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Envelope

  • Tight House Construction - Sealing Exterior Sheathing Seams

    In my quest to build ever tighter houses I've decided that my goal is for every house I build to get as close to 1ACH50 as possible. To reach that goal, I've decided to take a page from the PassiveHouse playbook and tape my exterior sheathing seams.

     
  • Encapsulating ducts with at least 1 1/2 inches of closed-cell spray foam substantially improves HVAC performance in all U.S. climate zones. Burying the encapsulated ducts in loose-fill attic insulation improves performance even more.

    Buried and Encapsulated Ducts (Subscriber content)

    Encapsulating ducts with at least 1 1/2 inches of closed-cell spray foam substantially improves HVAC performance in all U.S. climate zones. Burying the encapsulated ducts in loose-fill attic insulation improves performance even more.

     
  • Provia Foam-Filled Fiberglass Entry Doors

    These Signet foam-filled fiberglass entry doors are available in custom widths and in heights up to 8 feet. Doors are individually hand-stained and can be customized with different styles, colors, and finishes.

     
  • Building Above-Code Walls - Belfast, Maine, Cohousing Units (Subscriber content)

    Four design/build teams solve the puzzle of high-performance wall construction—in four different ways.

     
  • Building Above-Code Walls - Maine Single-Family Home (Subscriber content)

    The wall system shown here is an improved version of the system I used for the house I built in Knox, Maine, in 2011.

     
  • Building Above-Code Walls - "Avalon" a Connecticut Farmhouse (Subscriber content)

    Our wall example is part of a zero-energy single-family house built for the tenant farmer of an organic farm in rural Connecticut.

     
  • Building Above-Code Walls - Norwich, Vermont Single-Family Home (Subscriber content)

    Our challenge was to realize the owners distinctive artistic vision for their home, along with their very ambitious energy-efficiency goals, while also working within the hard limits of the budget.

     
  • Building Above-Code Walls (Subscriber content)

    Four design/build teams solve the puzzle of high-performance wall construction—in four different ways.

     
  • Marvin Windows and Doors Automated Exterior Shading System

    Marvin's shading system can be fitted to a range of the company's windows, is invisible when retracted, and fully integrates into the frame. Plus, the motor can be controlled via an iPad or iPod app.

     
  • Building Better Eaves

    Roof overhangs can be finished in a number of materials and constructed in a wide variety of different ways. Here's what you need to know to construct eaves that will survive the test of time.

     
  • Coastal Maine Builders Push the Passive House Envelope

    Two Maine builders are taking different paths to premium performance.

     
  • Thermal Imaging With a Blower Door (Subscriber content)

    Though it's impossible to seal every hole in an existing building to prevent air leaks, here's a procedure you can use to identify the worst leaks in order to tighten the home as cost-effectively as possible.

     
  • Siding Guide

    LineBacker Siding Insulation provides a thermal break and its parallel ridges serve as guides for the installation of horizontal siding planks.

     
  • PVC Ceiling

    Zip-Up Ceiling offers a quick way to finish a basement ceiling: Install trim around the perimeter, then infill with paintable PVC panels and hidden rails that can be unzipped later for cleaning and overhead access.

     
  • Advanced Building Products Mortairvent Membrane

    Suitable for all exterior siding applications, this rainscreen technology creates a drainage and ventilation cavity between the weather resistant barrier and the exterior wall.

     
  • Rigid Rock Wool

    Designed for use as exterior continuous insulation in rainscreen wall systems, Comfortboard CIS repels water but is breathable enough to allow outward wall drying.

     
  • Replacing the Trim Around a Classic Doorway (Subscriber content)

    Upgrading the trim on a vintage home such as this one gives an old doorway a new life.

     
  • Best Practices: Continuous Exterior Insulation (Subscriber content)

    A guide to selecting and installing rigid foam on walls.

     
  • Venting the Crawlspace (Subscriber content)

    Most crawlspaces are vented to the outdoors, but encapsulating the crawlspace has gained favor among builders of green and energy-efficient homes. But what do you do about the air down there?

     
  • Roof moss may look benign and even quaint on roof shingles, but left unchecked, it can cause severe damage both inside and outside a home.

    Damage From Roof Moss (Subscriber content)

    That green growth on your roof might be causing expensive damage to many parts of your home.

     
 
 
 
JLC Field Guide to Decking