Tag Archives: tight home

Mini-Split Heat Pumps are Quirky, Especially Capacity

Mini-Split Heat Pumps are Quirky and Still Effective The name “mini-splits” generally refers to heat pump systems with one outdoor unit and one or several smaller capacity air handlers. The efficiency of their operation comes via the inverter compressor and variable refrigerant flow technology, and they are available for single- and multi-family homes, as well as commercial buildings of any size. Here’s a general overview of what the systems […]

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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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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 […]

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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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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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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 […]

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