Green Building

Think of Your House As a Bathtub…Full of Heat

by Erik North on October 17, 2012

Post image for Think of Your House As a Bathtub…Full of Heat

    One of my posts on dual flush toilets was recently published on Green Building Advisor. The post was on heat absorbed by cold water in the toilet tank. The broader point was how complex and interconnected a house’s thermodynamics are. But for anyone who does not have some high end energy modeling software […]

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Post image for A Variation on Esoteric – The REMOTE Wall System

      I mentioned in my last post that we were getting toward more esoteric wall systems like the PERSIST walls. Well, the REMOTE wall system is a variation on PERSIST, making it like an esoteric second cousin, once removed. And up front, I’m admitting that I’m flat out copying a lot of material […]

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Post image for We’re Getting Esoteric Here…PERSIST Wall Systems

      Don’t call it a comeback… I’ve written about exterior foam insulation as a wall concept before, but thought I’d touch on a few of the specific systems out there: the PERSIST and REMOTE approaches. These are two incredibly well insulated, air tight approaches to creating an efficient, green house. What is PERSIST? […]

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Larsen truss wall

  Sometimes the homeowner conversations during audits wander into what could be done with a home as opposed to the best ROI or greenest options. It’s difficult to significantly upgrade wall R-value without a major project. Interior solutions involve gutting and re-insulating wall cavities or drilling holes for injection foam which wouldn’t substantially upgrade walls […]

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Wattle and Daub – The Ancient Wall Made Modern

by Erik North on April 26, 2012

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  I’ll admit I think I’ve driven myself a bit ‘cooling crazy’ after a solid month writing solely about air conditioning. It’s like eating vegetarian for a few weeks and you end up craving a bacon cheeseburger. With steak sauce and a few grilled onions. Ohhh, yeeah. Um, so what am I writing about? Right, […]

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Pretty Good House is a Pretty Good Idea

by Erik North on April 19, 2012

Pretty Good House is a Pretty Good Idea

  I recently joined Maine Green Building Supply’s monthly efficient building discussion group. Over beers and hot dogs in previous months, they had brainstormed an idea which has caught the popular imagination of folks in the broader efficient building world, that of the ‘Pretty Good House.’ The idea is like Pareto’s Principle applied to energy […]

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Are McMansions Dying Off?

by Erik North on February 10, 2012

Are McMansions Dying Off?

  One truism of efficient building is that smaller is the easiest way to make something more efficient and green. Building a McMansion then slapping on the efficient and green is a lot like the proverbial ‘makeup on a pig’. It’s an energy disaster to begin with and who would want to live in a […]

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Energy Auditing Blog on Green Building Advisor

by Erik North on February 2, 2012

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  My entry on the difficulties with air sealing and heating Cape Cod style houses has been posted by Green Building Advisor, one of the foremost green building sites around (the name does give it away a bit). Here’s the link to the GBA hosted article (and here’s the link to the original). And the […]

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What is a Solar Tube (Let The Sunshine In)?

by Erik North on January 20, 2012

What is a Solar Tube (Natural Light is Better)

  While CFL light bulbs are the current belle of the lighting efficiency ball, a number of other contenders have emerged. The shortcomings of CFLs have lead many consumers to look elsewhere. LEDs, halogens and ESL bulbs are alternatives with their own benefits and shortcomings. Today we will look at solar tubes. So what are […]

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Advanced Framing Techniques - Less Wood, Less Energy, Less Time

  For 175 years, construction of residential homes has employed ‘stick construction.’ Even if you’re not a builder, you’d recognize it on sight. 2 x 4 framing with 16-inch on center studs, double top plates, and triple stud corners. Every contractor in the game has built this way since forever. Imagine a blue collar movie […]

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