The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

spray foam insulation open cell roof rot moisture problem
Posted by Allison Bailes on April 16, 2014
Murmurs and hearsay about open-cell spray foam insulation have been gaining traction for a while. It rots roofs, people have told me. Not long ago, someone even told me that in Florida, roofing companies won't let their workers go up on roofs with open-cell spray foam because the roofs are so...
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fiberglass batt insulation grade iii installation modular home crew
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 31, 2014
I used to do some consulting with a modular home manufacturer. We first visited their plant in 2007, and, as you can see below, they didn't quite have the insulation installation thing down. What you see below would be Grade III installation quality according to RESNET's insulation installation...
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thermal bridge cantilevered concrete slab multifamily austin 600
Posted by Allison Bailes on December 3, 2013
I was in Austin a couple of months ago, and I got a chance to watch the bats fly out from under the Congress Avenue bridge. (See my video at the end of the article!) I also saw a great example of how a bridge can conduct significant quantities of heat between the inside and outside of a building. A...
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net zero energy house serenbe proud green home imery
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 26, 2013
I spoke at Serenbe,† a beautiful green community southwest of Atlanta, this weekend and got a chance to visit a net zero energy home while there. Built by Luis Imery, one of the home energy raters we're a HERS provider for, the home has garnered quite a bit of recognition. In fact, they recently...
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Peeling paint was one of the things that sent us down the wrong path of vapor barriers
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 18, 2013
Now, I know exactly what you're thinking. Those painters didn't want to paint insulated buildings because building science hadn't been invented yet, and they thought the insulators were jumping the gun. Or was it that painters thought that stuffing the cavities with insulation was silly when all...
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spray foam insulation attic air leakage power attic ventilator
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 18, 2013
You have two choices when change happens: You can embrace it, or you can fight it. Some parts of the home building and home improvement industries are in the first camp. These are the home performance contractors, green builders, and spray foam insulation contractors. Some are in the latter camp....
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Closed cell spray foam insulation in an attic without an ignition barrier
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 11, 2013
To say spray foam insulation has become popular in green building over the past decade is like saying Peyton Manning is a good quarterback. It's an understatement. Although it's certainly not used in every green building project, it's become one of the most popular ways to build an air-tight house...
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attic kneewall details air barrier insulation
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 7, 2013
We're working on a project, so we got a set of plans to get started. It includes the attic kneewall and vaulted ceiling section you see below.This is typical of plans that architects draw, and builders build houses this way all the time. Unfortunately, it contains several errors. Can you spot them?
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crawl-space-encapsulated-beautiful-duct-system-ground-source-geothermal-heat-pump-nashville-440
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 16, 2013
If you have a home with a crawl space—or are building or buying one—you have several options on what to do with that particular foundation type. Most crawl spaces are vented to the outdoors, but over the past decade, encapsulating the crawl space (as shown below) has gained favor among builders of...
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spray foam insulation roofline atmospheric combustion
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 11, 2013
Earlier this year I got a question about a home that had spray foam insulation in the attic. Nothing unusual about that. A lot of builders and homeowners are going with spray foam insulation because of the airtightness benefits. But then the questioner mentioned that the spray foam contractor had...
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