The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

fiberglass batt insulation kraft paper vapor retarder inside
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 14, 2013
If you install fiberglass batt insulation* with a kraft paper vapor retarder in a home, which way do you face the vapor retarder? To the inside of the home or the outside of the home? For many building science questions, the answer is, 'It depends.' For this one, the answer is clear.
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building enclosure insulation over exterior wall no space thermal bridge
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 28, 2013
Let's play a little game today. Take a look at that photo above. See anything that bothers you? No? Well, pretend that you're the heat in the house once everything is finished and people are living in it. Does that help? If your answer is still no, let me give you a little help. Here are the...
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ice dam icicle house air leakage heat loss building science
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 23, 2013
Guest post from Nate Adams, founder of Energy Smart Insulation in Mantua, Ohio.
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building science experts session joe lstiburek spray foam insulation
Posted by Allison Bailes on December 6, 2012
Spray foam insulation evokes some interesting conversation among building science professionals, those in construction, environmentalists, and homeowners who have it in their homes. Many think it solves all problems, no matter how poorly it's installed. Some think it's helping to warm the planet...
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building enclosure control freak suspended ceiling fiberglass batt insulation yuk
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 19, 2012
You know how sometimes people ask, "Where were the adults?" In the field of building science, I've got a new question: Where were the control freaks? It's not nearly as well known as it should be, but buildings need to have well-defined control layers to control heat, air, liquid water, and water...
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habitat for humanity Scott Suddreth sheathing behind bathtub nc
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 15, 2012
Habitat for Humanity is showing that affordable housing and high-performance homes isn't an either/or choice. They've been doing great work and going in this direction for a long time, but in the past 5 years, they've really stepped it up a notch. Their mission statement includes the following...
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attic-kneewall-insulation-and-spray-foam-failure-e3-innovate
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 3, 2012
One of the great things about writing this blog is that I don't have to depend only on material that I've personally seen. Because I'm "semi-famous" (Thanks, Dan!), people occasionally send me photos of building envelope and mechanical systems stuff that's, well, just abominable. Let's look at a...
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net zero energy home in florid solar energy insulation air sealing
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 25, 2012
Steve Larson, a builder and home energy rater in Florida, recently sent me an email with his energy bills for February through July of this year. When you subtract out the monthly service charges, he paid only $5.35 for electricity during those six months. That's right — less than a dollar a month...
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BCAP provides great energy code resources.
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 18, 2012
BCAP is the Building Codes Assistance Project, the organization that provides the Online Code Environment and Advocacy Network (OCEAN). I wrote about them last year and all the great work they do, including their weekly email updates* for those who want to keep up with what's happening in the world...
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Frank Lloyd Wright control freak layers wikimedia commons
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 27, 2012
Frank Lloyd Wright was a control freak. This was a guy who not only designed houses but also all of the trim details and even the furniture. No, you're right. That's not really enough evidence to convict him. The really damning part is that he also placed the furniture exactly where he wanted it in...
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