Net-Zero Buildings & The Green New Deal

In sustainable concept and practice the reality of obtaining net-zero energy consumption in buildings has been around for a good long while. A parallel movement, The Green New Deal which arose c.2007 and includes as a fundamental goal the reversal of greenhouse gas emissions is currently gaining traction and momentum as a political movement. Exactly how do these two concepts intersect, and how will they converge in future? Continue reading

About Water-Resistive Barriers

typical water-resistive barrier

Example of a widely-used water-resistive barrier

Keeping Bulk Water Away from Vulnerable Building Components
A water-resistive barrier (WRB) is a material installed between the sheathing (or studs if there is no sheathing) and the siding. It is designed to prevent water from reaching building components that could be damaged by moisture. Builders should assume that siding intallations aren’t truly waterproof, and that some water will find its way through or around the siding (at least once in a while). Without a WRB, sheathing and other parts of the wall assembly would be much more susceptible to damage. Continue reading

Owner Who Illegally Demolished Neutra House Told: Rebuild an Exact Replica

The house was designed by modernist Richard Neutra.

The San Francisco Planning Commission has ruled that a buyer must rebuild an exact replica of a historic house they demolished illegally in the city. Ross Johnston must also put up a plaque explaining what happened — providing a lesson to all in the sensitivity required when buying and renovating special buildings. Continue reading

Affordable Net-Zero Energy Home Construction in 12 Steps

net-zero energy

Net-zero energy home

Building and designing affordable zero energy homes involves 12 integrated steps that utilize commonly available building materials and equipment along with easy-to-learn building strategies. By following these steps, you can build a new home that is cost comparable to a conventional home. Continue reading

Five Ways of Optimizing Framing

Five Ways of Optimizing Framing

Optimized Framing

Advanced framing can save materials and time while boosting your homes’ efficiencies. As builders look for ways to cut costs while meeting ever-more-stringent energy codes, many are turning to advanced framing methods. Also known as “optimum value engineering (OVE),” advanced framing techniques optimize material usage to cut down on waste, eliminate redundancies, reduce labor, and increase a home’s energy efficiency while maintaining structural integrity. Here is a look at 5 advanced framing techniques that builders can adopt one at a time as they ease into new, more efficient building methods. Continue reading

Best Insulation for 2×4 and 2×6 Walls

When you are insulating two-by-four (2×4) and two-by-six (2×6) framed exterior walls and want to use fiberglass insulation, what thickness should you use?

This is a critical question. Adding too little insulation means a colder house. Adding too much insulation means insulation that isn’t properly doing its job, thus a colder house. Continue reading

How to Prevent Mold During Construction

Preventing Mold During Construction
One of many things to take into account when building a house or any other facility is the growth of mold during the construction. Mold is everywhere, so it stands as huge and possible threat that can slow the construction and increase costs of replacing affected materials as well as costs of remediation. Depending on climate and location, some construction sites are more susceptible to moisture that later result in moldy buildings. The least expensive way to deal with the mold is the prevention and certain measures undertaken before and during the construction can go a long way.
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