Category Archives: Build Tight

Sparky Doubled the Air Leakage in this Home!

Sparky Doubled the Air Leakage in this Home This is the home. This is the hole that Sparky (electrician) “innocently” made to feed a wire to the light on the front porch of the High Performance Bungalow. I discovered it a day or two after our home performance diagnostics team, Carl Seville and Abe Kruger, of SK […]

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Attention to High Performance Details In New Homes Pays Off

On the One Hand… …the Proud Green Home at Serenbe has been a kind of Experimental House for High Performance Design and Construction. Some of the features, products and practices we’re trying for the first time with this home, others we’ve used or done before, but they are still relatively new to the industry. To […]

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Hold the Foam! This Home is Already High Performance!

Before spray foam insulation was installed in the walls and roof-line of this Atlanta-area home, it tested better than the 2012 IECC requirements in climate zones 3-8 for building envelope tightness. The High Performance Home Several weeks ago we reported that the Proud Green Home at Serenbe, built by the Imery Group, achieved a blower door […]

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PGH at Serenbe is 90% Tighter than Energy Code – Before Drywall!!

Before drywall was installed, I tested the infiltration (air leakage) at the Proud Green Home (PGH) at Serenbe, and the home achieved 0.72 ach50, or 0.055 ELR (more on these numbers in a minute). In other words, it’s really tight!!! The 2009 International Residential Energy Code (IECC), which is adopted in most states, requires an infiltration rate of […]

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Designing A Perfect Residential Wall – Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia has a reputation for getting pretty darn hot, but it can also get pretty dang cold (No snickering from you Northerners, please!). Believe it or not, Atlantans use more energy to heat their homes than they do to cool them. The design temperature set by ASHRAE for the Metro Atlanta area to use when designing heating systems, is […]

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Improved Energy Codes, Diminishing Return, & a New Performance Baseline

It wasn’t long ago that the EPA’s ENERGY STAR New Homes Program created an uproar in the residential building community by releasing Version 3.0 of it’s volunteer 3rd party verification program. One of the biggest crack downs in the new version was it’s requirement for HVAC Contractors to test and verify their installations of the heating […]

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ENERGY STAR Certified Home in Grant Park – Atlanta, GA

Recently, this house in the historic district of Grant Park, Atlanta, was certified through the ENERGY STAR New Homes program at the EPA. The final inspection revealed an air tightness of 0.77 ach50, which is near the maximum acceptable air infiltration level of the aggressive Passive House program (0.6 ach50). The final HERS Index was around 64, which means (among other […]

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New Project (Renovation): Bar Antico – Italian Cafe with High Performance Twist

We have obained the permit from the City of Atlanta for the renovation and addition of this brick building in the “West Side” neighborhood of Home Park. Before demolition began, the building was a single-family home, and next to it was the parking for one of the busiest pizza joints in the country, Antico Pizza. […]

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Designing for High Performance: Slab-On-Grade, Part III – Controlling Air Flow

In an earlier post, I talked about 3 of the most important strategies for making a home energy efficient. They were; 1. Air sealing, 2. Air sealing and 3. Air sealing. Air sealed, or tight, homes do a better job at containing the conditioned air coming from the HVAC system where it belongs…inside. Tight homes […]

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