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Marc Rosenbaum
Martha's Vineyard
high performance building geek
Interests: You mean there's stuff besides bikes and buildings?
Recent Activity
Who do you know whose practice could really benefit from a more rigorous and quantitative understanding of building science, solar energy, superinsulated construction, ventilation, renewable energy, and low energy use mechanical systems? This online course is a packed 10 weeks, and includes a bunch of Excel calculators so folks can... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2014 at Thriving On Low Carbon
I'm giving a talk on Thursday September 4th at 1 pm EDT about one of the more confusing topics that I cover in my Zero Net Energy Homes Online Course. It's called Understanding and Calculating Heat Loss to the Ground, and you can sign up here: Here's the description: Building... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2014 at Thriving On Low Carbon
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Tom DeMarco wrote, "you can't control what you don't measure" (widely misattributed to Peter Drucker BTW). Well hell, there's lots you can't control no mater what. A less ambitious implementation of measuring is to aid in understanding how a system operates. The eM is good for this. One useful feature... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2014 at Thriving On Low Carbon
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I have a new toy. It's a totally geeky toy - almost everyone else would rather have a large plasma screen TV. It's called eMonitor and it is made by Powerhouse Dynamics. You can buy one from folks at Powerwise Systems or Energy Circle. It's a device that measures energy... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2014 at Thriving On Low Carbon
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Once we bought the new house in the fall of 2012, we began to work on the new design. We were starting with a one bedroom house of 1,142 sf, on one level with a full basement. There were some framing oddities that were revealed as the gutting process proceeded.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2014 at Thriving On Low Carbon
Before I get all geeky about this Deep Energy Retrofit journey we've been on I have some overall reflections on the past year. I've built two houses for myself over the years, but I always stopped working, and focused completely on the construction process. I was on site whenever anything... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2014 at Thriving On Low Carbon
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One of the interesting twists in the sale of House 5 is that I priced the solar electric system as an option, since it was an income generator, making $1,250/year of electricity. Ultimately the house was purchased by our friend and next door neighbor in the cohousing. He is a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2014 at Thriving On Low Carbon
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It’s been a long time since the last post here and much has occurred! Jill and I got hitched on June 2nd 2013 on the beach at the Gay Head Cliffs, then spent the next 7-1/2 days packing up our household at House 5 in Island Cohousing in preparation to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2014 at Thriving On Low Carbon
The third Zero Net Energy Homes online course has just finished up. I have about 30 Capstone projects to review - very cool! If you'd like to get a sense of the course, which will begin again in February, there's a Test Drive module posted, complete with a couple of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2013 at Thriving On Low Carbon
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OK, I've been neglecting this blog. We've been in the thick of doing a gut renovation on the house we bought late last fall. Stay tuned for more on this project when I get my head above water! Here's a teaser of the ventilation system: Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2013 at Thriving On Low Carbon
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One thing I learned many years ago following the energy usage of buildings I designed was that as the energy needs of the building are reduced, and the fraction of those needs supplied by solar energy increases, the variation in back-up energy from year to year increases. Let's look at... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2013 at Thriving On Low Carbon
Forget the Oscars; forget the Superbowl; the most exciting event of the year is coming up on March 5-7th, the annual Building Energy Conference, hosted by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association. I can't conceive of missing it - for over 30 years NESEA has been the place where the best... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2013 at Thriving On Low Carbon
The Fall 2012 Zero Net Energy Homes online course had 50 students and was a great learning experience! Brian Hayden of Heatspring wrote about it here. We’re doing it again starting March 11th, the link is here. It's a packed 10 weeks, and includes a bunch of Excel calculators so... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2013 at Thriving On Low Carbon
I tried an experiment this week during our cold snap. We've kept the door closed to the first floor ell (bedroom and bath) and let it run cold, because the Fujitsu wasn't sized to heat that space too. I opened the door early in the cold snap, and let the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2013 at Thriving On Low Carbon
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Habitat for Humanity of Martha's Vineyard is really getting the superinsulated, energy efficient home down pat. Last Saturday, accompanied by job super extraordinaire Lee Taberner, I did a final blower door test on the second house they've built at the end of Bailey Park Road. The result - 203 CFM50.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2013 at Thriving On Low Carbon
The first Zero Net Energy Homes Online course in the NESEA Building Energy Masters Series has finished (and the next one begins March 11th!) I had a terrific experience teaching this course. We had fifty students signed up – architects, design/builders, builders, engineers, energy auditors – almost entirely professionals with... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2013 at Thriving On Low Carbon
I am reluctant to have anything in the house that uses energy 24/7. With 8,760 hours per year, small usages add up. One such is the exhaust fan on the composting toilet - at about 20W it uses 175 kWh/year, or 4-5% of our energy usage. Another is the cable... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2013 at Thriving On Low Carbon
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Last year, during November and December 2011, our net energy with the grid was 98 kWh - we imported 98 kWh more than we used. This year during the same period that figure was three times higher, 299 kWh net import. Why so different? For one thing, it was cloudier.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2013 at Thriving On Low Carbon
With the exception of one week in February 2011 where I switched back to the oil boiler to take some data before it went away, the Fujitsu 12RLS has now been heating the house for two years. The meter reads 2,584 kWh. So, about $250/year to heat House 5, in... Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2012 at Thriving On Low Carbon
Not long ago I got a bee in my bonnet about getting my Construction Supervisor's license in MA. Working as I now do for a company that is quite diverse, but is fundamentally still a design/build company, it feels right to join a number of my colleagues, mostly but not... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2012 at Thriving On Low Carbon
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One of the technologies I have tried in House 5 is insulating window shades with side tracks. I got four Ecosmart cellular shades from Gordon Clements at Gordon's Window Decor. One is translucent, and the other three are blackout shades, achieving that by using aluminum foil inside the cells. Because... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2012 at Thriving On Low Carbon
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Jill and I went out to Santa Fe for a Zen Buddhist retreat called Rohatsu, which celebrates the Buddha's enlightenment and is Dec. 1-8 every year. It was quite warm this year, and I could be outdoors in a tee shirt in the afternoon sun. My teacher, Roshi Joan Halifax... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2012 at Thriving On Low Carbon
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Jill and I have taken a plunge and bought a small (1100 ft2) house about a mile away in West Tisbury. I have a couple more posts tee'd up for House 5 on window insulation and on the electric mini-boiler I've installed, so stayed tuned (I've been really busy with... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2012 at Thriving On Low Carbon
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I've now had a year with the Geyser HPWH. With the exception of the puddle on the floor in July 2011, it has performed consistently. It's performance has not been thrilling, though. In the summer, it was making hot water at about 0.13 - 0.15 kWh/gallon, with incoming water in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2012 at Thriving On Low Carbon
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