475 Blog
28-Windows-croppedMarch 19, 2018

Project Spotlight: Three Tree Builds High Performance House Without Sheathing!

When it comes to building a wood framed house, one of the typical ingredients we have come to expect is exterior sheathing. It’s the way most houses achieve shear strength and provide a nail base for siding materials. But while familiar, it’s a recipe that can prevent robust drying of the assembly, raising the risk of moisture […]

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March 18, 2018 Asbestos_Sign

Asbestos: A Living Lesson In Our Fight With Toxic Spray Foam

In our quest to make a less toxic world, 475 often focuses on how, today, too often professionals are insisting on filling buildings with toxic, bioaccumulative, plastic spray foam insulations. It seems obvious enough, that as we seek to limit plastic bag use and use biodegradable materials in our everyday lives – that we would […]

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March 15, 2018

475 Switches from FedEx to UPS and USPS

For years, FedEx has been the default shipping method used on foursevenfive.com, as of this week 475 will discontinue using FedEx in the US, wherever possible. Like our outspoken opinions on building industry support of petroleum products, our approach to FedEx is, “less is best”. What does this mean for you, our customers? First, you […]

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March 1, 2018

Introduction to INTELLO

The keystone to long-lasting airtightness and vapor control.   The INTELLO membrane, manufactured by Pro Clima of Schwetzingen Germany, is the state-of-the-art interior vapor control and air-tightness membrane for cold and mixed climates. It is an intelligent membrane that changes permeability in a range from <0.13 perms in winter to 13.2 perms in summer depending […]

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February 13, 2018

In the PHI Lab and In the Field: INTELLO Tests Tightest

Pro Clima’s INTELLO airtight system proven by Certification of the Passive House Institute and at the University of Northern British Columbia. Airtight Passive House and high-performance building enclosures help make more comfortable, healthy and energy efficient buildings. The tighter the better. It can’t be repeated enough. It follows that to make an enclosure airtight, we must use airtight materials. Ergo, the tighter […]

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February 7, 2018

Introduction to Lightway – Next Generation of Solar Tubes

Daylighting our building interiors has many well-known benefits – as it makes us healthier and more productive at work, school, and home.  What could be better?   From Emperor Hadrian’s ancient Pantheon in Rome to the Johnson & Son administrative building by Frank Lloyd Wright – bringing daylight deep into otherwise dark interior spaces is […]

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February 1, 2018

475 On-Site: Gramercy Passive House with ChoShields Studio

In Cho, principal of the New York architecture firm ChoShields Studio, gave us a thorough rundown of the firm’s recently completed Passive House project in the Gramercy neighborhood of Manhattan. The gut renovation of this 1900’s masonry building only would be a challenge, but the introduction of Passive House standards would have sent some architects running. […]

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February 1, 2018

Artwork Sees The Light Of Day In Red Hook, Brooklyn

High performance engineering has landed on the rooftop of the latest art gallery in Red Hook, Brooklyn. 475 was excited to provide these high performance, custom-sized, triple-glazed Lamilux FE skylights for the yet-to-be-named gallery. The space spans several post-industrial buildings and will display dozens of works by contemporary artists when complete. Even with weeks of […]

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January 1, 2018

What’s 475 About – Reflections for a New Year (2018)

This article was first posted January 1, 2017.  With each New Year we’ll revisit and update/edit as we see appropriate – keeping our sense of mission and values front and center. When people ask what do we do, one abbreviated response is: “We sell tape.” Though “we sell tape” describes a simple act, it is […]

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December 31, 2017

2017 Year in Review

While 2017 was a miserable year for many obvious reasons, we were fortified by the growth of high performance construction projects and awareness. From significant policy achievements in places like New York City, Toronto, Vancouver and the United Nations, to the sheer number of Passive House projects getting built and being planned – there is growing […]

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December 29, 2017

Reason Foam Fails #8 – Hypersensitive On-Site Manufacturing

The construction industry has been making more and more building parts in the factory – through panelization, modular construction, and complex component fabrication. Factories are great at providing predictable environments that optimize construction quality while protecting workers.  It’s just smart. So we see this trend growing. And when chemical compounds are manufactured, the manufacturing environment is […]

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December 22, 2017

475 Tape Performance Lab: Tapes, Primers and Pressurization

Welcome back to the 475 Tape Performance Lab (aka our Brooklyn HQ presentation room). Check out last month’s experiment: Underwater Tape Test. We ask a lot of our tape. It airseals the junctions between the components in our high performance assemblies, helps ensures safety from mold, and lasts forever. A good tape not only sticks, adheres, and makes […]

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December 11, 2017

Why Smart Cities Need Passive House Buildings

Passive House is the best building standard to bring the physical infrastructure of the smart city up to the level of the digital infrastructure. Thanks to Sidewalk Labs’ announcement of their massive waterfront project in Toronto and Bill Gate’s $80 million purchase in Arizona, news about smart city development has been popping up more frequently than ever. Most […]

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December 7, 2017

ZeroEnergy Design: Prioritizing Building Envelope Resilience

This post was written in a collaboration between 475 and ZeroEnergy Design ZeroEnergy Design (ZED) is one of the northeast’s leaders in high performance residential design. A self-described “modern green architecture and mechanical design firm”, ZED is a rare firm that puts modern and green together into a cohesive whole. At ZED, green means “exceptional energy performance”. […]

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November 30, 2017

475 Tape Performance Lab: Underwater Tape Test

Welcome to the 475 Tape Performance Lab (aka our Brooklyn HQ presentation room). We ask a lot of our tape. It airseals the junctions between the components in our high performance assemblies, helps ensures safety from mold, and lasts forever. A good tape not only sticks, adheres, and makes the building airtight for years to come, […]

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November 22, 2017

Installing High Performance BEWISO Windows In A Historic Brooklyn Home

The solution for comfort, efficiency, and silence in a historic Brooklyn brownstone building Ben Leer, Daylighting Specialist from 475 High Performance Building Supply, demonstrates the details of a high performance install. Austrian-made BEWISO windows are airtight and approximately R-8. The BEWISO Anne window series was selected for this project. In this case, the homeowner wanted […]

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November 22, 2017

Best of Off-Label Uses: Part 4

Life is never steady state. Things get broken and patched along the way, and when we need a quick solution, we go to what works simply and easily. That’s why people love using Pro Clima tape for all the things in life that it was not intended to do, but accidentally does so well. Keep sending […]

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November 13, 2017

How Many Blower Door Fans Does It Take to Test a 26 Story Tower?

Ten? Nine? Eight? Seven? Six? Five? Four? Three? Two? If it’s the Certified Passive House at Cornell Tech? Just one. This astonishing fact is one of the many aspects of Passive House that challenge the fundamentals of how we think about construction. Many images of blower door testing in big buildings include a veritable wall of fans and […]

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November 10, 2017

475 On-Site: Frack-Free Housing With Bright Common Architecture

We love the work of Bright Common Architecture in Philadelphia. Not only do they do great work, they have taken our banner of Foam-Free building a step further, developing the term “frack-free housing”. What does it mean to be frack-free? It means retrofitting without foam and petroleum-based products, and it means pulling the gas line. […]

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November 6, 2017

Installer Spotlight: American Installations

Innovation in insulation installation… try saying that five times fast. The high performance building industry is in a state of perpetual evolution as technologies change. While architects and general contractors are all affected, insulation contractors are often the ones most caught off-guard by advances in enclosure design and materials. The growing use of smart vapor retarders like INTELLO […]

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November 2, 2017

Nature Does it Best: GUTEX Wood Fiberboard Insulation

 Wood you like continuous insulation? GUTEX has produced insulating fiberboards from wood for over 85 years. Today, GUTEX is a leader in innovative, environmentally-friendly manufacturing. GUTEX uses a mixture of post-industrial, recycled wood chips and shavings and milled wood that has been harvested and grown using sustainable forestry management practices. Why Wood? Wood fiber insulation is a safe, natural and […]

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October 24, 2017

Passive House at Full Speed in NYC

We’ve been active in helping incubate the Passive House movement across the continent with particular emphasis on our home turf of New York City.  And the signs of activity have been encouraging – as we’ve reported over the years: June 2017 – Wall Street Journal Hears Passive House Buzz in New York November 2016 – Notes […]

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October 17, 2017

Introducing INTELLO X: The Smart Airtightness & Vapor Control Choice for Commercial Buildings

We’re very excited to introduce INTELLO X as the next generation – improved to take a beating in unforgiving environments, like the job site of commercial construction projects. As commercial construction has moved toward better airtightness – with mandated blowerdoor testing by several cities like Seattle and NYC – as well as the growing number of large projects […]

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October 6, 2017

475 News From Around the Web

September was a big month here at 475. We’re proud to see our happenings have been popping up all over. From the new Cornell Tech Passive House building to New York politics to articles featuring our woolly friends at Havelock, our projects, products, and partners have been getting some great press that we need to […]

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October 2, 2017

Airtight Wright: Using INTELLO to Restore an Architectural Relic

  A few years ago, architect and Columbia professor Lynnette Widder bought the 1949 ‘Lurie House’ in the Usonia Historical District in Pleasantville, New York- a 47-house, cooperative community built on a site plan designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The Lurie house, along with 4 other houses in Usonia, was designed by Japanese-American architect Kaneji […]

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September 21, 2017

Building In Fall & Winter?  INTELLO Will Protect You

You’re building a high-performance, low energy building – maybe even a Passive House. What’s the Problem? You started construction in the summer, but by late Fall or Winter the finishes are being installed and the indoor relative humidity (RH) is high – reaching 90%.  You know the vapor drive is going out and the wood […]

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September 13, 2017

Installation instructions For Using INTELLO Plus In Wood Frame Buildings With Blow In Insulation

This video covers how to properly install INTELLO Plus membrane with blow-in insulation, such as cellulose, loose fiberglass, or Havelock sheep wool insulation. In these situations, INTELLO Plus serves as interior enclosure airtightness, smart vapor retarder, a moisture management system, and netting for packing blow-in insulation behind. Here is a list of the top install tips […]

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September 7, 2017

The First 475 Product: Rotary Switch for Lunos

The newest item in 475’s inventory is the first developed in-house. We’re proud to announce the arrival of the Rotary Switch, also known as ‘The Miceli’ in honor of its inventor, for Lunos e2 and eGO heat recovery ventilation fans. Our mission is to be a catalyst that pushes North American construction toward high performance, […]

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September 5, 2017

Introduction to GUTEX Thermowall: External Insulation + Finish

GUTEX, our favorite wood fiber insulation provider, has a new system available in North America for the first time: GUTEX Thermowall. Thermowall is an external insulation finish system (EIFS) consisting of thick, continuous GUTEX wood fiber insulation board and a 3-layer stucco system. It is highly versatile and can be used in wood, metal or […]

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