A #BuildPassive Message for Mainstream America

As Passive House specialists, we often get chunked into a niche of the construction industry usually reserved for extreme “greenies” and mad scientists. However, it’s interesting to see how mainstream America is having many of the same conversations we are – only in a different context and slightly different vocabulary. In an effort to continue… Read More

Construction Moisture Management: Catch Up or Lawyer Up

Moisture in buildings has become increasingly worrisome for construction professionals in recent years. American buildings are subject to a wide variety of defects related to water in its different forms – liquid, vapor and sometimes snow and ice. These range from thermal discomfort, poor indoor air quality and health hazards (mold), all the way to… Read More

The glass edge thermal bridge: the PSIg value

We continue our series of articles on thermal efficiency of windows, describing the glass edge thermal bridge.

As far as thermal bridges go, this one is inevitable, and it represents the weakest point of a well designed thermal envelope. It needs to be analyzed carefully, in order to prevent condensation (or ice) to form on the edge of the glass, discomfort, and an overall drop in the performance of the window/door. Read More

Thermal transmittance of glass: the Ug value

Insulated glass units, IGU for short, have been around for a long time.

These elements are of primary importance for the energy balance of highly performing buildings and passive houses: that is why we dedicate this article to the thermal transmittance of insulated glass. Read More

Thermal paints: just a joke?

With a short investigation, we add our contribution to what has been recently published by some Italian consumers and professionals associations.

Although the example described in this article is purely Italian (and deeply so), we believe that the same situation with thermal paints is happening in other countries too. Here we try and evaluate how solid this products are, and whether or not they can be helpful, with an example of a thermal bridge. Read More

Mold and condensation: if the solution is worse than the problem

We cover here two real examples of mold and condensation problems, with thermal insulation installed on the inside of existing masonry walls.

In both cases, the solutions were chosen on an empirical basis, and turned out to be worse than the problems they were trying to mitigate. Read More

Andrew Michler’s Passive House

During Enrico’s recent visit to Colorado, we finally had the chance to visit Andrew Michler’s passive house.

At about 2.000 m (6.400 ft), in the mountains near Fort Collins, Colorado, this building is capable of remaining comfortable even in case of a power outage, with an interior temperature of about 18°C (64°F) with no heating. Read More

Colorado: our work ties become permanent

With Mariana currently involved full time with Natural Capitalism Solutions and AE Building Systems, our professional ties with Colorado are now solid.

This allows us to have experience in highly efficient buildings on both sides of the Atlantic, with some initial interesting considerations. Read More

Thermal bridges: the temperature factor fRsi

We continue our series of articles on the topic of thermal bridges: this time, we illustrate the fRsi value, which describes the thermal ”strenght” of a node under the point of view of internal surface temperatures.

As we have explained in a previous article, the PSI value describes a higher or lower heat flow caused by a discontinuity in the thermal envelope – a thermal bridge – the fRsi factor is of primary importance for health and comfort considerations. Read More