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be Green with some Green

September 03 2015
Published in Knowledge

Concerned about the health of your indoor air quality? A little green can help.

It is no secret that plants significantly lower stress levels and enhance worker productivity or that they can lower a building’s carbon dioxide levels while increasing oxygen levels. It is also a well known fact that air pollution negatively impacts our health and indoor air quality can be 2-5 times worse than outdoor air. Combine this with the fact that urban residents typically spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors and we begin to understand the depth of our indoor air quality problem.

Luckily there are some very green solutions!

house plants

Is Your Building Making Your Employees Sick?

July 14 2015
Published in Knowledge

We all know that air pollution is bad for our health. In fact the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified air pollution as a carcinogen that kills more than 7 million people annually around the globe. But did you know that indoor air quality (IAQ) can be 2-5 times worse than air outdoors and in extreme cases 100 times worse? Your employees are spending 40 or more hours in your building(s) each week. Is the air they, and you, are breathing making them sick and less productive? Is your office’s indoor air quality hurting your bottom line?

Gas mask

Project Profile: Boyle Residence

April 02 2015
Published in Projects

Boyle Home web

The Boyle Residence

Energy assessment identifies breaks in insulation and a substanial interior air leak

the problems

The 3,200 square foot brick Roanoke County home was generally in good condition and built with sustainability in mind. The builder installed abundant insulation in 1990 and oriented the home to receive passive solar radiation. The initial blower door test, however, measured three time higher than the reading indicating significant breaches in the building envelope.

Project Profile: Rech Family

March 20 2014
Published in Projects

 Rech Residence project profile

Troy Rech

Client Makes Home Renovation Project More Cost Effective While Retrofitting Home for Energy Efficiency

the problems

This two-story Colonial was built in 1941 in the city’s South Roanoke neighborhood. Just under 3400 square feet, the home is made of wood frame construction and has a full basement. The owner was interested in making the family’s home more energy efficient while closing in a screened porch. He timed the renovation with the energy retrofit. The attic contained ineffective insulation and unsealed ductwork and windows were present throughout the home. Several ceiling bath fans were unsealed and in need of replacement.

Savor the Profits!

March 14 2014
Published in News



Skip the bouquet and go straight to the bottom line. Energy efficiency just got sweeter for wineries and other agricultural producers. With the passage of the Farm Bill, agricultural producers and other small, rural businesses, may be eligible for grants and guaranteed loans through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) sponsored by the US Department of Agriculture.

Project Profile: Simmons Family

March 14 2014
Published in Projects

Simmons project profile

Sharon Simmons

Fixed Income Client Gets Control of Energy Bills and Refinances More Valuable Home

the problems

This 1920s, 800 square foot home in Roanoke's Riverdale neighborhood was originally a two-room structure that has been expanded with two small additions. The roof and front porch were modified in the early 1980's by Total Action Against Poverty (TAP) and mechanical equipment was updated in 2006. Fast forwarding to 2012, high energy bills, dust and drafts prompted the homeowner to contact the Community Alliance for Energy Efficiency (cafe2). Retired and on a fixed income, the rising utility costs were a big monthly dent in the budget. Through cafe2, the homeowner learned about the team at Better Building Works, LLC (BBWx).

Cold Snap Top Ten

January 06 2014
Published in News

DIY hat

1. Hats aren't just for people. If your house has a good 'hat' (air and thermal barrier) on the top, it will be a LOT warmer.

2. Step away from the thermostat! Heat pumps go into emergency heat (or worse, freeze up) if you move the temperature more than one or two degrees at a time.

3. Help your heat pump: set it a bit lower, but wear layers to keep warm.

4. Unvented gas fireplaces can be deadly. (And so can any fireplace, vented or not). Don't leave it on all night - even if it's tempting. Any fireplace, but especially unvented gas fireplaces, can produce enough Carbon Monoxide to make you very sick - or worse.

Dirty Air, Cancer and Energy Efficiency

October 22 2013
Published in News

Smoke stack 2"It's official. Breathing dirty air causes cancer." This is the first line of a recent email from Diana Christopulos.* The source of her information is a breaking report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, in conjunction with the World Health Organization.

Business and Home Owners Can Cool Their Energy Bills

August 12 2013
Published in Blog

thermography-280x300With rising energy costs continually being pushed at consumers, regional businesses have found a way to help rescue their local communities. Better Building works was featured in a Roanoke Times article that showcased the benefits of energy assessments for homeowners. 

Saving Energy at Home

June 12 2013
Published in News


Saving Energy at HomeDid you know that American homeowners spend more on energy than on real estate taxes? The SAVE Act (S. 1106) is a bipartisan bill that accounts for energy efficiency in Federally-backed mortgage underwriting. The proposed legislation is supported by the Chamber of Commerce and the Appraisal Institute, giving solid credence to the growing evidence of the value - and value-creation - of energy efficiency improvement.

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