Tag Archives: building energy

Thermal Insulation: Which is Best?

There are plenty of excellent insulation materials on the market today. Many of these have been around for quite some time. Each of these insulations have their own ups and downs. As a result, when deciding which insulation material you should use, you should be sure to be aware of which material would work the best in your situation. Considering differences like R-value, price, environmental impact, flammability, sound insulation and other factors, here are the 5 most common types of insulation materials:

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The 5 most common types of insulation on the market.

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New California Energy Standards Effective January 1, 2017

code-changesEvery three years, the California Energy Commission (CEC) revisits its energy efficiency standards, augmenting the building code to align with recent technological advancements and the state’s new efficiency goals. The commission underwent this process again this year, identifying areas for improvement in both new construction and retrofits for residential and nonresidential properties.

With this most recent set of revisions, the commission is striving toward a pair of new state efficiency targets: achieving net zero energy for new residential construction by 2020 and for new commercial construction by 2030. Referred to as the 2016 version, these standards will go into effect January 1, 2017. Continue reading

Sun Control and Shading Devices

fh150jad_cropped_house copyThere are many reasons to control the amount of sunlight admitted into a building. In warm, sunny climates excess solar gain will result in overheating, in cold and temperate climates winter sun entering south-facing windows can contribute to passive solar heating, and in any event controlling and diffusing natural illumination will improve daylighting. Continue reading

Choosing The Best Windows for Your Home

replacement-windows_awadandkoontzGone are the days when a homeowner’s interest in windows was limited to whether they could find stylish window treatments. Today, energy-conscious homeowners want to minimize the costs of heating and cooling their homes, and selecting the right windows is a crucial step. So how far should you go when choosing energy-efficient windows? The key is knowing what window upgrades will give you the biggest bang for your buck without delivering a blow to your bottom line. Continue reading

Selecting the Size of Your Solar PV System

Solar panels on newly build house

Whether your goal is to generate your own clean energy, increase your home’s appraisal value, save money on your electric bill, or all of the above—investing in a small-scale solar electric system is a wise decision. A small solar electric system—or distributed generation (DG)—can produce reliable, emission-free energy for your home or business. However, it is important to make sure that your solar photovoltaic (PV) system is correctly sized, sited, installed and maintained, in order to maximize your energy performance. Continue reading

Green Building Codes 2016: The Goalposts are Moving Again

badgers-moving-goalpostsGreen building in 2016 — it’s going to be an exciting time for anyone who likes:
• unintended consequences
• hidden surprises
• forms with essay questions
• cost increases
• obscure code language
• three-ring binders
• drawing sheets full of tiny words
• new unexpected third parties creeping around your project
• continually shifting compliance requirements Continue reading

Introduction to Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)

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Using stressed-skin panels can reduce the time to frame the building envelope by more than one-third. This time savings can improve a builder’s productivity and profitability by 16 percent.

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) are an option for part of a building’s assembly that can help achieve the goals of achieving an energy-efficient and high-performance building enclosure. SIPs systems can be highly effective in slowing down the transfer of heat, air, and vapor through the assembly. Detailed and built correctly, SIPs offer an airtight assembly with great thermal resistance resulting in a high-performance and durable enclosure. Continue reading