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  1. #1
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    Default A Good Thread from Martin's Blog

    This may give many of you insulating and sealing up buildings pause to think, my favorite statement:
    Quote Originally Posted by The Green Building Advisor
    My favorite line from Building Science Corporation's Summer Camp a few years back came from Jan Kosney from the Fraunhofer Institute in Bavaria who said "Buildings work just fine until you insulate them. Get rid of the insulation, and you eliminate the problems"
    Lost of money is going to be made suing Green builders who don't know what they are doing, the sad part is they now have this insanity in the building codes all of this is being brought onto this industry by the "save the planet" fanatics and those who can be best described as just plain cheap.

    I give Martin credit for leaving this thread up, like I gave him for his 10 year old JLC article when he got Milgard's head engineer to admit that European windows were better than U.S. windows.
    “It is not an endlessly expanding list of rights —the “right” to an education; the “right” to health care; the “right” to food and housing. That is not freedom. That is dependency. Those are not rights. Those are the rations of slavery – hay and a barn for human cattle.” - Alexis de Tocqueville

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A Good Thread from Martin's Blog

    What a generous spirit you possess, Dick.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A Good Thread from Martin's Blog

    From a technical point of view, there are (at least) three problems with insulating and sealing:
    1) Occupants and systems generate excess moisture inside.
    2) Eventually all buildings leak water, both from the outside and from systems.
    3) Building components (and people) generate 'stuff' you don't want inside the buildings
    Super insulating and sealing traps that stuff, either inside the building, or inside the wall cavities.

    Building designers can try to design around those problems, and building owners can hire contractors in an attempt to maintain those buildings, but neither seems to do so very well.
    Dick's point is that if you don't seal the building up so tight, it doesn't matter.

    I think there is a whole new level of design that needs to be implemented if you are going to super-insulate and seal, and that is to design to account for the failures and moisture intrusion that is going to occur. For example, insulation pockets can be vented for most of the year and only sealed when it is very cold or very hot. Doing that passively is the trick.

    Designers and builders often don't even get the basics right, for example, we build basements that will sooner or later flood and use wood, drywall, insulation and similar components that will rot and mold, when block or tile could easily be used (like they used to in the 1920s).

    It's not that it is impossible to build well insulated buildings that work well and fail gracefully, it's just that most don't do it. (Even I used studs and sheetrock in my own basement... I should have used block or tile..)
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: A Good Thread from Martin's Blog

    BB

    What would be your wall assembly recommendation in a hot humid climate.
    ============================================

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: A Good Thread from Martin's Blog

    BB, if a basement is constructed properly it will not flood. Sure, broken pipes can occure but you should have floor drains. In the 1920's they had know idea how to build basements properly.
    ~Kent~

  6. #6
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    Default Re: A Good Thread from Martin's Blog

    Quote Originally Posted by Allan Edwards View Post
    BB

    What would be your wall assembly recommendation in a hot humid climate.
    Allen, do you folks use a vapor barrier(plastic) on the inside face of the studs? It would seem to me you guys would have some condensation issues to contend with.
    ~Kent~

  7. #7
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    Default Re: A Good Thread from Martin's Blog

    Good post BB;

    The problem with the new codes is not that they are wrong, they are just unrealistic for the average builder to comply without the likelihood for problems because construction is now rocket science.

    I am seeing this quite often now, and so in the end Dick will look like a hero and the rest of us will be selling blower doors on Ebay.

    They should have mandated active ventilation before they even thought about air sealing. Good energy efficiency programs look at moisture, ventilation and combustion safety before any talk about air sealing and insulation. The new codes have this in reverse.
    "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

    Sir Frances Drake

  8. #8
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    Default Re: A Good Thread from Martin's Blog

    I think the interesting part lies in the comments below the main article, all points that deserve thought before jumping on Riversong's treadmill.
    Quote Originally Posted by Comments to the Green Building Advisor Thread.
    I've been in construction long enough to acknowledge that things go wrong very frequently, and as building science has determined over the past few decades, insulation and moisture don't mix well. Add health concerns from many of the insulation materials we use, and I think that it's worth reconsidering how we build and insulate.
    like most environmentalist doesn't have the courage to just flat out state that we are breeding ourselves out of existence - certainly out of existence as we have known it in the last 150 years. Or, state that the only universal environmental solution to anthropic environmental problems and non-sustainability - is the reduction of the human population. Anything else is just a token effort. This is the over-whelming denial factor that will ultimately result in self-correcting solutions (as Watson points out) to the human over population problem - just like it does with every other species."
    My last thoughts on the matter at hand....
    All our green building ideas to date can't put a nick in the real deal problem, which is the fact that no one but the Chinese seem to understand... population lowering is the one and only way to get us through this next century or two reasonably unscathed.
    http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/smar...-humans-8216bl...
    He added: “The planet does not need you…there is absolutely nothing we can do to this planet that, in a million years — two ticks of a second to the planet — won’t be obliterated. We need to get over ourselves.”
    Anyone who buys into this is buying into the "Save the planet" bull**** is nuts, gullible, stupid, or just plain evil -- this is a religion, I told a construction defects attorney that idiot contractors were sealing up homes now just like they did in condos and commercial buildings in the 80s and that I was fighting it going into the codes as mandates, his response was not to fight it that we'd get rich suing them just like we did in the condo crisis.

    The big unanswered question is why? Why do this and expose yourself to tremendous liability? To save the planet? To save money for people too cheap to pay their normal costs of living? To break the energy companies to break America so we all live under a one-world government? The one good thing about Riversong was that he told the real reasons for doing what he was doing, he wasn't insidiously trying to get contractors to believe in his religion, he came right out and said that he was a Gaian wanting man to live poor and get off the earth.
    “It is not an endlessly expanding list of rights —the “right” to an education; the “right” to health care; the “right” to food and housing. That is not freedom. That is dependency. Those are not rights. Those are the rations of slavery – hay and a barn for human cattle.” - Alexis de Tocqueville

  9. #9
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    Default Re: A Good Thread from Martin's Blog

    Yeah, saving the earth. what a crock of ****.

    Religion is no good because it isn't scientific. Science is no good because it's corrupt or a religion. Waddayagot, Dick?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: A Good Thread from Martin's Blog

    Quote Originally Posted by Dancing Dan View Post
    Waddayagot, Dick?
    Matches, tar, and feathers [poly blend, dyed].
    “I find the curiosity of our men with respect to this animal is pretty much satisfied.”
    ~ Meriwether Lewis

  11. #11
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    Default Re: A Good Thread from Martin's Blog

    I've quoted from some of the acolytes above, now a quote from Martin on the blog thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by Green Building Advisor
    The climate of our planet is at risk. It's all fine and good to write humorous articles that are "a bit over the top" and "partially tongue in cheek," but the topic of this blog is a serious matter on which many things hinge, including a potential planetary catastrophe.¹
    Most of us don't buy into this religious fanaticism and the prophesies of doom, yet we are being forced by code mandate to obey the dictates of their secular religion at great risk of failure and liability to say nothing of insurance premium increases due to the failures of others.
    One of the best statements was:
    Quote Originally Posted by Green Building Advisor
    He added: “The planet does not need you…there is absolutely nothing we can do to this planet that, in a million years — two ticks of a second to the planet — won’t be obliterated. We need to get over ourselves.”
    As I've said before the only really environmentally bad thing contractors are doing is using chemical products that last in the oceans and landfills for millions of year killing fish and birds, yet in the life of the planet even they are a maybe a minute instead of just "two ticks of a second".as the writer stated.


    ¹ http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/...top-insulating
    “It is not an endlessly expanding list of rights —the “right” to an education; the “right” to health care; the “right” to food and housing. That is not freedom. That is dependency. Those are not rights. Those are the rations of slavery – hay and a barn for human cattle.” - Alexis de Tocqueville

  12. #12
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    Default Re: A Good Thread from Martin's Blog

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan
    Religion is no good because it isn't scientific. Science is no good because it's corrupt or a religion. Waddayagot, Dick?
    I've never said that, I've probably said things like religion is stupid, and things about science funded by grant monies is corrupt, I've posted Lisa Bero's Commonwealth Club address about corruption in drug science, and climate science is no different, the Federal government alone has granted our universities $30 billion over the last 6 years to prove AGW without success, now science is predicting the onset on a Little Ice Age. Rare Drop in Sunspot Activity Could Cause Little Ice Age Hmmm, that doesn't work here, try this:

    http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/1632...mum-corona.htm

    Maybe we should emit more CO2 to "save the planet"??
    “It is not an endlessly expanding list of rights —the “right” to an education; the “right” to health care; the “right” to food and housing. That is not freedom. That is dependency. Those are not rights. Those are the rations of slavery – hay and a barn for human cattle.” - Alexis de Tocqueville

  13. #13
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    Default Re: A Good Thread from Martin's Blog

    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Seibert View Post
    Most of us don't buy into this religious fanaticism and the prophesies of doom, yet we are being forced ...


    As I've said before the only really environmentally bad thing contractors are doing is using chemical products that last in the oceans and landfills for millions of year...
    Who is "us" & who gets to be the definer of which chemicals are "bad" and where and when use should be limited or eliminated? Will the moral free markets not be the arbiter of that or perhaps do we need some higher authority to prohibit say oil refiners from making precursors to gyre spinning foams?


    Furthermore, far more people want to tackle climate change head-on than you'd expect, especially given the staunch anti-climate stance that pervades one of the nation's two political parties. Maybe Mitt Romney's and John Huntsman's belief in climate change is smart politics after all. The landscape of American belief in climate change is actually far more nuanced than all of the air time given to climate skeptics would have you believe. Here's a look at some of the more nuanced findings from the poll, which is the latest update to Yale's ongoing Six Americas of Climate Change project:
    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011...e-priority.php
    Last edited by MarkMc; 06-25-2011 at 01:12 PM.
    “I find the curiosity of our men with respect to this animal is pretty much satisfied.”
    ~ Meriwether Lewis

  14. #14
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    Default Re: A Good Thread from Martin's Blog

    Quote Originally Posted by Kent Brobeck View Post
    Allen, do you folks use a vapor barrier(plastic) on the inside face of the studs? It would seem to me you guys would have some condensation issues to contend with.
    No vapor barrier on the inside of walls here. I've come to the conclusion that if you want to learn how to build houses, stay away from JLC. But it is a place you can discuss politics or other topics with extremists or people who are just bored.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: A Good Thread from Martin's Blog

    Quote Originally Posted by Allan Edwards View Post
    No vapor barrier on the inside of walls here. I've come to the conclusion that if you want to learn how to build houses, stay away from JLC. But it is a place you can discuss politics or other topics with extremists or people who are just bored.

    Allen, I would agree with you about the latter part of you post. None the less I like to learn. I spent about 10 years building custom homes here in Pittsburgh before going back to doing carpentry exclusively. I now do mostly finish work. While I was building I used many different insulation packages. It was popular back in the 90's to use plastic on the inside wall under the drywall with unfaced insulation. One of the bad things about this was you couldn't glue the drywall. I used cellulose in the walls quite a bit with no vapor barrier as the cellulose can deal with moisture better than fiberglass. I also like the spray foam in the walls. I also like OSB or plywood on the exterior. Here in Pennsylvania our climate is cold and dry in the winter and hot and humid in the summer. It can be quite a swing. I'm still interested in how you build in your neck of the woods.
    ~Kent~

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