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Taping Everything: Our Second Blower Door Test.

After the mechanicals were roughed in, it was time to air seal everything, again.  In this case, any plumbing and electrical penetration must be sealed.  This was mostly the case in the ceiling of taped OSB plywood.  We did not have boxes for lights cut in, but rather pancake electrical boxes so all the electrical […]

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A service cavity, stairs and mechanicals…

Since we opted for a double air barrier in our design, we preferred not to run any utilities in the space that was to be dense packed with cellulose.  This meant we needed somewhere for all the electric wiring to go on our exterior walls.  We chose to use an 1-1/2″ service cavity on all […]

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Our First Blower Door Test and our Second Air Barrier

One of the bests decisions we made was investing in our own blower door to complete a blower door test.  Now, on a calm day, we can seal up the house and run the blower door for long periods of time.  This allows us to leak check every inch of our exterior air barrier.  The blower […]

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The roof arrives.

In the photo below, it is important to note the that garage and “exterior” mudroom (yes, we have two), were located outside the thermal envelope.  Note the taped CDX plywood on the left, which double as the interior for our outside mudroom. Prior to the arrival of the roof, we had to cap off the […]

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Sheathing, the second floor and why we have an I-beam

To finalize the lower part of our exterior air barrier (where the plywood sheathing meets the concrete wall), we ran the plywood below the seam of where we originally taped the Stego and Mento to the wall.  Using a primer again, we primed the concrete wall and then taped the plywood to the primed wall with […]

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Walls and double walls…

To really obtain full air sealing on the concrete walls,we taped the Stego to the wall first, then overlapped the Mento, primed and taped that joint as well.  Below are the finished seals that will be hidden by the plywood sheathing. Despite using a lot of foam under and around the slab, we tried to […]

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A Floor System Begins and More Air Sealing

The weather continues to hold out as we move forward with construction.  Before building the floor system, which will be made up of various sized TJIs to span long distances, we need to complete the air sealing details at the sill.  We used a an air tight vapor permeable membrane called Mento.  This was over […]

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Our Zehnder Ground Loop, More Insulation and our Bright Vapor Barrier

Any house that is built to a high standard is designed to be very air tight.  For proper indoor air quality (IAQ), mechanical ventilation is needed (known as a heat recovery ventilator HRV) to exhaust stale air and introduce fresh outside air into the structure.  In our case, we chose to use a Zehnder unit […]

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Footings, Foundation Walls and Insulation!

Freshly poured footings. Since our thermal envelope will be within the concrete walls and below the slab, we do not need to insulate the footings.  We plan to eliminate the thermal bridge between the slab and footing by placing our under slab insulation over the footing and installing a piece of EPS at slab edge. […]

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Orienting the Structure South

Building a passive house means orienting the majority of the glazing so it faces south.  This allows for capture of the suns energy in the winter for passive heating.  The original house was not facing true South, so we needed to rotate the  new house about about 10 degrees to reach our goal.  The same […]

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