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The HERS Variability Study: What Does It Mean for the Industry?

Posted by Mike Collignon

Apr 22, 2019 12:26:47 PM

Only time will tell if the industry is headed for a better code compliance method.

By now, you might have heard about the Home Energy Rating Variability Study, which was prepared for the Department of Energy (DOE) and conducted by the six regional energy efficiency organizations (REEOs). It was first summarized at the February 2018 RESNET Board meeting, but the complete report was finally released in January 2019. The following is a summary and commentary on the study, as well as its potential ramifications on the building industry.

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Kingspan Launches Three New Insulated Metal Roofing Systems

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Apr 16, 2019 6:58:43 PM

Kingspan is introducing three new roof panels to the market: KingSeam, KingRib 3 and KingRib 5 . The new options give architects and specifiers additional options for easy-to-install, low-maintenance metal insulated roofing systems that offer superior thermal performance and a high level of fire protection. 

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The Problem with HRVs

Posted by Srikanth Puttagunta, PE, Steven Winter Associates

Apr 15, 2019 11:04:19 AM

When integrated with the HVAC system, most E/HRV's don't deliver the desired ventilation air. A new design seeks to solve this problem, but EEBA needs your input.

Builders believe that if they install an Energy Recovery or Heat Recovery Ventilator (E/HRV) they have ensured good indoor air quality. In reality, that's seldom the case.

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Remediating Seismic Deficiencies in Historic Buildings

Posted by Antonio Aguilar, Guest Columnist

Mar 18, 2019 11:46:00 AM

Achieving desired building performance objectives depends on the specific occupant needs, site, and building conditions. The particular approaches to achieving this should also be tailored to the unique historic character and conditions of each building, and the specific seismic deficiencies that need to be remedied or mitigated. Most seismic deficiencies and possible required mitigation techniques can be divided into the general categories described here. Although not an exhaustive list, it is intended to provide an overview of the scope of work a building owner or project manager might expect during a seismic rehabilitation.

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WSU Turning Recycled Carbon Fiber into Green Building Materials

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Mar 4, 2019 11:05:07 AM

Washington State University researchers are working with a Port Angeles nonprofit organization to develop new housing materials from heat‑treated wood and recycled carbon fiber used in Boeing airplanes.

Researchers from WSU’s Composite Materials and Engineering Center (CMEC) are assisting the Composites Recycling Technology Center (CRTC) in Port Angeles to produce construction‑grade cross‑laminated timber (CLT). A demonstration panel for the first phase of the project will be on display from March 19–21 at the 2019 International Mass Timber Conference in Portland, Ore.

Cross‑laminated timber is a relatively new building material in the U.S. that has significant advantages in sustainability over many traditional housing materials, said Don Bender, CMEC director and Weyerhaeuser Distinguished Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, who is the lead investigator for WSU.

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New Study Uncovers Favorability of Energy Efficient Homes Among Builders’ Customers

Posted by Meghan Wiedeburg, Guest Columnist, PERC

Mar 4, 2019 9:34:15 AM

PERC-commissioned study sheds light on the topic of sustainability.

New research has found that a large majority of residential customers — who are driven by cost savings and environmental impact — are prioritizing energy efficiency in home projects, and even willing to pay more to achieve those energy goals.

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Tool Test: The Solar Jobsite

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Dec 18, 2018 3:36:35 PM

New tools and battery systems bring the off-grid solar jobsite a step closer. 

When Ryobi unveiled its new 18V One+ 10-Inch Miter Saw, the time seemed right to test the viability of an all-solar-powered jobsite. I already owned a number of the Ryobi tools that use the same battery, along with a Ryobi P131 in-vehicle charger (a must), so I had them round out the suite for me with the miter saw, a P5231 orbital jig saw, a five-inch random orbit sander P411—and a plug-in, six-port battery supercharger.

My friend Oscar van Loveren is a well-informed solar dabbler and airline pilot. He walked me through the basic mathematics of watts, amps and capacity when it comes to solar charging. He agreed that 200 watts of photovoltaic should be enough to bring a 100-amp, 12-volt battery up to charge over the course of a sunny day.

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Low Propane Costs Have Put Gas Efficiency on Top

Posted by Jesse Marcus, PERC

Dec 11, 2018 7:40:19 AM

Combined with high-efficiency appliances, propane's affordability makes it even more cost-efficient than electric heat pumps.

Zero net energy (ZNE) homes — structures that produce as much energy as they consume — are growing in popularity and rewarding builders for providing sustainable home solutions for homeowners in pursuit of energy-efficient living, and propane appliances have become part of that "movement."

The Net Zero Energy Coalition released a study in 2017 that provides insight into the magnitude of growth the ZNE market is experiencing. Its research found there to be more than 8,200 single-family and multifamily units of zero-energy housing across the U.S. and Canada in 2016. That was a 33 percent increase over the year prior — and the data shows there’s no slowing down. Nearly 30,000 additional zero energy projects are currently in the planning stages.

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Healthy Home and Net Zero Features in this Veteran-Built Home

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Dec 6, 2018 2:56:04 PM

The United Veterans Beacon House is a green home and career-maker.

"Everyone deserves to live in a healthy home.” This has become the operating slogan for United Way of Long Island Housing Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization that builds homes for local governments and several of the 126 agencies funded under the United Way of Long Island (UW-LI) umbrella. To fulfill this “healthy housing for all” vision, United Way began constructing homes to meet the guidelines of the U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home (ZEHR) program in 2014 and has certified five homes so far, including the United Veterans Beacon House, a 3,719-square-foot, two-story home in Huntington Station, N.Y.

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Cambridge Researchers Developing Self-Healing Concrete

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Dec 5, 2018 10:47:24 AM

Researchers at the University of Cambridge are using microencapsulation technologies developed by Dolomite Microfluidics to develop self-healing construction materials. 

As highlighted in recent BBC News broadcasts, the Department of Engineering’s Geotechnical and Environmental Research Group is developing microcapsules containing ‘healing’ agents – such as minerals, epoxy or polyurethane – which can be added to building materials to allow self-repair of small cracks which develop over time.* Dr Livia Ribeiro de Souza, a postdoctoral researcher in the group, explained: “Many composite building materials used in the construction industry – such as concrete – suffer fatigue over time, developing small cracks. We are hoping to overcome this problem by adding microcapsules filled with ‘healing’ agents to the concrete before it is used. The idea is that, as cracks begin to form, they rupture the microcapsules, releasing their payload and stabilizing the material.”

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