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Balanced Whole-House Ventilation

Jack Hébert, the founder of the Cold Climate Housing Research Center, is credited with a phrase that’s becoming increasingly familiar to high-performance builders: “Build tight, ventilate right.” It means that as houses get tighter and better insulated, the need for well-designed mechanical ventilation gets more compelling. At its simplest, this means using kitchen and bathroom fans to remove moist or particulate-laden air. In this exhaust-only approach, outside air finds its way into the building via gaps in the building enclosure. Supply-only ventilation works the other way: fans bring fresh air into the house but there’s no dedicated path for stale…


The Ratio Rule for Hybrid Roof Insulation

If you want in-depth coverage of the intricacies of insulating roofs, whether the insulation is on top of the roof deck, on the underside, or both, Martin Holladay has lots of information for you here at GBA. As I’ve been writing a book on this stuff lately, I’ve been working hard to get at the essence of the principles of building science and their applications, and that includes these hybrid roof assemblies. One of the terms that’s tossed around in discussions of this topic is “ratio rule,” so today I’ll give you just the basic facts about it. If you…


Purified Wastewater Now Figures in Conservation Plans in the West

Editor’s note: This story is part of a four-part series—“Hotter, Drier, Smarter: Managing Western Water in a Changing Climate”—about innovative approaches to water management in the U.S. West and Western tribal nations. It was originally posted at Ensia and is republished here with permission. For decades, water officials in San Diego, realizing the city was facing an ever-drier future, have worked to make the idea of what’s known as “direct potable reuse,” or DPR, more palatable to residents. In the 1990s, that turned into an uphill battle. The technology delivers purified wastewater to customers’ faucets without an environmental buffer—such as…


The BS* + Beer Show: Sheet Goods as Air Barriers

This episode of the BS* + Beer show—with surprise guest Jake Bruton—tackles the topic of sheet goods as air barriers. The consensus is that, yes, sheet goods can make good air barriers, although there are many different approaches, and some are more reliable than others. The conversation covers how best to measure cubic footage, the origin of ACH50 as a standard measurement for air leakage (and whether or not using it is a logical approach), how to detail transitions and penetrations, selecting and air-sealing windows and doors, and much more. Enjoy the show! [embedded content] Join us on October 7…


New Kingspan White Paper Examines Nuances of Thermal Testing for Insulated Metal Panels

New Kingspan White Paper Examines Nuances of Thermal Testing for Insulated Metal Panels | 2021-09-28 | Walls & Ceilings 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 to our cookie policy. Learn…


Can Retrofitting Dams for Hydro Give Green Energy a Boost?

This post originally appeared at Yale Environment 360. In 1969, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finished construction of the Red Rock Dam on the Des Moines River in Marion County, Iowa. One of thousands of U.S. dams built that decade, the Red Rock Dam was designed to moderate seasonal flooding, allowing the Corps to release the million-and-a-half acre feet of snowmelt it impounded each spring at will. And for more than 50 years, aside from providing locals with a reservoir in which to fish and go boating, that’s all it did. That changed last fall when engineers let water…

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