This post was first published at www.greenbuildingadvisor.com.
There are many methods used to make a home airtight, it all comes down to one simple rule, continuity. Continuity is easily attained when there’s nothing that penetrates the air barrier. No electrical boxes, plumbing drains and vents or ducts that need to extend from inside a building’s envelope to the outside. Of course, there are times when different things need to extend from inside to outside, like the need for an outside water faucet. But there are also many occasions when different systems end up outside that don’t need to be outside. For example, forced air heating and cooling ducts that leave the conditioned space of the home simply because there was no space to keep them hidden inside the home. Planning a service cavity can help keep most mechanicals inside the building envelope. Continue reading “Construction Design-Service Cavity”
When designing the concrete-less slab on grade home, I gave serious thought to the location of the air barrier. I have used water resistive barrier (WRB) or house wraps for years without a good understanding how they work as an air barrier. In my climate, most homes use polyethylene sheeting as an interior (and main) air barrier. As it turns out, there are better choices. Continue reading “Construction Design-Interior Air Barrier? Exterior Air Barrier? Or Both!”
The past few weeks I’ve been discussing air leaks and the need for fresh air in our homes. (It’s best if your fresh air doesn’t come from uncontrolled air leaks.) This week we will see what an air leak looks like and what can be an outcome of these leaks. Continue reading “Building Science-What does an air leak look like?”
Recessed lighting, sometimes called a recessed can or recessed luminaire has been a very popular lighting choice for many years. When I worked as an electrician, I installed thousands of this type of light fixture. Continue reading “Construction Materials-Recessed Lighting”
Last week we talked about the outer most layer in a building, the rain control layer. This week, we will continue with the building shell layers discussion. The air control layer is next on the list. Continue reading “Building Science-Building Shell Layers-Air Control Layer”