August 5, 2021

Zero Homes Are Great: Let’s Make Them Better — Zero 2.0

Ten years ago, making a home or building generate as much energy as it uses over the course of a year seemed an immense challenge. Tens of thousands of these advanced energy-efficient structures have been built. But they need to be better to meet the challenges of climate change, health, security, and resilience. So what’s next? Zero 2.0! 

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June 9, 2021

The Mythical Threat to Double-Stud Walls

When choosing a high-performance wall assembly, you have many choices. One of them is to build double-stud walls. The double-stud wall approach sometimes raises the concern that it will lead to mold growth and wood rot. Is this fear based in reality? Green Building Advisor checked it out and found that wood-moisture content and seasonal temperature fluctuations do not seem to create moisture problems in double-stud walls.

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March 18, 2021

Bill Gates’ Path to Zero

He may no longer be the world’s richest man, but he still has some big ideas about reducing greenhouse gases. Gates’ latest book describes an ambitious, well-thought-out, set of climate actions needed to get to zero by 2050. Building efficiency and electric vehicles are just the “easy” part. Here are highlights from his plan for what must be done and how to make it happen. It's a must read for all who want to help avoid a climate disaster.

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February 6, 2021

Time to Build and Buy Homes that Power Electric Vehicles 

Two trends are now converging that will promote a zero energy lifestyle. First, electric vehicle sales are poised to grow dramatically. Second, positive energy homes are growing in popularity. These homes create enough energy to supply all at-home energy use and much of the transportation energy for households. It's time for building professionals to build positive energy homes for homebuyers who will soon be driving and charging electric vehicles.

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December 10, 2020

Five Things I Learned From Buying a Used Electric Car

If you’re thinking about an electric vehicle, but have been put off by the purchase price, you might consider a used vehicle. With the growing availability of new EVs, early adopters are trading in their older models for new technology, creating an affordable option for others.

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September 11, 2020

Protect Homebuyers, Reward Efficiency

Economists often say that markets make the best decisions. But that can be true only when markets have accurate and complete information. Today, the housing market is flying blind regarding one of the most important characteristics of a home: energy use. The solution is mandatory energy disclosure at the time of sale. It’s good for buyers, sellers and the climate.

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September 11, 2020

Keep Zero Energy Construction Simple

Ted L. Clifton of Zero Energy Plans has been designing and building zero energy homes using structural insulated panels (SIPs) for many years. He shares his thoughts about affordability, building codes, and electrification in this interview.

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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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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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February 15, 2020

Wall Upgrades for Deep Energy Retrofits

Upgrading the energy performance of walls in an existing home is the most challenging aspect of a deep energy retrofit. One of these eight options will work for just about any zero energy renovation.

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January 22, 2020

Achieve Comfort and Reliable Performance with Cold-Climate Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are on track to replace heating systems that burn fossil fuels. Modern inverter-driven models can be extremely efficient, even at low outdoor temperatures, and they are capable of supplying all a home’s comfort needs. Here are three tips for builders and HVAC contractors to reach peak heat pump performance and keep customers happy.

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January 22, 2020

Zero Energy Buildings Surge Ahead

The 2019 inventories of zero energy buildings show growth is strong in this important sector of the construction industry. New homes, apartments, and commercial buildings are increasing their share of the market at an impressive pace.

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