The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

leed certified glass homes all windows no wall insulation
Posted by Allison Bailes on April 1, 2012
New houses certified in the LEED for Homes program will be required to have 100% windows in all above-grade walls once the new 2012 update is approved by US Green Building Council (USGBC) members this summer. The LEED certification program has grown tremendously over the past decade, and in the...
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attic kneewall bonus room door
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 23, 2012
Yesterday I was doing a home energy rating for quality assurance in Augusta, Georgia, and the house I was in had a bonus room. Bonus rooms are often the least comfortable room in a house, and the main reason is that they are the most flawed part of the building envelope, especially the attic...
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The Nest Learning Thermostat makes setbacks easy.
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 17, 2012
Recently I ran a guest post here in the Energy Vanguard Blog by Ted Kidd, who argued against thermostat setbacks, saying they don't save energy anymore. His reasons were flawed and his car analogy misleading. Setting back your thermostat when you're away or at night definitely can save energy (...
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roof home performance sip house martin holladay rules
Posted by Allison Bailes on December 14, 2011
Ten years ago, I spent a fair amount of time up on the roof of the SIP house I was building. Now, Martin Holladay, the famous Energy Nerd of Green Building Advisor, has an article titled Martin’s Ten Rules of Roof Design. That's spooky! Say it's just coincidence if you will, but you can't deny that...
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The home energy videos on these sites will educate you on building science.
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 16, 2011
We've made a few videos here at Energy Vanguard and will be adding a lot more to our TheEnergyVanguard YouTube channel. Videos are great for learning about building science and home energy audits, so here are some of my favorite sources for home energy videos.
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heat flow by conduction spray foam insulation in wall
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 14, 2011
Remember that science class where you learned about the three forms of heat flow: conduction, convection, and radiation? Well, class, let's make it real today. You insulate your walls, floors, and ceilings to limit the amount of heat your home loses on cold days and gains on hot days. That tells us...
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home building new construction green energy efficient structural insulated panel 07
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 12, 2011
Ten years ago, I was at the front end of building a green, high performance home. (That's me on the ladder connecting the two LVL ridge beams that support the structural insulated panel roof.) It was going to take only about two months from the time we got the foundation until we'd get our...
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Radiant barrier roof sheathing can lower the temperature in your attic, but is it cost-effective.
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 10, 2011
I'm teaching a HERS rater class this week, and on Monday we went out to look at a couple of houses and do a Blower Door test. The second house we visited was under construction, and the builder had used Louisiana-Pacific's radiant barrier decking, Techshield (photo, left).
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Melted snow on the roof due to a small hole in the spray foam insulation and a compromised building envelope
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 17, 2011
Snow on the Roof is the poor man's infrared camera. During the snow days we just had in Atlanta, Jeffrey Sauls, EVER rater and owner of D2D Sustainability, sent me the photo below.
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Peneda Geres National Park in Portugal, photo from Lonely Planet
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 27, 2010
I guess you could call me a contrarian. I usually go in the opposite direction from the crowds. In 1997, for example, I spent two weeks in Portugal, where most people head for the beaches south of Lisbon. Instead, I headed north and inland and ended up in a beautiful little town called Bragança and...
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