The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

Posted by Allison Bailes on January 11, 2016
Niels Bohr, a Danish physicist, said "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." Bohr was a pretty smart guy, having been one of the folks who got the whole quantum physics thing going a century ago, and I'm not inclined to disagree with him on this matter.
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near net zero energy home utah 2
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 18, 2015
I'm writing this on St. Patrick's Day so let me tell you a wee bit about the O'Mearas. Kevin and Svetlana O'Meara live in a beautiful home in Utah that's oh-so-close to being a net zero energy home. After I wrote about how home building is like skiing two years ago, Kevin invited me out to see...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on June 3, 2013
When I wrote about the net zero energy home that Amy Musser and Matt Vande built, I was really impressed that they were willing to share the mistakes they'd made and what they would do differently if they could go back and start over. Several readers remarked on that in the comments as well. Since...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on April 18, 2013
The tragedy of this is that in the effort to sell Advanced Framing as a whole package, presenting it as an alternative to Western Platform Framing, the sensible housing industry has thrown out the very easy and productive suggestions from the first list along with the bathwater that is the ill-...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on April 17, 2013
A few weeks ago Allison made a couple of quips that could be construed as critical of Advanced Framing methods, also often referred to optimistically as Optimum Value Engineering (OVE). I myself am generally critical of Advanced Framing, so perhaps I was just reading into Allison's comments what I...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on March 13, 2013
Martin Holladay, the Energy Nerd of Green Building Advisor, is in Atlanta this week to speak at the Greenprints conference put on by Southface Energy Institute. He asked if I could take him to see some homes in Georgia so he could get a feel for the state of construction and green building in our...
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green home building self delusion
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 28, 2012
I loved the book,* A Beautiful Mind, the story of John Forbes Nash, Jr. It was fascinating to read about how he approached mathematical problems, and even more fascinating to read about his descent into paranoid schizophrenia. Nash, who later got the Nobel Prize after decades of madness, had, shall...
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Green Building: Principles and Practices in Residential Construction by Abe Kruger and Carl Seville, a review
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 2, 2012
Ah, textbooks, those compendia of facts and figures that we lug around when we're in school. We do multitudinous homework assignments out of them and spend countless hours trying to make sense of the great collections of information within them. I spent 24 years in school as a student and another...
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John Belushi College trades HVAC building science
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 24, 2012
Do you really need to go to college? If your heart's not in it, you can't find a field of study that excites you, and your college degree doesn't help your job prospects, the answer may be no. But what can you do without a college degree? Plenty, as it turns out. And there's also plenty you can do...
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Are photovoltaic modules the greenest product? That's one of many green products in this LEED Platinum building Maine.
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 7, 2012
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, what's the greenest product of all? You can find lists of the best green building products all over the web, and many sites update them annually. When looking for hot green building products, you have so many choices:
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