product review

Video: New Passivhaus Products

Katrin Klingenberg, founder of the Passive House Institute U.S., tours the trade-show floor at the BuildingEnergy 14 conference, pointing out her favorite windows, heat pumps, diagnostic tools, and more

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Produced by Dariusz Kanarek


Recorded at NESEANorth East Sustainable Energy Association. A regional membership organization promoting sustainable energy solutions. NESEA is committed to advancing three core elements: sustainable solutions, proven results and cutting-edge development in the field. States included in this region stretch from Maine to Maryland. www.nesea.org's Building Energy 14 conference in Boston on March 6, 2014, this video follows Katrin Klingenberg as she visits several trade show booths, including those of:

  • Mitusbishi heat pumps;
  • Intus windows;
  • The Energy Conservatory blower doors;
  • Schöck USA (Schöck Bauteile);
  • Stiebel Eltron water heaters;
  • Airpohoda ERVs;
  • Prosoco air sealing systems;
  • Power Wise energy monitoring systems;
  • H Window;
  • Zola windows;
  • Alpen Windows; and
  • Zehnder HRVs and ERVs.

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New Green Building Products — June 2013

The latest roundup of intriguing products to improve the energy performance of your home

Posted on Jun 21 2013 by Martin Holladay

My file of interesting new green building products is bulging again, so it’s time to highlight a few items that have caught my attention.


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Image Credits:

  1. Rodenhouse

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European Products for Building Tight Homes

A new importer in Brooklyn is distributing European tapes, housewrap, ventilation fans, and a ‘magic box’

Posted on Nov 25 2011 by Martin Holladay

A new distributor of building products from Europe has set up shop in Brooklyn, New York. The company, called Four Seven Five, was recently founded by a trio of 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. consultants: Floris Keverling Buisman, Sam McAfee, and Ken Levenson. Four Seven Five plans to import air-sealing products and ventilation fans from Germany, as well as HVAC(Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Collectively, the mechanical systems that heat, ventilate, and cool a building. equipment from Denmark.


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Image Credits:

  1. Lunos Lueftungstechnik

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New Green Building Products — September 2011

High-performance windows, doors, and tapes for your next superinsulated home

Posted on Sep 9 2011 by Martin Holladay

About every six months, I report on new products that catch my eye. This round-up features products from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean: high-performance windows from Maine, Ontario, and Lithuania; high-performance doors from Poland; and high-performance tapes from Switzerland.


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Image Credits:

  1. Lindwood Windows
  2. Intus Windows
  3. Martin Holladay
  4. Inline Fiberglass
  5. Jesse Thompson
  6. Drewexim
  7. Siga

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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

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New Green Building Products — September 2010

Every energy-efficient home needs a tight air barrier. Here are some products that might help: a cover for recessed cans, a caulk for polyethylene, and a handful of new housewraps

Posted on Sep 10 2010 by Martin Holladay

In this new-product roundup, I'll look at a cover for recessed can lights, a new caulk for polyethylene, and several new water-resistive barriers (WRBs) that promise better performance than Tyvek or Typar.

A fire-resistant hat for recessed can lights
A Delaware manufacturer named Tenmat is selling an airtight hat for recessed can lights. Tenmat light covers are made from mineral wool; according to the manufacturer, they are fire-resistant.


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Image Credits:

  1. Tenmat
  2. Cosella-Dörken Products
  3. John Straube
  4. VaproShield

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Product Review: World’s Best Sill Seal

T-Shaped cross section provides redundant air seals

Posted on Jan 11 2010 by Martin Holladay

Sill seal made from closed-cell foam does a pretty good job of stopping air leaks on smooth-topped foundations. When the concrete is rough, however, it’s hard for sill seals to bridge the uneven gap under the mudsill.


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Image Credits:

  1. Protecto Wrap

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Energy Edge Slab Insulation System

Posted on Jan 14 2009 by Daniel Morrison

A solution in search of a problem? It depends.

Slab on grade construction is extremely common in the southeast and southwest US because it’s a fast, affordable way to get out of the ground and into the house. Slabs are also a great way to incorporate hydronic heating into a house.

Slab foundations can be energy sieves if not insulated on the outside with rigid foam. Both heat and cold can penetrate deep into a house through an un-insulated slab edge in summer and winter.


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