Expensive callbacks and lawsuits can result when you don’t attend to the assembly details.
We’ve all heard the nightmare scenarios: water leaks that mar the finest architectural features of a new building; air leaks that cause hidden mold or rot inside the walls; thermal bridges that compromise occupant comfort and energy performance.
Money on the line
These scenarios have two things in common: first, they could all land you in court...
Since when are coal-burning power plants “consumers”? A look at NSF’s dubious recycling definitions.
Fly ash, a by-product of coal combustion, is considered “post-industrial” or “pre-consumer” recycled content by just about everyone…with the notable exception of NSF, which recently, and inexplicably, decided to label fly ash “post-consumer” for its...
What to like and what not to like about pellet stoves and pellet boilers.
We have a sort-of love-hate relationship with our pellet stove. My wife leans more toward the latter, while I see the benefits outweighing the negatives. In this column I’ll outline the primary advantages and disadvantages of pellet heating.
Advantages of wood pellet heating
Regional fuel. The...
Sometimes bikers have to improvise where to leave their bikes, but many common bike racks may be worse than nothing.
Biking cross-country from San Francisco to Boston with a friend in 2010, I saw few showers, and had even fewer shaves. As we paused for rest at various cities, towns, and trees across America, we attracted a lot of attention for looking like we lived out of the packs on our bikes (probably because we did).
But while we were seeing a lot of our bicycles, a lot...
Concrete and other cementitious materials have both environmental advantages and disadvantages. As builders and designers, should we be looking for alternatives or embracing concrete over competing materials?
A new report from BuildingGreen, What You Need to Know About Concrete and Green Building, takes a look at how these materials are made, presents the key environmental considerations relating to their...
LED replacement lamps look super-efficient on payback charts and utility bills, but they may be sucking more power than you realize.
GreenSpec and EBN have reviewed a number of LED replacement lamps over the years and have reported on improvements in efficacy (light output in lumens per watt of electricity consumption),...
Did you miss the live webcast? Get it here for free—and take a quiz for continuing education credits too.
Nadav Malin and I had a great time presenting our webcast featuring BuildingGreen's new handbook, “Toxic Chemicals in Buildings: How to Find & Avoid the Worst Offenders,” to almost 500 participants in late September.
If you missed it—or if, like many audience...
The new Declare "nutrition label" and database will streamline the ardous task of finding Living Building Challenge-compliant products.
After teasing the Living Building Challenge community for a couple of years with promises of an ingredient label for products, the International Living Future Institute has launched Declare.
The branding and basic premise of the program are as we described back in January, in the Environmental...
Wood smoke is still a guilty pleasure in the northern U.S. and Canada. But newer wood stove technologies produce less smoke—and less guilt.
I love fall and the start of heating season here in Vermont: the leaves are changing colors, there’s frost on the grass, and the morning fog mingles with smoke from wood stoves, its scent triggering memories of home, family, warmth, and the pending winter.
There must be some primeval connection to smoke that I find comforting, yet I know...
This simple system for recovering heat from wastewater makes a lot of sense—especially for families and commercial buildings that produce a lot of hot water.
Over the past few weeks I’ve written about various strategies to produce hot water efficiently. We’ve seen that tankless water heaters are more efficient than storage water heaters (though are not without their drawbacks), and we’ve learned that heat-pump water heaters produce two to three...
About the Authors
Alex Wilson is founder and executive editor of BuildingGreen, Inc., and coeditor of GreenSpec. For more than 30 years, Alex has been the most trusted voice on energy efficiency and environmentally responsible design and construction. Since launching Environmental Building News (EBN) in 1992, he’s built a reputation, resources, and staff to serve the companies for whom sustainable design is a core value.
Brent Ehrlich is BuildingGreen’s products editor, conducts research and writes product and category insights for the company’s GreenSpec product directory. He also contributes product reviews and feature articles for Environmental Building News, and is a contributing editor to McGraw-Hill’s GreenSource magazine.
Jennifer Atlee is research director at BuildingGreen, responsible for guiding the in-depth independent research that is the hallmark of all BuildingGreen resources. With her broad knowledge in sustainability, analytical acumen, and passion for improving the standards used to assess the sustainability of products, processes, and organizations, Jennifer brings strong direction to the research process behind GreenSpec’s product-screening decisions, and technical rigor to BuildingGreen’s custom research projects.
Tristan Roberts is Editorial Director at BuildingGreen, Inc., a position that requires broad knowledge about sustainable design, deep understanding of products, and mastery of all things LEED. Tristan Roberts brings that to Environmental Building News, GreenSpec, and LEEDuser, a plug-in tool supported by the U.S. Green Building Council to provide credit-by-credit advice for LEED projects.
Peter Yost brings more than 25 years' experience in building, researching, teaching, writing, and consulting on high-performance homes to his role as director of residential services for BuildingGreen. He has been called upon to provide his building-science expertise to the nation’s leading homebuilding programs, including NAHB’s Green Building Standard, USGBC's LEED for Homes, EPA’s WaterSense, and the U.S. Department of Energy's Building America.
Paula Melton, BuildingGreen’s managing editor, brings a dynamic style, critical mind, and sharp wit to the many feature articles, blog posts, and product reviews she writes for GreenSpec, BuildingGreen.com, Environmental Building News, and other BuildingGreen-supported websites.
Nadav Malin is president of BuildingGreen, where he oversees the company’s industry-leading information and community-building resources and consulting services. He also convenes and facilitates gatherings of industry leaders, and lends his technical expertise and vision to GreenSource magazine. Nadav was the founding chair of the Materials & Resources Technical Advisory Group for LEED.
These would be fine for warmer temperate climates, where heat loss and gain are not significant issues. I've usually used the 400 Series, and...
Is ComfortBoard currently available on the West coast, and do you know if anyone on the West coast has used it yet?