Category Archives: Energy Efficiency

Green Alternatives to Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation can help save up to 50% in energy costs, protect a building from moisture intrusion, and provide sound insulation.  In addition, it provides two to three times more insulation that traditional fiberglass. However, according to Environmental Working Group, most common spray polyurethane foam insulation contains methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, or MDI, a synthetic chemical…

Mumbai City Museum to Get a New Green Extension

The Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum, Byculla, is all set to get a green extension. It was established in 1872 as the erstwhile Victoria & Albert Museum and is a sister museum to the V&A in London. The museum is city’s oldest and country’s third oldest. The Mumbai city museum had appointed Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC)…

Facebook Game Power House Saves Energy and Money

Facebook game Power House saves energy

The Facebook game Power House may finally make all those hours spent mindlessly playing games online pay off!  The object of the game is to guide a family of four through daily activities using as little energy as possible.  It is addicting and challenging, and teaches players how to save energy in real life. The…

CDL’s Treehouse is World’s Largest Vertical Garden

cdl treehouse largest vertical garden

Earlier this year, CDL’s Treehouse condo project in Singapore set the official Guinness World Record for world’s largest vertical garden. The building’s green wall covers nearly 2300 sq. meters, and is expected to save the building’s residents more than $500,000 in heating and cooling bills each year. CDL’s Treehouse was completed in 2013, but the…

US is Close to Building Net Zero Neighborhoods

Hidden in the suburbs of Sacramento, California, in an otherwise unremarkable subdivision, is the ZeroHouse. The ZeroHouse is special because, as its name suggests, it uses zero net energy from the region’s electrical grid, making it one of America’s first net zero homes– and it wasn’t significantly more expensive to build than the rest of…

Using Science to Get the Most Out of New Windows

Australia’s Sustainable Window Alliance (SWA) is using science to measure the properties of energy efficient windows for residential applications. The groups says that while windows represent only 8% of a home’s exterior surface, they can account for up to 60% of unwanted heat loss in winter and 91% of unwanted heat gain in summer … and that…

Making an Existing Home More Energy Efficient

Matthew and Sue Seip recently purchased a house in Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania to be near family members who live in the Philadelphia area. Sue Seip, a professor at Philadelphia University, specializes in interior design, and Matt Seip has an architecture degree, so “we are very green-conscious, so to speak, and are both LEED-certified professionals,” she said. “Green building is…

An Energy Efficient Home Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive

make your home more energy efficient

40% of all the energy consumed in America every year is used for heating or cooling homes and commercial buildings. Modern insulation, fiberglass composite windows and draft reducing doors combined with passive solar design and the use of solar panels could cut that energy usage in half. So why aren’t more people insisting on higher energy…

Fiberglass Windows Are More Energy Efficient

For making energy efficient windows, fiberglass composites offer many advantages over wood, aluminum and vinyl. Wood warps and rots over time, allowing air infiltration that undermines the insulating power of the glass. Aluminum conducts heat and cold into the interior of buildings. And vinyl can weaken with age leading to a breakdown in insulating power. Fiberglass…

Intus Windows Offers CE Credits For Architects

Intus Windows is one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of super efficient windows and doors. Its products meet the rigorous German Passive House standards for residential and commercial buildings. Intus is now expanding its marketing area to America and offering US architects the opportunity to earn valuable continuing education credits while attending its presentations and seminars around the…

Waxed Cardboard Insulation Comes From Produce Boxes

Students at Portland State University have developed a new insulation material made from shredded waxed cardboard produce boxes.  The insulation helps local grocery stores sustainably dispose of the boxes and could provide low-cost energy savings. PSU assistant architecture professor Margarette Leite heard that many local grocery stores were looking for a way to sustainably dispose…

Low-Cost Building Skin Cools While Using No Energy

Building skin cools building

Imagine a building that self-regulates its temperature without electronics. A building that adapts, allowing outside air in as needed and eliminating the need for air conditioning, but that uses no energy in doing so.  A University of California-Berkley research team has developed a new type of “building skin” that can do just that, and they…

Passive House Recognizes Net Zero, Plus Homes

passive house - energy plus home

Passive House is an international building standard developed by the Passive House Institute (PHI), which is located in Darmstadt, Germany.  Building to the Passive House Standard recognizes buildings which have been optimized through passive measures and components such as insulation, air-tightness, heat recovery, solar heat gains, solar shading and incidental internal heat gains.  Buildings which…

Green Materials Report – Fiberglass Insulation

Fiberglass insulation from Owens Corning

This post is part of the green materials report series.  GBE is providing information on various building materials and what makes them green.  Each post focuses on one material.  We will be looking at the ingredients in the material, how it is used, what makes green materials green, and any green product certifications that it has earned. …

Exterior Sheathing System Improves Energy Efficiency

C-SIS exterior sheathing system

Composite Panel Building Systems announced the introduction of a new sheathing system that can improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings and homes, as well as new construction projects.  The C-SIS exterior sheathing system combines insulation, an air/water barrier, structural components, and a water drainage plane into a compact panel that can be installed easily…

Guest Post: New Tools for Improving Energy Efficiency at Universities

Any time we hear about improving energy efficiency we get excited. Read this guest post from Danielle Kershner, with contributing help from Keri Masterson.  Intelligent buildings can now match the demands of multi-faceted institutions By Danielle Kershner of Eco Brandit Reducing energy consumption to save money is a concept becoming increasingly important. But how are…

Treehouse in Memorial City, Both are More than a Name Suggests

As cities re-develop and re-define themselves in new urban and sustainable ways, mixed-used mini-cities are becoming popular oasises in the midst of traditional metropolitan areas. In Houston, Texas, one of such, ‘city-with-in-a-city’ exists and is called Memorial City. It is 7.6 million SF of a place that intertwines the living, shopping, working and play parts…

Thermal Bridging Guide Provides Energy Efficiency Solutions

Building Envelope Thermal Analysis Guide

Morrison Hershfield announced last week that the book Building Envelope Thermal Bridging Guide – Analysis, Applications, and Insights is now public and can be downloaded. The guide aims to overcome obstacles confronting the industry with respect to mitigating thermal bridging to reduce energy consumption in buildings. According to the guide, “thermal bridging is caused by highly conductive…