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The Griffiths Family, Orderville, Utah

When a customer calls and tells you that the energy efficient home they’re building happens to be in one of the most beautiful settings in the Western U.S., you ask them if you might tag along and do some filming.

Located at the crossroads of climate zone 3, 4, and 5, resting at an elevation well over 5,000 feet, this unique region provides more than beauty. It presented the opportunity to truly challenge ThermalBuck, on an energy-efficient window installation with high-performance window manufacturer Alpen HPP.

Take a look at the Griffiths installation story below, and see how ThermalBuck simplified this high-performance window installation.  

View from the Griffiths energy efficient Residence in Orderville, Utah
View from the Griffiths Residence in Orderville, Utah

“I just wanted to have as thermally-efficient a home as I could afford. I wanted to stop all of the thermal bridging that I could.”

-Thomas Griffiths, Homeowner, Engineer, Hardware Store Owner 

The Energy-Efficient Dream House

Thomas and Melissa Griffiths are not your average do-it-yourself homebuilders. Thomas is an engineer, and Melissa a successful blogger and homemaker, raising a busy family of 5 children not far from the beautiful Zion National Park. Land isn’t easy to find in this part of the U.S., with 90% of it owned by the federal government, and devoted to national parks.

They have been planning their dream home for years, finally buying a beautiful piece of land that Thomas used to take care of when he was a young man, right next door to where he grew up.

The Griffiths broke ground in 2015, after years of researching building materials, and creating the architectural drawings themselves. Thomas knew he wanted to build the most energy-efficient home he could afford, and ensure year-round comfort and good indoor air quality for his family.



Planning the High-Performance Window Installation

Doing most of the work themselves, the Griffiths wanted to invest that savings into large, high-performance windows, to bring the beauty of the setting into the home. They selected Alpen triple pane windows, utilizing suspended coated film technology. These insulated fiberglass frame windows offer an R-6 thermal performance, advanced framing, and customized technology for the glazing of each individual window, based on it’s exact exposure and placement in the home.

Thomas wanted to utilize ThermalBuck to support the weight of the windows, insulate the mounting point, and maintain the quality of the window installation.

Step-by-Step ThermalBuck Installation:
Polyiso Continuous Insulation as the WRB

Thomas knew he needed to insulate both the interior and exterior of the building envelope. Taking the climate into consideration, he used  2″ Atlas Energy Shield poloysio on the exterior, and decided to use the continuous insulation as his WRB.

Researching energy-efficient homebuilding, Thomas came across ThermalBuck, and recognized it as the ideal solution to mount his high-performance windows, and prevent compression of the rigid foam. The 2.5″ ThermalBuck has an R-value of 11, is extremely durable and will provide a long-lasting window installation to match the lifetime Alpen window warranty. 

High-Performance Window Q&A with Alpen HPP

If you’re lucky enough to have an installation expert like Nate Maybon, of Alpen on hand during your build, you take advantage and ask questions. Learn what makes up a high-performance window, from the insulated fiberglass frames to suspended film technology. Nate also talks about common causes of window failures. You’ll quickly understand why high-performance windows are an investment that will pay you back in more ways than energy-savings.


 think alpen.com 



The crew: Nate Mayborn of Alpen, John Brooks of ThermalBuck, and Thomas
The crew: Nate Maybon of Alpen, John Brooks of ThermalBuck, and Thomas

“I definitely like the ease of use. I’m surprised at how durable it is. But the performance is what we’re after.”

-Nate Maybon, Alpen HPP Window Installation Specialist 

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Behind the Scenes in Orderville

If you’d like to keep up with the Griffiths, visit Melissa’s blog, blessthismessplease.com. You’ll see why we loved our time with this inspiring family. 


Net-Zero Deep Energy Retrofit

Bill McKnight, CEO, Energy Conservation Specialists

Energy Conservation Specialists 

Bill McKnight is no rookie when it comes to energy-efficient building. His company, Energy Conservation Specialists, is a leading New York residential and commercial building energy-efficiency consulting firm, specializing in the field of historic preservation and restoration in the Hudson Valley.  

Bill and his wife, Melinda Terpening McKnight, are passionate about history, their community, and energy efficient building.  With over 20 years of building experience in the field of deep energy retrofits, Bill has achieved both BPI Accreditation and Energy Star Certification, teaches building science at Ulster University in NY, and has been featured in Home Energy Magazine.

ThermalBuck worked with Bill on a recent net zero deep energy retrofit of a historic Port Ewen home built in 1850 that will soon become the ECS company headquarters.  

Originally built in 1850, the house has been in the Terpening-McKnight family for nearly 40 years, and was in danger of being torn down after a devastating fire, when Bill and Melinda decided not only to restore it, but to make it their company headquarters.  The building will not only be energy-efficient, it will achieve net-zero certification, meaning it will consume only as much energy as it produces.


Watch the ECS installation story below, and see why Bill chose ThermalBuck to be an integral part of his thermally efficient building envelope.  


“The payoff is substantially better with ThermalBuck”

-Bill McKnight, Building Scientist, Energy Conservation Specialists


Deep Energy Retrofit

A deep energy retrofit is a whole-building approach to maximizing energy efficiency. It begins with a home energy audit, to determine how much energy a home consumes. Energy usage reductions are then achieved through a whole-building approach, including insulation, heating and cooling systems, lighting, appliances, and water usage.

A signature of deep energy retrofits is both interior and exterior insulation on the walls and roof, completely eliminating the thermal bridge through the building envelope. Thorough air sealing is crucial to achieving the desired performance.  Having worked for years installing windows with rigid foam, Bill recognized the benefits of using ThermalBuck to mount his windows, and improve the tightness of the building envelope.  


A Vibrant History & Energy-Efficient Future

Bill chose ThermalBuck because it extends and insulates the mounting points of windows and doors, to create a flush plane for cladding.  With his background in building science, he knew it would do a better job preventing moisture than a wood buck in the building envelope.  

“We can feel confident that everything on the outside is completely sealed.”

-Bill McKnight, CEO, Energy Conservation Specialists


ThermalBuck Integration with the WRB

The proper integration of building materials is critical to an efficient building envelope.  Take a look at how simple the installation of ThermalBuck is, and how easily it integrates with the WRB.  You’ll see why Bill McKnight feels a lot more confident keeping moisture out of his building envelope with ThermalBuck.  

“You wouldn’t be able to seal a wood buck like that.”

-Bill McKnight, Energy Conservation Specialists 


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Behind the Scenes in Port Ewen