tag: green building


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A Conversation with Tedd Benson About the Road from Fine Carpenter to Fine Businessman

A Conversation with Tedd Benson About the Road from Fine Carpenter to Fine Businessman

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Tedd Benson, one of the most celebrated homebuilders in America, has been a leader in reintroducing the art of timber framing, and has continued to develop it using modern technology to create structures of lasting beauty and high efficiency. He also built a successful business, stalwart enough to sail through the Great Recession and expand. I recently had the opportunity talk with Tedd Benson and learn about his background, his business, and his plans for the future.

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High-Performance Homes Dos & Donts: Mark LaLiberte Seminar Notes

High-Performance Homes Dos & Don'ts: Mark LaLiberte Seminar Notes

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Mark LaLiberte is an amazing building-science teacher. Read my blogging notes from his seminar titled "Building High-Performance Homes Dos & Don'ts," which I attended in Austin, Texas. Remember that this is focused on Texas construction, but there is plenty to learn here for anyone in the U.S.

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Self-Taught MBA: Are You Ready for Building Information Modeling?

Self-Taught MBA: Are You Ready for Building Information Modeling?

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Building information modeling (BIM) is the next evolution of CAD, involving the five-dimensional generation and management of digital plans. This post, written by my colleague Kristin Dispenza, introduces a new product specifically for small firms.

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Airtight Wall and Roof Sheathing

Airtight Wall and Roof Sheathing

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In the early 1970s, residential builders knew almost nothing about air tightness. Nowadays, there's plenty of data showing why it's so important to air-seal houses.

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Drying Wet Framing Lumber

Drying Wet Framing Lumber

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It's not unusual for a house to get wet during construction before it's "dried in". In this post I'll share some techniques I've used to dry my houses prior to sheetrock. This is a follow up to my last post about using a Moisture Meter.

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What Happens if your Framing Gets Rained on?  (Learn to use a Moisture Meter)

What Happens if your Framing Gets Rained on? (Learn to use a Moisture Meter)

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Rain during framing is hard to avoid, so how do you know the house is dry enough to move ahead with construction? We've all experienced "settlement" cracks in new houses. While cracks and gaps may not be completely avoidable, checking your framing with a moisture meter will te you if the house is "dry" and ready for insulation and drywall.

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Digital Toolbox: Getting an Education Without Leaving the Job Site

Digital Toolbox: Getting an Education Without Leaving the Job Site

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New contributor Sergio Grado provides accessible and practical advice on how to keep growing your knowledge base even when you have no time to spend on furthering your education.

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Insulating an Advanced-Framed House - A Hybrid Approach

Insulating an Advanced-Framed House - A Hybrid Approach

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Insulation advertisements would lead you to believe there products are perfect for every situation. In fact a hybrid approach is more likely to yield the high performance home I'm after. See this video to see how I used three types of insulation on this new Advanced Framed House I'm building in Austin Texas. -Matt Risinger

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Sorting Out Options for Whole-House Ventilation

Sorting Out Options for Whole-House Ventilation

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A couple building a house struggles to choose a fresh-air-circulation system that will keep their home healthful without breaking the bank

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Advanced vs Traditional Framing

Advanced vs Traditional Framing

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Advanced Framing isn't all that difficult and the benefits can be tremendous. In this video I'll show you a traditionally framed house and compare that to an Advanced Framed house.

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All concrete home, 3 stories ICF block construction

All concrete home, 3 stories ICF block construction

All ICF exterior walls, 3 stories! 10,000 heated sq. ft., six car garage, indoor shooting range! Custom wood windows with 12" jams, ZO6 glass. Hers rating of 52! 

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Texas Deep-Energy Retrofit Remodel

Texas Deep-Energy Retrofit Remodel

When you hear about a deep energy retrofit project most people think of the snowy North Eastern US. I can tell you that the strategy for a Northern remodel with energy efficiency in mind is very different that our strategy for Hot/Humid Texas. In this video I'll show you 6 things we are doing to making a dramatic difference in this 1950's slab on grade house's energy bills.

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Flashing A Recessed Window using Liquid Tyvek

Flashing A Recessed Window using Liquid Tyvek

Flashing a recessed window is tricky, this new product from DuPont Tyvek called Fluid Applied (Liquid Tyvek!) makes the process much simpler. In this jobsite video we will take you through the steps to form a water tight, air tight, and vapor permeable window install.

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Energy-efficient framing practices for hurricane and tornado country

Energy-efficient framing practices for hurricane and tornado country

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Builders have been slow to adopt 24" OC 2x6 optimum value framing due to concerns about the strength of the structure. We have adopted several framing techniques that work with OVE to improve storm survivability while also maintaining good energy efficiency and stiffness.

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Hot Water Without Wasting Cold - Metlund DMand Pump

Hot Water Without Wasting Cold - Metlund D'Mand Pump

How long does it take for your faucet to get hot water? As you wait for that hot water a typical faucet might dump 1-2 gallons of water down the drain. The solution for this problem is a smart circulation pump. Metlund makes a great system to deliver how water to your faucets without waste.

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Sustainable Living Shed in a Midwest Suburb

Sustainable Living Shed in a Midwest Suburb

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This shed was built with the intention of serving as many purposes as possible on as small a piece of land as possible.  Because we live on a corner lot where it would be very visible, we also...

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Design & Daylight

Design & Daylight

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The first of a two-part introduction to a thematic blog on daylighting strategies used in residential design.

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Smart Design Advice for Hot & Humid Climates (i.e. The South)

Smart Design Advice for Hot & Humid Climates (i.e. The South)

Architect Peter Pfeiffer talks about how to utilize smart design for a house in a hot climate zone. His green building advice is practical and following his advice will result in a house that's well designed for the rigors of a hot climate. If you want a comfortable, efficient, durable house and you live in the South then this video will give you tons to think about.

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How To Build a Healthy House

How To Build a Healthy House

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The home in this video was built for a person with a severe chemical sensitivity, but the goal of building with healthier materials and details should be important to every homeowner

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Self Taught MBA: Strategic Planning, Part 2 - The ABCs of Strategic Planning

Self Taught MBA: Strategic Planning, Part 2 - The ABCs of Strategic Planning

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It's more critical than ever to have a plan of how you will deal with this tough economy. Strategic planning focuses on redefining high-level priorities and setting a course for the year ahead.

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