Green Architect's Lounge

Join our own Chris Briley along with fellow Maine architect, Phil Kaplan as they discuss green building topics while sharing cocktail recipes, music preferences, and their professional experiences. This podcast is for those seeking “edutainment” while they work, exercise, travel, or sketch the beginnings of their next great project. You can find the podcast at GreenBuildingAdvisor.com or on iTunes where you can subscribe for free.



Passive House: PHIUS or PHI?
An architect's guide to help you decide which organization should certify your Passive House Images:  It happens sometimes. Great people that you admire, respect — even love — just can’t work out their differences with each other. Things may get rough or uncertain at times, but if they truly have everyone’s best interest at heart, they find a way to forge ahead, sometimes on their own path, but ever careful to protect wh...
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Ventilation for Your Tight House — Part 2
Our guest, Sonia Barrantes, continues the conversation about the best options for a healthy, comfortable ventilation system Images:  Our conversation with Sonia Barrantes continues. (If you missed it, here is a link to Ventilation for Your Tight House — Part 1.) We've come to realize that we all want simple rules of thumb to guide our design pro...
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Ventilation for Your Tight House — Part 1
Now that your house is tight, getting your ventilation system correct is vital Images:  In this episode we are assuming that you are preparing to design or build a super-tight house and you're interested in the best way to provide fresh air for its occupants. In the old days, you'd just “let the house breathe” [shudder]. But those days are long gone. A healthy house leaks, while an energy-efficient house controls how it leaks ...
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Don’t Be an Air Hole! — Part 2
We continue with our list of ‘Top 10’ things not to blow on your next project Images:  Phil and I have freshened up our drinks and now we're ready to tackle Items 8 through 15. Be sure to go back to Part 1 to listen to Items 1 through 7. Here's a link to the PowerPoint presentation that inspired this podcast: Sprout Follies at NESEA. Podcast NID:  Green Architects' Lounge- Don't Be an Air Hole, Part 2 ...
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Don’t Be an Air Hole! — Part 1
Fifteen ‘Top 10’ things that you don’t want to blow on your next project Images:  It's back to the basics with this one, folks. Back in 2013, we were asked to do a presentation at NESEANorth East Sustainable Energy Association. A regional membership organization promoting sustainable energy solutions. NESEA is committed to advancing three core elements: sustainable solutions, proven results and cutting-edge development in the field. States included in this region stretch...
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Foundations — Part 2
Do you really need to have a basement? Fine — then we had better talk about the right way to build one Images:  Phil and I have returned to continue our discussion on foundations. In Part One, we covered slabs and frost walls, and in this part we cover basements and crawl spaces. The Highlights: Do ...
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Foundations — Part 1
meets the ground, and the many ways to improve your foundation details Images: Not too long ago I found myself in a deep conversation (pun intended) about frost-protected slabs with some other architects and building professionals. I was surprised at the energy surrounding the topic. We all seemed to have developed substantial differences in the details on our own and we were all learning from each other. I was equally surprised at how fresh this concept seemed — I mean, haven’t we been founding our wood structures on the ground for centuries now? Mil...
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An Update on the Pretty Good House — Part 2
A commonsense approach to designing and building a green home Images:  Cocktails in hand, Phil and I pick up the conversation about the Pretty Good House. Be sure to check Part 1 of this episode for some of the basics and the origins of this nebulous building/design concept. The Highlights: A Great Anecdote: Phil tells a great anecdote that illustrates the need for the Pretty Good House Guidelines. read more...
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An Update on the Pretty Good House — Part 1
pproach to designing and building a green home Images: The status quo of newly constructed homes here in America is, well, disappointing. Despite some strong market-transforming rating systems (such as LEEDLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED for Homes is the residential green building program from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). While this program is primarily designed for and applicable to new home projects, major gut rehabs can qualify. , Energy StarLabeling system sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department o...
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Making Green Affordable, Part 2
To keep costs down, skip the basement, specify double-stud walls, design a simple truss-framed roof, and stick with double-glazed windows Images:  Part Two of this episode brings us to construction details for high-performance affordable homes. Again, I feel the need to point out that we are not talking about low-income housing or housing that makes a difference between shelter and non-shelter. I'm talking about high-performance ho...
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