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Featured Articles

Petri Dish House

A cautionary tale of high indoor humidity, mold problems, and what not to do in a home if you want healthy clients.

Comparing Eight Cold-Climate Envelopes

Rolf Jacobson compares different Passive House wall systems to conventionally built homes.

2015 IECC: What You Need to Know

Half the country is still on the 2009 IECC, but stricter codes are inevitable. Here's what's coming.

 
 
 

Browse Building Science Subtopics

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Building Science

  • More Than 'Tips' Needed to Improve Energy Efficiency (Subscriber content)

    A thorough, step-by-step analysis that treats the home as an integrated system is the only route to true performance improvements, including lower energy bills and better indoor air quality.

     
  • Stucco Rainscreen – Delta Dry Stucco & Stone Review

    How can we build a stucco assembly that will be just as durable and “safe” as a traditional siding house?

     
  • A builder on Martha's Vineyard used this cottage for himself and his family to learn the process of building a certified passive house.

    Building a Passive House for the First Time (Subscriber content)

    Builder Farley Pedler delves into high-efficiency Passive House construction by building his own passive house in Martha's Vineyard, Mass.

     
  • Why 'Energy-Saving' Tips Suck

    The truth is that commonly espoused energy-saving tips are worthless. We look at four common offenders.

     
  • Conventional Roof Framing: A Code's-Eye View

    When it’s boiled down, there are essentially two standard methods of roof construction, each having some flexibility. We explore both.

     
  • Working With Foam Subfloor Adhesive

    The pros and cons of working with DAP SmartBond polyurethane subfloor adhesive, which goes on like foam sealant but collapses to a sticky gel.

     
  • Number of LEED Homes Has Doubled in Three Years

    California has the most LEED-certified homes, followed by New York and Texas.

     
  • Hardware on European windows allow them to tilt in for ventilation.

    A Look Through European Windows

    A behind-the-scenes look at the materials and methods used in making high-performance tilt-and-turn windows.

     
  • Studying Moisture in Fat Walls (Subscriber content)

    Comparing the performance of a cellulose-insulated double wall against the same wall insulated with two different thicknesses of low-density open-cell spray foam.

     
  • House Move: Saving a Luxury Home From Beach Erosion

    When a compromised island setting requires moving not one, but four, massive structures, the logistical challenges are daunting and the process is nothing short of impressive.

     
  • Words Matter

    What the Patagonian Toothfish can teach us about building science.

     
  • Mixed Reality: The Future of Building Design?

    Is augmented reality just a smart-phone party trick or could it be solace for an increasingly populated planet?

     
  • A Drywaller’s Approach to Air Sealing Homes (Subscriber content)

    Air leaks through the building shell can have a significant effect on a home’s durability, energy use, and indoor air quality. Myron Ferguson explains how drywall can be an important part of the air barrier of an enclosure.

     
  • Building Structural Brackets for a Balcony Deck (Subscriber content)

    Specialty building components expert Mike Rand provides pointers on constructing structural brackets for a balcony deck.

     
  • ReVision Energys Dave Ragsdale connects the control circuit of the outdoor unit of a 1-ton Fujitsu mini-split on a home near Portland, Maine. In combination with a wood stove, the mini-split will mostly idle the homes existing oil boiler, except during the coldest part of the year.

    Heat Pumps for Cold Climates (Subscriber content)

    Mini-split heat pumps were a major topic at the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) BuildingEnergy 14 conference in Boston this year. Ted Cushman explains why and how these mini-splits shine in cold climates.

     
  • JLC May Letters

    Tips for soldering a lap seam; the usefulness of the GRK lap harness; and the future of vocational training.

     
  • Mapping Green Space

    The EPA's EnviroAtlas provides a one-stop reference for identifying everything from population density and rainfall to "impaired waterways" and acid-rain concentrations.

     
  • Printing Houses

    Printing a house, I wonder what the local code official and the historical commission would have to say about THAT!

     
  • Working With Flexible Flashing (Subscriber content)

    Some contractors still don’t understand how to get the most out of these products. Here are some tips for installations that stand firm for the long haul.

     
  • Making the Case for Zero-Leak Ducts

    Mike MacFarland outlines the benefits of leak-free ducts.

     
 
 
 
JLC Field Guide to Decking