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Building a Better Mousetrap: The Development of ThermalBuck

People often look at ThermalBuck and ask, “How did you come up with this idea?”

Like any good idea, it starts with figuring out you’ve got a problem in the first place. And that’s exactly how this whole process began. John Brooks, developer of ThermalBuck, built his family an extremely energy-efficient, well-insulated house. And he was surprised with how frustrating and difficult it was to install the windows.


So you’ve added exterior insulation to a building, and the depth of the insulation extends past the rough opening, where the windows are installed. The question of “What do we do about the windows?” becomes an important consideration – and a real challenge to overcome.

Rough openings have always presented concerns for air & water sealing on any building, and changing the mounting point for the windows makes them even more vulnerable to moisture damage.

High-performance architects and builders have used exterior insulation for years, recognizing the importance of eliminating thermal bridges in the building envelope. Traditionally, most U.S. builders have insulated between the studs, if they decided to use insulation at all.

But the building practices of the past are giving way to innovation.

“If you see a failure on a building, you can pretty much bet that it started with water.”

John Brooks, president, BRINC Building Products, developer of ThermalBuck

More states are adopting IECC energy codes that require continuous insulation, and builders are striving to understand how building science impacts the energy efficiency and quality of their work. Use of exterior insulation in both new construction and renovations is growing significantly, so solving this challenge has become a priority.

Mounting Windows Directly Over Foam

Often builders choose to mount windows and doors right over the exterior insulation, particularly for depths in the .5″ and 1.0″ range. But the nail flange compresses the insulation, creating gaps for air and water to enter. There is also a lack of good support for wide, heavy windows, which can affect the long-term operation of the window. Martin Holliday of Green Building Advisor spoke with Cordell Burton, an installation engineer at Pella Windows, about the issue in 2011.

“You can’t screw through foam sheathing – the foam will compress. You have to have something solid to attach the window to.”

Cordell Burton, Pella, as quoted in Musings of an Energy Nerd, Green Building Advisor, May 2011 

For insulation depths over 1.5″, builders generally built “wood bucks”, made of plywood or dimensional lumber, to extend the mounting point of the window.

The Traditional Wood Buck

While wood solves the problem of extending the mounting point, it creates some new problems of its own in that it often will warp, rot, and shrink.

Wood is a poor insulator, so wood bucks allow air to transfer around each window and door through the rough opening. Cold air is denser than warm air, so in the winter the heated indoor air heads outside, and in the summer, the hot, humid air outdoors moves into the cool air-conditioned interior. This transfer of energy is called thermal bridging, which is what continuous insulation is designed to eliminate in the first place.

 

The Problem with Thermal Bridging

Thermal bridging isn’t just about wasted energy – although a home that’s more expensive to heat and cool and isn’t comfortable is a legitimate problem. But it’s really about water. Builders know if bulk water isn’t managed properly, it can cause extensive damage to a building. But the moisture that forms from condensation also causes issues over time.

Another hidden concern is condensation, which can be a consequence of thermal bridging. When warm air comes into contact with a cold spot on the floor or wall, water vapor in the air cools and collects as droplets on the colder surface. This can result in durability problems, as well as poor indoor air quality,” said Joanna Grab, Senior Sustainability Consultant, Steven Winter Associates.

The more we insulate our buildings, the more important it becomes to reduce the potential for condensation to form – good building sense in any climate.

“Another hidden concern is condensation, which can be a consequence of thermal bridging. This can result in durability problems, as well as poor indoor air quality.

-Joanna Grab, Senior Sustainability Consultant, Steven Winter Associates, as written by Kate Danielsen, High Performance Walls on swinter.com, January 2017

Building a Better Mousetrap: The Process

John Brooks was very familiar with the problems associated with wood bucks. After losing his home in a fire, John built a new home for his family with his own hands. They settled in to make a new start, only to watch as condensation and mold formed around the new windows. Not only did the wood bucks he built cause condensation issues, the flashing process was so difficult that the whole installation process amounted to an exercise in frustration. He began to think there had to be a better way to install windows.

Using his background in construction and his experience in the insulation industry, John began to make prototypes for a product that would be better than a wood buck. It needed to solve multiple problems and still be cost-effective. Here’s the wishlist John had for his new product:

An early attempt at ThermalBuck, EPS without the waterproof coating.
An early attempt at ThermalBuck, EPS without the waterproof coating.
    • Extend the mounting point
    • Prevent the compression of exterior insulation
    • Insulate the rough opening
    • Protect the rough opening from moisture damage
    • Support the window
    • Handle shear & wind loads
    • Provide durability, strength & flexibility
    • Install easily
    • Simplify flashing & integrate with the WRB
    • Maintain the long-term operation of the window.

Anyone who has ever come up with a great idea for a new product will agree that the “eureka” moment doesn’t happen without a long period of not-so-great ideas, that take you back to the drawing board time and time again, testing both your patience – and your determination.

This was no different for John, who spent all of his spare time and most of his money on this project, often struggling not to give up. A chance meeting with some strangers at a restaurant, the desire to build a strong business to help sustain their community, and shared Christian beliefs poured new life into his research. After 4 years of prototypes, trial & error, third-party testing, and an unwavering personal faith, John realized his vision for ThermalBuck as it exists today.

The Innovation: ThermalBuck

ThermalBuck is an L-shaped window buck that goes inside the rough opening, and extends outward to create a flush plane with exterior insulation and/or rainscreens.

ThermalBuck is made of a type XIV high-density EPS, and coated in a waterproof resin. Not only does it have the compressive and shear strength to handle the weight of large, high-performance windows, but it also insulates the rough opening with an R-value of 4.4 per inch to limit thermal bridging around the rough opening.

The High-Performance Future of Building

In 2016, Scott Gibson of Green Building Advisor presented ThermalBuck as “An Alternative to Wood Bucks”, and the building industry took notice.ThermalBuck began to receive widespread media recognition, and garnered a lot of attention at conferences and trade shows, because there was nothing like it – it’s simple to use, and solves a common problem.

“This is an impressive product. Once you see it, you really understand the problem this solves for builders like me.”

-Matt Risinger, Risinger Construction, The Build Show

John met Matt Risinger at the EEBA conference in Dallas, Texas, in 2016. Based in Austin but originally a Pittsburgh native, Matt had a western Pennsylvania connection with John.

Matt is a highly respected builder, educator, and self-proclaimed “building science geek” with over 300,000 followers on his popular YouTube channel, Build with Matt Risinger.

He’s well known for sharing solutions and new products to his thousands of followers – and appreciated for his candor. Risinger took home our tabletop displays to share with his building community and gave ThermalBuck great feedback. John was fortunate to film some videos with Risinger & Co. in Austin, and the building community took notice.

The rest, as they say, is building history.

 

Follow ThermalBuck’s path in the media here.


Want to learn more? We recommend these excellent building science resources: Heat Rises… and Falls – Stack Effect, Air Movement and Heat Flow, Allison Bales, Energy Vanguard. How it Works: Vapor Drive, Rob Yagid, Fine Homebuilding. Plan Ahead to Save Energy – Martin Holladay, Fine Homebuilding. 

 

 

BRINC BP to Expand Sales Force in Midwest & Western U.S.

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


John Brooks, President, BRINC BuildingProducts, Inc

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 thermalbuck@brincbp.com, 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.   

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

 

Performance Haus Inc. to Distribute ThermalBuck Across Canada

Spruce Grove, Alberta, CA — BRINC Building Products, Inc. has recently expanded it’s 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 installation in Canada via Marchand Construction, Edmonton. Josh Marchand is a featured builder presenter at the annual Edmonton Remodeling Show.

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.
  • Havelock natural wool insulation
  • Innotech Windows and Doors
  • SIGA building envelope barriers & tapes
  • Terrafoam graphite enhanced EPS exterior insulation
  • ThermalBuck high performance window buck

 


For information regarding ThermalBuck distribution rights and purchasing in Canada, contact the high-performance team at performancehaus.ca.

 

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:

[contact-form to=”thermalbuck@brincbp.com ” subject=”RVSP Hands On Building Science 12.4.17″][contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”1″][contact-field label=”Job Title” type=”text” required=”1″][contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”1″][contact-field label=”Contact Phone” type=”text” required=”1″][contact-field label=”Company Name & Number of Attendees: Please list job title” type=”textarea” required=”1″][/contact-form]

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


 

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.

 

PHIUS Verified Installation with Alpen

Alpen 925 Zenith Nail Fin Window + 2.5″ ThermalBuck

Energy efficient windows are an essential component of any high-performance building. But the installation was always a challenge for nail flange windows, which have to be mounted on the same plane as the exterior insulation.

ThermalBuck teamed up with North-American passive house window manufacturer Alpen High Performance Products to introduce their PHIUS Verified Window Installation Detail featuring the Alpen 925 Series Fiberglass window with 2.5″ ThermalBuck.

PHIUS Verified Window Installation Data:

Alpen 925 Zenith Nail Fin Window + 2.5″ ThermalBuck 

ThermalBuck effectively limits thermal bridging at the rough opening, provides a superior air & water barrier than a wood buck, and also a strong support for the weight of the window.

Passive house designers and builders now have the data they need to confidently include ThermalBuck into their specifications.


The Alpen HPP Zenith Series ZR-9/ 925 window features up to R-9.1 insulation, 99.5% UV protection, insulated frames, and Alpen Glass, Alpen’s renowned Suspended Film Technology. Every Alpen window has 9 key design features that make these highly engineered windows some of the best in the industry. Read more about the technology and craftsmanship of Alpen windows here.

Alpen High Performance Products is a national distributor for ThermalBuck. thinkalpen.com

ThermalBuck to Present at 2017 PCBC High Performance Home Theater

 

The largest homebuilding trade show on the West coast, the PCBC, will be held June 28th-29th in San Diego, California.

Originally known as the “Pacific Coast Builder’s Conference“, this event has grown since 1959 to attract over 10,000 attendees from all over the world.  


High Performance Home Theater

One of the unique features of the PCBC is the High Performance Home Theater. Held right on the exhibit floor, it focuses on educating attendees about multiple compliance methods for changing energy codes, particularly the 2016 Title 24 Standards mandating High Performance Walls & Attics. 

ThermalBuck presents Solving the Challenge for Builders: Window Installation with Continuous Insulation” as part of the High Performance Home Theater on Thursday, June 29th, 2017. Mark your calendars for 11:30 am, and join us to learn more about how ThermalBuck can simplify your window installation with continuous insulation, and limit thermal bridging in the building envelope.

View a complete listing of High Performance Home Theater presentations here


PCBC – The Art, Science + Business of Housing

Thousands of homebuilders, architects, contractors, remodelers, engineers, and manufacturers from the US, Canada, Mexico (and more than 25 other countries) will meet in California to discover the latest trends in homebuilding innovation.

Not only does the trade show floor feature over 350 exhibitors, the Parade of Products and the High Performance Home Theater, it also offers purchasing agents two different buyer events to maximize their time and focus on meetings with the manufacturers of their choice. 

The National Buyers Circle is an invitation only event, while The Key Buyers Club is open to all exhibitors. To learn more about the differences between these two programs, click here.  

Unique to the PCBC, is the endorsement by the Leading Builders of America (LBA). Teams of national and regional buyers from 20 of the largest publicly and privately held homebuilders in the US meet with PCBC exhibitors, and collaborate to develop the high-level programming for members in the invitation-only, Leader-to-Leader Forum.

The show is sponsored by the California Building Industry Association (CBIA), a statewide trade association dedicated to “building California’s economy by providing quality environmentally responsible housing, creating tens of thousands of good paying jobs, and generating billions in state and local revenues”.

 

Join ThermalBuck on the Exhibit Floor

Consider attending the 2017 PCBC, and see for yourself how this event provides unique opportunities for homebuilders and manufacturers to connect.

Get your FREE exhibit floor pass (use promotional code HANK17), and visit us at Booth #120 June 28th & 29th. You’ll leave the PCBC feeling inspired about the future of energy-efficient building.


View a complete schedule of events, and register to attend the 2017 PCBC here. Plan your visit to the San Diego Convention Center by viewing this complete list of exhibitors on the 2017 PCBC floor plan.

ThermalBuck Installation Demos @JLC LIVE 2017 – Get Your Free Pass & Join Us!

ThermalBuck is headed to JLC Live 2017 on March 24th & 25th at the Rhode Island Convention Center, in downtown Providence.

And we’d like you to be there too!  

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 arena for builders who want to fine-tune their building science knowledge and installation techniques.

Two packed floors of exhibitors await the thousands of builders in attendance, and three days of educational sessions open to all attendees. Register and enter promotion code 61106 to print your FREE PASS!  

 

ThermalBuck Installation Demonstrations

Don’t miss ThermalBuck’s live installation demonstrations at Booth #117 each day at 10:30, 12:30, and 2:30 pm.  See firsthand how simple and consistent window installations are when using ThermalBuck. It solves many of the common challenges wood window bucks create when coupled with exterior insulation.

 

JLC Exhibit Hall

Check out the full event program for a complete listing of clinics, demonstrations, and events 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. Builder Peter Heard, of North Country Carpentry and Restoration Inc. will be showcasing new installation requirements for the Building Envelope.

All work and no play is never a good idea, and plenty of fun is on the schedule.The key networking event is the Welcome Party Friday from 5-6pm, sponsored by Andersen Windows & Doors. Several happy hours and 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.