Six Key Components of the Thermal Boundary in Zero Energy Homes

Air barrier Minimizing air movement in and out of a house is key to building an energy-efficient home. Many of the materials used in a house as structural and finish components can act as air barriers. Sealing all the holes and seams between sheet goods such as drywall, sheathing, and subflooring with durable caulk, gaskets, tape,…

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Net Zero Construction in Vermont: Building Delivery Systems that Work

Solar panels with sunflowers in Net Zero Construction in Vermont: Building Delivery Systems that work. Whenever a new term grows to a certain level of popularity, it can become a buzzword in any given industry. When the term becomes a buzzword, its original definition can become skewed. The term “net-zero energy” is one of those terms.…

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In this article, we are going to give you some of the top questions to ask a high-performance builder during the interview process. These are questions that they should be able to answer based on the knowledge and experience of building high-performance homes. How do air barriers differ from vapor barriers? What is a Breathable…

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How do we achieve a Prudent Living, Net-Zero home? Here’s our approach: Keep it simple – There are only two questions worth asking.  What are the facts? What’s in it for me? Avoid complicating conversations about Net-Zero with useless discussions about micro-mathematics, Scientific R-values vs Builder R-values, charts and graphs that show every cause and…

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One way to build a truly Net-Zero house is to design the house in such a way that all heating and cooling and lighting devices are electric.  Everything in the house gets its power from the grid. If this is the case, then it’s very easy to measure our consumption of electricity because the electric…

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First of all, the process of building a house consumes a huge amount of energy before anyone even moves in and calls it home.  Here’s a brief snapshot of what I mean.    There’s no such thing as a house that doesn’t consume energy Site & Concrete:  First the loggers come and clear out the…

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Since net zero construction in Vermont and New Hampshire is the latest (and we think greatest) form of residential construction practices, there are some common myths about net zero homes. Let’s dispel these myths: Myth #1) I Need to Compromise on Design This misperception may have drifted over from the auto industry. You may know that…

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A couple stopped by my office recently and inquired about building a new house. Since we have been building houses for about 40 years, this was no surprise and it also didn’t surprise me that they didn’t have drawings yet. Their thoughts were pretty vague about what they wanted except for two things. They had…

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