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Michael Maines

Recent Articles

  • 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.…

  • Blogs

    Patio or deck?

    What is the greenest way to build a deck? Is it okay to use pressure-treated lumber? What is the best way to attach it to the house? What kind of…

  • Building Science

    Ground Gutters

    The rubble stone foundation walls wept every time it rained, creating a dank, humid basement. The destructive power of ice dams, and a huge, overhanging elm tree created maintenance issues,…

  • Blogs

    The Perfect Potager

    When people say that it costs more to build green, they are only half right. To build another generic house full of features that everyone is supposed to want but…