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 –
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.
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.
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
GMP Rutland Innovation Home Contest
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:
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.
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
A High-Performance Window Buck
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.
Spruce Grove, Alberta, CA — BRINC Building Products, Inc. has recently expanded ThermalBuck distribution into Canada, to meet the growing demand of high performance architects and builders constructing walls with continuous insulation.
“The industry is recognizing exterior insulation as a more effective way to insulate a building. ThermalBuck couldn’t have come at a better time.”
– Jamie Van Gelderen, Performance Haus, Inc.
Canada has long outpaced the US in the adoption of energy efficient building standards. The market for exterior insulation and higher R-value wall assemblies is significant, and builders have been grappling with the challenges of installing windows with exterior insulation.
ThermalBuck – The Continuous Insulation Solution
“Builders have been so receptive to ThermalBuck because it’s such a simple, effective solution to the challenges of installing windows with insulation,” said BRINC President, John Brooks. “From the moment we launched in 2016, ThermalBuck received a great deal of interest from the Canadian market. But we kept putting those inquires on hold, because we just couldn’t keep up with the requests while building the US market.”
Performance Haus – The Right Partner
Meeting James (Jamie) Van Gelderen of Performance Haus, Inc. changed everything.
Jamie impressed us with the personal approach he takes in developing his building material supply company, Performance Haus. His business model is driven by the principles of building science, and outstanding customer service. The commitment to training and installation assistance for Performance Haus customers was exactly what we were looking for in a partnership. A self-described “boots on the ground” entrepreneur, Jamie aims to teach builders to build above building code standards.
“The passion Jamie’s team shares for building science is inspiring. Performance Haus is a driving force in the evolution of energy-efficient building standards across Canada.”
– John Brooks, President, BRINC Building Products, Inc.
Performance Haus offers a carefully curated product line of high performance building envelope materials, with the best reputations in the business. ThermalBuck is the ideal compliment to their existing high performance building envelope product offerings, which feature:
DELTA by Dörken high-performance air & moisture barriers, flashings and tape.
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 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 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.
Vibrant History, Energy-Efficient Future
We had the opportunity to work with Bill and Melinda on a recent net zero deep energy retrofit of a historic Port Ewen home that will soon become the new 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. Bill and Melinda decided to restore it, and move their company into the space. 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.
Net Zero Deep Energy Retrofit with Energy Conservation Specialists & ThermalBuck
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 knew the challenge they presented in creating a thermal break at windows and doors, as well as potential moisture damage in the building envelope.
“You wouldn’t be able to seal a wood buck like that. We can feel confident that everything on the outside is completely sealed.”
-Bill McKnight, CEO, Energy Conservation Specialists
ThermalBuck Integration with The Building Envelope
Bill chose to install his triple pane Earthwise windows with ThermalBuck because it extends and insulates the mounting point to reduce thermal bridging, and create a flush plane for cladding. It also acts as an air and water barrier, and completes the continuous insulation of the building envelope. With his background in building science, he knew it would do a better job preventing moisture than a wood buck in the building envelope.
ThermalBuck Installation with Energy Conservation Specialists, NY
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.