Construction Design-Randy’s Dream Design

Guess what?  I just won the lottery!  (Not really, but for the purpose of this blog, let’s pretend.)  I’m looking to build myself a new home.  I have choices.  I could build a McMansion with plenty of space I don’t need and will never use.  I could concentrate only on the interior finishes and how the house looks.  If you’ve ever read my blog, you already know what direction I’ll take.  The house won’t be big, a couple thousand square feet is plenty for me, maybe a rambler with a second story over part of it built on a slab, no basement or crawlspace.  Being a BS* guy, I would make an invest in the stuff that is hidden, those pesky control layers I often talk about.  It would be based on the Pretty Good House concept. Continue reading “Construction Design-Randy’s Dream Design”

Energy Audit-Comparing a Great Blower Door Test to a Code Minimum Test

I recently blower door tested the tightest new home I have tested to date.  .82 air changes per hour at 50 pascals (ACH50), nearly one-quarter of the code required 3 ACH50 requirement.  After the test, the builder and I decided to open a window to see how much additional leakage it would take to get the home to the code minimum 3. Continue reading “Energy Audit-Comparing a Great Blower Door Test to a Code Minimum Test”

Construction Design-Simple Air Sealing Strategies

I built my first home for a customer back in 2000, I’ve learned a lot since then.  One of the areas I’ve learned the most is in building tightness.  These days I’m working more as an energy auditor.  Conducting code compliance blower door testing on new homes and conducting energy audits, some with blower door testing on older homes.  I get to see where homes leak. Continue reading “Construction Design-Simple Air Sealing Strategies”

Construction Design-Interior Air Barrier? Exterior Air Barrier? Or Both!

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!”