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Webinar: Walls That Work–An Intro to the Four Control Layers

There’s more than one way to build a durable and efficient wall. Like most things, the devil is in the details—and in this case, the details refers to the four control layers. For a comfortable home and a wall that won’t fail, you must control water, air, vapor, and temperature. In this webinar we’ll study the four control layers, take a look at building codes and various climates, and open up a handful of walls that work. For more on this topic, see this collection of articles: All About High-Performance Wall Assemblies. -Brian Pontolilo is the editor of Green Building…


Did Our Net-Zero House Meet its Energy Goals?

A combination of passive solar design, upgraded insulation and windows and a photovoltaic array helped this Minnesota house to net-zero status in 2019. Utilizing higher levels of insulation, high-performance windows, passive design, whole house electrification, and a 9.8 kW solar energy system, we were successful in being net-zero in 2019 with the house producing approximately 800 kWh more electricity than we used. We designed our net-zero house in early 2017 and broke ground in the fall of 2017 with the build completed in late 2018. Solar panels were installed and commissioned on January 3, 2019. Now that it’s 2020 we…


ICAA Webinar: What to Know About the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

ICAA Webinar: What to Know About the Families First Coronavirus Response Act | 2020-03-30 | Walls & CeilingsWalls & Ceilings logoWalls & Ceilings logo This website requires certain cookies to work and uses other cookies to help you have the best experience. By visiting this website, certain cookies have already been set, which you may delete and block. By closing this message or continuing to use our site, you agree to the use of cookies. Visit our updated privacy and cookie policy to learn more. This Website Uses CookiesBy closing this message or continuing to use our site, you agree…


Keeping Ducts Where they Belong

Ducts running through unconditioned attics or crawlspaces can create problems in all climates. Undesirable positive or negative pressurization, moisture and mold issues, and increased energy costs are often the result. In my work as an energy auditor, I’ve conducted blower door tests on many new homes that have duct work located outside the building envelope, many with poor test results. As a matter of fact, of all the new homes I have tested that have failed code-required blower door tests, all had ducts in unconditioned attics or crawl spaces. With so many new slab-on-grade homes being built today, lots of…


Coronavirus, Building Science, and Cancer

Well, there’s nothing like a little pandemic to completely upend our daily lives as well as our short and long-term outlooks for the future. I’ve spent far too much time reading about, listening to, and watching news about the novel coronavirus lately and I guess you may have done likewise. Here’s an update of what’s happening at Energy Vanguard as well as some good resources I’ve found. What Energy Vanguard is doing We’re still operating at full capacity but we made the decision for all of us to work from home starting Friday, 13 March. Although one EVer was sick…


Pandemic Packs a Wallop for Construction

The coronavirus pandemic is slowing the construction trades to a crawl. At least one major U.S. cities to order construction sites to be closed as builders in firms of all sizes weigh the risks of continuing to stay on the job. Some are still showing up to work, with altered workplace rules, but many are not. Boston Mayor Martin Walsh last week halted construction projects across the city for two weeks as the coronavirus continued to spread. Only emergency projects, such as roadwork and gas hookups, could continue, Construction Dive reported. Trade unions applauded the decision. Associated General Contractors of…

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