Architects Talking About Air Barriers
Two Maine architects discuss several ways to create a good air barrier
With cocktails in their hands, architects Chris Briley and Phil Kaplan discuss green building and design issues in a casual, pithy format
Join the guys for a drink as Chris and Phil look at air barriers — one of “The Big Three” topics (along with insulation and windows) of green construction.
Sit back, relax, and be “edutained” — while you work, drive, exercise or do whatever you do while you podcatch.
This week, Chris and Phil discuss:
- Two ways to install an air barrier: on the outside, using the Huber Zip system; or on the inside, using the Airtight Drywall Approach.
- Why you might want to use both systems to build a house with both an interior and an exterior air barrier.
- How to “plan for failure” by providing a way for damp walls to dry out.
- How to install exterior foam insulation according to an Alaskan system called REMOTE (the Residential Exterior Membrane Outside Insulation Technique).
- To design your wall assembly, you not only need to “be the water drop” — you also need to “be the water vapor.”
- Why you should test your home for airtightness with a blower door.
- How to convert cfm50 to ach50 — and why.
- Why you should aim for no more than 1 ach50.
- Why these Maine architects prefer an HRV(HRV). Balanced ventilation system in which most of the heat from outgoing exhaust air is transferred to incoming fresh air via an air-to-air heat exchanger; a similar device, an energy-recovery ventilator, also transfers water vapor. HRVs recover 50% to 80% of the heat in exhausted air. In hot climates, the function is reversed so that the cooler inside air reduces the temperature of the incoming hot air. to an exhaust-only ventilationMechanical ventilation system in which one or more fans are used to exhaust air from a house and make-up air is supplied passively. Exhaust-only ventilation creates slight depressurization of the home; its impact on vented gas appliances should be considered. system.
Chris Briley is the principal architect at the Green Design Studio in Yarmouth, Maine, where he practices “architecture for life.” He is a LEED accredited professional and specializes in energy efficient, environmentally friendly design, focusing mostly on residential architecture. His accomplishments include the first LEED Gold certified home in New England, helping to found the Maine Chapter of the USGBCUnited States Green Building Council (USGBC). Organization devoted to promoting and certifying green buildings. USGBC created the LEED rating systems., and most recently, receiving a LEED Platinum rating for a spec home in Portland.
Phil Kaplan is an award-winning and oft-published architect whose Portland, Maine, firm, Kaplan Thompson Architects — with the motto “Beautiful, Sustainable, Attainable” — is committed to designing only vibrant, healthy, and low-energy buildings. He also serves as Professor at UMA's School of Architecture. His firm's recent accomplishments include the LEED for HomesLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED for Homes is the residential green building program from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). While this program is primarily designed for and applicable to new home projects, major gut rehabs can qualify. Innovative Project Award for 2009 as well as three LEED Platinum homes.
About the "Green Architects' Lounge" series
Imagine going to a green building forum, putting on your name tag, sitting in a large class room, getting your fair dose of PowerPoint, and taking notes. This Podcast is nothing like that. This is like going to a cocktail lounge afterward with a couple of green architects who then talk about the forum you all just attended.
Join Chris Briley and Phil Kaplan as they discuss green building topics while sharing cocktail recipes, music preferences, and their professional experiences. This podcast is for those seeking “edutainment” while they work, exercise, travel, or sketch the beginnings of their next great project.
Because Green Building Advisor doesn't like to publish information that we haven't tested, my wife and I decided to field test Chris and Phil's concoction. I was surprised at how easy it was to float the heavy cream over the liquor, and how much it did in fact look like a stout beer. My wife thinks the Simple Charm "is warm and dreamy. I could sip(SIP) Building panel usually made of oriented strand board (OSB) skins surrounding a core of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam insulation. SIPs can be erected very quickly with a crane to create an energy-efficient, sturdy home. this all night."
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