The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

Mid-century house in Atlanta
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 12, 2019
Let me tell you the story about a poor, young country boy who broke the law and launched me into my new project.  Back in February, I was driving home from work one evening when a driver T-boned me.  The crash totaled my car.  Fortunately, no one was hurt, but I was pissed because my car was paid...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on May 4, 2016
The Green Builder Coalition has been working hard on their Water Efficiency Rating Score — the WERS — for homes. The inaugural WERS training happened in Santa Fe, New Mexico in March. I was in that class, and I learned a lot. Now the program, which has been in development for the past couple of...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on February 17, 2016
Now's your chance. The inaugural train-the-trainer session on the Water Efficiency Rating Score, WERS, is happening in Santa Fe, New Mexico in just three weeks. Mike Collignon from the Green Builder Coalition has been doing an amazing job getting this new program off the ground. Last year I wrote...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on December 29, 2015
The year 2015 is almost finished. I've written 69 articles here in the Energy Vanguard Blog. I've been to a bunch of conferences and talked to a lot of people. A lot of thoughts about building science, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and more have gone through my head. As I sit here at the...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on December 2, 2015
I was at a meeting recently when the discussion turned to wall assemblies. One of the speakers then asked what we should do about vapor barriers. It's what everyone wants to know, right? Should I use a vapor barrier?  Should I install it on the inside or the outside? But I had a different question...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on November 20, 2015
"Oops! The house just had an accident. Whose turn is it to clean it up?" Yep. We're entering the season of accidental dehumidification. If you've got windows that start collecting water, like the one shown below, you're a victim of accidental dehumidification. It's not something you want in a...
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watersense low flush toilet water efficiency
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 11, 2015
Energy usually gets top billing in the green building community. It has a huge impact on the environment. We sometimes pay a significant amount for it (although most of us don't pay enough to motivate serious change, but that's another story). We can do energy modeling and home energy ratings. Plus...
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passive solar house richard levine kentucky 600
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 27, 2014
I've been in Lexington, Kentucky this week at the Midwest Residential Energy Conference. It was great! (And I played nice - I didn't mention in any of my talks that I'm a Florida Gator.) One of the many highlights for me was getting to visit Richard "Dick" Levine's 1970s passive solar house. It's...
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drainage plane wrb water control layer zip system
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 27, 2014
Are you ready to take the next step in being a building enclosure control freak? You already know about the 4 types of control layers, so let's go further now and look at the one that controls liquid water. But why should you care? All you gotta do is throw some housewrap on that sucker, right?
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water ice cube bizarre property
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 24, 2014
I love bizarre stuff. I love science. When those two come together, it's almost better than ice cream. And speaking of ice, that's what I'm talking about. Wednesday morning, I filled my orange silicone ice cube tray with tap water. When I opened the freezer that evening, I thought maybe I had...
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