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Cool and Quiet: Can you have both in a multi-family project?

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jul 17, 2017 11:37:20 AM

At a landmark Rhode Island mixed-use project, an energy-efficient HVAC system means noise is no problem.

ORIGINALLY BUILT IN 1872, the Foundry has a rich history. Once the manufacturing campus of industrial powerhouse Brown & Sharpe, the 13 brick buildings located on 26 acres at the edge of downtown Providence, R.I., have been meticulously restored into a mixed-use complex that bridges old and new.

In the middle of the sprawling complex is the Sharpe Building at the Foundry, which served as a mill during the building’s manufacturing years. The goal for the renovation of the 157,500-square-foot, six-story building was to develop 196 loft-style luxury residences. But because it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003, the Sharpe Building required a renovation that upgraded functionality of the building while maintaining its historic design.

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Building Science Webinars

Posted by Green Builder Staff

May 5, 2017 9:48:23 AM

Green Builder Media hosted two webinars our Building Science readers may be interested in.  

Recordings of all our webinars are available here:  http://www.greenbuildermedia.com/impact-series-archive-ty


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Net-Zero Trifecta: Solar, Heat Pumps and Smart Controls

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Feb 14, 2017 12:21:29 PM

Getting to net zero is within easy reach with new technologies. The only real hurdles are politics and ignorance.

A FEW MONTHS AGO, I spoke to builder Gene Myers of Thrive Home Builders in Denver about whether mini-split heat pumps could be powered by solar PV panels, essentially converting electricity into affordable, clean heating and cooling for homes.

“We’re doing that on all of our new homes,” Myers told me. “We have been for a couple years now.”

That took me by surprise.

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Driving Innovation to Develop High-Performance Building Solutions

Posted by Jessica Porter

Oct 28, 2016 1:17:10 PM

Our annual building science partnership with the DOE and Building America takes a peek into new systems and products coming down the pipeline — to better manage building envelopes, moisture control, HVAC and IAQ.

ONE-FIFTH OF ALL energy consumption is used by buildings, and nearly half of that consumption is used to keep buildings cool, says Eric Werling, Building America program director for the Department of Energy (DOE). Because most Americans spend two-thirds of their lives inside their homes, it’s important to continue making those buildings and the systems inside them as energy efficient—and healthy to live in—as possible.

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Pros and Cons of Earthen Masonry Heating Systems

Posted by Erica and Ernie Wisner, Guest Columnists

Aug 1, 2016 12:00:00 AM

As an alternative to straight up passive solar design, super-efficient masonry heaters may make sense.

For the past decade, I've been focused on sustainable heating in the home. Average North American households use 30-70% of energy for heating and cooling. This is a direct cost of maintaining our lifestyles, both in dollars spent and impacts on communities and global resources.

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Video: Simple Transfer Fans Move Heat Around the Home

Posted by Christina B. Farnsworth

Oct 6, 2015 5:25:09 PM

Too hot. Too cold. Just right. AireShare Room-to-Room and Level-to-Level transfer fans make rooms more comfortable.

AireShare fans are unobtrusive solutions that circulate heated or cooled air from fireplaces, stoves, electric baseboards, split system “ductless” A/C and window A/C units to or within uncomfortable rooms.

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Combined Water and Space Heating

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Sep 25, 2015 3:18:00 PM

Single-source water and space heating, or “combi” systems that optimize efficiency are being developed through a series of lab tests and field trials.

BETTER INSULATION AND tighter envelopes are reducing space heating loads for new and existing homes. This makes it possible for both space and domestic water heating loads to be provided with a single heating plant, saving significant amounts of energy. These systems are called combination (combi) systems and have been the focus of ongoing field and lab studies conducted by the NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership.

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Pre-Packaged Pumps and Variable Speed Flow Can Save Labor and Energy

Posted by Brian James, Guest Columnist

Sep 22, 2015 3:26:00 PM

Combining the two can lead to efficient operation and energy savings.

Packaged pump systems are gaining in popularity because they include benefits such as space-saving design, simplified installation, single-source responsibility and advanced control options with the ability to communicate with other systems.

The term “packaged” means that all the components needed for the pump system are pre-engineered and mounted on a skid or base, making installation simple. In many cases, the installation consists of merely connecting the system up to the suction and discharge piping and providing power to the packaged pump system.  

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Duct-Sealing Strategies for Retrofits

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Sep 14, 2015 5:59:00 PM

A side-by-side field study of two duct-sealing techniques shows that both methods are effective and save energy with relatively short payback times.

Duct sealing can be difficult, costly and disruptive to deal with in a retrofit situation. The Advanced Residential Integrated Energy Solutions (ARIES) Collaborative conducted a field study to compare two techniques: manually applied sealants and injected Aeroseal aerosol. Their goals were to understand and compare the cost and effectiveness of these two approaches and to identify the logistical and technical issues that might affect large-scale implementation in low-rise multi-unit residential public housing complexes.

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Optimal Whole-House Ventilation

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Sep 4, 2015 4:51:00 PM

Choosing the optimal whole-house ventilation system for an existing home can improve indoor air quality and prolong the building’s life.

INCLUDING A MECHANICAL system for removing contaminants is critical for ensuring indoor environmental quality in today’s tighter homes. A report from the Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB) offers guidelines for selecting and installing ventilation systems for existing homes. (Note: Although the CARB report covers spot ventilation for bathrooms and kitchens, we are only including whole-house ventilation strategies.)

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