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Energy Efficiency is a Necessity for Habitat

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.

8-1-18-window-detail

 

“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.

 

ThermalBuck Now Available Through Boise Cascade

BRINC Building Products, Inc. has expanded ThermalBuck distribution in the Greater Northeastern U.S. through Boise Cascade, a leading wholesale distributor (and manufacturer) of building materials for more than 50 years.

What started as a merger between two lumber companies back in 1957, Boise Cascade has grown into a powerhouse in the building materials industry, with gross sales over $1 billion in just the first quarter of 2018. Growth of Boise Cascade stock is currently outpacing the industry, with no signs of slowing.

Boise Cascade distributes a wide range of building materials from well known national brands such as Boral, Georgia Pacific, GCP Applied Technologies, Johns Manville, and Simpson Strong-Tie.

“Boise Cascade is excited to add ThermalBuck to our portfolio of A-level products. We believe this innovative product will provide our customer base with a solution to a common problem.”

– Dan Morgado, Sales Manager, Boise Cascade


ThermalBuck 

The timing couldn’t be better, as use of continuous insulation continues to grow in New England.

Builders in this region have recognized the long-term cost savings associated with exterior insulation for years, and are all too familiar with the problems wood bucks introduce.

“Architects and builders have been so receptive to ThermalBuck because it’s such a simple, effective solution to the challenges of installing windows with exterior insulation,” said John Brooks, President of BRINC Building Products, Inc. However, there is always a learning curve with a new product, which is why BRINC has been selective about choosing retailers and distributors that offer ThermalBuck. 

“Not only were we impressed with their quick response times, but Boise Cascade offers it’s customers outstanding installation training and support. The high standards that Boise Cascade exhibits were exactly what we were looking for to help meet the growing demand for ThermalBuck,” continued Brooks.

 

“The high standards that Boise Cascade exhibits were exactly what we were looking for to help meet the growing demand for ThermalBuck.”

 – John Brooks, President, BRINC Building Products, Inc.

 

Boise Cascade, headquartered in Boise, Idaho, offers retailers a broad product catalog of building materials. We’re proud ThermalBuck has joined their existing high performance building product offerings, which include:

  • Engineered Woods
  • Dimension Lumber and Studs
  • Structural and Specialty Panels
  • Boards and Trim
  • Decking and Railing
  • Speciality Wood Products
  • Siding, Doors, Insulation
  • Housewraps, Flashing, and Waterproofing
  • Metal and Roofing Products
  • Gypsum and Backer Board
  • Adhesives, Caulking, Sealants, and More
  • For a complete listing, please visit boisecascade.com 

 


For purchasing information through Boise Cascade, please contact the
Westfield, MA Distribution Center at #413.572.2995. boisecascade.com 

 

 

 

 

Training Day: GMP Rutland Innovation Home

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

 

The Home

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.


The Team

Green Mountain Power, NBF Architects, Naylor & Breen Builders, and the United Way of Rutland County, organized the collaboration. It was made possible with the generous support of R.K.Miles Building Materials Supplier, and nearly 60 manufacturers such as Henry, Rockwool, Tesla, and ThermalBuck, who donated their high-performance materials. The talented crew from Naylor & Breen Builders volunteered their time and manpower to make the house come to life.


The Video – Training Day

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.

ThermalBuck.BRINC        thermalbuck_windowbuck       @ThermalBuckThermalBuck 


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

 

 

ThermalBuck to Exhibit at Humid Climate Conference

ThermalBuck joins our high performance partners from Alpen windows to exhibit at the 2018 Humid Climate Conference in Austin, TX, on May 21st – 22nd. We will showcase our joint PHIUS Verified Psi-Installation, featuring the Alpen 925 Zenith Nail Fin window with 2.5″ ThermalBuck.

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.”

– Passive House Austin (PHAUS), as quoted on passivehouseaustin.org 

 

2018 Humid Climate Conference

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

Alpen 925 series fiberglass window with 2.5" ThermalBuck window buck 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.  

 

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

 

You Could Win the Most Energy Efficient House in VT!

Ready for a major life change? Then this contest is definitely worth a look. Green Mountain Power is giving away the most energy-efficient house in Vermont. Sharpen up your keyboard, and submit a 500 word essay detailing why you want to live in the Rutland Innovation House, and how you would contribute to the vibrant Rutland community  – and you have the opportunity to win.

 

The GMP Rutland Innovation Home Contest

The GMP Innovation Home provides a unique opportunity to promote energy-efficient building, and to showcase the beautiful town of Rutland, Vermont. Rutland County is experiencing significant growth, and needs to attract talented people to enhance this vibrant community to fill the demands for a skilled workforce. It’s a beautiful area of Vermont, with great schools, a strong local business sector, vibrant downtown and a strong creative community.

“We’re giving folks all around the country the opportunity to submit a reason why they should be the ones to live in this amazing house.”
-Mary Powell, CEO, Green Mountain Power 

 

 

The House & Building Materials

Green Mountain Power, Naylor & Breen Builders, NBF Architects, and the United Way of Rutland County, developed this unique contest to give away a brand new, fossil fuel-free home to promote the latest in technology and green building. This impressive collaboration features more than 60 local businesses and national building material suppliers, like ThermalBuck, working together to promote the future of green building.

“I look forward to welcoming into the neighborhood whoever is lucky enough to move into that house.”
-Carol Tashie, Rutland Vermont resident, via GMP 

 

The house itself, is a 1,500 sq. foot traditional New England farmhouse featuring the latest in smart-home technology, and the high-performance building materials needed to conserve energy. Building material supplier R.K. Miles will be installing their trademarked R-Wall System, featuring The Henry Company Blueskin WRB, Rockwool Comfortboard mineral wool exterior insulation, 3.0″ ThermalBuck insulating window buck, and Marvin Windows & Doors.

ThermalBuck is proud to be a part of this project, and will be documenting the installation to share via our social media sites. To keep up with the progress each week, follow us on your preferred account:

  ThermalBuck.BRINC          thermalbuck_windowbuck            @ThermalBuck           ThermalBuck 

 


Contest Details

Not only will could you win this energy-efficient house, but the people of Rutland want to help you build your life here. You’ll be connected with a local “concierge” to provide assistance with job searches, a warm welcome from business and personal contacts,  and free co-working space at GMP’s Energy Innovation Center in downtown Rutland. Free house, new job, new community, new life. Why not?

Curious to learn more about life in Rutland? There are plenty of great resources around  – let’s get started!

 

Ready for change? Get your entry in before the deadline May 25, 2018. Contest details & official rules available at greenmountainpower.com.

 


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 people use less energy and save money, while at the same time, continuing to meet the existing energy needs of their customers by generating clean, affordable energy. GMP was recently named a Top 10 Innovative Company in Energy. Read more here

 

 

It’s time for JLC LIVE – Get Your Free Pass

ThermalBuck is headed to JLC Live 2018 on March 23rd & 24th at the Rhode Island Convention Center, in downtown Providence.

And we’d like you to be there.

JLC Live New England is widely known as the best hands-on construction show in the business. Focused on live product demonstrations and popular building clinics, this show stands out as a great training opportunity for builders who want to fine-tune their building science knowledge and installation techniques.

 

“JLC Live is the one show all year that I can promise you, we won’t miss.”

-John Brooks, President, BRINC Building Products, Inc.


Two packed floors of exhibitors await the thousands of builders in attendance, and three days of educational sessions open to all attendees. If you’re not already planning to attend this year’s show, we invite you to be our guest.

Register and enter promotion code EX255 to print your FREE PASS to the expo hall

 

ThermalBuck at JLC

The 2017 show was our first time at JLC, and it couldn’t have been better. The highlight was when the Journal of Light Construction Senior Editor, Tim Healey, stopped by to shoot a short video to introduce ThermalBuck to readers of JLC who might have missed the show.

“This is one of the coolest new products I’ve seen.”

– Tim Healey, Senior Editor, The Journal of Light Construction, JLC Live 2017

 

 

Booth #409 is where you’ll find ThermalBuck at the 2018 show, on the upper level, right in front of the BUILDING ENVELOPE clinics. We’ll be focused on how ThermalBuck solves many of the common challenges wood window bucks create:  the potential for moisture damage, shrinking, warping or rotting – all things that challenge the long term operation of windows. Not to mention wood is a thermal bridge, the very kind you’re trying to eliminate by adding continuous insulation in the first place. You’ll be able to compare the flashing steps for wood bucks vs. ThermalBuck, and see how much easier it is to install and flash.

 

Workshops & Clinics

Check out the full event program for a complete listing of clinics, and demonstrations that you won’t want to miss. Add to your to-do list “Moisture Management” through proper window installation and flashing, taught by industry veteran Bill Robinson of Train2Build. You’ll want to catch builder Steve DeMetrick too. He’ll be demonstrating new installation requirements for the “Building Envelope”. His clinics on Detailing Exterior Rigid Insulation, Innies and Outies, and The Basics of High Performance Walls, are sure to be some of the best ones at the show.

 

Networking at JLC Live

All work and no play is never a good idea, and plenty of fun is on the schedule. Check out all of the great networking events, but don’t miss the Welcome Party Friday night from 5pm – 6pm in the Level 5 JLC LIVE Lounge. Meet-ups offer great opportunities for fellow attendees and speakers to connect and relax.

Since the March weather feels a lot like winter, take a few days off of the job site to expand your knowledge and invest in your training and skills in New England. The payback will be worth it.


JLC LIVE presents multiple shows across the U.S.  The signature show is JLC Live New England, held every March on the east coast.  Out west, you’ll want to attend JLC LIVE Northwest, held in December in Portland. The Remodeling Show & Deck Expo features a more intimate format, and is scheduled for Nashville in October 2017.    The official media sponsors of JLC LIVE include The Journal of Light Construction (JLC),  Tools of the Trade, and Remodeling magazine.  

ThermalBuck to Exhibit at 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.

“Our statewide and coordinated efforts provide equity, fairness and transparency—ensuring that every Vermonter has access to affordable products and services to lower their energy use.”

– Karen Glitman, Director of Efficiency Vermont, as quoted on vermontbiz.com 

Efficiency Vermont was established in 1999, with the purpose of reducing energy costs and protecting the natural beauty of Vermont’s environment. It offers a number of opportunities for Vermont contractors, distributors, design professionals and homeowners to connect, and work together to save energy – and money.

One of their key initiatives is also the region’s leading design and construction conference, Better Buildings by Design.

 

Better Buildings by Design – February 7th & 8th

ThermalBuck extends, insulates, and flashes the rough opening. Integrated with Henry Blueskin WRB.
We sure get this whole “integrated design” concept. Recent ThermalBuck installation in Manchester Center, VT.

The Better Buildings by Design conference brings together over 1,000 attendees from all over the Northeast, and more than 50 exhibitors to Burlington, Vermont, February 7th & 8th, 2018.

Interactive learning is a focus of the 2018 Better Buildings by Design event, presenting practical information and the latest trends and technologies in the building industry.

Over 40 workshops are available for attendees, featuring five learning tracks: commercial, building systems, lighting, envelope, and healthy homes.

BRINC Building Products is proud to announce that we will be exhibiting ThermalBuck at this sold-out event, joining a select group of exhibitors that range from retailers like Curtis Lumber Co. and 475 Building Performance Supply, to manufactures of energy-efficient products like Roxul, Inc., Siga, and Smart Vent.

 

 

Putting It All Together – Integrated Design

This year’s theme “Putting It All Together – Integrated Design,” emphasizes the focus of the workshop content, and a key strategy of the presenters. Attendees can choose from a wide range of topics that include Integrated Teams, Integrated Project Delivery, and Integrated Design in a variety of scenarios.

Take a look at the full schedule of events, speakers, and listing of exhibitors here.

The opening session kicks off with awards honoring “Efficiency Vermont’s 2018 Best of the Best in Building Performance and Home Performance.” Attendees can view the plans, drawings, and photos of these award-winning homes and commercial buildings throughout the conference.

Wednesday evening, February 7th from 4:45 – 7:00 pm, attendees and exhibitors invite colleagues, clients and subcontractors to a reception in the exhibit hall that is open to the public. The reception features complimentary beverages and hors d’ oeuvres, as well as a cash bar. The exhibit hall will also be open to the public Thursday, February 8th from 1:30 – 3:30 pm.

While the exhibitor opportunities have sold out, you can still make plans to register and attend the conference. Or join us for the public reception Wednesday evening, and get a taste of what Better Buildings by Design is all about. Visit efficiencyvermont.com for more information.

 


The ACEEE published the most recent State Energy Efficiency Scorecard in September, 2017. This report ranks every state in the U.S. for their efforts in energy-efficiency, providing an extremely valuable tool for understanding how states handle and recover from severe weather related events such as hurricanes and flooding. The results guide state-level policymakers in their efforts to build more resilient local communities. To review key findings of this report, visit aceee.org

Hands-On Building Science with Matt Risinger & ThermalBuck

December 4, 2017 – Risinger & Co. Headquarters – Austin, TX
Don’t Miss this Event!

Risinger & Co. will present “Hands-On Building Science with ThermalBuck,” to the Austin green building community. You’ll see how easy it is to integrate ThermalBuck into a high-performance wall, to simplify the installation of windows with exterior insulation. Join your fellow architects, builders, energy consultants and more for this informative Lunch & Learn – just RSVP to save your space by December 1st!

December 4, 2017 @ 12 pm – Risinger & Co. Austin Headquarters 
Window Installation with Exterior Insulation featuring ThermalBuck 

Lunch & Learn with the Austin Green Building Community
5126 Burnet Rd, Austin TX 78756

RSVP required. Space is limited.

RSVP for Hands-On Building Science 12.4.17 in Austin – you will be contacted for confirmation:

Please contact us for more details, and follow us on social for specifics about the materials that will be part of this high-performance wall demonstration. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this event for the Austin green building community!

Risinger & ThermalBuck: A High-Performance Duo

It was just about a year ago when Matt Risinger introduced ThermalBuck to his thousands of YouTube followers. We had recently met Matt in 2016 at the Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) Conference in Dallas, TX, and he took home our tabletop displays to show to his loyal building science fans through a short video on Risinger Goes Rogue.

“Check out this brand-new product a builder in Pennsylvania invented – very cool.”

-Matt Risinger, Risinger & Co., The Build Show   

 

Matt recognized ThermalBuck as a smart, simple solution to the challenges builders face when installing windows with continuous insulation. He also taught us about the importance of using only high-performance products in the building envelope (bye-bye, junky housewrap).

A ROESE between two…Matt Risinger & John Brooks at the 2016 EEBA conference.

WATCH:  Risinger Goes Rogue featuring ThermalBuck 

Matt is well-known for his expertise in building science, and his comfortable way of teaching others how to use to become better builders. Now we’re teaming up with Risinger & Co. at their Austin headquarters for a ThermalBuck installation demo – and we’re inviting you to join us.  

 

Risinger & Co.

Matt’s company, Risinger & Co. is a sought-after Austin builder known for beautiful craftsmanship and attention to detail. But they’re also recognized for building some of the highest performing homes in Texas, and utilize a building science based approach to every project.

“Every project we take on includes our goal of delivering a home that provides for improved health, enhanced durability, increased efficiency and greater comfort than any home you’ve lived in before.”

-Matt Risinger, Risinger & Co., The Build Show

After many years of production homebuilding, and continually honing his skills and knowledge, Matt’s  outstanding reputation has led him to now work primarily on architect driven projects, many of them award-winning. Most recently, for their work on a Design Office by Alterstudio Architecture, LLP – awarded a 2017 AIA Austin Design Award.

For more information about all of the 2017 award winners, visit aiaaustin.org.

We appreciate Matt sharing ThermalBuck with his avid followers, and look forward to our demonstration in Austin with Risinger Homes. One thing we can be certain of, is that everyone (including us) will learn a thing, or two.


Risinger Homes (now Risinger & Co.) started building exclusively for architects in 2005. Matt’s building science expertise has been documented in Fine Homebuilding, The Journal of Light Construction, and Custom Home Magazine, to name a few. He is also an award winning blogger, the two-time winner of the JDR Best Blogger Award. Enjoy the beauty and craftsmanship of Matt’s work through his instagram account, twitter, or facebook. The Texas building statistics sourced for this post were found at investopedia.com. 

Net Zero Energy Retrofit in Vermont - Ready for Roxul

Perfecting an Energy-Efficient Haven in Vermont

It’s a pleasure to work with architects to solve the challenges of retrofitting existing structures. When they specify ThermalBuck for their own personal projects, it becomes a real privilege.

Alan Benoit, Principal Architect, Sustainable Design of Vermont, chose ThermalBuck to mount his energy efficient windows for his net-zero energy office space, and we jumped at the chance to work with him personally on the installation.

 

A Passion for Sustainability

Alan & Nancy Benoit are an incredibly talented team. Alan is an award-winning certified Passive House Consultant & Architect, Nancy is a skillful designer of everything from footwear to furniture.

Together they focus on utilizing reclaimed and repurposed materials for their personal passion project: the inviting home, garden, workspace, and guesthouse they’ve created together on their remarkable homestead in Vermont.

“Be patient. Never settle if it’s not right.”
– Nancy Benoit, as quoted in Vermont Magazine

There is a reason their work stands out, and you can see why in the philosophy that guides them. Everything is built with respect and consideration for preserving and stimulating the natural environment, promoting a harmonious lifestyle in an inspiring setting.

Vermont Magazine recently featured their beautiful spaces in their Sept/Oct 2017 issue – you’ll love seeing the details and reading in-depth about their design process.

 

Sustainable Design of Vermont

 

We could get used to sustainable living.
We could get used to sustainable living.

Sustainable design is the focus of their work, whether new construction or a simple addition to an existing structure.

In addition to running their own businesses, Alan is extremely active in the Vermont green building community, and volunteers his time and knowledge through his Sustainable Living Series.

When you work with people who live & breath sustainability, even lunch is a treasured experience, with homegrown tomato sandwiches fresh from the garden.

 

Net-Zero Energy Retrofit

Local architects, builders & craftsman watch the ThermalBuck installation in Manchester Center, VT.

In 2017, Alan & Nancy decided to relocate their growing business to the beautiful barn they had build a decade ago on their property.

It was time to plan a full blown net-zero energy redesign, capable of meeting their needs year round. 

They planned to insulate the interior and exterior walls, insulate the roof, and install new energy efficient windows, mounted with ThermalBuck. Complete air & water sealing for a tight building envelope is essential in achieving net-zero energy.

Working in conjunction with building materials supplier RK Miles, Alan arranged a demonstration of ThermalBuck for local architects, builders, and fellow green-building enthusiasts. We couldn’t have asked for more when Alan gave us his feedback on using ThermalBuck to mount 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 

Materials 

  • 2.5″ ThermalBuck high performance window buck
  • 2″ Roxul Comfortboard
  • Henry Blueskin WRB & Flashing system
  • 5-1/2″ dense packed cellulose on interior walls
  • 2″ foil-faced polyiso for the roof slope, 3″ for ceiling flat
  • 1″ closed cell spray foam for the roof
  • 9″ dense packed cellulose on the remaining roof slope & flat ceiling cavity
  • Marvin Integrity casement windows

 

Details Make the Difference

2.5″ ThermalBuck prevents compression of the Roxul, and insulates the rough opening.

Knowledge of building science is especially important on retrofits, as installation details often require modification based on the uniqueness of the project.

Alan & Nancy wanted to reuse their vertical cedar siding, which meant running the rainscreen horizontally. Drainage would not be an issue, as Alan planned gaps every 2′ for ventilation, and has a screen at the bottom, and vented space at the top of the walls.

Roxul permits water to drain through it as well, allowing the horizontal strapping to properly dry out. The building will have a HRV system, and the Benoit’s have planned to utilize a community solar project in order to achieve net-zero energy.

The barn renovation is projected to be complete in December, 2017. It was inspiring to work with Sustainable Design of Vermont, and we look forward to following Alan & Nancy on the rest of their net-zero journey.

 

ThermalBuck Installation Gallery

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Sustainable Design of Vermont is presenting their next Sustainable Living Series on November 16th, at 6:30 pm at the Manchester Center Vermont Public Library. Alan will explain the major elements of “Building Science”, in hopes of helping homeowners avoid common mistakes with renovations. To learn more, visit sustainabledesignofvt.com.

 

New ThermalBuck Sizes Available – Up to 4″

NEW BETHLEHEM, P.A. — (September 2017) — BRINC Building Products, Inc. has recently expanded it’s ThermalBuck product offerings to include additional sizes up to 4.0″, to meet the needs of architects and builders constructing walls with greater depths of continuous insulation.

With the rapid adoption of advanced energy codes across the U.S., and the increasing demand by consumers for energy-efficient homes, the market for exterior insulation and higher R-value wall assemblies is growing exponentially. 

 

ThermalBuck Continuous Insulation

“Builders have been so receptive to ThermalBuck because it’s such a simple, effective solution to the challenges of installing windows with foam,” said BRINC President, John Brooks. “But we kept hearing from customers in the net-zero and passive house markets who wanted to use ThermalBuck, yet are building walls with above-code exterior insulation and needed more sizes.” High-performance builders generally utilize a combination of interior and exterior insulation to achieve the desired R-value of the wall assembly.  

ThermalBuck is a proven solution for builders trying to solve the challenges associated with installing nail flange windows with continuous insulation. It extends and insulates the mounting points of windows & doors to create a flush plane for cladding.

The unique “L” shape goes inside the rough opening, and extends outward to match the continuous insulation and/or rainscreen depth. It supports the window and allows structural attachment, transferring shear and wind loads to the framing. Made of a high-density EPS with a waterproof coating, ThermalBuck comes in 8′ lengths and is cut to fit on site. ThermalBuck also acts as an additional air & water barrier at the rough opening, simplifying flashing with exterior insulation.

 

Expanding our product line up to 4″ to accommodate wall assemblies with thicker insulation allows us to better serve high-performance builders.”

-John Brooks, President, BRINC

ThermalBuck R-Value Range 4.4 – 17.6

ThermalBuck originally launched in the fall of 2015 with depths of 1.0 ”, 1.5”, 2.0”, and 2.5”.  The additional sizes, 3.0”, 3.5”, and 4.0”, allow more architects and builders to incorporate ThermalBuck into their plans for high-performance wall assemblies. To view detailed drawings of each of the seven sizes of ThermalBuck, see product dimensions

“Our customers appreciate the additional opportunity to increase the R-value of their wall assemblies by adding up to 17.6 (R-value) around rough openings”, Brooks continued. “Utilizing ThermalBuck has significant impact on the energy-efficiency of the entire building envelope, reducing the thermal transfer through rough openings by 2:1 over traditional wood bucks.”


To learn more about energy-code adoption by state, visit the Building Codes Assistance Project. To read more about continuous exterior insulation, see what the experts at JLC online recommend as best practices. For great advice on choosing the right wall assembly, visit greenbuildingadvisor.com.