tag: energy efficiency


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ICC Approves Changes to Energy Code

ICC Approves Changes to Energy Code

3 comments

Requirements will be a little tougher, and for the first time a "performance path" to compliance will reference a HERS rating.

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Passive House Town-House Project Underway in Philadelphia

Passive House Town-House Project Underway in Philadelphia

Developers plan 27 units that will meet the stringent Passive House requirement for airtightness and energy consumption.

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Maintain your Tankless, or else!

Maintain your Tankless, or else!

Your fancy Tankless Water Heater needs maintenance, and if you neglect this annual flush you may be destained for trouble. See this 5 minute video on how to do a vinegar flush to remove calcium deposits from your tankless unit's boiler.

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Retired Educator Turns His New House Into a Living Lab

Retired Educator Turns His New House Into a Living Lab

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Half the house is built for an Energy Star rating, the other half to the very stringent Passivhaus standard.

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OSB vs Plywood Sheathing - or Both?

OSB vs Plywood Sheathing - or Both?

OSB vs Plywood Sheathing is a question that comes up often in my Custom Builders Group. In this video I'll explain why I use both, and share some secret methods to building a house that will last for generations.

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Patricks Barn: Blower-Door Testing

Patrick's Barn: Blower-Door Testing

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With training from FHB author Larry Armanda, I test the airtightness of our barn with a blower door.

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How to Insulate a Flat Roof

How to Insulate a Flat Roof

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Atlanta architect Scott West designs a lot of contemporary houses with flat roofs, and he's looking for advice on the best way of insulating them. There are a variety of options, but at least one reader wonders whether he should junk the flat roof plan in favor of something else.

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How to Insulate a Slab Foundation

How to Insulate a Slab Foundation

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Have you ever wondered why Slab Foundations aren't insulated? Two reasons, your house needs to be pretty efficient first before it's necessary, then it's darn hard to accomplish without making an easy path for termites. In this video I'll show you how we used Borated Treated Perimeter foam to insulate a Texas Slab on Grade Foundation.

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Net-Zero Communities Sprouting in Upstate New York

Net-Zero Communities Sprouting in Upstate New York

A builder with a background in conventional construction changes gears to build with insulating concrete forms. His net-zero-energy houses have very low rates of air infiltration.

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Converting an Incandescent Ceiling Can to an LED

Converting an Incandescent Ceiling Can to an LED

11 comments

Energy-saving retrofits don't get much easier than this. Because the old can stays put, you can convert a fixture in minutes.

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Why I Regret Making My House a Smart-House

Why I Regret Making My House a Smart-House

7 comments

The only regret I have in my full house remodel was believing a Smart House was going to make my life better.

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What Makes the Best Air Barrier?

What Makes the 'Best' Air Barrier?

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Planning a high-performance house in Massachusetts, Bill L asks the Green Building Advisor's Q&A Forum how to build in an air barrier that will stand the test of time. He's not sure that specialized construction tapes are the way to go.

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Garage AC - Wrong Way & Right Way

Garage AC - Wrong Way & Right Way

Who wouldn't love their garage to be Air Conditioned? In this video I'll show you two methods to accomplish that cool garage.

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Habitat for Humanitys Net-Zero Community

Habitat for Humanity's Net-Zero Community

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Now in its second year of construction, this Habitat community ultimately will include 18 housing units, community gardens, an "edible landscape," and a community center.

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Net-Zero Energy House in a Kit

Net-Zero Energy House in a Kit

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A Vermont manufacturer of structural insulated panels has launched a line of kit houses that should generate as much power as they consume. Kits include photovoltaic panels, ductless minisplit heating and cooling, and triple-glazed windows.

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CREE CR6 LED Recessed Light Review - 2 years later

CREE CR6 LED Recessed Light Review - 2 years later

We installed a house full of these CREE CR6 LED bulbs 2 years ago and I had a chance to interview the Architect/Client about his experience.

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Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater w/ H20 heat exchanger

Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater w/ H20 heat exchanger

A Finnish Contraflow masonry heater with H20 heat exchanger and veneered with Monarch sandstone in Colorado Gulch Montana. Design by Ron Pihl (owner of WarmStone Fireplaces & Designs), installation...

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Tulikivi Gemini

Tulikivi Gemini

Tulikivi Gemini in Holiday mode, near Stevensville MT. Installation by WarmStone Fireplaces & Designs.

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Tulikivi Custom TTU2700 with Soapstone Shelves

Tulikivi Custom TTU2700 with Soapstone Shelves

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Big Sky Country see-through Tulikivi fireplace in Big Sky, Mt. Installation by WarmStone Fireplaces & Designs.

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Tulikivi Custom Boulder

Tulikivi Custom Boulder

A rugged fireplace for rough country - this one-of-a-kind Tulikivi Boulder Style fireplace provides heat for an Everlog home in Western Montana, while also providing a platform for baking on its back...

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