Air Barrier Components

Building a ‘Layered House’

Posted on March 06,2015 by AlexWilson in access cavity

If you are building an energy-efficient house, you have to address air leakage and pay attention to the the integrity of the insulation layer. We can have the best of intentions and can install lots of insulation, but if we leave it leaky or include details that compromise the integrity of that insulation, then the home’s energy performance can be severely affected. Take recessed ceiling lights, for example. From a design standpoint, they’re great, since the light source is roughly flush with the ceiling and all of the mechanism is hidden in the ceiling above (in recessed cans).

Green Basics Air Barriers

Service Cavities for Wiring and Plumbing

Posted on March 06,2015 by user-756436 in air barrier

Conventional wood-framed walls perform many functions. Exterior walls are supposed to support the roof load, resist racking, and provide insulation. They must also provide space for routing electrical cables and (in some cases) plumbing pipes or even ductwork. If the walls are built properly, they should also include an air barrier.

Product Guide Air Barrier Components

Disappointing Energy Savings for Energy Star Homes

Posted on March 06,2015 by user-756436 in energy savings

If you’re interested in residential energy efficiency, you’re probably familiar with the marketing pitch of the EPA’s Energy Star Homes program. Among the program’s claims:

Where Does the Housewrap Go?

Posted on March 06,2015 by user-756436 in drainage plane

Let’s say you’re building a house with plywood or OSB sheathing. You plan to install 2 or 4 inches of rigid foam on the exterior of the wall sheathing, followed by vertical rainscreen strapping and siding. Where does the housewrap go? Depending on who you talk to, you get two different answers:

  • It goes between the rigid foam and the vertical strapping, or
  • It goes between the sheathing and the rigid foam.

Deep Energy Retrofit: Apply the Energy Efficiency Pyramid

Posted on March 06,2015 by ChrisBriley in deep energy retrofit

This is the last installment in the Green Architects' Lounge trilogy on deep energy retrofits. In this episode, Phil and I discuss the importance of sizing your new HVAC system to the heat load of your newly renovated house. (This is where that energy audit information, which we mentioned in previous episodes, is going to come in handy.)

What Is a Deep Energy Retrofit?

Posted on March 06,2015 by ChrisBriley in Green Architects Lounge

I recently heard that a good blog is like a red party dress: long enough to cover the important parts, but short enough to maintain one's attention. By that measure, the Green Architects' Lounge podcast episodes are like royal wedding gowns with long trains that flow down the aisle. This is great if you like wedding gowns, but ... Because we feel that many short dresses are better than a single long one, we've decided to divide our episodes into smaller, more manageable parts, and release them with greater frequency. (Time to switch metaphors...)

Architects Talking About Air Barriers

Posted on March 06,2015 by ChrisBriley in 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.

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