Category Archives: Building Science

1825 Home Becomes an Energy Efficiency Role Model

Recently, Jodi and I sat down with freelance journalist, Scott Sowers, to discuss the design challenges of the Historic Molette House in Molettes Bend, Alabama. Below is the full article that will appear in the July 2014 print and digital edition of Remodeling Magazine. The article is currently on the magazine’s website. Scott Sowers is a […]

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Preserving a Historic Home with Building Science

PRESERVING A HISTORIC HOME with BUILDING SCIENCE Historic Preservation is mostly about preserving and protecting buildings, objects, landscapes or other artifacts of historical significance. The Historic Molette House, ca. 1825 has a lot of significance in the Molette Family, as well with the people near the Molette’s Bend area near Selma, Alabama. When the home was moved […]

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♫ Building Science Blues ♫ by Eric Werling

Architects hear “Building Science Blues” at 2013 AIA Georgia Design Conference This past Friday and Saturday, the Georgia chapter of the American Institute of Architects hosted a 3-day design conference for over 300 architects in Historic Columbus, GA. Topics ranged from the business of architecture to designing the modern american home. It was the first […]

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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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Heat Flow, Electric Furnaces, and Lessons in Energy Efficient Design

When Jodi and and I moved from Tampa to Atlanta in 2008, we decided to try high rise living. We were living in a 1916 bungalow, which we loved dearly, and looked forward to something fresh and new. Something that would not leak like a sieve, and as a result be more comfortable and use less energy. The sales […]

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Serenbe Modern Proud Green Home Update: Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Systems

Things are really moving along on the Proud Green Home at Serenbe. This past Friday, the mechanical inspector paid a visit and we passed! Ahead this week; the builder has ordered the final plumbing inspection, the sprayfoam contractor is installing the open-cell foam in all the walls and roof, we will be performing the pre-drywall inspection for […]

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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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14 Design Don’ts for High Performance Homes, Part One

There are a lot of ways to design a home. Designing one for high performance, though, or even better-than-average performance, has many recommended best practices that are based on a lot of research of homes that have failed because they’re unhealthy, inefficient, and/or falling apart. This is why we have building scientists (see SOAP BOX […]

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