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Michael Maines

Recent Articles

  • Building Matters

    How to Install Doors in Thick Walls

    In high-performance building envelopes—those with thick walls and other details that allow for extra insulation and air-sealing—installing standard doors poses challenges that builders don’t typically encounter on more conventional builds.…

  • Building Matters

    Windows in Thick Walls

    Thick, highly insulated walls are great for lowering energy bills and creating a more comfortable interior environment for occupants, but they present some unique challenges for builders when it comes…

  • Guest Blogs

    Pretty Good House 2.0

    You may already know about the Pretty Good House concept, the result of a question that moderator Dan Kolbert asked back in 2011, partly as a joke, at the long-running…

  • Green Building Blog

    Thermal and Moisture Control Layers

    Editor's note: This post originally was published as part of the ProHOME series at Fine Homebuilding magazine. Michael Maines is a Certified Passive House Consultant and residential designer based in…

  • Guest Blogs

    Convincing Clients to Upgrade to Pretty Good (or Better)

    How do you convince clients to upgrade from code-minimum (or worse) construction to Pretty Good House, or better, levels of performance? How do you ventilate a commercial-style range in an…

  • Green Building Blog

    The Pretty Good House: A Better Building Standard?

    The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) held its annual meeting in Portland, Maine, on September 15th, 2012. After a day of tours of local sustainably designed projects and some pre-meeting…

  • Guest Blogs

    The Pretty Good House, Part 2

    What is truly important when designing and building a green home? Some of the many existing programs don’t go far enough, some are accused of going too far, and some…

  • Guest Blogs

    The Pretty Good House

    [no-glossary]Energy Star[/no-glossary]. [no-glossary]LEED[/no-glossary]. [no-glossary]Passivhaus[/no-glossary]. There are many programs with different metrics for determining how green your home is. But what elements of green building are important to you when designing…

  • Building Science

    Steve’s Garage

    Once a month in Portland, Maine, a group of builders, carpenters, architects, engineers, energy auditors, insulation contractors, and other fans of building science get together for, to quote the invitation,…

  • Blogs

    Attic Insulation Upgrades

    Two projects my company is currently working on involve a common problem: not enough insulation in the attic. Both homes are old; one dates from 1860, the other from 1705.…