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Smart Green Building in the Age of a Pandemic

Posted by Terry Beaubois, Guest Columnist

Jul 13, 2020 11:42:58 AM

Human health has become the world’s No. 1 issue.

First of all, I hope that everyone reading this is healthy and that your family members are healthy, as well. I do know people who are directly affected by health issues currently. I reside in Santa Clara County, Calif., one of the hardest-hit areas in the U.S. and I’ve been sheltering in place since February.

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DIY on the Rise

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Jul 9, 2020 11:55:23 AM

With people spending more time at home during the pandemic, DIY projects have surged by up to 75% in some markets, even with concerns about spending.  Which types of projects are trending?

While a surprisingly high number of consumers are looking to change their living situation by buying new or existing homes, those choosing to remain in place are finding refuge in redesign and remodeling projects.

For obvious reasons, homeowners have been hesitant to bring contractors into their homes, leading to a surge in DIY projects.

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The IECC - Onward With Online Voting

Posted by Mike Collignon

Jul 8, 2020 1:34:20 PM

Is e-voting helpful or harmful to code development? Eight ICC shareholders offer their views.

In our last article, we detailed the 2021 IECC preliminary voting results. The outcome certainly generated a lot of passionate response. Starting in mid-January, the letters started pouring in to the International Code Council (ICC) from stakeholders such as the Leading Builders of America, AIA, NAHB, NASEO, NEMA and state and local code officials.

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VISION House at Mariposa Meadows: Exterior Motives

Posted by Cati O'Keefe

Jul 8, 2020 12:25:33 PM

Don’t be fooled by the tranquil appearance of the VISION House at Mariposa Meadows—this is a powerhouse built to withstand the most extreme weather.

Spring finally comes to the meadow. The U.S. Forest Service truck idles at the gate while a ranger unlocks the metal bars that have blocked traffic from the forest road during the treacherous winter season. It is this way every year. From the first real snowfall in November through the end of May, the road to Mariposa Meadows, deep within the San Juan mountains of Colorado near Telluride, remains closed.

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COGNITION Hot Take: Gen Xers Are Not Okay

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Jul 8, 2020 10:14:24 AM

Gen Xers have been hit hardest financially, and perhaps emotionally, by the Coronavirus.

According to COGNITION Smart Data, Green Builder Media’s suite of market intelligence services, Gen Xers are feeling the pinch of the economic downturn more than any other generation.

35% of Gen Xers are delaying home improvements, and 12% are delaying home purchases.

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Remove the Bad Septic Odor From Your Home for About $100

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Jul 7, 2020 8:55:36 AM

What causes foul odors from septic systems to enter a home? A failed sink or toilet trap could be the cause. But older homes on slabs sometimes have failed J-shaped traps buried below the slab. Here are 7 easy steps to depressurize the system and clear the air.

During the long months of the Covid-19 lockdowns, my septic system odors became progressively worse. I noticed they would creep inside my home whenever I ran the kitchen range hood or turned on the dryer.

But also just randomly on hot days the odor would get bad. I was worried. It’s coronavirus world. How could I spend $10,000 on a new septic system, an alternative septic system, or a sub-slab excavation right now, when we don’t know yet if we’ll have an economy in two years?

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Better Buildings Offers Two Webinars

Posted by Cati O'Keefe

Jul 6, 2020 1:09:15 PM

Two new webinars will teach you about distributed energy resources and low-income solar strategies.

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Federal Tax Credit Extension

Posted by Cati O'Keefe

Jul 6, 2020 10:35:29 AM

Legislation to amend and extend federal tax credit for energy-efficient homes (45L) is moving in Congress. Sign On Now to Support

The U.S. House approved an infrastructure legislative package - H.R. 2, “The Moving Forward Act” that contains provisions to extend and modernize the federal 45L tax credit for energy efficient homes

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Three Keys to Reducing Airborne Covid-19 in Elementary Schools

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Jul 5, 2020 3:46:40 AM

How can we make the return to kindergarten or elementary school safer during the pandemic? Ventilate, filter and humidify to optimal levels.

BASED ON WHAT WE KNOW about the coronavirus, no child will be 100 percent safe going back into an enclosed classroom in the U.S., even if PPEs and social distancing rules are strictly followed. Enclosed spaces without proper ventilation create ideal conditions for coronavirus spread.

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IAPMO Solicits Proposals for 2024 UPC, UMC

Posted by Cati O'Keefe

Jul 2, 2020 12:56:47 PM

IAPMO calls for formal code proposals toward the development of the 2024 editions of these American National Standard designated model codes.

The code proposal form, as well as proposal instructions and background on IAPMO’s ANSI-accredited consensus process, may be found at http://codes.]iapmo.org/form_proposals_upc_umc_2024.aspx. All proposals recommending new text, revised text or the deletion of text must be written in legislative format and clearly state the reason behind the recommendation.

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New Study Finds U.S. Real Estate at Far Higher Risk of Flooding than FEMA Estimates

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Jul 2, 2020 12:51:16 PM

A non-profit’s report heightens the urgent need for more resilient housing.  Many regions, including Washington D.C., are likely to face extreme flooding over the next few years--far worse than their FEMA designation.

The First Street Foundations studied FEMA designated flood areas of interest, and found that the government has vastly underestimated the real risk.

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Solving for Climate Change

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Jul 2, 2020 12:15:16 PM

In this time of strife and upheaval, some government leaders want to take action, evidenced by the plan issued earlier this week by the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis that incorporates a strategic blend of government mandates, tax incentives, green jobs, and new infrastructure to achieve net zero emissions and create a more just society.  Will it work?

The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America, a 538-page proposal released earlier this week by the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, lays out a framework to address climate action, social justice, and a sustainable economy.

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COGNITION Hot Take: Electrification Trends

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Jul 2, 2020 11:31:47 AM

What do Florida and California have in common this week beyond soaring COVID cases?  Both states are abuzz with conversation about electrification.

Electrification of buildings and transportation is accelerating from coast to coast.  According to COGNITION Smart Data, Green Builder Media’s suite of market intelligence services, there has been a noticeable uptick recently in online conversations about electrification, many of which focus on the cost savings associated with all-electric homes.

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