There has been a significant improvement in building materials and methods for achieving major decreases in home energy use. The improvement has largely been developed within the U.S.’s Building America and Energy Star Programs, as well as the Passive House Standard created in Germany.
Unfortunately the details of building very low-energy use homes are not well known or easily accessed. Most books and articles on green building and energy-efficient building do not attempt to achieve the reductions in emissions imposed on us by climate change. There are some courses available but they are not cheap.
Two major sources for learning techniques for passive house construction and super-insulated houses are the magazines Journal of Light Construction and Fine Homebuilding. For years, Pat Murphy, co-founder of Plan Curtail, has been saving the best articles from these two magazines and organizing them into categories.
How to Use the Plan Curtail Best 600 Building Articles List: Some of the articles are available on the Internet but most are behind a pay wall. However, both magazines sell their past articles for a reasonable fee, either via CD or memory stick or other option. Interested parties can purchase these files and use the Plan Curtail “Best 600 Building Articles List” to rapidly locate the articles that interest them. This is much easier than searching the Internet with some term that will provide thousands of URLs that may or may not include the best articles.
A brief scan of this document will show the stature of the writers. Authors such as Martin Holladay, Joe Stiburek, Paul Eldkamp, Mike Guerting and many others have provided excellent material with top quality graphics. This list can be an education in and of itself. For Fine Homebuilding, go to: https://subscribe.finehomebuilding.com/membership/archive. For JLC: http://www.jlconline.com/jlc-store/. We also recommend Green Building Advisor as a top source of information for cutting home energy use.
We are not attempting to provide the articles but rather a taxonomy of sorts combined with a list of references. Those interested in serious CO2 reductions in their homes will have to increase their level of understanding by study and analysis. These sources can make the job much easier.