Frameworks for Improving Building Performance

I have two mental models for understanding and improving building performance. The first model I’ll call “Everything is Sort of Bad”. This model says that a building is pretty bad – but not horrible – pretty much everywhere and in most of the building systems (thermal boundary, pressure boundary, ducts, water-resistive barrier, etc). The second model I’ll call “Everything is […]

Blower Door Guided Air-sealing isn’t Real

I really like blower doors.There are a lot of building diagnostic tools that most people have probably never heard of that I like. Duct-blasters and flow plates to name a couple of more. For readers who are interested in conserving energy who haven’t heard of a blower door, check out Martin Holladay’s article on blower doors here. Blower doors are […]

Replacing Windows while Insulating the Wall Assembly

This video shows our method of installing replacement windows in the new-construction style while increasing the insulation levels in the wall and taking care of a few other technical problems. One benefit of the system is that you can pause for as long as you like between installing the window and insulating/re-siding the walls. This opportunity arises through the installation of […]

Look Ma, No Replacement Windows!

Here are the blower door results from one of the NJ Home Performance with Energy Star jobs we did this week. In most houses we anticipate 30%-40% leakage reductions, which is generally considered pretty good. But 55% leakage reduction is pretty awesome! I’ll try to find time over the weekend to elaborate on our evolving techniques for sealing buildings. Here’s […]

Replacement doors and windows are still bad

Not to belabor the point, but it’s very difficult to integrate replacement-style doors and windows into a system of shedding water away from buildings. This replacement door was installed into an opening that already had water problems. From Replacement doors

What the heck is attic air-sealing?

What the heck is attic air-sealing? We get that question a lot. The striking thing about attic air-sealing, is that it’s probably the single most beneficial thing you can do to your house. Per dollar spent, air-sealing will result in the biggest energy savings. It will also improve comfort, by reducing the temperature discrepancies between floors and across rooms. By […]