The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

net zero energy house serenbe proud green home imery
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 26, 2013
I spoke at Serenbe,† a beautiful green community southwest of Atlanta, this weekend and got a chance to visit a net zero energy home while there. Built by Luis Imery, one of the home energy raters we're a HERS provider for, the home has garnered quite a bit of recognition. In fact, they recently...
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residential architect survey hometrends chart 5 2013652
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 21, 2013
I was searching the Interwebs for data on what percentage of buildings are designed by architects this week when I came across the Home Design Trends Survey from the American Institute of Architects (AIA). (If you can point me toward some good sources for my original question, please do.) The...
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Albert Einstein knew that planning ahead was the key to solving problems.
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 4, 2013
I get a lot of questions from people asking how they should go about fixing their homes. Sometimes it's specific (What's the best way to insulate my kneewalls?), and sometimes it's a hands up in the air, With all these problems, where do I start?  I'll focus on the latter today and let Albert...
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energy star new home program dying
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 30, 2013
Back in 2009, I attended a webinar given by Sam Rashkin, head of the ENERGY STAR new homes program at the time. (He has since left the EPA for the DOE.) He explained the changes coming in the program as they prepared for the transition from what we now call Version 2 to the new Version 3. The part...
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air conditioner ducts outdoors
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 11, 2013
Today for your enjoyment, I have some mighty fine photos for you. They speak for themselves, really, so I don't have to say much. First up is a nice package unit air conditioner (or heat pump) in Little Rock, Arkansas. The flex duct—yes, flex—runs from the ground up to the attic. Notice that it's...
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ventilation energy recovery ventilator erv electronic damper
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 9, 2013
If you're designing a ventilation system, first you have to determine how much air the house needs. You can use ASHRAE 62.2 or the new BSC-01 for that task. Then you have to decide what type of ventilation system to use: positive pressure, negative pressure, or balanced. In many green homes, the...
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million dollar home crappy hvac wall street journal
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 8, 2013
The fellow standing in the home he's having built is proud. It's his dream home in Brookline, Massachusetts after all. The Wall Street Journal last week published an article about affluent home buyers getting their own jumbo construction loans to do just as Mr. Deshpande has done. Usually, they...
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huntington condo building science problems
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 30, 2013
Hi. My name is Allison, and I'm a building science zealot. I preach the gospel of building science, yet in my own life, I fall short of the perfection I exhort others to attain. Yes, I once built a green home that had many of the features I promote here, but if you've been reading this blog for a...
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ptac hvac dirty moldy fan air conditioner hotel
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 25, 2013
You just never know what you'll find in a hotel room. I'm a curious guy so I have to check things out, and this week I found some interesting stuff in the air conditioner of the room they gave me here in Hattiesburg. As I was sitting at the desk, I noticed that the fan looked white as the squirrel...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on September 16, 2013
If you have a home with a crawl space—or are building or buying one—you have several options on what to do with that particular foundation type. Most crawl spaces are vented to the outdoors, but over the past decade, encapsulating the crawl space (as shown below) has gained favor among builders of...
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