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Window and Door Flashing: Code Requirements adn Best Practices

TechNote - Window and Door Flashing: Code Requirements and Best Practices

Flashing at exterior windows and doors is critical for shedding rain water to ensure a dry and durable building. Missing or inadequately-installed flashing can lead to water intrusion, moisture damage to building materials, and indoor air quality issues. Resulting homeowner call-backs may be costly, requiring removal of finishes and even replacement of structural elements.

Published:
2015
Whole-House Mechanical Ventilation Code, Safety and Performance Considerations For Low-Rise Residential Buildings

TechNote - Whole-House Mechanical Ventilation Code: Safety and Performance Considerations For Low-Rise Residential Buildings

Whole-house mechanical ventilation is the intentional exchange of indoor air with fresh outdoor air at a controlled rate using fans. The purpose of whole-house mechanical ventilation is to improve indoor air quality.

Published:
2013
TechNote - Vapor Retarders: Reducing Moisture Risk in Frame Walls

TechNote - Vapor Retarders: Reducing Moisture Risk in Frame Walls

Vapor retarders are used primarily in cold climates to prevent moisture present in warm indoor air (as water vapor) from entering wall assemblies and condensing on cold exterior sheathing. Where installed properly, vapor retarders such as Kraft paper or polyethylene sheeting have been used successfully for decades in conventional wall assemblies. However, changing wall construction practices which include new energy efficient materials and solutions that dramatically alter the moisture behavior of walls prompted questions from many builders on the appropriate selection of vapor retarders.

Published:
2015
Rain and Groundwater Management: Reducing the Risk of Water Instrusion and Damage

TechNote - Rain and Groundwater Management: Reducing the Risk of Water Intrusion and Damage

Despite significant advances in design and construction practices, water intrusion remains one of the most common causes of building repair. Water intrusion can lead to mold, decay, and poor indoor air quality, and affect the durability of the home. Water entering a basement or crawl space can contribute to moisture problems in above grade areas due to increased relative humidity. Even minor omissions during design or construction can lead to significant water damage. Building codes establish minimum requirements for moisture control but don’t always provide sufficient implementation details.

Published:
2014
Installation of Common Insulation Types: Wood-Frame Walls and Attics

TechNote - Installation of Common Insulation Types: Wood-Frame Walls and Attics

Thermal insulation is added to walls, roof/ceilings, and floors to slow down the flow of heat into or out of a home. For all types of insulation, the quality of installation is a significant factor in creating an energy-efficient and durable building enclosure and comfortable indoor environment. This TechNote provides practical information for the installation of three types of insulation in various applications. It is intended to help builders and designers meet the requirements of the energy code and maximize the value of each insulation type.

Published:
2017
Humidity Control: Supplemental Dehumidification in Hot-Humid Climates

TechNote - Humidity Control: Supplemental Dehumidification in Hot-Humid Climates

Managing indoor humidity in hot-humid climates is more important than ever for new, energy efficient homes equipped with whole-house mechanical ventilation. In these homes, air conditioning systems are less effective at removing humidity from the air, particularly during part-load conditions or shoulder seasons when cooling is normally not required (e.g., November-March). Yet, more humid outdoor air is brought into the house as a result of increased ventilation rates. Although tighter construction practices help reduce air infiltration, the net effect is an increased supply of humid outdoor air into the house.

Published:
2016
Floors above Crawl Spaces: Reducing the Risk of Moisture Accumulation within Wood Floor Assemblies

TechNote - Floors above Crawl Spaces: Reducing the Risk of Moisture Accumulation within Wood Floor Assemblies

Floors above vented and open crawl spaces in hot-humid climates are susceptible to moisture accumulation that could lead to mold, mildew, and decay within the floor assembly, even where crawl spaces are constructed in accordance with building codes.

Published:
2014
TechNote - Residential Buildings in Flood-Prone Areas: Selecting Materials for Constructing an Elevated Conditioned Space Enclosure

TechNote - Residential Buildings in Flood-Prone Areas

Following Hurricane Harvey, the City of Houston and Harris County, TX, introduced new ordinances for construction in flood-prone areas. The purpose of this TechNote is to provide guidance to builders and designers on selecting building materials for constructing elevated conditioned space enclosures for new residential buildings that will be located within these jurisdictions.

Published:
2019
TechNotes - Building Air Tightness: Code Compliance & Air Sealing Overview for Low-Rise Residential Buildings

TechNote - Building Air Tightness: Code Compliance & Air Sealing Overview for Low-Rise Residential Buildings

Building air tightness describes the degree of air leakage into and out of the building’s thermal enclosure which separates conditioned space from the outdoors. Air leakage is the uncontrolled flow through the thermal enclosure due to pressure imbalances caused by wind, stack effect, and mechanical equipment. Air leakage in a building should be minimized; this goal can be effectively and consistently achieved using an air sealing strategy.

Published:
2014
TechSpec - Buried Ducts

TechSpec: HVAC Ducts Buried within Ceiling Insulation in a Vented Attic (Buried Ducts)

A buried duct system is a practical and cost-effective alternative to installing ducts inside conditioned space or constructing unvented (semi-conditioned) attics for housing the HVAC system. If constructed in accordance with the recently-approved provisions of the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC), buried ducts provide an effective and energy-efficient air distribution system that ensures comfort and savings for the homeowner.

Published:
2017