The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

Posted by Allison Bailes on July 9, 2019
The Home Innovation Research Labs (HIRL) does an annual survey of home builders to find out what they're doing.  The results of their 2019 survey of the homes built in 2018 are out now, and they recently published an interesting article about the breakdown of different insulation materials used by...
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A certified Passive House in Seattle, Washington
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 2, 2018
Well, another year has come and gone. Out with the old, in with the new, and all that. A time for introspection and resolutions. Taking stock of where we are and plotting a course for where we want to be. All because of a somewhat arbitrary turning of the calendar from one year to the next.A...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on July 10, 2015
Jeffrey was driving through Atlanta the other day and saw a new building under construction that forced him to slam on the brakes. He got his camera out and took the photo below. Can you see why he was so excited?
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fiberglass batt insulation grade 1 building enclosure
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 20, 2015
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...
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aqua tower chicago thermal bridge cooling fins
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 5, 2014
This weekend I got a chance to see Aqua, that oozing projection of glass and thermal bridges in downtown Chicago. I've written about it before because it's such an energy efficiency monstrosity, so of course I had to get some photos of it while I was there.
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aci affordable comfort national conference detroit 2014
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 28, 2014
If you work in the fields of home building, home improvement, or HVAC and want to do the best work you can, you know that you've got to keep learning. Not only is there a tremendous amount to know, but things are always changing. Here are four great opportunities for you to continue your building...
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PHIUS North American Passive House Conference
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 11, 2014
The 9th annual North American Passive House Conference will be in San Francisco, California on 10-14 September 2014. Confused? Maybe you heard that the North American Passive House Conference will be in Portland, Maine on 22-23 September. What's going on here?
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frost indoor wall building enclosure insulation failure humidity
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 24, 2014
Not long ago, Erik Henson an energy auditor with HD Engineering and Design in the Kansas City area, posted the photo below on LinkedIn. As you can see, frost has formed on the walls and ceiling inside the house. It's not uncommon to see frost on windows in cold climates. But walls? That's a rarity...
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Liquid-applied membrane for controlling air and liquid water at the building enclosure
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 5, 2014
Is housewrap a vapor barrier? What's the purpose of building paper? Who'll stop the rain? I've covered this topic in various forms before, but the confusion about what the different building materials do is so widespread that I have to keep coming back to it. I'm going to keep it simple here so...
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drainage plane wrb water control layer zip system
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 27, 2014
Are you ready to take the next step in being a building enclosure control freak? You already know about the 4 types of control layers, so let's go further now and look at the one that controls liquid water. But why should you care? All you gotta do is throw some housewrap on that sucker, right?
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