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.
You may be the most experienced, technical savvy construction professional in the business, but if you don’t have a good sales team, you just won’t be able to close deals in today’s competitive market. With profit margins the way they are and competition increasing, the ability to close sales becomes all the more crucial to the future of your business. Whether you are looking to improve your own selling techniques or employ sales reps that will help to grow your business, these tips may help.
“Energy Savings Start With The Framing.” As energy codes become more stringent and homeowners demand higher performing homes, designers are looking at innovative ways to improve the efficacy of their building envelopes. Insulated headers can really help to improve the R-value and provide wall cavity space for insulation. ASHRAE estimates that at least 4 percent of the wall assembly consists of headers. If 4 percent of your wall is not properly insulated, your energy envelope will not be performing at its best.
Moisture can cause many structural problems and create a very unhealthy home for your family when mold and mildew begin to form. Building a home that deals effectively with moisture requires due diligence from design to installation and on to maintenance. The home must be built in such a way as to prevent leaks which are the biggest cause of damage and it must also eliminate condensation which occurs naturally in every home.
Raised-heel trusses provide a cost-effective way to meet more stringent energy efficiency codes. It’s not surprising that four out of five modern homes are built with pre-fabricated trusses as they offer a lot of advantages; a more uniform pitch and size, increased spans mean fewer internal load-bearing walls and they can be installed quickly, with less labor.
One way to work smarter is to build using raised-heel trusses. From the APA: “Also known as energy-heel trusses, raised-heel trusses deliver cost-effective energy performance especially when combined with continuous plywood or OSB sheathing.”
If you have been administering your blower door test at the end of your build, then you may be missing out on an essential opportunity to make your building envelope even tighter. Doing two blower-door tests; one mid-way through your build and one at the end, will give you a unique opportunity to fix cracks and holes before they get covered over by insulation and sheetrock.
Condensation is moisture that can lead to a myriad of problems from water damage to mold. With the tighter building envelopes of modern structures, this condensation problem is exacerbated as reduced air flow can prevent moist areas from drying out. Luckily there are ways in which you can mitigate the conditions that lead to condensation and keep moisture out of your home.