November 9, 2020

Low Carbon Concrete – Starting from the Ground Up

Concrete is the largest source of embodied carbon in buildings, but we can change that. “Green” concrete products are now available that range from somewhat lower carbon, to zero carbon, and carbon negative. Concrete may just flip from villain to hero when builders, designers, and homebuyers demand it.

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October 15, 2020

Builders – Get Ready for the Renewable Energy Revolution  

The construction landscape is changing rapidly and one of the major drivers is the revolution in renewable energy. These six renewable technology innovations are already shaping the market for new homes. Designers and builders who understand and take advantage of these changes will ride the wave. Those that don’t may just wipe out.

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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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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 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

How to Buy Carbon Offsets 

With only a few years left to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we must move rapidly toward a zero carbon society. Direct action is essential, but can’t happen fast enough. Carbon credits must play an important role in the transition.

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