August 15, 2020

Fast-tracking Building Energy Retrofits

At current rates, most offices and homes will not be retrofitted for decades or even centuries to acceptable levels of energy efficiency. One approach is mandatory building performance standards—requiring existing buildings to meet a performance benchmark (energy or carbon intensity, performance rating, etc.), with owners having multiple years to bring buildings into compliance.

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August 8, 2020

Hey Boomer! Pay Your Carbon Debt!

Baby boomers have enjoyed unprecedented financial opportunity, convenience, and economic security— benefits built largely from extraction and burning of fossil fuels. The resulting impact on Earth’s climate has created the Baby Boomer carbon debt. It’s time for them to take action to preserve the climate for future generations, but there’s not much time.

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July 19, 2020

Are Solar Roofs Ready To Go Mainstream?

On new and retrofitted roofs, you can now use aesthetically pleasing solar shingles to keep the weather out and generate renewable energy. They’re more cost-effective than you may think. We compare costs with other roof options and review pros and cons to help you decide if they are right for you.

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June 12, 2020

Does Your Insulation Have Low Embodied Carbon?

Zero energy homes need thick layers of insulation, but some materials have serious climate impacts. Identify the key factors that affect the carbon footprint of insulation materials and some good choices for future projects.

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June 11, 2020

Energy-Efficient Windows Help Close Holes in Your Envelope 

Seven times more heat can escape through a window than a wall. There are more choices than ever to balance energy performance with the other important benefits of windows. Choosing windows wisely will help close the gap.

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June 8, 2020

The Smog in Your Kitchen – What the Experts Say

Experts Say Cooking with gas is hazardous to health, according to research that spans the last several decades. A recent study puts the issue in stark terms. Air inside homes can be more unhealthy than outdoor pollution even during a wild fire that fills the air with smoke.

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June 8, 2020

The Many Benefits of All-Electric Design

Decades of advertising tell us that gas is cheap. Even without factoring in the cost of climate change, natural gas is no longer the least expensive choice for residential use. It’s a new era of cost-effective, low carbon, all-electric homes.

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May 20, 2020

Offset Embodied Carbon With Solar Panels   

Thoughtful zero energy design and material selection is only the first step to reducing the climate impact of a new building to zero. In the end, the building needs to generate enough positive energy on site to compensate for both its embodied carbon and its operational energy.

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May 20, 2020

Four Steps to Zero Carbon Buildings

New homes and buildings will stand for decades, if not centuries. The carbon emissions embodied in the building materials and resulting from the manufacturing and construction processes must be factored into their overall carbon footprints. These four steps will get us started on the path to zero carbon.

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May 19, 2020

Transitioning to Building Zero Energy Homes? Start With Land Acquisition

Production builders are uniquely positioned to move the housing market toward zero energy homes. They also have unique challenges. The first one is finding land that supports zero energy rather than hinders it.

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April 13, 2020

Heat Pump Magic

Heat pumps make homes comfortable, heat water, and even dry clothes. And they do it far more efficiently than other methods. It’s not magic, it’s science!

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April 13, 2020

A Zero Carbon Building Primer

Zero energy buildings are here and growing in the market. Now it’s time to set our sights on the next step in the evolution of building design and construction: zero carbon.

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