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Building Science

The BS* + Beer Show: Inside the Wingnut Testing Facility (WTF)

A look at how Peter Yost and Dave Gauthier have tested flashing- and air-sealing tapes and why you should be doing your own Wingnut Testing

Because we’ve made mistakes in the past, I like to ask the architects, engineers, and builders I interview what mistakes we may be making with the way we build houses today. The most common concern is our reliance on tape. In short time, we’ve increased—by miles it seems—the amount of tape rolled onto our homes during construction. While these products seem to do a decent job keep water out of our walls and an excellent job of sealing would-be air leaks in the short term, many of us are wondering how they will perform over time. Questions like this are what lead Peter Yost and Dave Gauthier to do their own kind of testing on products and assemblies known as Wingnut Testing.

Peter and Dave were our panelists on the most recent episode of the BS* + Beer show. For GBA readers, Peter and his Wingnut Testing adventures are well-known. Dave is the Architectural Product Manager for Atlas Molded Products, a veteran of the SIP industry, a former general contractor and timber framer, and Peter’s long-time Wingnut partner. He’s been behind the scenes in many of the blog posts you may have read about Wingnut Testing. Dave’s motto when it comes to products and processes is “trust but verify,” and Wingnut Testing helps him achieve this goal.

In the video you’ll learn a lot about Peter and Dave’s testing of tape and you’ll hear some references to their roof venting tests as well. For more on the latter, see these GBA articles:

Wingnut Testing: Soffit-to-Ridge Roof Venting

Wingnut Testing of Soffit-to-Ridge Venting, Round 2

Wingnut Testing of Soffit-to-Ridge Venting, Round 3

Enjoy the show!

The next show is Thursday, July 16, from 6 to 7:30 pm: How to choose windows. Joins us this week for an intro to window types and performance ratings and a deep dive into various products with industry veterans Russ Chapman, Steve Konstantino, and Joe Nickels. Check out their bios below and use this link to register for The BS* + Beer Show.

Russ graduated from Champlain College in Burlington and built his career around various sales positions in the construction industry. Currently he is an architectural consultant for Sierra Pacific Windows where he works directly with the architectural and design community to help them best meet client expectations and goals.   

Steve is the founder and owner of Performance Building Supply and an expert in building science and renewable energy systems. Steve has designed and built two passive solar homes himself, often struggling to find healthy building materials and information. Getting into the building supply business was Steve’s way of bringing these types of products to a community of like-minded developers, architects, contractors, and homeowners. 

Joe is general manager of THRIVE Building Solutions which provides consulting and product solutions for high performance and Passive House buildings. Joe represents Alpen Windows & Doors and believes in homes that are healthy, durable, and comfortable provided through integrity, consistency and accountability.


-You can reach Brian Pontolilo at [email protected]

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