inspection

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An Introduction to Thermal Imaging

An infrared camera can help diagnose a variety of home-performance problems, including air leaks, missing insulation, or thermal bridges

Posted on Jan 6 2012 by Martin Holladay

Energy auditors and insulation contractors have been using infrared cameras to diagnose home-performance problems for over 30 years. Without opening up your walls or ceilings for inspection, a trained specialist can use one of these cameras to locate insulation voids, air leaks, moisture intrusion, thermal bypasses, and thermal bridges. It’s even possible to use an infrared camera to locate leaks in hydronic tubing embedded in a slab.


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Image Credits:

  1. Tom Barbour - Thermal Image UK - http://www.thermalimageuk.com
  2. Infrared New England - http://www.infrarednewengland.com
  3. Chuck Evans - http://homecert.com
  4. Infrared New England - http://www.infrarednewengland.com
  5. David Valley - Massachusetts Infrared - http://www.massinfrared.com
  6. InfraMation newsletter - November 2006

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The Piecemeal Approach to Green Building

Is green building doomed now that the marketing professionals have taken over?

Posted on Nov 8 2011 by Carl Seville

Almost every time I am talking with someone about green building, whether a potential or current client, or just a casual conversation, inevitably solar power comes up. This causes me to go into full on curmudgeon mode, pointing out that solar panels are pretty much pointless on homes until you’ve done everything else you can to make it more efficient and healthy. Solar is hot, trendy, hip, something you can touch (and might want to touch, as opposed to insulation), and a marketer’s dream, as are many other building products, all of which are seem to be labeled “green.”


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New Green Building Products — March 2011

An HRV, a bath exhaust fan, a pressure-balancing grille, a sneaky video camera, and several new Passivhaus windows

Posted on Mar 25 2011 by Martin Holladay

It’s been about six months since my last roundup of new green building products. This time I’ll look at two ventilation products (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. and a fan), a pressure-balancing grille, and an inexpensive camera to inspect difficult-to-reach areas. I’ll also mention four new North American distributors of European PassivhausA 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.-certified windows.


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Image Credits:

  1. Venmar
  2. Delta Products
  3. Tamarack Technologies
  4. Energate

Superinsulation Can't Work if the Windows Leak

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