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School Water Often Goes Untested for Lead

Only 15 states and the District of Columbia require or encourage that drinking water in public schools be tested for lead, according to a new report from the U.S. Green Building Council's Center for Green Schools. (Photo: Paul Domenick / CC BY-ND-NC / Flickr) Schools in 35 states are not required to test their drinking water for lead,  research by The Center for Green Schools has found. In the remaining 15 states and the District of Columbia, testing may be encouraged rather than required, and not all states require that parents be notified of the results, U.S. Green Building Council…

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More Wingnut Testing of Basement Waterproofing

In the first round of Wingut testing of negative side waterproofing, I was pretty focused on how various interior basement waterproofing systems dealt with hydrostatic pressure. But in recent workshops I conducted for a Wisconsin nonprofit called SeventhWave, I have gotten this question just about every time: “OK, so you need the crystalline waterproofing systems to deal with water under pressure. But what about basement walls and floors that see water that is not under pressure?” That question got me thinking: could I use the same waterproofed concrete block columns and wet them in such a way that water would…

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JM’s New R-12 Duct Insulation Portfolio

In 2015, the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) made a new change regarding the thermal resistance requirements for duct insulations in unconditioned spaces. Specifically, the code called for ducts in unconditioned spaces in climate zones 5-8 to be insulated with R-12 insulation.1 (Please see the complete code for all details and any exceptions.) In terms of insulation, designers can expect that the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power of the insulation. Climate zones 5-8 are in the middle to northern part of the country, and they often experience much colder weather patterns than zones 1-4. As a result,…

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Rooftop External Duct Installation Instructions

Johns Manville’s XSPECT® ISOfoam APF board consists of a uniform closed-cell polyisocyanurate foam core bonded on each side with a foil facer. Polyiso provides one of the highest R-values per inch of any rigid insulation (R-6.0 at 1 inch). R means resistant to heat flow. JM XSPECT ISOfoam APF is produced with an EPA-compliant hydrocarbon-based blowing agent that has zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and virtually no Global Warming Potential (GWP); it also meets both CFC- and HCFC-free specification requirements. Polyiso is one of North America’s most widely used insulation products and has been cited by the EPA for its…

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What Is the Difference between Rooftop Units and Other ACs?

When it comes to commercial air conditioning, the great workhorses are rooftop units. People are accustomed to seeing rows of air conditioner cabinets along the top of office and retail buildings. Some commercial buildings still use “split” systems that are similar to the ones seen in residential housing, while restaurants and bars often use ductless heat pumps that send conditioned air wall-mounted blowers that are connected to an outdoor condenser. But the rooftop unit, because of its space saving quality and ease of service, continues to be the most popular for business use. What actually differentiates rooftop units from other…

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2015 IECC Commercial: Overview of the HVAC Requirements

This presentation by Eric Makela and Howard Wiig takes a detailed look at the changes in the 2015 IECC. They cover the financial impact, energy savings, and steps that contractors and engineers need to implement to adhere to code. Click here to download the presentation. https://news.jm.com/blog/mechanical-insulation/2015-iecc-commercial-overview-hvac-requirements

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