475 Blog
GUTEX_tipsJuly 13, 2017

Quick Tip: Install GUTEX Boards + Battens In One Shot

Here’s a quick tip for installing GUTEX woodfiber boards with battens for high performance smart wall assemblies. We have a 2×4 wall with INTELLO Plus already installed on the inboard side as the air barrier system. We begin by pre-cutting battens which are positioned in line with the studs, and screwed through the first row […]

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July 5, 2017 Loose-fill or batt, Havelock Wool is a natural, comfortable and effective installation solution.

IDEAL Window Installation – Improving Best Practices

You bought high-performance windows, but is the install going to complement their performance or detract from it? The enclosure insulation, airtightness and moisture control should be continuous. But too often where the window frame meets the building we see breaks in insulation, air leaks and vapor traps – all setting the stage for discomfort, inefficiency and […]

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June 30, 2017 declaration of independence

A Declaration of Independence from Foam Plastic Insulation (2017)

In the spirit of 1776, 475 High Performance Building Supply is proud to reprint an update to our Declaration of Independence from Foam Plastic Insulation, first published for July 4th, in 2013.   (…and picked up by Treehugger).  Enjoy: ———————————————— In BROOKLYN, NY, July 4th, 2017. A DECLARATION. WHEN in the course of constructing and renovating buildings, it […]

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June 29, 2017 _DSC3103

Path Toward Perfection: A Beautiful High-Performance Home in Egremont, MA

Beauty We often talk  about the extensive benefits of high-performance buildings: lower energy costs, more durable structures, reduced maintenance requirements and healthier interior environments.  High-performance strategies can improve the lives of building owners and occupants. Beauty is not as quantifiable perhaps, but it can bring delight to life.  And there is nothing more delightful than working on projects […]

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June 14, 2017 cellulose_with_INTELLO-200px

Do More With Less: Your Dense Pack Netting Should Multitask

Dense pack insulation is a great way to insulate – whether it be cellulose, wood fiber (Thermofiber by GUTEX), sheeps’ wool (by Havelock wool), or fiberglass. It can guarantee gap-free thermal protection, filling all the nooks and crannies. But typical mesh-netting systems for dense pack insulation like Insulweb do one – and only one -thing: contain […]

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June 14, 2017 Ecocor_video_thumb

475 On-Site: Chris Corson on Precision, Efficiency, And The Future Of Building

EcoCor’s Founder talks Passive House, Pro Clima, and his path through high-performance construction Chris Corson, of EcoCor High Performance Building Systems, talks to us about how he developed EcoCor’s signature panelized construction techniques and Passive House Institute Certified building assembly. Chris makes the powerful point that even as other industries have made quantum leaps in technology and precision […]

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June 14, 2017 WSJ croped IMG_20170612_075607

Wall Street Journal Hears Passive House Buzz in New York

The Wall Street Journal article, titled online, Striving for Energy-Efficiency in New York, by journalist Keiko Morris, captures the magnitude of the sea change in Passive House building, in a quote by 475’s own Ken Levenson: In 2010, the New York region had about 50,000 square feet of passive-design building projects planned, said Ken Levenson, founding board […]

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June 13, 2017 NYPH17-web-banner-Rd2_2

NYPH17 Passive House Conference & Expo – The Place to be June 16th

Make your way to 125 West 18th Street this Friday – and you won’t regret it.  It is going to be a great day of Passive House presentations, discussions, and networking from leading professionals, practitioners, policymakers, owners and suppliers from across New York and the world. From financial analysis of Passive projects to the feasibility of […]

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June 12, 2017 roofdiagram

INTELLO Responds To High Enclosure Moisture Levels – Proof Is In Collected Data

Monitoring real life assemblies is the best proof of performance. This is how we know Pro Clima products make construction as safe as possible. ECOCOR monitored a foam-free, un-vented flat roof in Maine and clearly demonstrated how elevated assembly humidity in a super-insulated assembly can safely dry inwards through INTELLO Plus. As we describe in the presentation High […]

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June 8, 2017 Flange_tape_guide_thumb

Flanged Window Install Guide for High Performance Enclosures

Sequencing For Making Flanged Windows Airtight Flanged windows are ubiquitous in American construction.  As we push toward higher levels of enclosure performance – with increased insulation levels, airtightness and vapor control – window specifications are getting more robust too. And while it can be a relatively straightforward thing to select a better window, it isn’t so readily clear […]

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June 6, 2017 SANCO2_med_combo_w_logo

SANDEN SANCO2: The Water Heater to End All Water Heaters

After HVAC systems, water heaters can be among the biggest energy sinks in a building. Although high-performance building strategies can allow you to dramatically downsize your HVAC systems, supplying hot water can remain a challenge for those seeking to reduce building energy loads. Fortunately, the ideal solution to the challenge has arrived: the SANDEN SANCO2 Heat […]

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May 18, 2017 The Boston Tea Party:  Choosing coffee wan't going to do it.

Good Products Aren’t Enough: It’s The System – So Let’s Change it.

What Are We Doing? Are we kidding ourselves? Trying to be a conscientious consumer, we try to pick sustainable materials and products – making more sustainable decisions – with the desire to “vote with our wallets” and promote “green industry” that will have beneficial effects in our fight against climate change and other environmental and social […]

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May 17, 2017 PHNE_Cover_Final

New England Forges Ahead: Passive House Buildings

When advocating for Passive House buildings it’s often not very convincing to point to successful projects in other countries.   People understandably want to see local professionals working successfully with local builders and local owners. Local examples of Passive House building are critical to achieving popular acceptance. Consequently, 475 is happy to support the recent publication of […]

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May 17, 2017 MULTIBOND

CONTEGA MULTIBOND: Instantly Bonding, Airtight Joint Adhesive

Ensuring a continuous air barrier is top priority for high-performance building. Joint connections between different materials can be especially challenging points to airseal. Acrylic caulk adhesives can solve some of these problems, but is not always the fastest way to a robust connection. For example if you’re attaching two airtight, vapor-closed surfaces, such as the […]

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May 16, 2017 Bewiso_landmark_oak_thumb

All-Wood Passive House Windows Adapt To Fit The Project

Passive House Windows, Not Only For Passive House The core of Passive House is about energy performance, but the reasons we love aiming for the standard are all the other accompanying benefits. We want the comfort, the indoor air quality, and the silence. And we want the design to work for us. We saw a great example of […]

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May 15, 2017 12 DSC02158

Slideshow: The PHI Conference in Vienna, Pro Clima, Gutex, And Bewiso

Five members of the 475 crew had the opportunity to travel to Europe over the last several weeks. The main target was to attend the 21st Annual  International Passive House Conference in Vienna. While we were in the neighborhood, we couldn’t resist meeting up with a few of our favorite manufacturing partners: PRO CLIMA, GUTEX, […]

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May 10, 2017 475-logo-blast

A Bright Future Ahead As The 475 Crew Grows

While some might have serious issues with 2016, this year is shaping up to be pretty great for your friends here at 475. We have several things in the works that we’ll be announcing in the following months. But as with any business, everything starts with the people who make it. On that note, we’re […]

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May 5, 2017 Pro-Clima-Group-Shot

The Pro Clima Warranty: Comprehensive, Transparent, Fair

The 475 team recently had the opportunity to travel to Germany and spend a few days at Pro Clima headquarters in Schwetzingen and meet not only the entire Pro Clima crew, but also with fellow distributors from New Zealand and Ireland. Of course we focused on building science, testing, development, and new innovations for the […]

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April 17, 2017

Builder Testimonial: Brad Hankins on the INTELLO Energy Revolution

475 is excited to present this guest blog post by Brad Hankins, a designer-builder from Langley, WA. Long committed to sustainability, Brad knows the environmental benefits of high-performance construction. But Brad was also interested in understanding how quickly investments in energy efficient design pays for themselves, an important factor in convincing homeowners to jump on the high-performance bandwagon. […]

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April 17, 2017 Family exiled to trailer after home becomes unlivable.

Why Foam Fails. Reason #7: Unhealthy Off-Gassing & Dust

Spray foam throws off two forms of toxic poison:  off-gassing of the volatile organic compounds and uncured chemical dust. Spray foam is a two-component chemical system: Part A and Part B.  When the chemicals are properly prepared and precisely mixed, under the right site conditions, the chemicals will have a complete reaction eventually and become inert, ceasing to […]

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April 14, 2017 smartwall3d

A Smart Enclosure Starts with Smart Walls: Green High-Performance Done Right For Our Sustainable Future

For thousands of years buildings were made with a keen regard for nature and historically building science was intimately attuned to natural phenomenon.  Then, the 20th century builders, with giant resources of energy and rapid scientific advancements tried to conquer the vagaries of nature.  Natural solutions were ignored and flaunted – they made up, down, and down, up – if they felt […]

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April 7, 2017 Vana_laptop

Best of Off-Label Uses Part 3

Because you love sending us examples of the many creative and improvisational ways you end up using our handy high performance materials, this is a continuing series . See Part 1 and Part 2 of The Best of Off-Label Uses, and keep your images coming through on twitter, facebook, or instagram #OffLabelUses. Vehicles of all types have […]

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March 23, 2017 smartwallplan

Smart Wall Primer

The Smart Wall is an essential part of the Smart Enclosure and represents a return to fundamental principles of building science.  We leverage the basics of natural principles with highly selective technological innovation and manufacturing – working in harmony with nature, not in opposition.  The Smart Wall system is made of efficient, resilient and sustainable products, including HAVELOCK WOOL sheep’s […]

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March 20, 2017

475 Presents: High Performance Gets Real

What exactly do we mean by high-performance building?  What are some of the obstacles to building this way?  And when compromises have to be made, how can we make cost-effective choices and still construct a high-performance, low-energy, and maybe even Passive House building? In this presentation, we talk about the 6 key characteristics of high performance […]

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March 15, 2017 ecocorencors200x200

The EXTOSEAL ENCORS Primer: The Essential Sill Protection

Window Flashing That Lasts Windows are the weak link in your assembly. Along with doors, they amount to the largest holes in your envelope.  To ensure that your building is air- and water-tight, continuity between high-performance windows and your air barrier/WRB is essential. We’ve talked a lot about how to ensure air barrier continuity at […]

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March 14, 2017 MGI with INTELLO double stud fiberglass

New Mold Growth Index and Safe Double-Stud Walls: WUFI Pro Shows INTELLO Plus is Key

Double-stud walls have been regarded as a simple to build, low-cost, high-performance solution since the energy crisis in the 1970’s.  (See our blog post The Double-Stud Wall Simplified: Low-Cost High Performance, and free CAD details)  Pack them right, meaning 3.8 to 4.2 lbs/cubic foot of cellulose, 2.5 lbs/cf for fiberglass or wood fiber – and as Jesse Thompson of Kaplan […]

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March 13, 2017 wippro-front-thumb200x200

WIPPRO Klimatec 160: The Only Passive House Certified Attic Stair

Is your attic outside your thermal enclosure?  If so, access to that attic space should be carefully considered.   You want easy and comfortable access but also need to maintain the continuity of the airtightness and insulation layers.   Needless to say traditional attic stairs do not deliver the needed performance.  Until today, the best […]

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February 15, 2017 Roof-THUMB

Daylight Helps the Healing Process: Project Spotlight in Leicester, UK

Daylighting’s known benefits include better student performance and faster patient recovery in medical facilities – so this beautiful roof, in a building that houses the University of Leicester’s medical education, health sciences and psychology departments, serves as an example of striking design that is sensitive to the needs and comforts of occupants.  Now the largest Passive House […]

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