The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

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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Posted by Allison Bailes on May 9, 2016
Matt Risinger is a home builder in Austin. He builds great houses and is also famous for his videos. He has over 26 thousand subscribers on his Youtube channel. I was in Austin last week for the inaugural Humid Climate Conference and had some extra time on Saturday morning. So I got a tour of a few...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on May 6, 2016
It’s hard enough to control humidity in humid climate homes when they’re just built to code these days. The air conditioner traditionally has handled the dehumidification, but increasing requirements for insulation and air tightness affect the sensible load more than the latent. Then, when you go...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on May 5, 2016
Can an article be out of date just because it's from 1989? That's not only three decades old, but it's also from the last century. Heck, it's even from the last millennium! What about more recent stuff? Is it better because it's newer? Well, maybe. But someone recently questioned the suitability of...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on May 4, 2016
The Green Builder Coalition has been working hard on their Water Efficiency Rating Score — the WERS — for homes. The inaugural WERS training happened in Santa Fe, New Mexico in March. I was in that class, and I learned a lot. Now the program, which has been in development for the past couple of...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on May 3, 2016
Professor John Straube is one of the smartest guys in building science. On top of that, I think he's the best presenter in the field. At the Air Barrier Association conference in Baltimore, he gave one of the best building science talks I've heard. Of the things he said, this statement really stood...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on May 2, 2016
Most of the moisture management problems I've written about here are ones that occur because of poor installation. When builders don't integrate window flashing with the drainage plane, for example, water can find its way in and rot out the window framing. Sometimes, however, architects make it...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on April 29, 2016
We talk about R-value all the time. "I've got an R-19 wall," or "Code requires R-38 in my ceiling." But what are those numbers? As it turns out, when we talk about R-value we usually give the R-value of the insulation. That's the case with both of those statements above. But what's the real R-value...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on April 26, 2016
Last week I spent a lot of hours in my bathroom. I was sick. Really. I was sick and tired of having an outdated bathroom that was beginning to fall apart. So when my wife hit the road last Monday to drive across the country, I got out my wrecking bar. Here's what it looked like last Tuesday...
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