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Can We Help the Environment with Our Modern, Electronics-dependent Lifestyle?

Earlier this year, The New York Times published an article by Kendra Pierre-Louis called "Americans Are Staying Home More. That's Saving Energy." The article refers to a study about the positive effects on the environment that have resulted from more people working remotely and shopping online. Despite these positive developments, the article questions whether people are truly saving energy if they are multitasking, working a second shift at home, or using more electronics.

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Giving Back: Our New Community-Focused Initiative

This spring, Beyond Efficiency is calling for proposals from organizations or families in need of building-related technical assistance. Applicants must be based in either the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area or Teton County, Wyoming or Idaho.

"We were researching one-day team volunteer opportunities when we realized we could provide more value and service by volunteering directly and doing the work we do best," said Katy Hollbacher, Principal of Beyond Efficiency.

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Right Size Your Pipe Size


image source: www.plumbparts.co.uk

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Home Energy Monitors

Image credit: http://www.seventhwave.org/
 
This is the first in a series about home energy monitoring.

Let’s say you want to cut your energy use to save money, reduce your carbon footprint or even be zero energy. What consumes the most energy in your building? What's consuming more electricity than usual? How big will your utility bill be?

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Help Give the Earth a Break on Nov. 25!

How much do you feel you are helping to reduce global warming? If you are like me, you are doing things like recycling or turning out the lights in an empty room, but it can feel like a drop in the bucket.

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Details, details, details...

I am reminded every day that the old adage “The devil is in the details!” rings true in our quest for high performance building construction—as much any other endeavor.

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Innovations in Multifamily Plumbing

In early October, I attended the 10th Annual WaterSmart Innovations Conference in Las Vegas. A repeated theme was “saving water saves energy and vice versa.” Multifamily buildings are a prime example, as domestic hot water (DHW) is a dominant energy use in multifamily. Reducing DHW use and delivering it more efficiently are worthy project goals. Here are some exciting new developments in this arena:

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Exciting Building Products From Passive House Conference

In late September I gave a presentation at the 12th Annual North American Passive House Conference, organized by PHIUS, describing how heat pump water heaters can be used for combined space heating and water heating. When strolling the vendors' floor between presentations, I was pleasantly surprised to see an increase in the quality of Passive building products.

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