- GreenSpec Insights
- Energy Solutions
- BuildingGreen's Top Stories
- BuildingGreen Talks LEED
We’ve all heard the nightmare scenarios: water leaks that mar the finest architectural features of a new building; air leaks that cause hidden mold or rot inside the walls; thermal bridges that compromise occupant comfort and energy performance.
These scenarios have two things in common: first, they could all land you in court. Second, they are all preventable if you’re giving each building assembly detail the time and attention it deserves.
During a recession, most firms are already working with knifeblade-thin margins, so it can be tempting to cut corners. While the “extra” work required to get the details right might seem expensive in the short term, it’s a good long-term investment.
In this month’s EBN feature article, Peter Yost and I take a look at how industry leaders are changing the way they practice architecture in response to the increasing complexity of—and increasing demands on—our buildings and building assemblies.
We all want energy-efficient buildings, but there are tradeoffs: when you decrease the energy flow through a building assembly, you have to be a lot more careful about every little air leak and thermal bridge; otherwise you risk moisture problems.
This challenge is even greater because more sophisticated, multilayered building systems may have properties we don’t know about or forget to check. For example, all building materials—not just the ones we call retarders or barriers—affect vapor movement to some degree; serious moisture problems can occur if the permeability of each assembly component is not accounted for in assembly design.
In our article, we go through the four essential features needed to ensure good hygrothermal performance, and we’ve included lots of beautiful, detailed cross-sections from leading residential and commercial building science experts to give you ideas for solving common problems, such as:
As a matter of fact, this whole issue of EBN is chock full of building science know-how and includes:
I’ll just leave you with a little teaser: our whole editorial team is currently expanding on all this work in a new report on high-performance building assemblies. It’s due out just before the holidays—so put it on your wish list, and watch this space for more details soon!
Soil is seriously undervalued, and there is nothing inherently green about...
I agree that the fossil fuels are limited. However, the properties of our top soil is limited also. I live in iowa, after seeing $8.00 + corn the...
Evan Intlekofer says, "I agree that the fossil fuels are limited. However, the properties of our top soil is limited also. I live in iowa, after seeing $8.00 + corn the..." More...
bob coleman says, "The units stop to defrost regardless of snowfall, the colder it gets the more they defrost. A roof can help protect it from being buried by deep..." More...
Amy InNH says, "$21K? How much square footage? My two Fujitsu mini-splits heat/cool 1600 sq ft and cost $6K for both, including installation. I got them for the A..." More...
Archives by Category
AIA Convention (18) [RSS]
Authors (7) [RSS]
Awards (7) [RSS]
Behind the Scenes (44) [RSS]
Books & Media (69) [RSS]
BuildingEnergy Conference (3) [RSS]
BuildingGreen Talks LEED (53) [RSS]
BuildingGreen's Top Stories (112) [RSS]
Bulletin (7) [RSS]
Case Studies (27) [RSS]
Colleges and Universities (2) [RSS]
Energy Solutions (303) [RSS]
Events (93) [RSS]
Google Earth/Sketchup (5) [RSS]
Greenbuild '07 (27) [RSS]
Greenbuild '08 (29) [RSS]
Greenbuild '09 (14) [RSS]
Greenbuild '10 (6) [RSS]
Greenbuild '11 (6) [RSS]
GreenSpec Insights (212) [RSS]
LEED (51) [RSS]
Living Future (6) [RSS]
Miscellania (41) [RSS]
Nature & Nurture (70) [RSS]
Op-Ed (67) [RSS]
Passive Survivability (7) [RSS]
Politics (32) [RSS]
Product Talk (102) [RSS]
Q&A (9) [RSS]
Resilient Design (11) [RSS]
Riversong's Radical Reflections (12) [RSS]
Science & Tech (30) [RSS]
Sticky Business (12) [RSS]
The Industry (97) [RSS]
Water Wise Guys (12) [RSS]