Category Archives: Air Intrusion/Thermal Envelope

Sealing and insulating the walls, floors and roof.

Alpen 525-S Windows

Alpen HPP makes “cadillac” windows in my opinion. The specifications are far beyond Milgard as I’ve pointed out, and they have a lot of information available about their windows on their website that shows the quest for very high energy … Continue reading

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AE Building Systems

I was fortunate to be referred to Mark Attard at AE when I contacted Alpen for a quote. He is very involved in the Passive House interest group in Colorado and AE Building Systems carries a full line of products … Continue reading

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Local Manufacturers of Windows and Doors

We live near Denver, Colorado. Locally manufactured items qualify for LEED points if they are made within 500 miles of home. There are several local manufacturers of vinyl or uPVC windows in that radius but far fewer for fiberglass.  Milgard, … Continue reading

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Inspections to Complete in 2015

So far we have had two building permits and five or six visits from the Arvada inspectors. The first building permit was for demolition and the under-slab plumbing. We passed after two or three visits from a very nice inspector … Continue reading

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Re-Used Polyisocyanurate Ceiling

Dave has almost finished the 1.5″ polyiso layer on the ceiling. This is the insulation that we bought from Repurposed Materials. The extra insulation on the ceiling is to eliminate the thermal bridging in the wood rafters. The walls of … Continue reading

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Completed Crawlspace!

I finished the crawlspace today and replaced all the old pipe insulation with 1″ thick K-Flex R-7 insulation from Supply House. This insulation is a Greenguard certified product for its low VOC and mold resistance. There is over $275 of … Continue reading

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Effective R Value?

Amory Lovins’ home boasts an “effective R-Value” of 40 for the masonry walls. I was skeptical knowing they were masonry with a 4″ polyurethane core. The core would be about 20 if it was XPS foam, less if EPS foam … Continue reading

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Crawlspace Radon Piping

Another thing I am rethinking is the piping that the radon mitigation calls for under the vapor barrier. I stuck a pipe under the vinyl, measuring for connection to the vent pipe and it looked kind of ridiculous. A short … Continue reading

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Crawlspace “After”

The conditioned crawlspace is almost complete. The vinyl tarps/billboards are sealed to the walls with caulk. The low VOC Loctite PL375 is inexpensive and easy to work with. It is both a construction adhesive and gap filling caulk and washes … Continue reading

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Crawlspace Conditioning

We had the initial energy audit done in March of 2012. One of the recommendations in the audit was to condition the crawlspace. “Your crawlspace can cause major air quality and energy issues in your home. The vents in this … Continue reading

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Crawlspace “Before”

My first look at the crawlspace under the back part of the house revealed a bit about how the house is supported in the back but also that the builders were not very tidy–leaving a bunch of extra insulation, plastic, … Continue reading

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Polyiso Insulation Boards

The polyiso insulation boards have been going up on the ceiling! We purchased a “bunk” of recycled boards from Repurposed Materials. Or it may have been two bunks–or about 60 4×8 sheets. This is the same recycling business that sold … Continue reading

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Feeding Air to the Fire

The vent piping for the outside air delivery to the wood stove was finished this week. The outside piping was already installed last week. Regular dryer venting was used to connect to the pipe where it enters from outside and … Continue reading

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Out with One, Up with the Other

Out with One… I moved the boiler vent from the existing furnace and gas water heater chimney to the utility room wall, so the next step was to take out the old chimney. I also put a 3″ PVC pipe … Continue reading

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Check and Check

Officially renewed the building permit today for another 6 months. We are really moving too slowly right now and the building inspector suggested finishing up by 2015! Yeah, we can do that right? First item on the new list was … Continue reading

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Caulking and Insulation

As required by LEED, the outer shell must be fully sealed. All the sills, corners and rafters were recaulked–most were caulked on the original build but there were a few gaps. Much of the Roxul rock wool was installed before … Continue reading

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A Light in the Attic

After all I had to take a work light up into the attic so I could see to install the recycled/reused insulation from the deconstruction to increase the R-value in the small attic over the back bedroom and bath. The … Continue reading

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Rock Around the Wool

After many months of installation, plus some time off for a retirement trip and family visiting, the rock wool mostly got installed. Of course these oversize pillows make a large difference in the house being able to hold its passive … Continue reading

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More About Rock Wool

Insulation, just like so many LEED building options was a rather tortuous decision. I was introduced to the idea of using rock wool by Sarah, my LEED expert friend. She recommended looking at rock wool for a couple of reasons. … Continue reading

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Roxul Rock Wool Arrives

After a couple of false starts by Lowes, the rock wool insulation was finally delivered, which meant a full day of hauling it from the pallets on the driveway to the inside. This job fell to our son-in-law and four … Continue reading

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