The Illinois Green Alliance has announced that its 2020 GreenBuilt Home Tour is going virtual – and we’re a part of it!
This year’s event features four unique online sessions that focus on 12 different green home projects across Illinois. Each online event has a theme: passive house design, all-electric homes, deep energy retrofits, and homeowner-driven sustainability projects.
BRINC Building Products is proud to recognize two of our building envelope materials featured in the July 15th Deep Energy Retrofit event – part of the high-performance home of Jamie Carr, Project Manager of Eco Achievers consulting firm.
“ThermalBucks were a great alternative to wood bucks. They were fast and simple to install.”
– —Jamie Carr, Project Manager, Eco Achievers & Net Zero Energy Homeowner
The Carr family loved the location of this Glen Ellyn home, but wanted to update it to be both beautiful, and highly practical. Healthy and comfortable, yet affordable to renovate.
For this all-electric, net zero energy home, Jamie chose a 10 kw solar array, energy recovery ventilator (ERV), heat pump for heating and cooling, and a split-system heat pump for hot water and radiant floor heating. For the building envelope, he installed high-performance Alpen windows in ThermalBuck, and was an early adopter of our new ThermalTight™ System, which features a Neopor ®GPS rigid insulation panel with a self-gasketing, vapor permeable WRB laminated to the exterior. For more information and photos about the Glen Ellyn (net zero) Deep Energy Retrofit, visit greenbuilthometour.org.
GreenBuilt Home Tour Sessions
All-Electric Homes – July 8th – 3:30-5pm CT
Deep Energy Retrofits – July 15th – 3:30-5pm CT
Passive House Showcase – July 22nd – 3:30 – 5pm CT
Wellness + High Performance – July 29th – 3:30 – 5pm CT
The first part of each session will be presented by experts in the high-performance homebuilding industry. The last half “happy” hour is the perfect chance to ask questions, get advice, and connect with these industry professionals.
Join any individual session for only $5, or purchase a ticket to all four tours for a discount at $15. Purchase tickets here.
We look forward to Jamie’s tour, and sharing more details (and hopefully HERS ratings) of this beautiful home on July 15th. Please consider joining any or all of these sessions, and supporting the work of Illinois Green, a USGB community.
Fine Homebuilding (FHB) magazine has been one of the most widely recognized voices in the building industry since its first printing in 1981, nearly 40 years ago.
What makes Fine Homebuilding such a valuable resource to builders is the quality of the content. Written by builders who are considered experts in the field of homebuilding, the articles focus heavily on the details of homebuilding that most builders will encounter on the job site.
Much has changed about the way we build over the years, and the content is now both a combination of best real-world practices for building, and new technology and building materials.
Windows in Thick Walls
In his article entitled “Windows in Thick Walls,”September 2019, FHB, Maine residential design/build contractor Michael Maines explains the challenges of installing windows in thick, highly-insulated walls. He presents detailed illustrations that review 5 typical situations:
One: Recessed windows with extension jambs as exterior trim
Two: Recessed windows with traditional casing
Three: Recessed windows with shingled returns
Four: Windows curbed to the exterior
Five: Curbed windows installed with ThermalBuck
Maines utilizes his experience building many different types of wall assemblies in the article. His solutions address not only moderately high-performance envelopes in climates 3 and up, they can also be modified to suite warmer climate zones, and the highest performance levels of Passive House building.
“Thick, highly insulated walls . . . present some challenges for builders when it comes to installing windows and doors . . . (ThermalBuck) is a great, problem-solving product line.”
—- Michael Maines, Michael Maines Residential Design + Build, Contributing Editor, Fine Homebuilding
Also in the September 2019 issue of FHB was a feature by Senior Editor Patrick McCombe, in the SPEC section, which covers new building materials on the market.
“The best solution I’ve seen is ThermalBuck.”
—- Patrick McCombes, Senior Editor, Fine Homebuilding
When it comes to challenge of properly installing and flashing windows and doors in walls with exterior insulation, most experts don’t recommend installation directly over foam. Not only does it compress the foam and leave air gaps, but it also introduces some potential issues for the window. The most commonly known way to address this is to build a wood buck to extend the mounting point for the window. However, adding wood works against the goal of creating a continuous insulation layer on the building envelope.
See why Fine Homebuilding Senior Editor Patrick McCombes says “The best solution I’ve seen is (the) ThermalBuck,” and learn more about its features and benefits at finehomebuilding.com.
For detailed coverage of real-world ThermalBuck installations, visit Installation Stories at thermalbuck.com. For more ThermalBuck coverage in the media, review Media Coverage at thermalbuck.com
Fine Homebuilding has a a long history as one of the most respected resources for residential builders. The reason why? The content. It’s sourced directly from the job sites and offices of the most talented builders and designers in the US, so it’s real – and readers know the difference.
The 2019 Fine Homebuilding Summit offers an opportunity to take that learning to a whole new level, by bringing together an impressive lineup of top architects, builders, and building science experts in the US to meet and train building professionals in person. Described as the “TED Talk of the Construction Industry”, the two day event in Southbridge, Mass., is a great opportunity for builders to focus on advancing their knowledge – and their business.
“With the Summit, we are inviting all the key players to the table … to share hours of insight with each other, to network, and to advance craftsmanship industry-wide, which is critical for long-term success …”
– —Justin Fink, Editorial Director, Fine Homebuilding
Event Details & Sessions
This year’s summit will be held October 2nd – 4th, in Southbridge, Massachusetts, and features over 50 hours of collaborative learning, along with plenty of opportunities for networking – and the latest in building material technology. Presentations include:
We’re proud to join a distinguished list of event sponsors working to advance the standards of the building industry. BRINC BP will exhibit ThermalBuck, and joins 475 Performance Supply, Benjamin Obdyke, FastenMaster, Minotaur, Rockwool, Schluter Systems, and more.
Join Us October 2nd-4th to invest in your own building knowledge, grow your building network, and see why ThermalBuck is a game-changer in energy-efficient homebuilding. It’s not easy to find time to leave the job site and focus on training, but it’s always time well-spent. Invest some time in advancing your craftsmanship, and become a part of the future of building. REGISTER NOW at the link above. We’ll see you in Southbridge –
The impact of non-profit organizations that promote energy-efficient building standards is growing. Some of the most successful outreach programs include regional events that bring together architects, builders, and high-performance building material experts facing the same set of climate considerations.
This February, BRINC Building Products will be exhibiting at two notable events in this realm: Better Buildings by Design (Northeast), and Better Buildings: Better Business (Midwest).
Better Buildings by Design
When we think of leaders in energy-efficiency and sustainability, we think of Vermont. It’s no surprise Vermont ranks among the top 5 states in the nation for the advancement and support of energy efficiency, and has long maintained a pioneering role among the states in this arena.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) credits Vermont’s three energy efficiency utility companies as the driving force for Vermont’s ranking: Vermont Gas Systems, Burlington Electric, and Efficiency Vermont.
“Efficiency Vermont is really keen on helping with the social responsibility of living in Vermont.“
– Jennifer Severidt, Energy Consultant – Residential, Efficiency Vermont
We’ve been fortunate to witness firsthand the effectiveness of Efficiency Vermont on two housing projects. One, the Rutland Innovation Home, and two, the Central Vermont Habitat for Humanity House in Randolph. We look forward to contributing to their Better Buildings by Design event, the region’s leading design and construction conference.
Better Buildings by Design – February 6th & 7th
The Better Buildings by Design conference brings together over 1,000 attendees from all over the Northeast, and more than 60 exhibitors annually to Burlington, Vermont. Affordable Efficiency is a focus of the 2019 Better Buildings by Design event, and attendees will share their successes, failures, and strategies for the future. More than 40 workshops are available for attendees, featuring five learning tracks: Building Systems, Business Support, Commercial, Envelope, and Integrated Design.
BRINC Building Products is proud to be a Bronze Level Sponsor for this year’s event, and will be exhibiting ThermalBuck, the high-performance window buck. For a complete list of exhibitors and more information, check out the event homepage here.
Better Buildings: Better Business – February 14th & 15th
Seventh Wave is the force behind the Better Buildings: Better Business conference in Wisconsin.. Their mission is “To advance economic and environmental sustainability through engineering, education and research”. With offices in Chicago and Madison, this non-profit works with utility programs, offering services such as education, financial incentives, and technical assistance for building owners and design teams to exceed the Illinois energy code standards.
The Better Buildings: Better Business conference will be held February 14th & 15th, in Wisconsin Dells, at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center. Nearly 60 exhibitors and sponsors focused on advancing the residential building and remodeling industry are part of the two-day event. It also features multiple workshops and keynote speakers, which will focus on advancing the building industry for a clean energy future. Visit seventhwave.org for a full list of exhibitors.
Want to learn more about energy-efficient organizations in your region? Check out our post, Advancing the Energy Codes, for more information on the six REEOS, or Regional Energy Efficiency Organizations to get started.
BRINC Building Products, Inc. is proud to announce that we will be exhibiting ThermalBuck at this year’s ABX (Architecture Boston) event in Boston, Massachusetts, November 28th-29th. ABX is widely known in the building industry as the largest design and construction event in the Northeast.
Hosted by the Boston Society of Architects (one of the oldest and largest AIA chapters), ABX has been advancing the green building community in the Northeast for over 150 years. The ABX conference is valued for its regional focus – building relationships and a local network in New England, with shared climate, economics, and politics.
This year’s two-day event is expected to draw approximately 8,000 attendees from across the Northeast. It offers over 100 educational sessions, and more than 300 exhibitors covering 50 product categories in the building industry. Features like the Open Architecture Collaborative, CE Learning Zone, and the Design Technology Throwdown provide unique opportunities for collaboration with peer networks.
ThermalBuck has gotten a great response in the Northeast, as builders in New England are more readily using continuous insulation. “ThermalBuck is the product we desperately needed, but didn’t know about. Fortunately it became available and to our attention just in time! We have used it on every project since, even our office renovation,” Alan Benoit, Principal Architect, CPHC, AIA, Sustainable Design of Vermont. ThermalBuck is widely distributed in the Northeast via Boise Cascade, Westfield, MA, (413) 572- 2995. Please contact your local lumberyard for more information.
“ThermalBuck is the product we desperately needed, but didn’t know about. We have used it on every project since, even our office renovation.”
– Alan Benoit, Principal Architect, CPHC, AIA, Sustainable Design of Vermont, Manchester Center, VT
Free Pass for the Exhibit Floor
If you’re a building professional in the New England market, please be our guest on the exhibit floor. Download your FREE PASS, and visit us at BOOTH #824 at ABX on November 28th & 29th.
You’ll see why ThermalBuck is a game-changer in the building material industry, and an ideal solution for energy-efficient architects and builders.
Fairbanks, AK — When ABC Inc. building material expert Jeff Pino discovered ThermalBuck, he knew it was just the right product to meet the needs of his customers who build in one of the most extreme climates in the U.S.
“We have two seasons here – Winter, and Construction,” says Pino, Building Materials Sales, ABC Inc. Fairbanks is located in the Alaskan Interior , and it has the most significant temperature changes in the U.S. The temperatures range from 90°F during the summer, and below −50°F in the wintertime. Heating costs can be extraordinarily high, making energy-efficient design an absolute essential. “We build to extreme energy-efficient standards here in Alaska, and we install a lot of high performance windows,” continues Pino, “The climate demands it.”
“We build to extreme energy-efficient standards here in Alaska, and we install a lot of high performance windows – the climate demands it.”
-Jeff Pino, Building Material Sales, ABC Inc., Fairbanks, AK
Building in Alaska
“When it’s building season, and the daylight runs 24 hours a day, we work as much as humanly possible. Products that save us time are essential,” says Pino.
“ThermalBuck saves money, it saves time – and the thermal break around the window is critical to prevent condensation. We have a company that we work with that does a lot of retrofits – and it’s perfect for that,” says Pino. “In some cases, it almost pays for itself in the reduction in window size. Dropping that inch overall in the size of the window can save the homeowner money – without sacrificing enough glass to make a difference.”
“ThermalBuck saves money, it saves time – we have a company we worth with that does a lot of retrofits – it’s perfect for that.”
-Jeff Pino, Building Material Sales, ABC Inc., Fairbanks, AK
The History of ABC
ABC Inc. was formed 1995, as a local Fairbanks company specializing in maintenance-free seamless steel siding. It has since grown into a full service building material supplier and construction company, focused on energy-efficient, high-performing buildings designed to withstand life in the Arctic. It’s Building Energy Efficiency Standard (BEES) certified staff helps to meet the needs of both builders and homeowners to find the most energy efficient building materials on the market. ThermalBuck joins a premium assortment of high performance building materials carried by ABC Inc., including Alpen HPP Windows, Therma-Tru Doors, and Edco steel roofing and siding.
Although ABC Inc. is located in Fairbanks, as any business located in Alaska – they are masters in logistics. ABC Inc. will ship ThermalBuck anywhere in the state – and provide the customer service and support to ensure a good installation.You’ll find the energy-efficient experts at ABC, Inc. at akabc.com.
Habitat for Humanity’s vision is simple: A world where everyone has a decent place to live. It’s achieving it that’s the complex part. The team at the Central Vermont Habitat for Humanity (CVHFH) is working hard towards that goal, and an even loftier one – building one of the highest performing Habitat for Humanity homes to date, in Randolph, VT.
Energy Efficiency: an Essential Need
Building to higher energy-efficient standards is an important consideration for any building project. But the impact on personal health and well-being can be even more significant when making ends meet is a struggle.
“The fluctuating price of energy goes beyond what our families can afford”, says Bruce Landry, Affiliate Building Chair, Volunteer and Weatherization Technician, CVHFH. “The families we partner with start out with very tight budgets and every dollar counts. An energy-efficient home gives stability in heating costs and utility payments.”
“An energy-efficient home gives stability in heating costs and utility payments.”
– Bruce Landry, Affiliate Building Chair, Central VT Habitat for Humanity
Not Their First High Performance Rodeo
The home build in Randolph was designed by architect Neil Husher, of Vermont Architects Collaborative. Neil brought three original designs to the table for consideration, which he modified to suit this specific plot of land, and fine-tuned the energy-efficient features for maximum impact.
Although the CVHFH chapter had completed a passive home build in the past, it wasn’t an option for the Randolph home. For instance, there wasn’t enough southern exposure to provide sufficient solar gain. Differences in the wall construction also make this design a bit simpler – building to passive is more detailed, and takes more time. It wasn’t that the volunteer building crew couldn’t handle the technical details and complexity of a passive house, it just wasn’t the right fit for this project.
The High Performance Building Components
The two-story house features 2′ x 8′ wall construction, and an impressive list of high performance building materials including: Rockwool Safe ‘n Sound batt insulation, Partel VeraPlus smart membrane, Advantech sheathing, 2.0″ Dow Blue Board Styrofoam XPS insulation, Typar WRB, ThermalBuck high performance window bucks, Pella 350 Series windows, Stego Wrap Vapor Barrier, and an Amvic ICF Foundation.
2.5″ ThermalBuck was selected to extend the mounting point for the windows and doors, insulate the rough openings, and prevent moisture at the rough openings – traditionally a difficult detail of any building envelope. ThermalBuck helps simplify the challenge of mounting the windows with the exterior insulation, and integrating the WRB.
“ThermalBuck makes it easier to do the high performance seals.”
– Anne Walker, Project Manager, Central VT Habitat for Humanity
Employees of BRINC Building Products, Inc., manufacturer of ThermalBuck, will be volunteering to help the CVHFH chapter with their ThermalBuck installation in September, 2018. Keep informed on the next steps of this high performance home by following ThermalBuck on social media:
Energy Efficiency in Vermont: More Accessible than Ever
One of the reasons this build was possible? Because it was in Vermont. Efficiency Vermont, founded in 2000 as the nation’s first energy-efficient utility, provides Vermonters with technical and financial support to improve the energy efficiency of their homes, businesses, and communities.
For Central Vermont Habitat for Humanity, this meant not only a significant refund for achieving an established list of standards, but also personalized help in the support of a consultant, Jennifer Severidt. Jennifer was assigned to the project, and provided not just a few answers, but guidance throughout the entire project, answering specific questions like “What specific heat pump would work best?”
“We wouldn’t have been able to attempt this without Efficiency Vermont.”
– Debbie Goodwin, Executive Director, Central Vermont Habitat for Humanity
Follow this helpful link to view more information about how to work with Efficiency Vermont to receive energy consultation and eligibility for certification, rebates, and third-party testing at efficiencyvermont.com.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat’s mission Is based on the premise that affordable housing plays an integral role in building abundant, strong, and stable communities. Habitat for Humanity is one of the most recognizable efforts to support sustainable housing not only in the U.S, but internationally. To learn more about the efforts of Central Vermont Habitat for Humanity, and how to find local chapters in your area, follow these links:
Habitat for Humanity is not a giveaway program. They offer partner families a no-interest mortgage for their home. In addition to a down payment and monthly mortgage payments, the homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor (sweat equity) into building their new home. Families selected are those who need simple, decent housing, but who are unable to get a loan through any conventional means. Read more about how a family can apply and be selected here.
We’re proud ThermalBuck is an important component of the most energy-efficient house in Vermont, the Green Mountain Power Rutland Innovation Home.
It’s a one-of-a-kind project: a contest created by a utility company, giving away a brand new home to the winning entry of an essay competition. They’re looking for the right person who can contribute their talents and energy to help revitalize the beautiful town of Rutland, Vermont. And they’ll get to do it while living in a brand new, energy-efficient, mortgage free home. We call that a win-win.
The GMP Rutland Innovation Home Contest serves a dual purpose. One, to highlight the strong job market and redevelopment efforts of this beautiful region in Vermont. And two, to showcase the future of building by using the latest building material technology to build an incredibly energy-efficient house, easily replicated in other regions.
“It’s not only just a house that we’re giving away. It’s also a benchmark for what we’re hoping to strive for in the future for how we build homes.”
-- Nick Stone, R.K. Miles Building Material Supplier, VT
NBF Architects designed this 1,500 sq. foot traditional New England farmhouse featuring the latest in smart-home technology. High-performance building materials were used to make the home as energy-efficient as possible. Building material supplier R.K. Miles installed their high-performance wall system, the VOAT-Wall (Vapor Open, Air Tight), featuring The Henry Company Blueskin WRB, Rockwool ComfortBoard mineral wool exterior insulation, 3.0″ ThermalBuck insulating window buck, and Marvin Windows & Doors.
Join us as we take you through training the team from Naylor & Breen Builders on the ThermalBuck installation in Rutland, and you’ll learn some tricks and tips to simplify your installation. Then get moving on that contest entry. The deadline is June 18th.
Installing Nail Flange Windows: Rockwool Exterior Insulation & Henry Blueskin -GMP Innovation House
You can take a video walk through of the house in its final stages by checking out the media coverage it’s received by news networks in Vermont. Follow ThermalBuck on your preferred social media account to follow the progress, and find out who the lucky winner is.
Green Mountain Power is described as an “energy transformation company” providing power and innovative products and services to most of Vermont. Their focus is to help customers use less energy and save money, while meeting their existing energy needs by generating clean, affordable energy. GMP was recently named a Top 10 Innovative Company in Energy. Read more here.
BRINC Building Products, Inc. launched ThermalBuck, the high-performance window buck, in November 2015 at the International Greenbuild Expo in Washington, D.C.
And we’ve been trying to keep up ever since.
Architects and builders recognize the simple solution ThermalBuck presents to the challenge of installing nail flange windows with exterior insulation.
“We are now specifying it on all future projects.
What a time/labor/material savings it is!”
-Alan Benoit, Architect, Sustainable Design of VT
ThermalBuck is a game-changing innovation, that’s been noted by a number of respected media organizations across the building industry.
John Brooks, developer of ThermalBuck, was recognized by Builder Magazine as a HIVE 50 Honoree in the category of Building Technology in the December 2017 issue.
The use of high-performance building envelope materials is increasing, and with it the need for talented, passionate salespeople with a strong knowledge of basic building science principles.
Sales Positions are Open Across the U.S.
Demand for ThermalBuck is rapidly progressing in the Northwest and Midwest regions, and BRINC BP, Inc. is searching for the right partners to take care of our customers. What we’re looking for:
Experience working with architects, builders, and retailers
Building envelope focus in existing product lines
Passion for building science, and customer service
Hands-on approach to education and training
Proven sales record for existing accounts
Dedicated follow-through during all phases of service
If you’re an established sales representative, looking to bring new building material solutions to your customers, you might be just the right fit to represent ThermalBuck. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and tell us why we need you on our team. You’ll be a part of one of the fastest growing, innovative building envelope products in the residential market.
You haven’t heard of us? You’re the only one. Catch up on our media coverage here.
BRINC Building Products, Inc. is headquartered in New Bethlehem, PA. ThermalBuck is manufactured in North America, and sold in the U.S. and Canada. ThermalBuck comes in 7 different sizes, to match the continuous insulation and/or rainscreen depth, and works with all types of exterior insulation. R-value is 4.4 per inch.
Hot, humid climates are not what usually comes to mind when talking about passive design. Historically, the focus has been on buildings with heavy heating needs, not cooling. Everything changed with the release of the PHIUS+ 2015 building standard, which forced the building industry to reconsider passive house design as an economically viable option for humid climates.
The Austin, Texas chapter of the PHIUS is a major advocate for building science education and training in humid climates. They recognized the need for an annual event to broaden the reach of their work, and bring together professionals in similar climates for a shared exchange of ideas and learning. The first Humid Climate Conference was held in 2016, and is rapidly becoming a notable event in the building industry.
“Our mission is to advocate for the adoption of the PHIUS+ 2015 standard in the greater Austin, TX area through education, governmental petition, and targeted industry efforts.”
This year’s event will be held at the A&T Conference Center in Austin, Texas, and provides the opportunity to earn 8 hours of CEUs, with an impressive lineup of speakers and invaluable networking.
Monday begins with one of the most recognizable names in building science, Joseph Lstiburek, presenting, “Water Molecule & 4th State Moisture, Materials, Enclosure” at 10 am. It ends with sought-after media personality and building science promotor Matt Risinger of Risinger & Co., presenting “Lessons Learned in the Evolution of High Performance Enclosures”.
Tuesday’s lineup features a full day of speakers, and wraps up with an after-party at 5:30 pm. The two-day event features a number of sponsors and exhibiting companies, such as the increasingly popular Building Science Podcast, an outreach of Positive Energy, a residential engineering firm in Austin. For a full list of event sponsors, click here.
ThermalBuck + Alpen HPP
ThermalBuck and Alpen are an ideal fit for architects and builders looking for the optimal way to install high performance nail flange windows with continuous insulation.
Alpen is a pioneer in the glazing industry, known for super-high performance insulated glass and award-winning fiberglass windows. Alpen designs and builds some of the most energy efficient window and door products in the world out of their Niwot, Colorado headquarters. They are the first North American manufacturer of passive house certified windows and doors, and offer superior technical support for their customers. Learn more at visit thinkalpen.com.
Take a look below at this quick Q&A with Alpen behind-the-scenes at one of our first Alpen + ThermalBuck installations, in Orderville, Utah.
High-Performance Window Q & A with Alpen Windows
For more behind the scenes videos from this Alpen window installation, visit thermalbuck.com.
For additional information about the Humid Climate Conference and to register for this year’s event, visit humidclimateconference.org. You can also follow the conference updates on instagram. To learn more about Passive House Austin, click here.