air sealing (13)
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cellulose insulation (3)
ECOhistoric renovation (13)
foam free insulation (7)
foam-free foundation (14)
green materials (78)
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holistic home (79)
home improvement (78)
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living building (17)
Maryland Historical Trust (1)
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net zero (24)
passive house (28)
passive house windows (4)
perlite foundation (1)
plywood window box (6)
preservation + design (91)
rumford fireplace (1)
the zero honeycomb (2)
TJI cavity (4)
TJI insulation cavity (3)
universal design on the gunpowder (4)
vapor barrier (9)
ventilation cavity (3)
weather resistant barrier (3)
window installation (3)
posted on January 6, 2017 by carri beer
Our Net Zero, Passive House, Foam-Free home in New Jersey is taking shape! The 2×6 framing has been completed and the plywood air barrier installed and taped. Taping and air sealing the various overhangs and angles has been a challenge, but thanks to the diligence of the owner and Michael Hindle of Passive to Positive, the initial blower door test is set up to be a success!
posted on January 2, 2017 by carri beer
We are thrilled at the success and completion of our first Foam-Free, (near) Net Zero, Passive House in Western Maryland. The home is currently in the final stages of testing and certification and interior finishing. It has been an educational process with material usage, system selection and install, air sealing and insulation, window install and team collaboration.
The views and placement of the house are extraordinary and achieve the homeowner’s goal of a comfortable, accessible, high performance home designed to view the meadow, marsh and forest.
For more photos of the final walk-thru, visit the project page.
posted on March 2, 2016 by carri beer
Carri and Michael’s home renovation is being featured as a Guest Blog on Green Building Advisor!
posted on December 17, 2015 by carri beer
like beautiful garage doors by Clopay to compliment the cedar porch…
and clean, straight plumbing and condensation lines set against a backdrop of taped SIGA Majpell.…
posted on December 16, 2015 by carri beer
Upon the arrival of the Roxul mineral wool insulation for sub slab, the contractor relaid the Stego vapor barrier (taped to edges at perimeter). This delay actually may have been a good thing, as the mineral wool was protected from the elements and heavy foot traffic and slab was able to be immediately poured.
The framing of the second floor and roof are nearing completion. We are using 2×6 structural walls with 3/4″ plywood sheathing, all edges and corners taped and sealed. The headers above each opening are two TJIs with Roxul mineral wool sandwiched between them – we have insulated headers! The lead carpenter did not find it to be time consuming or of any issue, but rather thought it was pretty cool and a no-brainer.
The fireplace is a Rumford fireplace, the most efficient design in providing warmth to a space.
posted on September 28, 2015 by carri beer
The construction for the addition and renovation to our Gunpowder project is moving along quickly. Because the under slab Roxul mineral wool was a little difficult to source and had a longer lead time, our contractor got creative and “pre-installed” the StegoWrap vapor barrier to wrap under the sill plate. We will go back and cut out the barrier to install slab insulation, tape back in the vapor barrier and pour the slab.
Framing is 2×6 walls with 3/4″ plywood sheathing, fully taped to provide our primary air barrier. We are then installing 1-1/2″ of Roxul mineral wool, Tyvek and then furring strips. This has been a terrific learning experience as we work with the contractor and project lead to find economical, smart ways to create a foam-free, well-sealed healthy envelope.
posted on May 19, 2015 by carri beer
The large bird viewing windows have been covered with plywood for months as we await the delivery and install of our doors and windows. The client chose INTUS uPVC windows for their performance, cost and manufacturer provided sill extensions. The fact that the client could visit a local showroom and see these windows in person was also critical to their decision making.
Our window detail went through many rounds of design and mark-up between myself, Michael Hindle, CPHC and the team at Gosnell Builders. The result is an air + water tight detail with little to no thermal bridging and over-insulating of the frame. We also maintained our FOAM-FREE insulating details!
Making the 2D line drawings translate into construction reality was not a problem with our eager construction crew. Though labor intensive, the resulting air tightness and performance will be outstanding.
posted on April 29, 2015 by carri beer
Upon hanging the TJI insulation cavity, the vapor open Weather Resistant Barrier (WRB) was installed and all seams were taped. Given the pressure of the cellulose that will be blown-in behind this WRB, we decided to use Solitex Mento 1000 and taped with our favorite Tescon Vana tape.
The next layer is the ventilation cavity / rainscreen / furring strips. We decided on horizontal with vertical furring strips to keep the cellulose bulge in check and maintain an acceptable ventilation cavity as well as provide a more substantial nailing surface for our engineered wood siding.
posted on January 27, 2015 by carri beer
Michael Hindle, CPHC, and I headed out to Western Maryland to review the window box and TJI insulating cavity mock-up. It was cold and snowy. Really cold. I think I was the only one that noticed. The Gosnell crew is amazing, and, apparently impervious to freezing temperatures.
I said it was freezing, right? FYI, because of the freezing temperatures we chose to use tape for our water-tight detailing rather than a liquid applied product. Once again, the Tescon Vana tape performed extremely well. That stuff would stick snowflakes together.
As shown in the photos above, every corner of the box is being taped as well as every edge of the window (allowing bottom free draining). Our 11 7/8″ TJI wall is resting on the 4″ block ledge with a spacer of mineral wool sandwiched between the plywood base plate and the block. The window box is a 5/8″ plywood box with a horizontal TJI top and bottom.
Teamwork, Teamwork, Teamwork. It is really a pleasure to watch these guys take pride in their work and listen to and learn new ways of building. Peaceful implementation by the contractor is such a key factor to making these super-tight and efficient envelopes successful. Teamwork is always LESSON ONE.
posted on January 5, 2015 by carri beer
The seams have been taped, the membranes have been sealed and not a creature was stirring. We seized the moment to conduct our first blower door test and assess our Passive House progress.
We are thrilled to report a .2158 ACH50 at this initial stage. The results brought great pride to the guys at Gosnell Builders who are putting this thing together and shocked Mark Watkins, our Rater with his lowest number ever recorded.
Thanks to our great team for working together and always being willing to learn some new tricks.