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Texas Builder’s Passion for Passive House Comes to Life

Most people would assume it makes zero sense to build a passive house in a hot climate. The indoor/outdoor temperate differences aren’t as extreme as they tend to be in other climate zones.

But a passive house still offers a huge performance increase from traditional building methods, and a great improvement in the indoor air quality – a major attraction to homeowners. Not to mention the reduction in energy bills. In a cold climate, a passive house is projected to reduce energy expenses by 90%. In a hot climate, more like 70%*.  Still a signifiant savings, and worth the investment in additional time and materials up front.

 

Choosing Investment vs. Expense

From the financial side, the theory is that you’re spending more money on performance, then that money gets divided over the life of your mortgage. If you can spend $30 more a month on a mortgage, while achieving $100 savings a month in utilities – you’re at a major advantage.

Not only does it make a lot of sense, it’s something energy efficient builder Mark Larson, CPHC, Built Green Texas, can readily convey to his clients as a professional builder and consultant. 

“When you allocate your money this way, you’re choosing to invest in the value of your home, not the expense of living in it.

-Mark Larson, CPHC, builder, Built Green Custom Homes, Austin, Texas, and homeowner

 

Performance Metrics Make the Difference

Mark Larson started his career in corporate real estate. He decided to make the leap into building because he loved that side of the business. If he was going to completely change careers and build houses, he wanted them to be the best ones on the market.

That’s how he discovered passive house design. It’s the most stringent building metric in the world, but also the only one that is performance based. It’s not prescriptive like LEED, meaning certified to operate a certain way in theory. Passive houses MUST perform as they are designed, or they don’t achieve passive house certification. They have to hit certain metrics for air tightness, measured with a “blower door test”.  The fact that the performance is completely measurable was much of the appeal.

“I’m a huge fan of performance based metrics – which is exactly what passive house offers. I knew my family would live and breathe in the highest indoor air quality. It really matters.”

-Mark Larson, CPHC, builder, Built Green Custom Homes, Austin, Texas, and homeowner

 

Blower Door Testing

IAQ Texas conducted the initial blower door testing. But Mark didn’t get the results he was hoping

for, so he employed his own blower door contraption to help find leaks. Mark used a 2500 cfm construction ventilation fan and taped roof underlayment around the door opening.

He found some opportunities for better air sealing between the top plates, and at plate boards butted together. The attic hatch was also a source of leaks. Zip tape was sealed into a 90 degree corner, but air leaked out the ends of the length of tape. Some random nail holes and a few casements windows needed slight adjustments to better seal when closed.

Once those changes were made, Mark’s passive house rater from ATS Engineering did another blower door test before adding interior insulation. These results surpassed Mark’s expectations, and made it below the Passive House metric of .6ACH, and hit .57ACH. (via instagram, Feb 1, 2019). This figure is expected to drop even lower once interior insulation and drywall are added.

The Building Envelope

Mark spent a significant amount of time researching the materials he wanted to use for his home. For the building envelope, he used 2″ x 6″ studs, 16″ on center, Zip sheathing, Rockwool ComfortBoard exterior insulation, and Alpen windows. He had discovered ThermalBuck years prior, and was excited about finally having the chance to use it on his own home.

“ThermalBuck simplifies the water, air, and thermal control layers of window and door installation. It solves a specific problem of how and were to flash windows within continuous insulation. ThermalBuck will always be a tool in my design toolbox to solve the complexities of “outies” in CI,” said Larson. 

“It solves a specific problem of how and were to flash windows within continuous insulation.”

-Mark Larson, CPHC, builder, Built Green Custom Homes, Austin, Texas, and homeowner

 

Passive House Austin

Mark is part of a dedicated group of building industry professionals working to make passive design well-known in the Texas market. Passive House Austin promotes the principles of passive design through events, podcasts, workshops, and most notably, the Humid Climate Conference. Held annually in Austin, the Humid Climate Conference recently featured Joe Lstiburek, widely recognized as the leading building science expert in the industry. It draws building professionals from all over the South, to focus on issues specifically related to their climate – offering a huge benefit over national or international events.

To learn more about Passive House Austin, and view more photos from the recent Huber sponsored happy-hour event at Mark Larson’s passive house build with IAQ Texas and Positive Energy, click here.


Helpful Links & More Info:

Mark Larson Instagram
Built Green Custom Homes, Austin Texas
Passive House Alliance – US

* homebuilder estimates from personal research

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. 

 

 

BASF Features ThermalBuck at International Builders Show

BRINC Building Products, Inc. is proud to announce that the BASF Corporation will feature ThermalBuck as a continuous insulation solution in their 2019 exhibit at the International Builders Show on February 19-21st in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

High-performance builders have consistently used a combination of interior and exterior insulation to achieve desired R-values for their wall assemblies. With the rapid adoption of advanced energy codes across the U.S., and increasing demand by consumers for energy-efficient homes, use of continuous insulation is becoming the standard for most builders. As this practice grows, more building professionals, insulation manufacturers, and window manufacturers are becoming familiar with the challenge this presents for window and door installation. 

“BASF has always been an industry leader in building material technology. We appreciate the opportunity to work with them to share best-practice installation details with the building community at IBS.”

-John Brooks, president, BRINC Building Products, Inc., manufacturer of ThermalBuck

 

The Innovations of BASF

BASF is a company well known for its commitment to technological advancements in the building industry. Their Neopor® graphite polystyrene (GPS) rigid foam insulation provides architects and builders with maximum efficiency, cost-effectiveness and sustainability for exterior insulation on construction projects.

Easily recognized for its steel-grey color, Neopor® GPS is comprised of many small pockets of air within a polymer matrix containing graphite. The graphite reflects radiant heat energy like a mirror, increasing the material’s resistance to the flow of heat, or R-value. Most polymer-based foams exhibit a greater ability to slow the movement of heat as the temperature decreases. Neopor® GPS is in a unique class because it increases in R-value as outdoor temperatures drop (neopor.basf.us). 

When it comes to insulating value, Neopor®consistently outperforms traditional EPS, XPS, polyiso, and mineral wool insulation. But like these others, it creates some challenges for window installation. Commonly used in Europe for decades, GPS insulation is now experiencing solid growth in the U.S., and BASF has found ThermalBuck to be an effective solution.

ThermalBuck Continuous Insulation

1.0″ ThermalBuck with 1.0″ Neopor graphite exterior insulation

“Builders have been so receptive to ThermalBuck because it’s such a simple, effective solution to the problems they face when installing windows with foam,” said BRINC President, John Brooks. “When insulation is added to the exterior of any structure, the rough opening remains set back at the sheathing. This can present problems with cladding attachment and trim, and the thicker the insulation – the bigger the problem,” said Brooks. 

The traditional way builders dealt with the different planes was to build a wood buck to match the depth of insulation, install the window, then flash the window and wood buck. But wood is a poor insulator, and creates potential for moisture damage at each rough opening. Not to mention it creates a thermal bridge – a conduit for energy to pass through the rough opening around each window and door. When you’re adding insulation to a building, creating thermal bridges at all of the penetrations is really working against the goal of insulating. 

“Builders have been so receptive to ThermalBuck because it’s such a simple, effective solution to the problems they face when installing windows with foam.”

-John Brooks, president, BRINC

ThermalBuck is a proven solution to the challenges architects and builders face with installing windows with exterior foam. It’s unique “L” shape goes inside the rough opening, and extends outward to match the continuous insulation and/or rainscreen depth, creating a flush plane for cladding.

With an r-value of 4.4 per inch, ThermalBuck insulates the rough opening to prevent thermal bridging. 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 is installed with high-quality window & door sealants, that allow it to act as an additional air & water barrier at the rough opening, simplifying flashing with exterior insulation. Lightweight, flexible, and durable, ThermalBuck comes in 8′ lengths and is cut to fit on site. It’s ideal for both residential and multi-family residential retrofits and new construction.

 

 

 

We look forward to sharing the stage with BASF in Las Vegas at the 2019 International Builder’s Show in Booth PB2, as part of the Professional Builder’s Show Village. Look to BRINC Building Products for more building envelope solutions in the future.

 


 

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.

 

ThermalBuck Now Available in The Last Frontier

Fairbanks, AK —  When ABC Inc. building material expert Jeff Pino discovered ThermalBuck, he knew it was just the right product to meet the needs of his customers who build in one of the most extreme climates in the U.S.

“We have two seasons here – Winter, and Construction,” says Pino, Building Materials Sales, ABC Inc. Fairbanks is located in the Alaskan Interior , and it has the most significant temperature changes in the U.S. The temperatures range from 90°F during the summer, and below −50°F in the wintertime. Heating costs can be extraordinarily high, making energy-efficient design an absolute essential. “We build to extreme energy-efficient standards here in Alaska, and we install a lot of high performance windows,” continues Pino, “The climate demands it.”

“We build to extreme energy-efficient standards here in Alaska, and we install a lot of high performance windows – the climate demands it.”

-Jeff Pino, Building Material Sales, ABC Inc., Fairbanks, AK

 


Building in Alaska 

“When it’s building season, and the daylight runs 24 hours a day, we work as much as humanly possible. Products that save us time are essential,”  says Pino. 

“ThermalBuck saves money, it saves time – and the thermal break around the window is critical to prevent condensation. We have a company that we work with that does a lot of retrofits – and it’s perfect for that,” says Pino. “In some cases, it almost pays for itself in the reduction in window size. Dropping that inch overall in the size of the window can save the homeowner money – without sacrificing enough glass to make a difference.”

 

“ThermalBuck saves money, it saves time – we have a company we worth with that does a lot of retrofits – it’s perfect for that.”

-Jeff Pino, Building Material Sales, ABC Inc., Fairbanks, AK

 

The History of ABC

ABC Inc. was formed 1995, as a local Fairbanks company specializing in maintenance-free seamless steel siding. It has since grown into a full service building material supplier and construction company, focused on energy-efficient, high-performing buildings designed to withstand life in the Arctic. It’s Building Energy Efficiency Standard (BEES) certified staff helps to meet the needs of both builders and homeowners to find the most energy efficient building materials on the market. ThermalBuck joins a premium assortment of high performance building materials carried by ABC Inc., including Alpen HPP Windows, Therma-Tru Doors, and Edco steel roofing and siding.


Although ABC Inc. is located in Fairbanks, as any business located in Alaska – they are masters in logistics. ABC Inc. will ship ThermalBuck anywhere in the state – and provide the customer service and support to ensure a good installation.You’ll find the energy-efficient experts at ABC, Inc. at akabc.com.

 

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.

 

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.

 

 


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

 

 

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.   

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.

 

John Brooks, President, BRINC BuildingProducts, Inc

ThermalBuck Innovator Named “HIVE 50 Honoree” by Builder Magazine

John Brooks, president of BRINC Building Products, Inc., was recognized by Builder Magazine as a HIVE 50 honoree in the category of Building Technology for his development of ThermalBuck.

ThermalBuck, a high-performance window buck, is a simple solution for the challenges of mounting nail flange windows with exterior insulation.

It’s unique L-shaped design goes inside the rough openings for windows and doors, 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. It also simplifies flashing, and creates an additional air & water barrier in the building envelope.

To learn more about ThermalBuck, take a look at our media coverage and recognition here


HIVE – “Transforming the Conversation around Housing”

The HIVE Conference was initiated in 2016 by Hanley Wood, a premier marketing and media company in the residential and commercial construction industry. The two-day event takes place in California, and provides a unique opportunity to bring together a diverse group of talents to address the challenges in housing. Attendees include architects, builders, land developers, community planners, dealers and distributors, developers, manufacturers, policy makers, and more.

“The second annual HIVE Conference is shaping up to be our most ambitious and energizing event yet.”

-Peter Goldstone, CEO, Hanley Wood

The 2017 conference took place December 6th & 7th in downtown Los Angeles, at the Intercontinental hotel. It featured speakers such as Chip Conley, head of global hospitality and strategy, Airbnb, and Steve Case, chairman and CEO, Revolution LLC; co-founder, America Online; and author The Third Wave.

We appreciate the nomination of John Brooks for his development of ThermalBuck, and the recognition of how impactful this new building material technology is to the residential construction industry.

 

HIVE 50

The HIVE 50 are considered the top people, products, and processes that are influencing innovation and high performance technology in the housing industry.

The HIVE 50 nominees and winners are featured in the December 2017 issue of Builder Magazine, ten nominees in each of five categories: Building Technology, Capital, Design, and Strategy.

Fellow nominees that share the Building Technology with John Brooks, include notable building science veteran Joe Lstiburek, Founding Principal of Building Science Corporation, and CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk.

For a complete listing of all nominees for the HIVE 50 in each of the five categories, please visit builderonline.com.

 


Hanley Wood  has focuses it’s business in three main areas: research, media, and marketing. It’s most recognizable media brands include Builder magazine, Architect magazine, and Remodeling magazine. In the conference realm, Greenbuild, ProSales, and JLC Live are just a few of their well known and respected events in the industry. To maintain the conversation with the HIVE community year-round, visit hiveforhousing.com.

ThermalBuck Performs at the 2017 PCBC

The biggest builder’s show on the west coast lived up to the hype – we had an amazing experience in San Diego at the 2017 PCBC. ThermalBuck was fortunate to head into the show a Parade of Products award winner (featured in the Ma2017 issue of Professional Builder Magazine) and a presenter in the High-Performance Home Theater. But the real excitement started when we hit the tradeshow floor.


High Performance Wall & Attic Display

ThermalBuck was a featured product in the High Performance Wall & Attic display, designed to show homebuilders a variety of innovative building envelope products & methods they could use to comply with the 2016 Title 24 Energy Efficiency Standards.

Watch as energy-efficient building consultant Nick Brown of Build Smart Group walks us through the exterior of the High Performance Wall & Attic display, built by Reliable Lumber of Huntingdon Beach.

WATCH: High Performance Walls & Attics – California Title 24 PCBC 2017

Other products featured in the display included Sierra Pacific windows, DuPont Flashing, RMax insulation, Parex One-Coat Stucco, Sun Power solar panels, and more. The display & home-theater presentations were the result of a collaboration between the California Homebuilding Foundation (CHF), California Energy Commission (CEC) and the Workforce Instruction for Standards and Efficiency (WISE) program. The WISE program brings high performance building training to residential builders in California, and plays a significant role in the success of energy-efficient code adaptation in the state. To learn more about upcoming WISE events & initiatives, visit wisewarehouse.org.


“On the House” Radio Spot with The Carey Brothers

Next up was a quick-spot on The Carey Brothers “On the House” radio show, which featured ThermalBuck as one of the “latest and best products” from the PCBC show.  We were in great company with Ply Gem, OXX, Air King, and Boral Roofing to name just a few. The Carey Brothers were very knowledgeable, and great fun – we really appreciated the opportunity to connect with their listeners.

“You need to look for builders who are using products like this – because this is one of the most common leak spots in the home.”

-The Carey Brothers, PCBC 2017

 

READ:  onthehouse.com 


ThermalBuck Named “Innovative Product of PCBC” by Products Magazine

Products Magazine for Residential Construction Professionals

When we said that we had an amazing experience in San Diego, we weren’t kidding!

Last but not least of our highlights from the show was our visit from Nigel Maynard, Editor of Products Magazine, for residential construction professionals. Nigel wrote about the top 8 products that “caught his eye” at the show, and we were proud to have gotten notice as one of the standouts from the show. The list featured a mix of interior and exterior products, including PURewall by Covestro, Stretto door hardware by Emteck, and the new Smart All-in-One Care Washer & Dryer by Whirlpool. Take a look at the complete list here.


The Pacific Coast Builder’s Conference (PCBC) is the largest homebuilding trade show on the West coast. Over 10,000 homebuilders, architects, contractors, remodelers, engineers, and manufacturers will converge in San Diego June 27th-29th, 2017 for this year’s event. Originally known as the “Pacific Coast Builder’s Conference”, the PCBC show has grown since 1959 to attract attendees from all over the world. 

PCBC Photo Gallery

Here’s more of what was happening at PCBC 2017 – don’t miss the show in San Francisco in 2018!

Close-Up of Sierra Pacific window mounted with ThermalBuck
Universal Product Display
PRODUCTS magazine editor Nigel Maynard discovers ThermalBuck
ThermalBuck with stucco cladding
ThermalBuck booth
Did we mention we won a POP award???
We definitely see the benefits!