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 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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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 12, 2017 roofdiagram

INTELLO Responds To High Enclosure Moisture Levels – Proof Is In Collected Data

Monitoring real life assemblies is the best proof of performance. This is how we know Pro Clima products make construction as safe as possible. ECOCOR monitored a foam-free, un-vented flat roof in Maine and clearly demonstrated how elevated assembly humidity in a super-insulated assembly can safely dry inwards through INTELLO Plus. As we describe in the presentation High […]

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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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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 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 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 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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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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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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November 22, 2016 crashtestdummy

Drive Safe, Build Safe

As we get ready to drive over the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, our minds turn to safety and the risks we take for granted every day.  What’s your risk tolerance? When you drive, do you tailgate the car in front of you or do you leave a safety buffer?  Although you are very unlikely to […]

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September 6, 2016 EcoCor_wrapping_thumb

Airtight In One Minute With EcoCor

Chris Corson and the crew at EcoCor in Searsmont, Maine are brewing a building revolution. Think of it like the modular building version of the Tesla factory. I essentially watched the majority of a building appear over the course of 3 days, built by 5 crew members with laser precision. Passive House, (nearly) foam-free, and built […]

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June 28, 2016

SOLITEX Resource Library

Pro Clima SOLITEX exterior membranes are leading the way to higher performance and better energy efficiency in North American construction. SOLITEX products offer unmatched waterproofing, airtightness and outward drying potential for all types of projects. Their exceptional strength and durability make them suitable not only as housewraps or weather resistant barriers (WRBs) – but also as “sarking” membranes for vapor open […]

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June 24, 2016 Profect

New Product: TESCON PROFECT

A Pre-Folded Tape That Makes Perfect Corners   Based on Pro Clima’s proven tape technologies, TESCON PROFECT gives architects and contractors a new important tool to make airtight connections at inside corners, quickly and precisely.  TESCON PROFECT is delivered pre-folded in the roll of tape – with only one leg of release paper.  This allows for fast application, […]

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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 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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April 19, 2016 INTELLO Waterbury

Waterbury VT Municipal Complex uses INTELLO Plus for Foam-Free Enclosure Moisture Control

In August 2011, floodwaters from Tropical Storm Irene decimated the downtown area of Waterbury VT, including the town’s government offices. A sure sign the town has rebounded from that calamity is the completion of the new Waterbury Municipal Complex, a project two years in the making. Designed by Vermont Integrated Architecture of Middlebury VT, and built by ReArch […]

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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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February 11, 2016 intello

INTELLO & DB+ Approved by DIBt for Use in Unvented Hot Roof Assemblies

The highly respected Federal Agency Deutsches Institut für Bautechnik (DIBt)* has certified INTELLO PLUS and DB+,  per German testing standard DIN68800-2, for use in unvented assemblies with vapor closed exteriors.  Such assemblies include unvented metal roofs, green roofs and gravel roof flat roofs, as well as vapor closed pitched roofs with asphalt shingles, EPDM, TPO etc.  With this certification these materials […]

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February 2, 2016 Corson-Ueno Presentation

GreenBuildingAdvisor, Smart Membranes & 475

GBA has been a place to engage in debate with a seriousness of purpose. But the article Smart Vapor Retarders for Walls and Roofs on GBA is not serious. The article is full of strawman arguments, unsubstantiated claims, gratuitous personalization and bait & switch tactics. GBA failed to ask any questions of 475 while reporting […]

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