by its English acronym of ISO, published the first technical standard for the attributes and performance of a toilet that fully treats human waste on site, without connection to…

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