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Insulation: Don't Leave Your Home Without It

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jan 21, 2015 2:33:40 PM

Know the Lingo

R-Value: A measure of how effectively a material resists heat flow. Thus, higher numbers are better. 

Batt: A length of insulation that is precut to fit certain wall cavity dimensions. Typically sold in a pre-cut roll.

Unfaced/Faced Insulation: Faced insulation (typically a fiberglass batt) includes a vapor retarder on the interior face that restricts movement of moist air into wall cavities. Unfaced is simply a batt without a vapor retarder.

Ridge Vent: An opening covered by a rainproof vent that follows the peak of the roof, typically required by code. Some insulating methods, however, negate the need for a ridge vent. Clear it with your local code official first.

Blow-In: Method of introducing loose fiberglass, cellulose or mineral wool to framing cavities or attic space, typically using a machine with an attached hose.

Blower Door: Equipment used to test the effectiveness of a home’s insulation and air sealing systems.

Stud Cavity: The space between the vertical members of a conventionally framed wood or lightweight steel home. Common stud spacings include 16” and 24” on center (of stud).

IF YOU'VE EVER opened up the wall of a home built before about 1950, you’ve probably been shocked to find little or no insulation—or at best some crumpled newspapers. And even the earliest serious attempts at insulation with fiberglass look quaint now. Cavities were often only partially filled. Water from outside often leaked in around windows and doors and damaged the insulation. Of course, homes were so leaky prior to the 1960s that walls dried out quickly, so mold wasn’t a big problem.

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Indoor Air Quality: Manage Air Flow and Materials

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jan 14, 2015 2:29:00 PM

ONE OF THE CONFUSING CHARACTERISTICS of green building certification programs is the way they lump together two different aspects of building science: saving energy and keeping indoor air safe and clean. Is a green home one that saves energy, or one that has healthier indoor air than a conventional home?
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Flat Roofs Earn Their Keep

Posted by Dan McCue

Dec 30, 2014 1:23:00 PM

 

WHEN PAUL LEDMAN PAUSED TO CONSIDER THE ROOFING OPTIONS of the new, multi-family home he was building in historic Portland, Maine, the ultimate choice seemed like a no-brainer.

To the former New Yorker, who has developed several multi-family brownstone and commercial projects, a pitched roof would have just seemed odd for the three-unit home he was contemplating.

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Proper Installation of APA Rated Sheathing for Roof Applications

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Dec 11, 2014 11:41:28 AM

Check out this informative entry on sheathing for roof applications available on the APA builders' tips page. Downloadable pdfs on this and other subjects are available.

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The Dirty Truth About Outdated Wood Stoves

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Dec 8, 2014 5:59:00 PM

This snazzy infographic spells out the health and energy reasons that you should replace older wood stoves with new, certified models.

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