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Whatever happened to this place and Building Science?

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  • Whatever happened to this place and Building Science?

    Remember all of those cool conversations about rainscreens, flashings, weep holes, end dams? Remember all the guys that we had talking about this stuff?

    All that is left is conversations about air barriers, insulation and ventilation.

    JLC Forum was one of the first in this area, we have been reduced to nothing.
    "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

    Sir Frances Drake

  • #2
    Re: Whatever happened to this place and Building Science?

    Ted:

    I follow 7-8 Building Science sites on Twitter, I get a good daily dose there. I follow Martin Holladay, GBA, Energy Vanguard, Allison Bailes, and a few Solar Energy sites.

    http://www.energyvanguard.com/blog-b...ence-HERS-BPI/
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    • #3
      Re: Whatever happened to this place and Building Science?

      Originally posted by Allan Edwards View Post
      Ted:

      I follow 7-8 Building Science sites on Twitter, I get a good daily dose there. I follow Martin Holladay, GBA, Energy Vanguard, Allison Bailes, and a few Solar Energy sites.

      http://www.energyvanguard.com/blog-b...ence-HERS-BPI/
      Other than Martin, the rest of them are just Greenies stopped up with canned foam.

      I'm talking about the good old days with guys like Paul Fisette.
      "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

      Sir Frances Drake

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      • #4
        Re: Whatever happened to this place and Building Science?

        I don't know about that, Ted. Nothing against Paul Fisette, but read his bio a UMass:

        ... His primary interest is Green Building, which involves the sustainable integration of natural and built environments - See more at: http://eco.umass.edu/people/faculty/....ctitIxRX.dpuf

        I have lost interest in these topics, I think they've been beaten to a pulp already.

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        • #5
          Re: Whatever happened to this place and Building Science?

          Paul used to be a moderator here. He really knows his stuff and goes way back.

          There has been a major shift in the industry. When was the last time we talked about the WRB and drainage? Building science has become more about energy efficiency then moisture control.

          Look, I am no better, my own company drarfs envelope consulting with energy efficiency, my spray rack is out of calibration, blower doors are stacked up.

          These new "Building Scientists" are coming in with no real construction experience, no years of putting walls together.

          I guess that's why I am a JLC holdout, not going to these other sites. Guys here actually build stuff for a living. But seriously, what happened to us?
          "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

          Sir Frances Drake

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          • #6
            Re: Whatever happened to this place and Building Science?

            Originally posted by Ted S. View Post

            These new "Building Scientists" are coming in with no real construction experience, no years of putting walls together.
            Ted:

            I'm not sure who you are referring to specifically, there are some pretty good people who advise and consult who don't necessarily have a lot of building experience. But they have spent years studying this stuff and observing what works. Conversely, there are a lot of people who have and are building new homes who I wouldn't take advise from.

            I think it is hard to generalize. There are 3-4 builders I exchange information and techniques with, we are all interested in building well insulated homes that address all issues you mentioned.
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            • #7
              Re: Whatever happened to this place and Building Science?

              Well then, let's talk about building science:

              http://www.jameshardiecommercial.com...&ts=1396099042
              "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

              Sir Frances Drake

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              • #8
                Re: Whatever happened to this place and Building Science?

                Originally posted by Shellbuilder
                These forums basically suck because of about 5 members.
                I agree Andrew, you hit the nail on the head. Stovepipe's posts are worthless, as are MarkMc, I typically ignore them. And yes they and 3-4 others who have run some good members away. I've been here 15 years and they are the worst I've seen.

                If you really want good Building Science discussion, GBA is the place to go. I bounce between 4-5 forums, I still like JLC, there are occasionally some good discussions here about building or how to run a construction company.

                Allan
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                • #9
                  Re: Whatever happened to this place and Building Science?

                  I have been here 15 yrs now also and Really think Allan has a point .
                  Last edited by joseph; 03-29-2014, 06:17 PM. Reason: doesn't sound right

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                  • #10
                    Re: Whatever happened to this place and Building Science?

                    Back to the OP topic if I may...

                    Ted, the quality of the "Science" nowadays is pretty pathetic. Did you get the email from Hanley about the study on Ground Source Heat Pumps?
                    http://reg.hanleywood.com/rf/4493273...GN0327/a/2492/

                    Here is the gist of it: They built 2 houses side by side in GA, one larger than the other, same builder, same everything, unoccupied, monitored, etc. They got ridiculuosly different results on heat pump efficiency between the 2 houses and their attitude is basically "aw shucks, stuff happens".

                    It's hard to take these people seriously, in fact it's no longer worth the 5 minutes wasted reading it.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Whatever happened to this place and Building Science?

                      For those in the know, where do you go to discuss old topics such as WRBs, wall drainage, flashings, etc?

                      There are two distinct variations of building science. The traditional side from the architecture/engineering side, where the issues are generally about moisture management, like the expertise of NW Architect, and then the environmental side, centered around air leakage and insulation.

                      When I came into the business there was no talk of air barriers. Now it just seems that's all building science is about.
                      "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

                      Sir Frances Drake

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                      • #12
                        Re: Whatever happened to this place and Building Science?

                        Not that I’m a home building historian but, I been reading a new history book that talks about how people started challenging the manufacturing boom back post industrial revolution. Now manufacturing has a stranglehold on building science. If you want useful material performance data it can be hard to find, or believe, based on their data sheets and/or test. We see them claim moisture and fungi resistance in OSB for example, then we see the failures which is in part due to builders not reading the data sheets, or perhaps the mfg not making it clear. So now people are challenging the manufacturers and builders once again, and industry as a whole to cut down on embodied energy.

                        From my point of view coming from a more structured manufactured environment, this industry has A LOT of disconnects. It has sub tiered manufacturing feeding OEM (builders) but the builder has to struggle to understand the material properties and applications. If the Engineer and the OEM where under the same corporate roof that communication would be much better. I have seen tho in the case where the Engineers are in one state, assy line in another, produce very poor communications and a breakdown of the end product. Now even worse in a global market.

                        Now with more onsite assy lines such as ICF, GIGAGRETE, SCIP, SIP, ETC, or a consolidation of sub assemblies and installation BOMs (bill of materials) there is less to discuss. Much of what Ted wants to discuss is gone due to robust consolidation and it will only continue. Go to u-tube look a Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) of homes…last sub-assy I designed resulted in a labor and cost reduction by 2/3 and better more consistence quality. Thats where things will eventually be as they are in most every other industry, automation. Those industries technology will continue to push their way into building science.

                        Test and instrumentation engineering is another science many of the labs and universities try to model for the nation, but cannot. I am currently very involved in this. What needs to happen to fill this void between those Engineers and technicians to better the products life cycle, is monitoring of a national or global cycle through either lab or field test. Builders with instrumentation that collect data based on ISO test standards that yields the same parameters tested. The test plan needs people that have that experience. This whole process needs to be feed back to the design, build, test, process and it is not now.

                        So I disagree Ted there should more integration not separation of building science, just as a building should be integrated to its surroundings.

                        So what you end up with is a disconnected corporate structure here. You can discuss things all day and night on forums and make no progress. How often do your see test results from builds or pointing to data sheets, or people that really understand thermodynamics, etc, with actual experience resulting from a build or lab on a forum? Look at some of the ASTM, ASHRAE, LE standards being written by committees that have no clue of what is happening on a national level, only in a limited prototype build or lab. More advanced industries have constant communication loops with their clients and builds from maintenance and reliability, spares departments fed back to design, that is hard to do here with advanced building science.

                        It is annoying to get emails only to read a bunch of crap that is off topic, especially when you are seriously trying to improve your business. I think Chad said it best, if you do not have experience with something and I mean “REAL” experience not just from internet don’t post. I stop reading all the builders trying to be degreed engineer w only their post as off as they are just a waste of time to respond. I tried Greenbuildingtalk and same for GBA IMO. GBT all I found was some smart college kids that could write and use big words, but when I asked for data to back their theory had none.

                        You’ll find me mainly in Building Science for that reason. My strongest contribution is 30 years of related Engineering and test(lab/field) and I always welcome input and/or debate but, before you say I am wrong you should have a strong case to prove it since I will ask you for data. You won’t find me in the building forums offering hands on advice I know my limits, even in Engineering. I’m not a very good writer and don’t have a lot of big fancy words either, type slow too and hate politics. 

                        Originally posted by Chad Fabry View Post
                        Even though I don't participate much, I read every post in this forum and many posts in the other forums as well.

                        The single most important attribute of the Building Science forum is the fact that you participants contribute quality information, discuss theory as theory and qualify speculation as speculation. When speculation or theory is promoted as though it were defensible fact, it turns information to misinformation.

                        Sprinkle in some belligerence and sophistic statements and the entire forum library becomes suspect. I think there is too much valuable content here to allow it to be tainted with uncertainty.
                        In a short time being here and new to this type construction, I've learned alot from the site and appreciate it :)
                        Last edited by CASHCOW; 03-29-2014, 02:48 PM. Reason: spelling

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                        • #13
                          Re: Whatever happened to this place and Building Science?

                          I started this Thread with the genuine intent to get some good conversation going about the issues we used to talk about such as rainscreens, flashings, drainage planes. I really feel we here were the real pros on this stuff at one time. I really miss those days.

                          I hadn o idea the Thread would spiral uncontrollably as it did so I would most certainly no be offended if it is deleted. I am left feeling quite stupid I even hang out here if we can't talk about the issues most important to us.

                          I thought the new James Hardie multifamily requiments would atleast draw some attention.
                          "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

                          Sir Frances Drake

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                          • #14
                            Re: Whatever happened to this place and Building Science?

                            Originally posted by Ted S. View Post
                            I started this Thread with the genuine intent to get some good conversation going about the issues we used to talk about such as rainscreens, flashings, drainage planes. I really feel we here were the real pros on this stuff at one time. I really miss those days.
                            Ted:

                            My observation is if you want to discuss rain screens, flashings, and drainage planes then you should start some threads about these topics and link to sites associated with them. And then post your opinions and thoughts about these topics. Anytime there are posts about "the good old days" or the general current state of JLC, it always turns into a what this thread has, an opportunity for people to blow off steam and criticize.

                            By the way, I quickly counted the # of posts in the Building Science forum in the last 30 days, and there have been over 400 posts. That doesn't count building science topics on other JLC forums. Of course not all of those posts are pure on-topic building science, but there is still a fair amount of activity here.
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                            • #15
                              Re: Whatever happened to this place and Building Science?

                              Originally posted by Ted S. View Post
                              Well then, let's talk about building science:

                              http://www.jameshardiecommercial.com...&ts=1396099042
                              By the way Ted, I took a quick look at your link. Interesting that Hardie now requires a 3/8" furring behind their panels in commercial and multi-family. They linked to some reference material, including Building Science Corp, I thought this was the best:

                              http://archive.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/obj/ir...tu-n34_eng.pdf

                              In their FAQ, they were asked why this new requirement does not apply to residential or their lap siding, answered as follows:

                              Inherent in lap siding design is the provision of drainage at the laps and drying through the airspace that exists behind each plank. By virtue of their design, panels lie flat to the wall and limit the amount of drying and drainage that can occur behind them. Industry best practices for stucco and other such claddings that lie flat to the wall would suggest that creating an airspace behind them is a good approach. In all cases a rainscreen assembly is a good building practice for all claddings/applications.
                              On a single-family residence more than likely the application would be traditional applications, 1-2 storey, covered by rooflines and typically in lower risk applications and locations on the building. On a multi-family structure there are more complex details, and larger expanses of flat walls up to 6 stories. In all cases a rainscreen assembly is a good building practice for all claddings/applications.
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