HUB3287 13929 HU TwoVsOne 728x90 S

Subscribe via E-mail

Your email:

energy vanguard resnet combustion safety caz training hers rater

Loading

SF EnergyVanGuard Sept2014 WebAd

mastering building science online course box

energy vanguard blog off the chain

Energy Vanguard Blog

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

How NOT to Retrofit a Furnace in a Spray Foam Insulated Attic

 
furnace combustion air intake duct spray foam insulated attic

A while back I wrote about the incompatibility of putting an atmospheric combustion furnace in a sealed attic. Most often the attic is sealed by installing spray foam insulation at the roofline, thus bringing the attic inside the building enclosure and turning it into conditioned space (directly or indirectly). The good news is that some installers understand this problem and seek to address it. The bad news is what some of them do.

Modeling Is Not a Four-Letter Word

 
spacetime curvature modeling experimental data

Energy modeling has gotten a bad reputation in the home performance world. One conference I've attended has gone so far as to say that it's "outside the sandbox" of topics presenters can cover. They want to see data, not modeled results. And they have good reason for that.

The Layers and Pathways of Heat Flow in Buildings

 
fiberglass insulation wall cavity johns manville spider

We used to build houses without giving much thought to heat flow through the walls, ceilings, and floors. The main thing was to provide some resistance against wind and rain, and then we'd get a fire going to try to make the indoor temperatures bearable. If you've ever lived in an old, uninsulated house, you know that method didn't work that well so later we started putting insulation into the cavities in building assemblies. Homes with insulated cavities are much more comfortable, but how exactly does heat flow through building assemblies? Turns out there are two ways.

Should We Change the HERS Reference Home's Energy Code?

 
home energy rating hers index scale resnet reference home energy code

The HERS Index is a number that gives you a measure of how energy efficient a home is. We can debate how relevant that number is or how accurate is the energy model it's based on, but the fact is that it's being used. The 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) includes a compliance path based on the HERS Index, which they call the Energy Rating Index (ERI). Here in my state, Georgia Power has been educating home buyers on the HERS Index since they created their EarthCents program a couple of years ago. But the HERS Index is based on the 2006 IECC. Is that a problem?

New Mexico Green Builders Create Water Efficiency Rating System

 
watersense low flush toilet water efficiency

Energy usually gets top billing in the green building community. It has a huge impact on the environment. We sometimes pay a significant amount for it (although most of us don't pay enough to motivate serious change, but that's another story). We can do energy modeling and home energy ratings. Plus, it's just really interesting! But water deserves a lot of attention, too, and green builders in New Mexico are innovating a way to move water to the fore.

The Drainage Plane Flashing Battle Continues

 
house wrap flashing details moisture management problem

I don't think I can ever say it enough, but the building enclosure consists of several control layers and each one has its job. The primary control layer is the one that keeps liquid water out, and it can be a tricky business. Take the case of this condo building (yes, it's in the community where I live). It's got several problems, so I went to bat for building science here.

Solar Electricity: "The Final Source of Energy"

 
net zero energy home

Back in 1982, I was an undergraduate studying physics and listening to the Talking Heads, Laurie Anderson, and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. I loved my OMD album and was captivated by the song Electricity. Towards the end of the song, they sing:

A Year Full of Building Science Conferences

 
Building science, green building, & home performance conferences are a great way to learn and meet people

I love going to conferences. Since I changed my career in 2004, I've gone to building science, green building, and home performance conferences nearly every year. (I think I missed 2006, but I had a lot going on then.) Last year I went to eleven of them, but then I'm a bit unusual.1 You certainly don't have to go to that many, but if you're a home builder, home performance contractor, or home energy pro, I do recommend going to one a year so you can keep up with the latest trends, talk to your peers, and maybe add some arrows to your quiver.

Tags: 

The One Thing I'd Love to See Building Enclosure Workers Do

 
fiberglass batt insulation grade 1 building enclosure

I think a lot about building enclosures. I've looked at a whole lot of houses and seen a whole lot of problems with the enclosure. I've also seen a few good ones, although they're all too rare. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know I've also written about this topic a lot and have posted a lot of photos, of both the bad and the good. Today I'm going to tell you the one thing I'd love to see when I look at building enclosures.

Fiberglass Insulation Manufacturer Gets Serious About Installation

 
fiberglass insulation owens corning grade i

One of the major fiberglass insulation manufacturers (the color in the photo below gives away which one I'm talking about) is getting serious about the installation quality of fiberglass batt insulation. They've put out a video (embedded below) and a document showing how to achieve RESNET Grade 1 installation quality with fiberglass batts. Have you seen these things yet?

All Posts
RESNET Logo home energy rating system 400  Energy Vanguard is a BPI Test Center logo vertical 200x275  Air Conditioning Contractors of America  Energy Vanguard is an ENERGY STAR Partner  efficiency first logo