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GreenSpec Insights

GreenSpec Introduces Faster, Deeper Search

Posted by Tristan Roberts on 04/18/2014

BuildingGreen is bringing its members changes to the industry-leading GreenSpec tool, making it easier on the eyes and faster to find products.

On April 19, BuildingGreen, Inc. rolled out a new GreenSpec tool to its members that has a new design and makes it easier and faster to quickly find greenest-of-the-green products for your project.

Things you love that we didn’t change

GreenSpec will continue to be offered to BuildingGreen members as an integral part of our...

6 Ways Our Household is Saving Water—And Energy

Posted by Alex Wilson on 04/08/2014

Saving energy isn’t only about using less electricity and fuel; it’s about saving water.

In this weekly blog, I’ve focused a lot of attention on the energy-saving measures at our new home—from the innovative insulation materials we used to the air-source...

Urine Collection Beats Composting Toilets for Nutrient Recycling

Posted by Alex Wilson on 04/02/2014

Human urine collection and use provides a better way to recycle nutrients than use of composting toilets.

Just when you thought it was safe to enjoy this blog over a cup of coffee here’s an article on…urine?

...

Can This Man Reinvent Concrete?

Posted by Alex Wilson on 03/26/2014

A California company, Blue Planet, is reinventing concrete and envisions a world in which the 8 billion tons of concrete used each year sequester billions of tons of carbon dioxide.

I’ve been in the San Francisco ...

Our Green Home Cost a Lot, But Yours Doesn't Have To

Posted by Alex Wilson on 03/19/2014

Our house cost a lot more than I would have liked, but many of the ideas used in it could be implemented more affordably.

My wife and I tried out a lot of innovative systems and materials in the renovation/rebuild of our Dummerston, Vermont home—some of which added considerably to the project cost. Alas!

The induction cooktop that I...

Safe, All-Electric "Induction" Cooking: Try This At Home

Posted by Alex Wilson on 03/12/2014

Induction cooktops respond quickly, avoid gas combustion, are tops in energy efficiency, and limit risk of burns.

One of our early decisions in the planning for our farmhouse renovation/re-build was to avoid any fossil fuels. If the State of Vermont can have a goal to shift 90% of our energy consumption to renewable sources by 2050, we want be able to demonstrate 100% renewables for our house today.

That decision meant using...

Heat Pump Water Heaters in Cold Climates: Pros and Cons

Posted by Alex Wilson on 03/05/2014

While a heat-pump water heater will save significant energy on a year-round basis, be aware that in a cold climate the net performance (water heating plus space heating) will drop in the winter.

We chose a heat pump water heater for our new house, and as I've recently discussed here, there are a lot of reasons why you might be doing the...

Picking a Water Heater: Solar vs. Electric or Gas Is Just the Beginning

Posted by Alex Wilson on 02/26/2014

Why we opted for electric water heating over a solar water heater

As we build more energy-efficient houses, particularly when we go to extremes with insulation and air tightness, as with Passive House projects, water heating becomes a larger and larger share of overall energy consumption (see Solar Thermal Hot Water, Heating, and Cooling...

Insulated Vinyl Siding: Worth the Extra Cost?

Posted by Peter Yost on 02/20/2014

Two studies indicate some benefits to using insulated vinyl siding, but more data is needed to win over this skeptic.

Setting aside the overall environmental profile of the oft-demonized PVC (check our coverage in this month’s EBN feature “The PVC Debate: A Fresh Look”), I’ve been getting a lot of questions about insulated vinyl siding—the vinyl siding with form-fitted expanded...

Commissioning Our Home's Heat-Recovery Ventilator

Posted by Alex Wilson on 02/18/2014

To function properly, any ducted HRV has to be balanced after installation

After choosing and installing our state-of-the-art heat-recovery ventilator (HRV), we completed a critical step in the installation of any...

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Recent Discussions

posted by Satibaba
on Apr 21, 2014

After reading negative post on this forum, as a lifetime "Ecologically Sound" builder I have to post a positive response for AAC . Having lived...

posted by lloydalter
on Apr 11, 2014

I don't think it is a question of urine separating beating composting toilets...

posted by lloydalter
on Mar 27, 2014

My former boss Graham Hill, who built a high end tiny apartment after he left TreeHugger, used induction in an interesting way: since they use so...