Foundation Air and Vapor Strategy

Insulation is critical, but a continuous air barrier is just as important. A few years ago, we began using 15 mil-thick plastic as part of our under slab air and vapor strategy. Plastic that thick may seem like overkill to some, but I’ve remodeled multiple houses where the scope of the project required removing concrete read more…

ProHOME is Part of a High-Performance Development

The 2017 ProHOME is a part of an eight-house development of affordable, net-zero homes. In 2015, we set out to build the first ever net-zero community of homes in Vermont that could be priced as close to the surrounding existing market as possible. A local site contractor owned a 2.5 acre parcel of land which read more…

Foundation Insulation Strategy

Like my head of hair, our foundations designs have changed over time. What once was full and blonde is now looking thinner with a few random grays, and what once was known as a standard foundation is quickly becoming obsolete. While the various past designs we have used are energy efficient, not all were the read more…

Bringing Back Balloon-Framed Walls

This framing method helps create a more energy-efficient thermal envelope and air barrier. On many of our homes, we balloon frame the exterior walls. This way, the studs carry past the floor system, instead of the more traditional method that has the floor system sitting on top of the wall. The reasoning for this is read more…

Down the Up Staircase – How an Eyesore Became a Centerpiece

When Tom and Sarah purchased an 1870 farm house and barn in West Windsor, Vermont, in 2003, their farm was already famous. For example, they were told by several locals that “Good Morning, America” had once used the barn as a backdrop for one of their programs. And a 500-piece Rose Art Encore! jigsaw puzzle read more…

What Is The Value of a Human Life?

Reflections on Forty Years of Building Codes by Paul Biebel, Founder and President, Prudent Living, Inc. Forty-three years ago, when I was just starting to learn different facets of the building trade, I worked as an unofficial apprentice to a licensed electrician in his eighties who had been around since the days of Edison – read more…

How Does a Grid-Tied Solar Photovoltaic System Work In Your High Performance Home?

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems provide clean electricity that has many benefits. Renewable energy is better for the environment, better for your bottom line, and is long lasting. So while it is easy to understand the benefits of clean energy, it is not alwayseasy to understand how it is produced. Certain components required by code have been left out of the following diagram in order read more…

The Construction of a High-Performance Home: Week 12

An air tight barrier in a high performance home is critical to making the home perform at a high level of energy efficiency. To ensure that we are meeting our own expectations for air tightness, I perform a blower door test on the house at least once during construction to identify areas that could use a read more…

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Prudent Living Inc
3189 US Route 5 South
Windsor VT 05089

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866-924-3235