The Principles, Uses, and Limitations of WUFI

Posted on April 27,2015 by ab3 in air

Dr. Joseph Lstiburek started it in 2012 when, in his keynote address at the Passive House conference, he said igloos were the first passive houses and you don't need WUFI,1 the hygrothermal modeling tool, to design and build a good house.

Five Ways to Deal with Crawl Space Air

Posted on April 27,2015 by ab3 in crawl space

If you have a home with a crawl space — or are building or buying one — you have several options on what to do with that particular foundation type. Most crawl spaces are vented to the outdoors, but over the past decade, encapsulating the crawl space (as shown in the photo here) has gained favor among builders of green and energy efficient homes. It's often seen as the best way to eliminate the moisture problems that often result from vented crawl spaces. But what do you do about the air down there?

How to Avoid Mold

Posted on April 27,2015 by user-1048334 in condensation

Mold and moisture issues are a common motivation for homeowners to give us a ring. There’s condensation on the windows and water dripping into the window box. One homeowner described how if she opened her front door during the winter, the glass panes on the storm door would fog up within 10 or 12 seconds. Structural issues in the house, like dirt floors in the basement, sometimes cause these problems. But often the problems are caused by occupant behavior.

(At Least) Six Things Are Wrong With This Crawl Space

Posted on April 27,2015 by user-1068097 in building code

Last week, GBA published a photo of a crawl space in an old house under the headline, “What's Wrong With This Picture?” The photo showed an unvented crawl space in a cold climate. The home was built in 1885. This crawl space is attached to an adjacent concrete-floored basement. The foundation walls are made of mortared limestone.

How Did Water Damage this Brick Basement?

Posted on April 27,2015 by rwotzak in basement

In a [**recent discussion from our Q&A forum**](node/16524), Chris Ermides tries to determine what caused severe deterioration of a brick column in the basement of his Victorian home. Chris knows that his basement could use some moisture remediation, but he is puzzled that none of the nearby brick walls have similar signs of decay. Fortunately, the chimney that the column once supported is long gone, and the load of the adjacent beams rests comfortably on lally columns, but Chris is still determined to solve this mystery.

Air Barrier or Vapor Barrier? - Building Science Podcast

Posted on April 27,2015 by JoeLstiburek in air barrier

_This podcast series is excerpted from a two-day class called "Building Science Fundamentals" taught by Dr. Joe Lstiburek and Dr. John Straube, of Building Science Corporation._

Don't Try This At Home: Armchair Building Science

Posted on April 27,2015 by Peterbilt in air leakage

The homeowners called me after a certified home inspector stated that the attic was underventilated and moisture was building up as a result. The roof assembly had soffit vents at the eaves and two gable-end vents. These vents would not be as effective as ridge-to-soffit ventilation, but were probably close to building code requirements (see Green Basics – Attics).

Well, They Got It Half Right

Posted on April 27,2015 by user-756436 in crawl space

At the International Builder’s Show, several demonstration homes have been set up in the parking lot outside the Las Vegas convention center. The Environments for Living show home has a display promoting the advantages of ventless conditioned crawl spaces; so far, so good. But instead of following best-practice advice and insulating the crawl space walls with rigid foam, the Environments for Living home designers chose to install fiberglass batts between the floor joists — a feature proudly displayed behind a Plexiglas viewing panel.

Preventing Moisture Problems

Posted on April 27,2015 by AlexWilson in Humidity

What’s moisture have to with energy? Quite a bit, actually. When we tighten up or insulate a house, there’s the potential of causing moisture problems that could harm your health by allowing mold to grow or affect the life of materials your house is built from. And any time you work on a house, especially when you do things that affect the exterior envelope (walls, roof, foundation), you’re provided with an opportunity to fix problems that may already exist.

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