Category Archives: Energy Efficiency

Building Science is Worthless…

Building Science is Worthless… Thousands of hours went in this construction detail. When we factor all the time spent by building science engineers, from all over the world, researching and testing each material and the various assembly options, and to figure out what works and what fails, the time is, really, impossible to quantify. Not to mention […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Molette House, ca. 1825: Historic Preservation meets Energy Efficiency

The preservation, deep energy retrofit and new addition of the Historic Molette Family Plantation house near Orrville, Alabama kicked off last week with an exciting, and at times nerve-racking, three-mile move of the original 80-ton circa 1825 house to its new and, hopefully, final location. We watched in awe as 80 tons and 188 years […]

Read More

The HERS Index is THE Home Energy Efficiency Gauge

GET ON BOARD THE HERS TRAIN, YOU’LL BE GLAD YOU DID. The HERS Index is already the industry standard for measuring a home’s energy efficiency. In 2015, the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) will allow the option for all new homes to use the HERS Index to comply. Considering that residential buildings account for approximately 36.5% (2012 figures) of […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

I’m an HVAC Magician, I Make Mini-Splits Disappear

Making Mini-Splits Disappear A lot of homeowners and folks in the building industry in the United States don’t want to see their HVAC (a.k.a. heating and air) systems exposed, even if it means high performance, healthy living environment, and total control. There is a magical (OK, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch) way to have cake and […]

Read More

Design and Build Smart: Use Advanced Framing to Save Time, Money and Energy

Employing Advanced Framing Techniques during the design and construction phases saves on labor, material and the amount of heat loss in a new home. 25% of a the building shell area in a typical home is made of wood. The other 75% is primarily windows, doors, insulation, finishes and cladding. When you factor in the […]

Read More