Comfort in a Very Cold Climate

Climate Solutions Special Issue
A version of this article appears in the Climate Solutions Special Issue issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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January 01, 2008
Widespread attention is now finally being paid to global warming, and many homeowners want to know how they can reduce their personal contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. They know that they must do much more than the often touted small steps such as replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents, or buy and use a programmable thermostat. Homeowners look to architects, builders, and other design professionals for information and recommendations. Therefore, building and design professionals have the opportunity, and the responsibility, to offer approaches to building construction that reduce both energy consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. In professional practice, the pertinent questions may be, How far can we go? and How soon can we get there? As an architect who works primarily in residential construction, I try to answer these questions with every house I design and build. Taking an Aggressive First Step  Buildings last. Many choices made in new construction today will have an impact on the environment for the next 100 years—much longer than the impact of decisions made in many other industries. This is why it is so critical, first, to quantify the amount of energy used (and emissions generated) in building operation, and ...

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