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U.S. Team Wins Solar Decathlon Middle East

Virginia Tech’s entry, FutureHAUS Dubai, emerged as the winner in the inaugural Solar Decathlon Middle East last month, outscoring entries from 14 other groups. In an announcement, the university said the project was the result of years of research and development and relied on the contributions of more than 100 students and faculty members. Virginia Tech prevailed despite a warehouse fire that destroyed an early prototype and wiped out years of work, forcing the team to start from scratch in early 2017. The U.S. Department of Energy launched the Solar Decathlon competition in 2002 to encourage collegiate teams to design…

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Forest Management and Wildfires

President Donald Trump’s recent comments blaming forest managers for catastrophic California wildfires have been met with outrage and ridicule from the wildland fire and forestry community. Not only were these remarks insensitive to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in California, they also reflected a muddled understanding of the interactions between wildfire and forest management. As scientists who study forest policy and community-based collaboration, here is how we understand this relationship. Fire is a natural hazard In cases like the Camp Fire in Northern California, where low humidity, dry vegetation, hot temperatures, and high winds have created extreme fire conditions, there is…

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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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2018 Holiday Gift Guide: 5 Gift Kits for the Practical-Minded Person

2018 Holiday Gift Guide: 5 Gift Kits for the Practical-Minded Person - RemodelistaIcon - Arrow LeftIcon - Arrow RightIcon - External LinkIcon - MessageIcon - Down ChevronIcon - CloseIcon - Dropdown ArrowIcon - Location PinIcon - Zoom OutIcon - Zoom InIcon - SearchIcon - EmailIcon - FacebookflipboardIcon - InstagramIcon - PinterestIcon - TwitterIcon - Check Mark An icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. An icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. An icon we use to indicate a button link is external. The icon we use to represent an email action. Used to indicate a dropdown. Used…

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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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