In an article that’s sure to raise the hackles of the Passive House crowd, Joseph Lstiburek, a principal of Building Science Corporation, says the Passivhaus airtightness requirement – 0.6 ach @ 50 Pa — “doesn’t seem to be based on anything that makes any sense.“ He suggests the following: “if you get below 3 ach @ 50 Pa the comfort problems go away, things become predictable, and you save energy. Add the controlled ventilation piece and the combustion safety piece and nobody dies and nobody gets sick and life is good.“ In other words, remove large holes in the building envelope, install a controlled ventilation system, and use sealed combustion or power vented appliances.
The Wall Street Journal discusses some of the latest green building practices that help homeowners save energy. The four the author focuses on are blown fiberglass insulation (expensive yet cheaper than spray foam), heat pump water heaters (pricey systems that use heat from the air), electronic monitors (gadgets to cut unneeded energy usage), and concrete countertops (an affordable local surface option). Read the article:
Appraising a home is difficult work that’s made more difficult with the growing popularity of high-performance homes. Appraisers have access to training to learn how to better value energy-efficient homes, but a lot of what’s in the home is behind the drywall. Or may not be apparent with a site visit. Which is why I like this addendum created by the Sustainable Finance department of the Earth Advantage Institute.
EnergyHub just announced the launch of an energy management system for consumers interested in monitoring, controlling, and reducing energy use. The system includes an in-home display, wireless thermostat, sockets, and strips, as well as iOS and Android apps for on-the-go control. Some purchasers will also be able to integrate the system with data from their smart meter if they have a compatible meter.
Boy do I feel great for grabbing a handful of 60-watt replacement LEDs for $40 a pop! Lighting Science Group and India-based Dixon Technologies today announced plans to launch the world’s first sub-$15 60-watt equivalent LED bulb. The bulb will be available in India by the end of this year and around the world sometime in 2012.