Frack-Free Housing

On-site 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. In past projects, such as the award-winning Play Arts Center building (which was the subject of the last Bright Common video), the gas meter is torn out and put on display to demonstrate to customers that the building operates as well as it does without the use of methane (fossil gas).

Another thing that makes this project a unique example is the choice of the homeowners to hold off on expensive detailing and fixtures, instead prioritizing the budget around the parts of the building that will not change. Although this is the logical choice - to choose comfort and long-term performance over countertops that can change later - it's one that very few choose to make. Going a step further, they held off on purchasing a full set of windows, putting it in their plans to remove the existing windows at a later date. One step at a time to reach a high-performance building, but first starting with the uneditable items.

Recipe for Airtightness

  • SOLITEX MENTO Plus for exterior airtightness and vapor open WRB, reinforced for dense pack insulation
  • TESCON VANA for flat seams on airtight membranes, interior and exterior
  • TESCON PROFIL for corners, windows, and doors
  • CONTEGA HF adhesive caulk to connect to concrete
  • TESCONV VANA + TESCON PRIMER RP an alternative to CONTEGA HF is to prime concrete with masonry with Primer RP then tape with Tescon Vana
  • KAFLEX and ROFLEX gaskets for pipe penetrations

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