May 2008 Table of Contents

Ductwork That Works Ductwork That Works

Air distribution is the weak link in many heating and cooling systems. Good ductwork is key to HVAC performance, yet all too often this vital part of the system is underexamined, bringing the energy performance of the home to surprising lows. Ted Cushman describes how the industry pros detail their ductwork for results you can take to the bank. Read more

Gable-End Retrofits Gable-End Retrofits

A couple of decades ago, not much was typically done to secure gable-end trusses: at most, a few toe-nails, perhaps an occasional strap or diagonal brace. But these measures prove insufficient in a high-wind event, where negative pressures are the most likely forces to pull apart an underbuilt wall. And once the gable end goes, it can unzip a house, devastating the structure and ruining the entire contents of a home. As Richard Reynolds explains, retrofitting gable ends to resist hurricane-force winds must not only brace the framing members but also strengthen the connections. Here, he details the five-step process that results in a well-secured, well-sealed gable-end retrofit. Read more

Letters Letters

Manufacturers Beyond Code ~ Connector Corrosion Read more

Products Products

Accordion Screens ~ Ingenious Deck Spacers ~ Rolling Along ~ Weather-Resistant Wood Doors ~ Houdini Hutch ~ Practical Porch Railing ~ PVC Porch Decking ~ Impact-Resistant Acrylic Read more

Soundings Soundings

Storm-Water Regs Grow Up Read more

Wild Winds and Rolling Waters Wild Winds and Rolling Waters

Despite months of front-page Hurricane Katrina news coverage in 2005, building codes and enforcement practices continue to vary greatly. Moreover, surprisingly little is known about how hurricane winds pull apart and drive rain into homes — and what affordable measures can seal them tight. Plus, existing homes — which comprise the majority of the coastal housing stock — may have few (if any) of the hurricane protections standard in new homes. Fortunately, a small community of building scientists at universities and in the public sector is working to close at least some of these gaps. As Aaron Hoover reports, current hurricane research points the way to practical improvements for coastal homes. Read more

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