Remodeling and Home Design

Modern. Sustainable. Atlanta. 404.303.7280

    • February

      13

      2014
    • 1742
    • 0

    Super-insulated and Passive Homes laugh at the polar vortex

    In December, JLC featured four advanced high-performance, super-insulated building designs. This week, we talked with homeowners who are living in some houses built following those designs to find out how the homes are coping with this year’s record cold.

    • January

      13

      2013
    • 422
    • 0

    Making Healthier, Greener Foam Insulation

    I’ve come down fairly hard on certain types of foam insulation over the years. The downsides include theblowing agents used in extruded polystyrene (XPS) and most closed-cell spray polyurethane foam and the flame retardants that are added to all foam-plastic insulation to impart some level of fire resistance.

    Now there’s an effort afoot to change building codes in a way that would allow manufacturers to remove the hazardous flame retardants. This is the subject of a just-published……..

    • December

      30

      2012
    • 402
    • 0

    Why Plastic Foam Insulation Is Like a Twinkie: Lessons Green Builders Can Learn From Michael Pollan

    Green building means different things to different people, but improved insulation and reducing energy use is certainly up at the top of everyone’s list. Some of the most effective insulations are made from plastic foam, either in rigid boards or sprayed foams.

    But there are concerns; Architect Ken Levenson recently wrote a controversial article, Why Foam Fails. Reason #1: Dangerous Toxic Ingredients, which was the start of a series that is very critical of foam insulation. I wrote about it inDoes Foam Insulation Belong in Green Buildings? 13 Reasons It Probably Doesn’t and at the Green Building Advisor, the discussion almost turned into a flame war between those who think that plastic foam does a great job, and those who agree with ……….

    • January

      22

      2012
    • 410
    • 0

    Resilient Design: Passive Solar Heat

    a resilient home is extremely well-insulated, so that it can be kept warm with very little supplemental heat–and if power or heating fuel is lost, for some reason, there won’t be risk of homeowners getting dangerously cold or their pipes freezing. If we design and orient the house in such a way that natural heating from the sun can occur, we add to that resilience and further reduce the risk of the house getting too cold in the winter.

    • May

      22

      2011
    • 387
    • 0

    Counting Down to Energy Star 3.0

    Green builders need to be thinking now about upcoming changes to the EPA’s Energy Star for Homes program, according to a speaker at the recent NAHB Green Building Conference in Salt Lake City. Homes that earn the Energy Star designation after Jan. 1, 2012, will need to comply with Version 3.0 requirements, which are built on a three-pronged approach to energy efficiency that entails controlling air flow, thermal flow, and moisture flow.

    • April

      17

      2011
    • 413
    • 0

    Location Efficiency: The Energy Efficiency Opportunity of “Where” Is Here

    How does where we build our homes, businesses, and transportation infrastructure impact our energy use? A recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report attempts to tackle just that question. The report analyzes the energy use associated with different housing and neighborhood types. It also serves as a concise and readable primer on research related to the energy implications of “location efficiency.” Read the rest here.

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