Tag Archives: Energy Efficiency

Really Old Buildings are Exempt from the Indiana Energy Code

Green Building

Really Old Buildings are Exempt from the Indiana Energy Code

My firm handles a good amount of preservation and reuse work. Energy-efficiency is always an issue (we make sure of that). However, there is a considerable amount of confusion about how the Indiana energy code applies to historic buildings and renovation projects. Let’s clear the air. Buildings built before January 21, 1978 are exempt from the Indiana Energy Code. There is no substitute for primary source material. Keep these links handy: Indiana Administrative Code (IAC) – Also known as the….

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Is Daylight Saving Time Necessary?

Green Building

Is Daylight Saving Time Necessary?

Originally published on March 7, 2016 by BNP Media through the Architectural Roofing & Waterproofing Blog. Spring Forward, Fall Back. We know the routine well, but have you ever wondered why the United States uses Daylight Saving Time (DST)? If you ask around, you’ll hear some interesting theories: …so kids don’t have to catch the school bus in the dark?      No. …to save energy?      Not really. …to benefit farmers by giving them an extra hour of daylight?….

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Defining Mass Walls through Heat Capacity

Green Building

Defining Mass Walls through Heat Capacity

Originally published on February 12, 2015 by BNP Media through the Architectural Roofing & Waterproofing Blog. There are significant differences in the prescriptive requirements of mass walls versus other above-grade walls. Using ASHRAE 90.1-2007 as example, above-grade walls for a steel-framed nonresidential building in Climate Zone 5 will need a minimum of R-13 insulation AND a continuous insulation layer of at least R-7.5. However, the building’s mass wall assemblies would only be required to exhibit a continuous layer of R-11.4….

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The Difference Between Reflectance and Emittance

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The Difference Between Reflectance and Emittance

Originally published on November 18, 2015 by BNP Media through the Architectural Roofing & Waterproofing Blog. What is emittance? Among the three basic forms of heat transfer – conduction, convection, and radiation – the term emittance refers to a material’s ability to release heat through radiation. The term necessarily refers to the heat exchange at surface of a material because heat exchange through a solid would be conductive and heat exchange through a fluid would be convective. Emittance is the….

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Examining the Jevons Paradox through Residential Energy Consumption

Green Building

Examining the Jevons Paradox through Residential Energy Consumption

Originally published on August 13, 2015 by BNP Media through the Walls & Ceilings Blog. Is there any such thing as a ‘perfect’ energy code? I recently posed this question to a colleague of mine – a gentleman with whom I have served alongside in multiple state code review committees over the years. He poignantly offered, “While new energy codes may improve the energy efficiency of a building, it does not follow axiomatically that the building will use less energy.”….

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When the ‘Prevailing’ Wind Direction is Anything But

Green Building

When the ‘Prevailing’ Wind Direction is Anything But

Originally published on June 1, 2015 by BNP Media through the Walls & Ceilings Blog. The wind rose is a conventional diagram for characterizing both the direction and frequency of wind around a project site. This graphic is commonly included in a climate data analysis. Some software platforms such as Climate Consultant, one of several free energy analysis tools developed and released through the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Department of Architecture & Urban Design, can generate wind roses….

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Gauging the Seasonal Efficiency of Air-Source Heat Pumps

Green Building

Gauging the Seasonal Efficiency of Air-Source Heat Pumps

Originally published on February 23, 2015 by BNP Media through the Walls & Ceilings Blog. Recently, I was working on an energy model for a high-performance housing prototype. Mostly, I apply energy modeling to non-residential structures. I did not have a coefficient of performance (COP) at my fingertips for the air-source heat pump (ASHP) used in my baseline model. In this context, the COP is the ratio of the amount of thermal energy (heat) delivered by a heat pump to….

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The 2030 Challenge Ratchets Up

Green Building

The 2030 Challenge Ratchets Up

Originally published on February 6, 2015 by BNP Media through the Walls & Ceilings Blog. In the new year, project teams committed to the 2030 Challenge are being asked to kick their performance goals up a notch. As of January 1, 2015, the energy performance target for new buildings, including major renovations, has increased from 60% below the regional average to 70% below the regional average. For project teams looking to possibly commit to 2030 Challenge for the first time,….

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The Truth About Spray-Foam

Green Building

The Truth About Spray-Foam

Originally published on January 26, 2015 by BNP Media through the Walls & Ceilings Blog. Spray-foam has a reputation of providing superior insulating qualities compared to fiberglass batt, mineral wool, cellulose, and other insulation alternatives. The truth is that spray-foam does not necessarily perform better than other types of insulation when it comes to conductive heat transfer. Think about the insulation products you’ve seen at your local home-improvement store. Remember that big number on the label that started with an….

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Every Energy Model Is Wrong – And Here Is Why They Are Indispensable

Green Building

Every Energy Model Is Wrong – And Here Is Why They Are Indispensable

LEED has taken some heat for buildings that do not perform as they were modeled, yet energy modeling is an essential tool for any high-performance building project. Originally published in the August 2014 issue of Environmental Design + Construction (EDC) magazine. Recently, LEED has come under fire for accounts of certified buildings not performing as well as their energy models predicted. Frequently mentioned amongst the antagonistic “gotcha” coverage is an out-of-context 2007 quote by the USGBC Research Committee acknowledging: “Buildings….

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