Knowing the climate zone your residential build will take place in will influence many of the decisions you will make as to construction methods and building materials. As energy conservation becomes a growing concern, building to your climate zone is an excellent way to ensure that you are providing your clients with the best options. Keep in mind that building and energy codes are the minimum standard.
Stringent new building codes require improved efficiency of building envelopes through better insulation. While more expensive insulation methods, like spray foam, may have greater R-values, it is possible to meet the required high R-values using less expensive fibreglass or cellulose insulation with a raised heel truss.
As efficient building envelopes become more of a priority for builders, you may be considering investing in triple-pane windows for the R-value they offer. The technology behind window design has improved in leaps and bounds as manufacturers attempt to overcome the poor insulation value that windows traditionally offer the home builder. Unfortunately, the improved insulation comes at a high price. Do triple-pane windows offer sufficient energy-saving to justify the investment?
The dreaded call-back from an unhappy customer often takes up time and money that eats into your profit margins. However, successfully dealing with these issues can boost your customer service and improve word-of-mouth business. Turn your clients into raving fans with these call-back fixes.
Radiant barriers are utilized to reduce summer heat gain in attics and help to improve the efficiency of green building envelopes. A radiant barrier can lower heat transfer from attics to the building below, keep the attic space cooler and lower cooling costs by up to 17% in warmer climates. We take a look at how radiant barriers work, the different types of radiant barriers and some of the misconceptions surrounding them.
Duct leaks are insidious and are one of the three biggest energy wasters in most homes. While leaks cost you through the loss of conditioned air, when these duct leaks cause negative indoor pressure, unconditioned air will be pulled in from outside and you will waste even more energy keeping your home comfortable.
Discerning construction professionals are turning to raised-heel trusses thanks to the increased attic space they produce. This space is then utilized for larger amounts of cheaper insulation which reduces the cost of insulation and provides a more effective building envelope and a greener home. Raised-heel trusses offer many environmental and cost-saving benefits.
As winter approaches, we are sure to see a few homeowners suffer the inconvenience and often exorbitant expense of frozen and burst pipes. Even when pipes are situated inside the thermal envelope, they can still be exposed to freezing temperatures through conduction. If pipes run along steel beams or concrete walls that extend beyond the thermal envelope, conductive heat can cool them below freezing. Prevent bust pipes in these situations by insulating the pipes themselves.
Wood framing is still the dominant technique employed when constructing North American homes. While this is a cost-effective method, designers and builders should keep in mind that with new energy codes there are ways to increase the amount of wall insulation, reduce the amount of lumber used, and reduce thermal bridging by introducing advanced framing techniques.
If you want your housing envelope to perform at its peak, proper attic ventilation is key. This is because the regulation of the temperature, pressure and moisture in the attic to more closely resemble a conditioned space will reduce thermal loss and moisture vapor migration. Effective attic ventilation practices also ensure the durability of your roofing components and eliminate the possibility of damage by mold and mildew.