A research engineer at Pella Windows finally offers some adult supervision for our benchtop tape tests.

by Peter Yost

This is part of an ongoing series. Read all the Sticky Business posts here.

Developer Steve Nygren is putting New Urbanist principles into practice at the Serenbe Community outside Atlanta A wide range of architectural styles are represented at Serenbe. Click to enlarge.Photo Credit: Alex Wilson

The pending closure of Vermont’s only nuclear plant will hurt the local economy, but it could catalyze sustainable economic development

A new generation of CO2-based heat pumps could avoid the high global warming potential of standard refrigerants and generate much higher temperatures

by Alex Wilson

Editor’s note: We updated this 2013 blog post on April 15, 2024, to reflect more recent advancements in CO2-based heat-pump water heaters. To learn more about another such product, see the April 2024 article by Brent Ehrlich “On-demand Water Heat Goes All Electric with Heat Pumps, CO₂.”

Paying attention to the various layers in a building envelope is critically important for ensuring air tightness and moisture management—and can be attractive, too.
Surveying residents to assess resilience in the town of Dummerston, Vermont The solar-electric system on our restored barn will contribute to community resilience in our part of Dummerston, Vermont.Photo Credit: Alex Wilson

A new inverter from SMA allows us to draw some daytime power from our PV system when the grid is down, even without batteries
Forests destroyed by mountain pine beetles can be made into valuable engineered wood products. The mountain pine beetle has killed millions of acres of forest across the western U.S., including most of the western slope of Rocky Mountain National Park.Photo Credit: USDA Forest Service

New smart vapor retarders block most vapor diffusion when you want to eliminate risk of condensation, but allow vapor flow when you want drying potential

Spray-applied fiberglass insulation offers huge benefits over fiberglass batts and even has some advantages over cellulose

by Alex Wilson

We’ve just completed the installation of a relatively new and (at least in New England) little-known insulation material called Spider.

Some suggest that we should base decisions about insulation levels on the cost of supplying the necessary heating or cooling with solar electricity Photovoltaic (PV) system being installed on our barn roof.Photo Credit: Alex Wilson

We’ve come a long way from the early Tyvek housewrap; our experience with the German Pro Clima Solitex weather-resistive barrier Pro Clima Solitex weather-resistive barrier installed on our home. Click to enlarge.Photo Credit: Alex Wilson

If buildings lose power or heating fuel, how hot is too hot and how cold is too cold?
The 18-kW photovoltaic array on our barn roof is nearing completion The first PV panels being installed on our barn roof. Click to enlarge.Photo Credit: Alex Wilson

The latest version of Green Globes for New Construction focuses on novel ways to measure energy performance, but details are hard to come by.

There seems to be a lot to like about the new Green Globes for New Construction, which was apparently launched earlier this week.