Dr. Bailes speaks regularly at conferences, training classes, and special events.
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When I wrote about the net zero energy home that Amy Musser and Matt Vande built, I was really impressed that they were willing to share the mistakes they'd made and what they would do differently if they could go back and start over. Several readers remarked on that in the comments as well. Since I've puffed up my chest in this space several times and written about the green home I built a decade ago, I figure it's about time for me to come clean, too.
When you think of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), do you think of atomic clocks and hunks of metal that serve as standards of mass and length? Or do you think of cutting edge research in net zero energy (NZE) homes? It turns out, they do indeed still deal with standards, but they also do a lot of great research, including studying NZE homes.
A few weeks ago Allison made a couple of quips that could be construed as critical of Advanced Framing methods, also often referred to optimistically as Optimum Value Engineering (OVE). I myself am generally critical of Advanced Framing, so perhaps I was just reading into Allison's comments what I wanted to hear. So I messaged him "You ought to do a whole article expanding on the criticism of Advanced Framing," and he replied "Ok, you ought to write it for me." So here I am.
I LOVE this photo! It has nothing to do with building science. Or does it? As we humans have progressed from living in caves to mud huts to stone buildings to the stick-built structures many of us in the US inhabit now, our lives have changed.
The title of this article refers not to the two framers charging the house with a large timber but to the framing timbers already installed above the porch. Home designers, builders, and framers aren't used to thinking about the building envelope and thermal bridging. They think more about aesthetics and structure, as they should.
If a rafter or beam needs support, the architect or home builder will sometimes cross the building envelope to get it. Those four porch rafters above go right through the sheathing, as you can see in the closeup below. So does the horizontal beam.
Here's a house we designed for a builder in the historic Grant Park neighborhood in Atlanta, which should be completed by January 1, 2012. The home is 2-stories, has 4-bedrooms and 3-and-a-half baths, and is just under 2,200 square feet. The builder decided to stick-build the home, but it was orginally designed to be built using modular construction techniquies.
In 1997, I helped my parents design and build their home. Early in the construction process, I had suggested that the house be built 25 feet back from where we originally had it planned, and that the fireplace be moved to the back side of the living room. We had already put the stakes in the ground and were ready to start digging for the foundation, but now we had to take the time to move them. Sarcastically, my mother said, "damn architects!"
As we approach Christmas, I am reminded of the days when my siblings and I would, one by one, make our way down to the Family Room on Christmas morning to count the number of gifts for each of us. Some years, that was at 4 am, and we'd realize it was way to early to get up. Our parents wouldn't be getting up for at least 3 more hours, so we'd go back to our rooms and try to get back to sleep. Needless to say, we couldn't!
The last time I volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, Icynene was not a household name, and many homeowners had never heard of a Blower Door and Duct Blaster. (Well, OK, you're right. They're not exactly household names now either, but a lot more people know about them.)
When my wife and I moved from Tampa to Atlanta in 2008, we decided to try high rise living. We were living in a 1916 bungalow, which we loved dearly, and looked forward to something fresh and new. Something that would not leak like a sieve, and that wouldn't use so much energy. The sales team for the Midtown condo development we now live in told us what we wanted to hear, “average electric bills will be around $50 - $80 for your 900 square foot unit.” Great! Sign us up!
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