Green Building
Building my Passive House — Part 9

Building my Passive House — Part 9

This is the ninth entry in a series of columns about the design and construction of my newly certified passive house. Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) offers certification programs for highly energy efficient homes, and the home design and building professionals seeking to build them (www.phaus.org). Because my heating requirements are so small, my house...
Building my Passive House - Part 8

Building my Passive House – Part 8

This is the eighth entry in a series of columns about the design and construction of my newly certified Passive House. Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) offers certification programs for highly energy efficient homes and the home design and building professionals seeking to build them (www.phaus.org). In my previous columns, I’ve written about how foundation,...
Building My Passive House - Part 7

Building My Passive House – Part 7

This is the seventh entry in a series of columns about the design and construction of my newly certified Passive House. Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) offers certification programs for highly energy efficient homes, and the home design and building professionals seeking to build them (www.phaus.org). Let me answer the rhetorical question I asked at...
Building My Passive House - Part 6

Building My Passive House – Part 6

This is the sixth entry in a series of columns about the design and construction of my newly certified Passive House. Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) offers a certification program for highly energy efficient homes and separate certification programs for home design and building professionals seeking to build them (www.phaus.org for more information). The Passive...
Building my passive house - Part 5

Building my passive house – Part 5

This is the fifth entry in a series of columns about the design and construction of my newly certified passive house. Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) offers a certification program for highly energy-efficient homes and separate certification programs for home design and building professionals seeking to build them (www.phaus.org for more information). In this column,...
Building my Passive House - Part 4

Building my Passive House – Part 4

This is the fourth entry in a series of columns about the design and construction of my newly certified Passive House. Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) offers a certification program for highly energy efficient homes and separate certification programs for home design and building professionals seeking to build them (www.phaus.org for more information). In this...
Building My Passive House - Part 3

Building My Passive House – Part 3

This is the third entry in a series of columns about the design and construction of my newly certified Passive House. Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) offers a certification program to assist home building professionals seeking to build highly energy efficient homes (www.phaus.org for more information). The project began with the demolition of the existing...
Building my passive house - Part 2

Building my passive house – Part 2

This is the second entry in a series of columns about the design and construction of my own newly certified passive house. Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) offers a certification program developed in Europe to assist home-building professionals seeking to build highly energy-efficient homes (www.phaus.org for more information). The cottage The cottage I bought for...
Building my passive house

Building my passive house

Passive House Institute US offers a certification program developed in Europe to assist home building professionals seeking to build highly energy efficient homes (www.phaus.org for more information). This is the first entry in what will be a series of columns about the design and construction of my own Passive House. This is a rigorous process,...
Build green, be happy! Part III

Build green, be happy! Part III

Happiness. This is what some may call the touchy-feely reason to build green. I get it. I have friends who need a lot of convincing; they just want to know the bottom line and only want to talk about the facts. How can I even bring something as ephemeral and vague as happiness into to...
Build green, stay healthy

Build green, stay healthy

In my last column, we talked about building to be energy efficient; this month we’ll discuss building to be healthy. Keep It All Out: The Awesome Building Envelope Here is a big plus. The more you adhere to the tenants of Green Building (like building a well-insulated, well-sealed, envelope) the less allergens and illness you...
Build Green: Save Money

Build Green: Save Money

What are we talking about when we talk about green building? We all know the basics: recycle, turn the heat down, install cfl light bulbs, use no-voc paint.  Many of us even know that the first, and best, thing you can do to make a house energy efficient is to add insulation and address air...
What kind of house do you drive?

What kind of house do you drive?

Is your house a Yugo or a Mercedes? Would you rather your house was a Prius? How about a Tesla? Before we talk about houses, let’s talk about cars. With cars it’s generally considered obvious: you get what you pay for. There are quality levels associated with cars brands and price tags. But what does...

The Energy Efficient Foundation, Part 3

In my second column of three on foundations, I wrote about how to insulate a basement that is always dry. In this column, I’m going to write about what to do if your basement is always or sometimes damp or wet. The first thing is to see if there’s a cost-effective way to make your...