Posts Tagged "Passive warming/cooling"

2012 Temperatures – One For the Record Books

Posted by on Jan 8, 2013

For those who have made a habit of following temperature records over the past few decades, what’s most surprising with today’s news isn’t that 2012 set a record for U.S. temperatures (that had been expected for months), but rather the extent of that record. If you go back to the beginning of systematic record-keeping for the lower-48 states in 1895 until last year, the difference between the record-low (1917) and the record-high (1998) was 4.2°F. That temperature span jumped a full degree Fahrenheit with the 2012 record temperature. The average temperature in the contiguous U.S. in...

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Vulnerabilities to Climate Change and the Need For Resilience in the Western U.S.

Posted by on Jan 6, 2013

The January, 2013 issue of Land Lines, a publication of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, has an excellent article on climate change impacts in the Intermountain West and the need for resilience. “Uncertainty and Risk: Building a Resilient West” addresses drought, growing incidence of wildfire, population growth, and factors that have increased vulnerability. While short on practical strategies for enhancing resilience, the lengthy article provides excellent background information on this eight-state region (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico)...

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Fundamentals of Resilient Design #6: Natural Cooling

Posted by on Sep 3, 2012

A blog on cooling? In September? What gives? In my recent series of blogs, I’ve been laying out some of the basics of resilient design—which will become all the more important in this age of climate change. Achieving resilience in homes not only involves keeping them comfortable in the winter months through lots of insulation and some passive solar gain (which I’ve covered in the previous two blogs), it also involves keeping them from getting too hot in the summer months if we lose power and our air conditioning systems stop working. In this blog, we’ll look at cooling-load-avoidance...

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Fundamentals of Resilient Design #5: Passive Solar Heating

Posted by on Aug 30, 2012

  When combined with a highly insulated building envelope, passive solar is the best way to ensure that a home will maintain livable conditions in the event of loss of power or heating fuel. As I discussed in my previous blog, a resilient home is extremely well-insulated, so that it can be kept warm with very little supplemental heat—and if power or heating fuel is lost, for some reason, there won’t be risk of homeowners getting dangerously cold or their pipes freezing. If we design and orient the house in such a way that natural heating from the sun can occur, we add to that...

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Fundamentals of Resilient Design #4: Dramatically Better Building Envelopes

Posted by on Aug 27, 2012

When most people think about resilience—resilience during a storm, for example—they think only about resilience during the event. How effectively will the building withstand strong winds or flooding? Equally important, if not more important, is resilience in the aftermath of that event. Hurricanes, ice storms, blizzards, wildfires, tornadoes, and other natural disasters not only have an immediate impact, for which we may or may not be able to prepare, but they often have a much longer-term impact, especially through extended power outages, and those impacts may extend much further. The...

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