475 Blog
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 8c713704-ed82-46a5-8f40-fbc0ae19d0a3

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 bahnstadt_hdlbg

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---Lincoln-set5-photo1

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 Testing Tescon Vana

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 Ben pointing out bewiso window retrofit installation

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 Horse_Luder_Edited

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 cornelltechinterior

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 Frack-free-bright-common-title-small

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 American Installations

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 Screen Shot 2017-11-02 at 10.25.55 AM

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 cityrealty

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 INTELLO X - the next generation in high performance

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 Pro Home Intello

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 Kaneji Domoto’s Lurie House before being air sealed with Intello. Look at all the firewood they needed to keep that leaky assembly warm!

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 Easton+Combs Architects

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 TheMiceli

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 Thermowall

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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August 29, 2017 leakyboat

Leaky OSB: A Game of Chance

Everyday at 475 we have dozens of conversations with builders all over North America. We often generate the ideas for this blog based on common trends, questions, and concerns… basically, things we find we’re repeating. And it’s worth repeating and repeating: don’t depend on OSB for airtightness. Why? OSB is not manufactured to be an air […]

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August 16, 2017 IMG_3465

Unboxing The PR60 Pyramid Daylight system From LAMILUX

The 475 team recently traveled to Hanover, NH joining up with LAMILUX partners to assist in the installation the LAMILUX PR-60 pyramid skylight in a retrofit of a historic home. This fully customized roof light will transform the interior kitchen space using daylight. Commitment to performance is standard for LAMILUX, and is reflected in all […]

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August 16, 2017

Hooray for Double Standards: Passive House + LEED Platinum in Quebec

Sarah Cobb and William Murray of Construction Rocket Inc. are dedicated to bringing about radical change in the building industry. As Passive House Certified Builders, they are committed to ensuring energy performance, even in harsh, challenging climates. And their recently completed Springhouse in Abercorn, Quebec, proves that Passive House design and construction doesn’t have to compromise […]

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August 8, 2017 unnamed

Ventilation That Keeps Affordable Housing Occupants & Owners Happy

The Presentation 475 gave a presentation on minimizing mold risk in high-performance buildings at a Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition event in Baltimore recently. In the audience were a number of affordable housing developers. During the talk we discussed the importance of airtightness, thermal-bridge-free construction, and good ventilation. The response from the housing developers, who were […]

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August 2, 2017 openjoint

Open joint siding? Prolonged UV exposure on WRB? The Answer is SOLITEX Fronta Quattro

SOLITEX Fronta Quattro is making waves in the high performance industry as a specialty air barrier and weather resistant barrier (WRB). What’s driving the interest? Fronta Quattro offers exceptional UV protection, making it ideal for projects with so-called “open-joint” rainscreen cladding systems in which parts of the underlying WRB are permanently exposed to the sun’s rays. Other builders […]

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July 13, 2017 GUTEX_tips

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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