This is a follow up to the long term durability test I post about last week. We are talking today about how well a membrane seals around nail holes. Specifically, an ASTM test that manufacturers subject their products to in order to show they meet a standard of “waterproofing”. As a part of the Weather Resistive Barrier (WRB) testing the team ran their own version of this ASTM – D 1970 test that was created for roofing membranes that guard against ice dams and the leaks that occur when ice is forced under shingles then melts. Well, it turns out this test is pretty tough to meet. I heard from the UT team that in speaking with the test labs with the official ASTM results they apparently only publish the “passing” tests and not the failed ones. Continue ReadingRead More »
This is a companion blog post to the video I shot at the University of Texas Construction Durability Lab. Please watch the video before reading this post. Next, here is the link to the official results published in a trade journal Construction Specifier.
Ok, so you’ve seen the video and you are asking who’s the winner? Well, this blog post is the UN-official results. I’m not an official member of this team, and this post is simply my observations and my inferences.
First, let me start with the losers (my opinion only). Upon close inspection, there are several that are not looking good. Continue ReadingRead More »
If you’ve followed my work for very long, you’ll realize that I basically stopped talking about “Green Building” about 3-4 years ago. The term “Green” has been too watered down to mean anything anymore. Instead, I talk about “High Performance Houses”, or “Comfort”. I find that my clients have had un-comfortable houses in the past and that talking about comfort really resonates. I also have lots of clients who want low energy bills. The lure of a Zero dollar electric bill is pretty awesome.
In this blog post, I thought I’d give you the extended version of this house’s story from the video. This is a house my company built for Forge Craft Architecture‘s founder Scott Ginder and his family. It’s a house that will generate enough electricity with it’s Solar Array to have a Zero sum electric bill for the course of the entire year. (some months the bill will be negative, some months they will have to pay, but overall if you sum the 12 months of the year it will be $0)
This is where it all starts. The Architect on this project did everything right from a design perspective. He didn’t make the house too big (it’s right at 2000 sq feet of conditioned space). Remember the advice of famous Architect Sarah Susanka author of the “Not So Big House” series. (if you are designing a house I highly recommend this series of books)
“Every room — indeed, every square foot . . . has been designed as everyday living space, … and the money saved by reducing the volume of space has been invested instead in tailoring to fit its owners to a T: on beautiful design and craftsmanship, on healthy and resource-efficient materials, and on better building practices.” -Sarah Susanka Continue ReadingRead More »