Issue 299 – June 2021
All About HVAC
Choosing heating, cooling, and ventilation systems can be complicated. Here's an overview of common options and things you need to consider to make smart selections.
Crawlspaces That Work
To avoid moisture problems, either seal and condition your crawlspace or isolate the space from the rest of the house.
A Trombe Wall Solution for Passive-Solar Storage
An indirect solar-heat-gain strategy addresses the challenge of orienting a passive-solar house's views northward.
The Fine Homebuilding Interview: Christine Williamson
This forensic building scientist demystifies her discipline for architects and construction professionals.
To control indoor humidity, consider a stand-alone system separate from your HVAC system.
A Better Way to Demo
Portland, Ore., provides a model for deconstructing houses that is better for people, the planet, and profit.
Energy Codes as Clear as Glass
The building codes for windows address both thermal and air transmission—here's what you need to know to select windows using the prescriptive path.
Know the Code
Three Ways to Insulate Basement Walls
For interior insulation, you'll need to use either rigid-foam boards or spray polyurethane foam.
Energy Smart Details
The Diagnostic Benefits of Smart Thermostats
More than just convenient home tech, these devices also provide invaluable troubleshooting data for HVAC installers and servicepeople.
These air-pressure measuring devices are essential tools for verifying home performance, duct tightness, and other important building diagnostics.
Tools & Gear
Fire-Ready and Nontoxic
This solar-powered ranch was designed to meet local fire-resistance requirements, including noncombustible roofs and siding with reduced flammability.
Retrofitting One Wall at a Time
A retrofit to meet the Passive House standard means upgrading windows, walls, and insulation.
Flood-Ready Passive House
This deep-energy retrofit is the first certified Passive House and net-positive residence in Cold Spring, N.Y.
HOUSES by Design
Vapor-Permeable Flashing Tape
New water-resistive ZIP System Flashing Tape from Huber ups the ante for moisture control.
Sized-Up Electric Heat Pump
The Mitsubuishi SUZ Universal Outdoor Unit with Hyper-Heating INVERTER technology (H2i) comes in three new capacities to meet the need for larger spaces.
Site-Built Portal Frame Solution
The Strong-Wall Site-Built Portal Frame System from Simpson allows framers to build their own portal frame to code in as little as 9-1⁄4 in. of wall width.
Airy and Bright Skylights
Awaken Skylight Windows from Marvin offer comfort, ease, and energy efficiency.
XPS Insulation With a Lower Climate Impact
Owens Corning introduces Foamular NGX—an updated rigid-foam option with reduced contribution to global warming.
Managing Water When Insulating Old Walls
Water is the enemy, so keep it away and ensure the house's drying potential.
Anna Heath, Lead Carpenter
This project manager is commited to shifting the building landscape by constructing quality homes and creating a more inclusive environment for builders.