Finished attic

Head and Sill Details for New Skylight

Interior Roof Insulation Retrofit for (Cathedral Ceiling) Rigid Foam.

If you must ventilate during construction, change HVAC filters often.

During construction (renovation or new construction), building air is full of dust and volatile organic compounds (VOCsVolatile organic compound. An organic compound that evaporates readily into the atmosphere; as defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, VOCs are organic compounds that volatize and then become involved in photochemical smog production.).

So, it’s best not to run the HVAC(Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Collectively, the mechanical systems that heat, ventilate, and cool a building. system at this time. Just, seal the openings and leave the system off until work is complete.

Install windows and skylights that lower solar heat gain in hot climates

Keep sunny rooms from overheating by using windows and skylights with low solar heat gainIncrease in the amount of heat in a space, including heat transferred from outside (in the form of solar radiation) and heat generated within by people, lights, mechanical systems, and other sources. See heat loss. coefficients (SHGCSolar heat gain coefficient. The fraction of solar gain admitted through a window, expressed as a number between 0 and 1.).
These range from 0 to 1. A value of 0 blocks all the sun's energy–lower SHGCs are better for warm climates because they lower air-conditioning costs. A value of 1 means that none of the sun’s energy is blocked by the window. Higher SHGCs are better for homes in cold climates because more solar heat gets through, which reduces heating costs.

Remove organic waste from walls and crawl spaces

Don't leave wood chips or sawdust in wall cavities or crawl spaces.
This organic matter can promote mold growth. Decomposing wood also can attract termites and carpenter ants.

Further Resources

Building Science Corp.
Mold–Causes, Health Effects and Clean-Up

Be fussy about flashing and sealing windows and skylights

Leaky windows and skylights cause structural and indoor air quality problems.
Water leaks are expensive to fix and can cause major damage. Air leaks result in heat loss and unwanted moisture-laden air entering the home. Thorough attention to flashing and air-sealing here is important. Follow practices recommended by building scientists. See the articles below.

Design the building envelope to avoid thermal bridging

Avoid thermal bridgingHeat flow that occurs across more conductive components in an otherwise well-insulated material, resulting in disproportionately significant heat loss. For example, steel studs in an insulated wall dramatically reduce the overall energy performance of the wall, because of thermal bridging through the steel. through careful insulation detailing. This reduces energy loss and moisture damage to wall assemblies. Avoid low R-valueMeasure of resistance to heat flow; the higher the R-value, the lower the heat loss. The inverse of U-factor. materials.

Balance air pressure with transfer grilles

Balanced air distribution means a more comfortable house.
HVAC(Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Collectively, the mechanical systems that heat, ventilate, and cool a building. systems that use heating and cooling ducts are susceptible to pressure imbalances that can lower indoor comfort. Transfer grilles are a simple way of equalizing pressure from room to room. When noise transmission is a potential problem, consider grilles with baffles to muffle sound. Dedicated return ducts in each room or jumper ducts are other options.

For more information on transfer grilles, see "Return-Air Problems."

Bring in more light with skylights and clerestory windows

More light makes for a cheerful, healthy interior.
Brightly lit interiors also cut down on the need for electric lights, an energy savings. Skylights are usually less expensive than adding a clerestory, which can require elaborate roof and wall framing. One caution: both skylights and clerestories can increase solar heat gainIncrease in the amount of heat in a space, including heat transferred from outside (in the form of solar radiation) and heat generated within by people, lights, mechanical systems, and other sources. See heat loss. and glare.

Learn more in the Green Building Encyclopedia

Sun: Passive Heating and Daylighting

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