The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

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Posted by Allison Bailes on July 1, 2016
In 2002, Katrin Klingenberg introduced the passivhaus program to North America when she built the Smith House in Urbana, Illinois. She had come to the US from Germany, where she studied architecture and got involved with passivhaus. But is this really where it all began?
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disconnected duct unbalanced supply leakage
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 30, 2016
A lot of discoveries and research work over the past four decades have led to our current understanding of air leakage in buildings. I’ll mention a few here, but I want to focus on one: the MAD AIR paper by John Tooley and Neil Moyer. The full title of the paper was, Mechanical Air Distribution And...
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window-condensation-daniel-boone-house-summer-dew-point.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 27, 2016
In Missouri for the ASHRAE conference, I took some time to visit with my Cajun baby sister the other day. As we were making our way to one of the local wineries outside of St. Louis, we saw a sign for Daniel Boone's house. Now who can resist that? So we took the short detour and spent a few minutes...
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New home installation with sagging flex duct
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 23, 2016
Last month while I was in Austin, homebuilder extraordinaire Matt Risinger gave me a tour of some of his projects. Afterward I wrote about something I saw on his new home construction site that was a sign of a good duct installer. Today I bring you a few photos that are signs of a bad duct...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on June 21, 2016
Condominiums and apartments present some serious challenges when it comes to providing ventilation for good indoor air quality. (I live in a condo that was built in 1970 with no whole-house mechanical ventilation, but that's another story.) In high-rise buildings, wind and stack effect often render...
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drywall-finisher-on-stilts.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 8, 2016
Drywall installers, plumbers, HVAC technicians. All those folks and more do a lot of the dirty work in the construction, maintenance, and renovation of buildings. It's often not fun. I've done it myself, so I know. As a teenager, I worked summers with my grandfather, an electrician, HVAC contractor...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on May 25, 2016
The word "interstitial" comes up occasionally in building science discussions. I think I've heard it a couple of times at conferences just in the past month. That may be because Joe Lstiburek was there. He's the guy who used that word 127 times in his doctoral dissertation, Toward an Understanding...
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bathroom-remodel-exterior-wall-insulation.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 23, 2016
When I began remodeling my master bathroom last month, I found the exterior wall ripe for some serious improvement. It had a number of problems, and I was excited to find them. It was worse than I imagined in some ways. The photo below shows the wall partially opened up.
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Posted by Allison Bailes on May 19, 2016
The Building Performance Institute (BPI) recently introduced a new certification called the Healthy Home Evaluator. It's not a standalone credential, though. Anyone looking to add it to their list of credentials must already have one of three other BPI certifications:  Building Analyst, Energy...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on May 17, 2016
If your home is old enough for a bathroom renovation, you may want to go ahead and completely gut it. I started my bathroom remodel last month with a complete demolition. If I hadn't, a number of problems would have been unavailable for repair...or even undiscovered. Here's what I found when I...
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