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New International Building Code Allows for Weather Resistive Barriers Above 40 Feet

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jun 26, 2017 10:57:45 AM

The change includes two paths to compliance, and is most likely to affect multifamily projects.

PREVIOUSLY, the 2012 International Building Code (IBC) had limitations on the use of weather resistive barriers at heights greater than 40 feet. 

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Report: Net Zero Energy Homes Show Booming Growth from 2015 to 2016

Posted by Shilpa Sankaran, Guest Contributor

Jun 15, 2017 12:33:40 PM

Total number of home units surged 33% over the previous year.zero-and-beyond-report.jpg

New York, NY- Net-zero energy homes seem to be growing their way out of a purely niche market. The number of zero energy residential units-- homes that produce as much energy as they consume—in the United States and Canada grew 33% over the previous year, according to a new report by the Net Zero Energy Coalition titled “To Zero and Beyond: 2016.” A total of 8,203 single family and multifamily units were counted in 2016, up from the 6,177 in 2015.

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Video: Boat Made of High-Tech Building Paper Floats

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jun 1, 2017 9:57:50 AM

Sure, it's a publicity stunt. But this 1-minute video of a boat wrapped in Jumbo Tex building paper is still impressive.


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Study: Shading or Screening Outdoor Compressors Can Hurt Performance and Shorten Equipment Life

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

May 22, 2017 10:51:12 AM

Field tests show that the unrestricted airflow is more important than shade.

YOU CAN'T BLAME PEOPLE for thinking it might be a good idea to shield outdoor air conditioner compressors from the blazing heat of the sun. It's an important consideration, because more than ever, compressors for electrical mini-splits are being installed on the roof, where they are exposed to full sun all day long, often sitting just above a black, roasting EPDM roof covering.

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Earth: The Building Material of Choice for Thousands of Generations

Posted by Lydia Doleman, Guest Columnist

May 18, 2017 10:19:04 AM

Even in this era of industrialized and commodified building systems, it has been estimated that over 50% of the earth’s population still build with and reside in houses made of earth.

Earth: our home of homes. For thousands of generations it has also been our building material of choice: raw, local, and reflective of people, place, and a logical human scale. Extravagance was saved for structures and buildings with profound cultural significance: large timbers for a sacred house in a scrub brush desert; stones the size of school buses dragged 12 miles and up a mountain to build a temple; miles and miles of monolithic earthen walls to keep out invaders. Extreme structures like these required a concentration of human population and centralized power to make them happen. The vast majority of human dwellings have seamlessly ebbed and flowed from and back into the landscape over the centuries. In the last 200 years we have seen a radical transformation of human habitation, in location, building size, and material choices. Even in this era of industrialized and commodified building systems, it has been estimated that over 50% of the earth’s population still build with and reside in houses made of earth. (Ronald Real, Earth Architecture, 2009). From the adobe pueblos of the North American Southwest to the 13-story cob towers of Yemen, people around the world inhabit earthen structures — and they’ve been doing so for thousands of years.

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Wright’s Prairie Style Architecture Goes Green with Geothermal

Posted by Jay Egg

May 16, 2017 9:36:47 AM

WHILE LARGER CUSTOM HOMES ARE NOT SO TRENDY,  it's at least refreshing to see a sizeable modern home built with the classic Frank Lloyd Wright architectural style of yester-year.  Nestled in Windermere, FL with neighbors such as Shaq, Palmer and Woods, this homeowner decided to go with Wright’s Prairie Style.  But he didn’t want any outside equipment or noise. That leaves only one choice, which also happens to be the most environmentally friendly type of heating and air-conditioning, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.

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The Advantages and Appropriate Use of Light Straw Clay

Posted by Lydia Doleman, Guest Columnist

May 9, 2017 12:01:49 PM

Of the many natural wall systems to choose from, there are many reasons to choose a light straw clay wall system.

Straw clay is highly compatible with framed wall systems because it is a non-load bearing material. Light straw clay can be infilled in nearly every wall framing system, be it timber framing, pole framing, conventional lumber framing, or framing specifically designed for straw clay infill.

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Upcoming Building Science Webinars

Posted by Green Builder Staff

May 5, 2017 9:48:23 AM

Green Builder Media is hosting two upcoming webinars our Building Science readers may be interested in.  

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Minnesota Company Promises a New Class of Better Building Products from Mixed, 100 Percent Recycled Plastic and Resins

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Apr 10, 2017 10:33:00 AM

The Envirolastech manufacturing facility, opening in April, claims it will produce structurally viable plastic composites.

A startup company has big dreams for post-consumer plastics, and we hope they come true. To date, no company has managed to make major market inroads with post-consumer plastic waste.

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New ASTM Guide Estimates Lifespan of Building Sealants

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Mar 30, 2017 9:00:00 AM

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., March 27, 2017 A new guide aims to help predict how building sealant systems will perform over time using accelerated testing methods. The new standard (soon to be published as C1850, Guide for Improved Laboratory Accelerated Tests to Predict the Weathering and for Developing Methods to Predict the Design Life of Building Sealant Systems) was developed by ASTM International’s committee on building seals and sealants

This guide describes the steps for developing laboratory accelerated tests for assessing the weathering effects on building sealants systems and developing methods for design life prediction of the systems. 1.2 This guide outlines a systematic approach to development of laboratory accelerated tests of building sealant systems including the identification of needed information, the development of accelerated tests, the application of data, and the reporting of results.

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