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Part 2 of GBA’s Video Series on a Passive House Project

“Airtight Mudsills” is the second episode in a series of videos on the construction of a Passive House in ­Falmouth, Massachusetts

Posted on Jan 20 2014 by GBA Team

At the Passive HouseA residential building construction standard requiring very low levels of air leakage, very high levels of insulation, and windows with a very low U-factor. Developed in the early 1990s by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist, the standard is now promoted by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany. To meet the standard, a home must have an infiltration rate no greater than 0.60 AC/H @ 50 pascals, a maximum annual heating energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (4,755 Btu per square foot), a maximum annual cooling energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (1.39 kWh per square foot), and maximum source energy use for all purposes of 120 kWh per square meter (11.1 kWh per square foot). The standard recommends, but does not require, a maximum design heating load of 10 W per square meter and windows with a maximum U-factor of 0.14. The Passivhaus standard was developed for buildings in central and northern Europe; efforts are underway to clarify the best techniques to achieve the standard for buildings in hot climates. job site in Falmouth, Massachusetts, architect Steve Baczek specified a mudsill gasket.

But to make sure that the gap between the top of the foundation and the sill plate didn't leak, Baczek took a belt-and-suspenders approach by also specifying the use of Tremco acoustical sealant. Sold in tubes at specialty retailers and online, the black sealant installs easily with a caulk gun. It’s exceedingly sticky and highly elastic, and unlike construction adhesive, it never cures.

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GBA Pro members have access to all of the videos in the Passive House video series.

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Here is the link to the “Airtight Mudsills” video.

To see Episode One of the series, click here: “Passive House Design.” (The first episode is available to all GBA readers, including non-members.)



Image Credits:

  1. Fine Homebuilding
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