Archive for the ‘Houses’ Category

via Sierra Club Insider e-mail newsletter Keep a Home Fire Burning? Cold winter nights are a tempting reason to light a fire for heat and comfort. But whether you throw a log in the fireplace or use a modern US EPA-approved stove, it pays to know the pros and cons of wood-burning. Sierra magazine’s Mr. Green has [...]

It’s been about 45 days since the website and mailing list were established. I started this up because I sensed a pent-up demand and serious interest, yet nothing was available. Sixty people signing up for the discussion mailing list in 45 days certainly validates my hunch. Until recently, the number one position Google search [...]

(Updated Nov 4 2009) There was a bit of a stir lately within the building science online communities when a well-known and respected building scientist published a review of the Passive House standard. John Straube published a review of the Passive House standard on compared to standards and practices applicable in the U.S. and [...]

Architects designing custom homes often seem to go overboard on the complexity of the shape, seemingly unaware of the impacts on construction cost and operational cost. Let’s look at the walls of two custom homes of equal floor area but different shape. Both homes are 5400 square feet on one level, nice sprawling ranch homes [...]

WebEcoist has an article on 15 amazing earthen buildings from around the world. From the old to the modern, from small and inconspicuous to large and impressive, these buildings made of earth are worth a look. Although this list omits the mud skyscrapers of Yemen, it includes the equally stunning Hakka houses of China, and [...]

Natural Resources Canada has published a 10-page review of the design process for low energy solar homes. It includes a look at several standards for measuring and certifying low-energy houses, including the eQulibrium design competition, the Building America program, California Solar Homes Partnership, and Passive House standard.

A New York Times December 26 2008 article No Furnaces but Heat Aplenty in ‘Passive Houses’ gives some welcome attention to this otherwise overlooked concept. While the article suffers from a poor description of how the heat exchanger functions and makes no mention of the existence of the smaller North American-style heat recovery ventilators, it [...]

Pat Murphy of CommunitySolutions has written an excellent summary of the talks at the third annual North American Passive House Conference. Organizations such as Net-Zero Energy Home Coalition in Canada should take advantage of Passive House and run with it. The standards, methodology and technology have already been worked out, and Germany is several years [...]

An elegant new green home is nearing the final stages of construction in Burlington, Ontario. Barry Imber and Leslie Aske’s are aiming to have their home certified as part of the LEED Canada for Homes Case Study, and Barry has been blogging the experience at In Why sustainable building is upside down and may [...]

A fantastic learning tool I just came across is the Best of Building Science video training series. Featured there are lessons learned from the US-Department of Energy Building America program, delivered by some of the most well-known and respected building science professionals. The site incorporates content from the Affordable Comfort conferences, “Home Energy” Magazine articles, [...]