The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

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 I was sick and tired of having an outdated bathroom that was beginning to fall apart.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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Posted by Allison Bailes on April 20, 2016
Well, I really stirred things up with my last article on insulation and global warming. My intention was to explain why Alex Wilson's results could be doing a disservice to the green building community. In the end, I was rightly accused of have done a disservice myself. So, here goes with part...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on April 18, 2016
I always look at the bathroom ventilation when I'm staying in hotels. Last month I was at the Air Barrier Association conference in Baltimore and took the photo below. Can you tell anything about what might be happening by looking at it? I didn't do a thorough investigation, but here's what I see.
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Posted by Allison Bailes on April 8, 2016
The first ever Humid Climate Conference is being held next month in Austin, Texas. Kristof Irwin and I have been kicking this idea around for a couple of years now, and he's making it happen. It's a one-day event on 6 May with some great speakers. It's being hosted by the Austin chapter of the...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on April 6, 2016
A water resistive barrier (WRB) provides protection against water damage for water that gets behind the cladding of a building. But what if it doesn't really resist water? I've written a lot about installation problems that can lead to compromised water resistance. (See the article I wrote last...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on April 4, 2016
A couple of weeks ago I caught up with Anthony Cox at the Air Barrier Association conference in Baltimore. You may know Anthony as the inventor of the House of Pressure, a great model for demonstrating backdrafting, zonal pressure differences, and other building pressure phenomena. Well, now he's...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on April 1, 2016
Conventional thinking says putting insulation in a building prevents heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer. This comes from the 19th century physicists who invented the laws of thermodynamics. The second law of thermodynamics in particular gives us the impression that insulation can be a good...
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