'The Deans of Green' Blog - Fine Homebuilding


The Deans of Green

The Deans of Green

showing 1 - 20 of 63 posts
 1 2 3 Next >  Last
Sort By:



Subscribe to RSS feed
Small Pond

Small Pond

It was one of those homes that always made me smile, a homestead done right behind a reflecting pond. A modest stone-wrapped cabin with an old tin roof set in a lawn studded with fruit trees. And then the phone rang and I was being asked about a whole house remodel. The potential to screw this up was huge, the budget was so small the building inspectors actually giggled when I told them. An 1850 era log cabin that had been moved to this site in 1900 and added on to subsided into the muck for 50 years and been "stabilized" at 8" out of level in twelve feet. It had been wrapped in asbestos (surprise!)then cedar and then added onto again and again. It had snakes in the crawl and bats in the attic. But it was the heart and soul of this community and an opportunity to do right(and get paid)and have fun doing it.

view details view details
Vapor Barriers Are a Good Thing, Right?

Vapor Barriers Are a Good Thing, Right?

18 comments

Builders once routinely stapled up sheets of polyethylene plastic on interior walls before the drywall went up to stop the flow of moisture-laden air into exterior walls. With moisture stopped in its...

view details view details
no image available

The Goldilocks Approach to Tight Houses: Is There A 'Just-Right' For Leakiness?

Many say "Tight houses need to breathe." To which, tight house advocates say "Where should I poke the hole, and how big should it be?"

view details view details
Q&A Spotlight: Can Solar Heat Be Stored for Next Winter?

Q&A Spotlight: Can Solar Heat Be Stored for Next Winter?

6 comments

Solar collectors crank out plenty of hot water during the summer, and can even make some contribution to space heating in winter. But conventional solar systems can’t store enough heat to make...

view details view details
Q&A Spotlight: How Do I Choose the Best Energy-Efficient Window?

Q&A Spotlight: How Do I Choose the Best Energy-Efficient Window?

1 comment

There was a time when opening, closing, and letting in light was all that any good window had to do. Nowadays, windows are anything but simple.

view details view details
Q&A Spotlight: How Green Are Tankless Water Heaters?

Q&A Spotlight: How Green Are Tankless Water Heaters?

If your super-efficient tankless system gives you an endless supply of hot water, you might actually be more likely to waste energy and water.

view details view details
Does Rigid Foam Insulation Trap Moisture in the Walls?

Does Rigid Foam Insulation Trap Moisture in the Walls?

9 comments

You can seriously cut your home's demand for energy by adding rigid insulation, but will wrapping your home with foam cause the walls to rot?

view details view details
Flushing Out the Ultra Water-Efficient Stealth Toilet

Flushing Out the Ultra Water-Efficient Stealth Toilet

9 comments

New vacuum-assist flush technology creates a super-quiet toilet that uses very little water.

view details view details
Estimating an Energy Efficiency Upgrade From Your Desktop Computer

Estimating an Energy Efficiency Upgrade From Your Desktop Computer

A session at the 2010 NAHB showcased a new web-based software can help you price out an energy retrofit without leaving your desktop

view details view details
¡Viva Verde!

¡Viva Verde!

For green building to survive it has to become bilingual.

view details view details
10 Ways to Cut Utility Bills

10 Ways to Cut Utility Bills

1 comment

Modeled on the ‘food pyramid,’ the conservation pyramid provides a step-by-step guide for energy retrofit work

view details view details
Green Building Myth #1: Its More Expensive

Green Building Myth #1: It's More Expensive

1 comment

The first of a multi-part myth-busting series. Simple strategies for building green can cost no more than regular building; many actually reduce costs.

view details view details
Understanding R-Value

Understanding R-Value

2 comments

R-value measures heat transfer by conduction, convection, and radiation.

view details view details
Is the EnergyStar Program Flawed?

Is the EnergyStar Program Flawed?

1 comment

According to recent news reports, the EnergyStar program may not be as diligent as it should be when it comes to vetting products.

view details view details
What a damp basement can do to brick

What a damp basement can do to brick

Some science-savy builders help an editor understand what's causing the base of an old chimney to deteriorate.

view details view details
Sustainable Energy Conference Comes to Boston

Sustainable Energy Conference Comes to Boston

Over 150 exhibitors and plenty of workshops are keeping our editor-at-large busy, entertained, and enlightened.

view details view details
Air Conditioning Basics

Air Conditioning Basics

1 comment

Everything you wanted to know about air conditioning, but were afraid to ask

view details view details
no image available

Haiti InnoVida Update

1 comment

Short movie shows how these homes go together.

view details view details
Have You Considered Vinyl Siding, Lately?

Have You Considered Vinyl Siding, Lately?

3 comments

Considering advances in product quality, energy efficiency, and improved manufacturing, it pays to take a second (or third) look at vinyl siding.

view details view details
IBS 2010: Green Builder Donates 1,000 Homes to Haitians

IBS 2010: Green Builder Donates 1,000 Homes to Haitians

5 comments

New building technology firm, InnoVida™, donates 1,000 homes to Haiti using Fiber Composite Structural Insulated panels introduced at IBS.

view details view details

showing 1 - 20 of 63 posts
 1 2 3 Next >  Last