cheMay 18, 2017

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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February 14, 2017 airtight gap

Top Ten *NO* Eleven Air Barrier Failures

1. It’s not continuous! The mother of all failures. You don’t have an air barrier if it’s not continuous – it won’t be air tight. Many of the items that follow below are all causes of discontinuity. Like a balloon or a submarine – the continuity of the airtight layer must be sacrosanct. While discontinuity can […]

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February 12, 2017 foam_cracking_2

Foam Fails Reason #6: Inflexible and Prone to Cracking

It’s important that a building’s air barrier and insulation be dimensionally stable – or resilient to movement. Foam is neither. The curing process after spray foam is applied inherently entails shrinkage and hardening.  Not only can such shrinkage result in pulling back from stud bays and other connections – which often leads to gaps in the […]

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February 10, 2017 Screen Shot 2017-02-10 at 12.45.37 PM

GUTEX Gets Instagram Famous

We’re very excited to see so many images of GUTEX wood fiber board insulation popping up on projects across North America. Along with being the healthiest and most sustainable rigid insulation available… it also turns out to be pretty photogenic. Too bad you have to cover it up. Check out these pioneers in foam free […]

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January 23, 2017 IMG_1267

Vented High Performance Standing Seam Metal Roof

SOLITEX UM Project Spotlight in Waltham MA SOLITEX UM from Pro Clima is  a 4-layer, vapor open and waterproof membrane with integrated 3-D mesh.  Like other SOLITEX membranes, it has an actively vapor open, monolithic layer of TEEE film that is extremely waterproof (see The SOLITEX MENTO Difference)– and outperforms vapor closed underlayments both in outward drying potential as well […]

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January 23, 2017 Vana_Moving

How to Stay Airtight When Buildings Move

Buildings move. Ensuring that your air barrier is resilient to movement is crucial to ensuring the longevity and performance of your building. Unless you’re building a structure using just one material (like superadobe), your building will consist of an array of different materials. In response to fluctuations in temperature and humidity, different materials expand and contract at […]

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January 10, 2017 businessbackslowcarbonusa

475 is proud to join: Business Backs Low-Carbon USA

475 is about climate change activism.  Today, we’re taking another step by joining more than 620 companies including Patagonia, Aspen Skiing Company, and investors across the United States – to encourage the incoming administration and new Congress to stick with the commitments we’ve made in the Paris Climate Agreement.  We pledge to do our part to […]

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January 1, 2017

What’s 475 About – Reflections for a New Year

When people ask what do we do, one abbreviated response is: “We sell tape.” Though “we sell tape” describes a simple act, it is one with a potentially huge impact. We sell air-sealing tape as a specialized and critical component in a complete building enclosure airtightness system, which is the foundation of a low-energy building. […]

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December 24, 2016 foam-fire-nyc

Foam Board Fire in New York City

On December 14th a NYU Langone Medical Center roof caught fire.  As reported on dnainfo by Ben Fractenberg and Aidan Gardiner: Workers were cutting metal when a spark flew onto a roofing insulation material called “rigid board” and caught fire on the seventh floor of 560 First Ave. near East 30th Street, a vacant property that’s […]

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December 20, 2016 CoverShot

Year in Review: 6 Bright Spots from 2016

2016 was a good year for high-performance and Passive House building. 475 is grateful to participate in making a new paradigm for robust sustainability. We are inspired by the great work our customers do across Canada and the United States. Here’s a sampling of things that came about in 2016 to give us hope in these dark […]

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December 6, 2016 hphmr_thumb

475 Presents: High Performance Historic Masonry Retrofits

30 Minute Webinar Video We recommend you download the companion eBook and CAD details for this presentation.   Description: The goals of historic preservation and energy efficiency and comfort often seem in conflict, as higher insulation levels can pose new risks to these timeless structures. Yet it need not be so. This comprehensive presentation discusses […]

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December 6, 2016 pantheon-oculus

LAMILUX Delivers The Unbeatable Benefits of Roof Daylighting

In the world of high performance and Passive House buildings, roof daylighting has been largely ignored – a victim of misconceptions about what is possible.  The misunderstanding is well earned, due to a long history of roof skylight units that are poorly performing – causing thermal discomfort, interior condensation and leaks. Skylights are often huge holes in […]

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