Until we stop talking about water as if it’s a clone of energy, water won’t get the respect it deserves or the attention it needs. Two sessions at NESEA’s BuildingEnergy ’15 conference, “Reinventing the Water Grid” parts one and two, are out to change that.
Want help researching and screening products for LEED v4 or the LBC Red List? Use this forum to share your questions and frustrations as well as your successes and advice.
Maybe, if enough of us March, and plan, and make smart choices, we’ll have a chance at beating this thing. 

Quality installation of the two types of site-manufactured foam insulation is no easier than fiberglass batt and no less important. Here is how to avoid the most common problems.

by Peter Yost

One of my first research projects when I started at the NAHB Research Center in 1993 was looking into a new insulation: Icynene. We were evaluating its performance as a spray-applied, open-cavity insulation as well as an injection foam in closed cavities. I was enamored: this seemed to be a miracle insulation that installed itself, sealing up tight even in the toughest and most complicated building cavities.

Not really, of course. But after five-plus years I’m ending my weekly Energy Solutions blog to focus more on the Resilient Design Institute and re-making Leonard Farm back into a farm.
The divide between the worlds of design and sustainability is persistent, but returning to core values can bridge it.

For me, the creative tension between beauty and green performance came to a head in 2006, when I began working with the staff of Architectural Record on their new magazine: GreenSource. (GreenSource is no longer a separate magazine; it’s now an insert in the products magazine SNAP. And I’m no longer involved with it.)

State-of-the-art testing chambers show that liquid-applied barriers outperform more typical weather barriers comprised of flashing, tape, and membranes. BEA's building assembly test chamber in Clackamas, Oregon.Photo Credit: Alex Wilson

With each new program, ILFI continues to push the building industry (and now other industries) toward greater stewardship and a “living future.”

by Alex Wilson

I’m just back from Portland, Oregon where I attended the annual Living Future Conference.

The Living Future Conference was created by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) initially to provide a networking and learning venue for designers and builders involved in creating buildings that are being certified through the Living Building Challenge.

We oversized our PV system so that we will be able to use solar energy to power around-town driving with a plug-in hybrid

Our 12 kW PV system going in on the roof of our restored 1812 barn.Photo Credit: Alex Wilson

Among the energy-related features of our new house in Dummerston, Vermont, is one parked in the garage.

The sleek, energy-efficient Haiku fan from Big Ass Fans will help keep us comfortable in our new house this summer The Haiku fan in our upstairs guest room.Photo Credit: Alex Wilson

Whether or not you believe that climate change is happening, implementing resilient design strategies will make you and your family safer—and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions
What will it take for policy makers and the public finally get on board with the need to do something about climate change?

The United Nations’ IPCC is leading an international effort to understand climate change, and efforts like the Kyoto Protocol have grown out of that background work. But are we getting closer to solving the problem?

A recently approved U.S. patent for drying out building spaces defies common sense and could squeeze builders whose only “sin” is dehumidification.
Cooling towers at a nuclear power plant in Byron, Illinois.Photo Credit: Scott Olson, Getty Images

Saving energy isn’t only about using less electricity and fuel; it’s about saving water.

In this weekly blog, I’ve focused a lot of attention on the energy-saving measures at our new home—from the innovative insulation materials we used to the air-source heat pump heating system and our top-efficiency heat-recovery ventilator. What I haven’t said much about are the measures we’ve taken to reduce water use and why these measures save energy as well.