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 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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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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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 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 HYDROSAFE Graph INTELLO

How And When Smart Vapor Retarders Should Open Up — INTELLO’s Decade+ Of Safe Construction

Installing exterior vapor retarding layers such as asphalt roofs, flat roof membranes and OSB sheathing can create challenging situations in well-insulated walls and roofs. However, such assemblies can be safely built and insulated when using a smart vapor retarder and airtight layer on the interior – even in colder climate zones (4 and up). To make these […]

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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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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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October 13, 2016 SOLITEX Mento 1000 over plywood

Why SOLITEX is the best WRB solution

We often get asked how Proclima’s SOLITEX Mento compares to Zip and Tyvek for weather protection. Here’s a short answer: SOLITEX Mento ensures the most durable and long lasting walls. That’s because it provides a continuous monolithic protective layer that is completely waterproof and airtight, while allowing the most reliable outward drying potential to keep moisture levels safely low. Zip and […]

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August 17, 2016 WithoutServiceCavity

How To Stay Airtight Without A Service Cavity

Intro / Caveat As you may know, 475 recommends you use a service cavity on the interior of high performance, airtight building envelopes. We’ve enumerated the values of service cavities many times, in many ways. So to be clear, our stance on the subject remains firm: service cavities are the best case scenario, and the […]

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August 16, 2016 swinburn_headline

The Dream Project: High Performance, Right-Sized, Thoughtfully Detailed

If you haven’t heard of Robert Swinburne Architect or Bluetime Collaborative yet, do yourself a favor and check out his website and blog. If you have followed his career, you know that he’s a talented and thoughtful architect focusing on single family homes in the Brattleboro, VT area. He is also a Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC). One of Bob’s […]

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June 29, 2016 Large-back-wall

Blowerdoor Testing The Best Doggie Door In North America

We’re excited to put the super-efficient Freedom Pet Pass doggie door to the test. In this quick edit of the video, we introduce it by showing how the double-layer of magnetic strips work to hold the insulated flap in place while easily allowing for opening with the push of a big wet nose. These doors come in […]

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May 27, 2016 BlogThumb

How To Prepare For High Performance Windows

Windows might make you nervous. They’re often big and heavy, yet fragile. And in a high performance building, windows are the most expensive components. But that investment in great windows has a big payoff as well. High performance windows deliver on interior comfort and building efficiency – so you don’t have to rely on energy-sucking HVAC systems […]

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May 23, 2016 double_stud

The Double-Stud Wall Simplified: Low Cost, High Performance

Simplify. We know pushing standard code-minimum construction toward high performance is complicated. So we’re always looking for ways to simplify – to simultaneously reduce cost while optimizing efficiency and occupant comfort. [See our recent post on Breaking The “Upfront Cost Barrier”.] The double-stud wall is a well established method for creating a very economical, durable and […]

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May 16, 2016 Blowerdoor_test

New York State Mandates Blowerdoor Testing Beginning October: Our Reaction

Airtightness is for Everyone As a company built on airtightness, we have always pushed the building industry and building codes toward progressively tighter and tighter building goals. Because even at “just” 3.0ACH50, increasing the airtightness of the building envelope will make a huge difference for the comfort and the energy efficiency of projects built to current code. […]

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May 3, 2016 contegahfosbintello

Intro to CONTEGA Acrylic Adhesives

What Matters: Strength, Durability, Flexibility and Indoor Air Quality Buildings are often thought of as fixed objects. But in the real world, changes in the weather cause buildings to move – and we need to plan for the fact that they will expand, shrink, adjust and settle. If we are building an airtight building, such as a Passive House, we […]

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May 2, 2016 BD reading

Office Envy

Make way for the new Caliper Studio passive office! Located on the North side of Brooklyn, an area that is rapidly transforming from an old industrial center to a new hub of hip restaurants, nightclubs, and artist studios. Caliper’s new digs seems to be emblematic of this change. The firm, founded in 2003, by Stephen […]

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March 31, 2016 asphalt roof

The 8 Golden Rules for Foam-Free Unvented Asphalt Shingled Roofs

When insulating a wood roof structure, 475’s goal, as always, is to build in the most healthy, structurally sound and ecologically friendly way – thereby achieving truly high performance.  This means we generally try to avoid using foam above or below the roof deck (see our 475 series Foam Fails). With foam out of the equation, we […]

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March 28, 2016 JLC-LOGO

JLC Reports on Success of Foam-Free Unvented Flat Roof Assembly

475 enables more robust assemblies that are less toxic. Such was the case with the Whitchurch home in northern Vermont – working with the owners and their dedicated Passive House team at Montpelier Construction. The walls were a variation on the I-Joist outrigger configuration with dense pack cellulose between DB+ membrane inboard and SOLITEX Mento Plus […]

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March 7, 2016 Port Townsend Passive House from Artisans Group

Breaking the ‘Upfront Cost Barrier’

Part One – Lucas Johnson’s long quest for the holy grail of high performance building In his previous career as a green builder, 475’s West Coast Solutions Consultant, Lucas Johnson, was frequently asked to find better alternatives to spray foam and code-minimum membranes.  The goal was to find a cost effective assembly that delivered long-lasting Passive House level […]

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December 1, 2015 Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 6.57.34 PM

2 Simple Ways To Airseal Wires & Pipes

It’s great watching the Proof is Possible Tour and the Tiny Lab take shape. We have an addition to the information given by Corbett Lunsford in their last progress video. See our response video below.  

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August 6, 2015 profilcorner

Pre-make Window Corners With TESCON Profil

One of the hardest parts to properly make a house airtight is making the air control layer absolutely continuous: to go around the drawing and through every detail without picking up the red pen.  This is especially true at the 3 dimensional connections of inside corners, which don’t necessarily announce themselves in 2 dimensional drawings. At […]

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August 3, 2015 2xEbookipad-300x200

New 475 eBook: High Performance 2x Framing

This free details guide is the third in the 475 ebook series 2x wood frame construction is very common and typically provides poor performance. This free ebook illustrates how we can transform the 2x approach into a high-performance enclosure that affordably delivers the highest levels of comfort, energy efficiency and longevity. Airtightness disproportionately effects enclosure […]

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July 30, 2015 ServiceCavity

The Service Cavity – Making Airtight Construction Easy

We know that the importance of airtightness is second only to keeping the rain out.  This is because airtightness greatly effects indoor air quality, thermal comfort, and energy efficiency – while protecting the enclosure from moisture damage (see here).  Given these pretty convincing reasons, what should our airtightness target be, and how does a service cavity help […]

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July 10, 2015 Dolphin_Roof

Unvented Foam-Free Roof Retrofit With Dolphin Insulation

There’s a growing demand for high performance roof retrofits. For many homes it can be most practical and economical to improve the airtightness and insulation from the interior. Often the homeowners also don’t want to leave their homes during the retrofit work. That takes spray foam off the table, since chemical exposure to spray foam during installation is a […]

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May 7, 2015 IntegratedService

Project Spotlight – INTELLO Plus with “Integrated Service Cavity” in Leicester VT

One of the most popular high performance walls is the double stud wall. Its appeal lies with the fact that it creates a good thermal break between two simple-to-build wood frame walls. It can also be economical, even before considering long-term energy savings. The open cavities are typically dense-packed with blown-in cellulose or fiberglass for insulation values ranging from R-30 to R-50 […]

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