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LBNL’s “Smart Ventilation” Research

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) scientists, led by Max Sherman and Iain Walker, are investigating whole-house ventilation options to support California’s Zero Net Energy Homes initiative. This research project is called Smart Ventilation for Advanced California Homes (SVACH). California’s energy-and-climate goal calls for all new residential buildings in California to be zero net energy (ZNE)[…]Read more

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Attic Vents and Venting – Part 2: Beyond the Simple Vented Attic

Attic vents and attic venting are the most familiar and reliable roof venting option. That was the subject of part 1 of this post. But they may not work depending on the building’s design. Features like sloping ceilings and cathedrals may dictate an unvented attic. An unvented attic and insulated roof are also a good idea[…]Read more

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Attic Vents and Venting – Part 1

Attic vents and roof venting serve a variety of purposes, depending on roof design and climate. These purposes include preventing ice damming, drying building materials, and controlling solar heat gain. In cold climates, we want to avoid ice damming by keeping the roof deck cold. In all climates, we want ventilation air moving against the roof deck[…]Read more

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Choose the Right Window Frames for Your Window Installations

Window manufacturers offer a variety of window frames for the variety of different new and retrofit window installations. Choose the right window frame. In most types of window installation, exterior window trim is an unnecessary and expensive extra to be avoided. Nailing Fin Window Frames The most popular type of window frame is the nailing fin.[…]Read more

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Installing High-Performance Windows

My complements to the European high-performance window manufacturers for providing built-in sills for their windows. I hope that North American high-performance window manufacturers soon provide built-in sills. The built-in sills, along with block-frame window installation, sure simplify installing high-performance windows in superinsulated walls. American builders have tried dozens of different procedures to install nail-fin windows[…]Read more

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10 Major Energy Retrofits

The best time to make major energy retrofits (also called deep energy retrofits) is during a renovation. This is when you’re making major changes to the building, and probably getting a building permit. Ideally, the house will be vacant during this process. Here are 10 major energy retrofits that should be part of every home renovation job. 10 Major Energy[…]Read more

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Flood Recovery and Renovation

Dry and Decontaminate Quickly Flood recovery begins with drying and decontaminating the home as quickly as possible after the flood recedes. Materials like carpet, sheetrock, ceiling tile, insulation, and fiberglass ducts are almost never salvageable because you can’t decontaminate them. Begin by removing these wet materials. If the flood submerged the interior, cut a horizontal line at least 12 inches[…]Read more