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GBM Research

Recent Posts

Got Walls? Building America Want to Test Them for Moisture

Posted by GBM Research

Mar 11, 2016 11:48:26 AM

Researchers are looking for builders using high-R wall systems for test models.

The focus of the study is on wall systems with R-value of 20 and higher in airtight, high performance homes located in climate zone 4 or higher. The result of this study will provide valuable real-life data on long term performance of wall constructed using energy efficiency practices.

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Infographic: Europe Leaves the U.S. Far Behind in Race to Reduce Energy Waste

Posted by GBM Research

Oct 23, 2015 12:00:00 PM

The data show that Europe—especially Germany—has blown the doors off the U.S., in terms of energy efficiency.

In a comparison of household energy use, Germany ranks first, followed by Italy and the EU. The U.S. lags behind, at 13th, tied with Mexico.

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Toward Integration of Building Science

Posted by GBM Research

Aug 26, 2014 7:48:00 PM

OVER THE YEARS, the Department of Energy’s Building America (BA) program has filled a critical gap by funding research on innovations for high-performing homes, both new and existing. But the biggest obstacles to advancing building science are not technological, says Sam Rashkin, the DOE’s chief architect of the Building Technologies Office. The larger hurdle is market adoption, which has several facets, including an inadequate number of skilled professionals. After all, this critical research doesn’t do any good if only a select few people know how to access and implement it.

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Advanced Framing Best Practices for a Tighter Thermal Envelope

Posted by GBM Research

Aug 26, 2014 7:36:00 PM

ADVANCED FRAMING TECHNIQUES that reduce the amount of framing in stud-framed walls improve their thermal performance. There’s more room for insulation, and thermal bridging—the heat transfer that happens through wood framing and extends from the inside surface to the outside surface of the wall—is reduced.

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Retrofitting Rooftops: The Overcoat Method

Posted by GBM Research

Aug 22, 2014 4:19:00 PM

NORTHERNSTAR BUILDING AMERICA Partnership has been investigating the use of an external insulation retrofit approach for existing houses under the “Project Overcoat” label. The overall design intent is to put thermal, air and moisture control layers over the exterior of an existing building, including the foundation, wall and rooftops. The approach uses a peel-and-stick membrane for an air barrier and layers of rigid foam for a thermal barrier to provide exceptional thermal and air barrier alignment and continuity in older homes with simple geometries. NorthernSTAR found the approach worked well for roof retrofits in 1-1/2-story homes, which are difficult to insulate under the roof due to lack of space, and often have serious air leakage problems that can lead to ice dams.

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This Odor-Free Urinal Works Without Water

Posted by GBM Research

Jun 24, 2014 7:41:00 AM

By Klaus Reichardt

ADMITTEDLY, URINALS ARE NOT an everyday topic of conversation. And when it comes to homes and apartments, they almost never enter the discussion. However, that may be changing and changing very soon.

Home urinals, ranging in popularity, have been found in parts of Asia, Europe, Australia, and even in India. However, the trend in the United States is still in its infancy. In addition, the economy, which has severely impacted the housing construction industry, has slowed things down considerably.

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Housewrap: What's the Difference?

Posted by GBM Research

Jun 9, 2014 8:46:00 PM

IT'S A CONUNDRUM: How do you prevent water from entering a building, while also allowing any moisture that does make its way in to escape? This is the formidable task given to housewraps, and increasingly to roof underlayments. Housewrap, a common type of weather-resistive barrier (WRB), is installed between the cladding layer and the sheathing, while roofing underlayments go directly under shingles or other roofing material, forming a second line of defense against the elements.

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Duct Diligence

Posted by GBM Research

May 30, 2014 7:42:00 AM

The majority of heating systems are forced air, and distribution problems often lie in duct design and integration. What new technologies and research can make these air distribution systems more efficient?

EFFICIENT AIR DISTRIBUTION is critical in the delivery of high performance homes. Innovations—simple and cost effective to implement—have been developed and tested throughout the country. But the application of these strategies continues to be a challenge—especially ones that address less-than-optimal situations—such as flex duct and splitter box air distribution systems and ducts in unconditioned spaces. More focus needs to be put on dealing with these scenarios.

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Off-the-Shelf HVAC

Posted by GBM Research

May 28, 2014 3:53:00 PM

What are the best available HVAC solutions for low-load, high-performance homes and apartments? What is currently available in the market? What are the limitations of these systems?

HIGH-PERFORMANCE HOMES REQUIRE SMALLER heating and cooling systems, yet common systems installed in existing homes are often not designed to be small enough for low-load structures. Air distribution, humidity control and comfort require different strategies than in less-efficient homes.

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Ventilating Multifamily Buildings

Posted by GBM Research

May 28, 2014 12:50:00 PM

Looking for the best practice to address ASHRAE 62.2 addendum J (Multifamily), which concens ventilation rates? Here are some answers.

MULTIFAMILY BUILDINGS PRESENT unique ventilation challenges, such as air transfer from other apartments, problems with applying traditional air-tightness measurement techniques to compartmentalized spaces and problems with developing and applying make-up air strategies.

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What Are the Best HVAC Solutions For Low-Load, High-Performance Homes?

Posted by GBM Research

May 15, 2014 2:00:00 PM

What’s The Situation?

High-performance homes inherently have lower loads than traditional construction. This is brought about by improvements in building envelope performance—air sealing, insulation quantity and installation quality and management of thermal bridging. Unfortunately, commonly available capacities for residential equipment aren’t designed for these low loads. What’s the short-term solution?

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New Hot Water Heating Systems: Are They Ready for Prime Time?

Posted by GBM Research

May 15, 2014 11:58:00 AM

What’s The Situation?

Water heating is a major contributor to energy bills, particularly in northern climates. New technologies promise big energy savings. Do they deliver?

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HVAC: Time to Grow Up

Posted by GBM Research

May 12, 2014 5:45:00 PM

What’s The Situation?

Improperly installed HVAC systems can over-promise on energy performance and radically under-deliver, negating the benefits of high-efficiency systems. Defects in cooling systems can reduce overall efficiency by more than 50%. These include low airflow, undercharged systems, duct leakage, coil blockage and equipment installed in the attic. Similar issues can be found in many home heating systems.

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