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The BS + Beer Show: Making High-Performance Affordable

We’re all still getting used to using Zoom for meeting and webinars and group discussions, so it took us a few minutes to get the show rolling this week (we edited that nonsense out of the video), but we ended up having an excellent discussion about costs and building high-performance homes with a panel of experts including Alan Gibson, Randy Williams, Claire Betze, Ben Bogie, Christine Williamson, and Dan Hines. Enjoy. [embedded content] Next show, April 16, 2020: A panel will be discussing how to design and build homes with concrete-free slabs. Watch GBA and FHB newsletters and social media…

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Pandemic Deflates U.S. Solar Industry

The return of good weather should mark the start of the peak season for U.S. solar installers, but the coronavirus pandemic is giving potential customers cold feet. Bloomberg Green reports that even homeowners who had already agreed to buy or lease solar panels are backing out, and second-quarter earnings may dip by 48% when compared to the same quarter last year, according to Morgan Stanley. Its report projects 28% lower volume in the third quarter, and 17% less in the fourth quarter when compared to the same periods a year ago. The pandemic has forced millions of workers off their…

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Webinar: Walls That Work–An Intro to the Four Control Layers

There’s more than one way to build a durable and efficient wall. Like most things, the devil is in the details—and in this case, the details refers to the four control layers. For a comfortable home and a wall that won’t fail, you must control water, air, vapor, and temperature. In this webinar we’ll study the four control layers, take a look at building codes and various climates, and open up a handful of walls that work. For more on this topic, see this collection of articles: All About High-Performance Wall Assemblies. -Brian Pontolilo is the editor of Green Building…

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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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