Greg Labbe's Blog (7)

A call to Builders and Architects: Does the Homeowner Know You’re a Blowerdoor Virgin?

When setting out to build an efficient house, the elephant in the room is air tightness. Industry is resisting mandated air tightness testing if thresholds are introduced meanwhile building codes are ratcheting up efficiency on all fronts except air tightness. Having debunked the myth that “a house needs to breath” its becoming painfully obvious to any building scientist that the lowest hanging fruit on the efficiency tree isn’t geothermal but simply producing a more air tight…

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Added by Greg Labbe on April 9, 2014 at 5:30am — No Comments

Air Leakage Testing a New Off-Grid High Performance House

We had the great pleasure of air leakage testing a new off-grid, high performance house last week. It was the most air tight building we’d ever tested!

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Situated on a hill overlooking the sweep of the Saugeen River below.

Builder Steven…

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Added by Greg Labbe on November 12, 2013 at 11:30am — 2 Comments

Tucking a garage under the second floor is a common practice, but is it a GOOD one?

As the price of land edges up, the practice of tucking a garage under the second floor of a house is common practice, but is it good practice? The bedroom above the garage has earned the moniker of “The Bonus Room” as it tends to be the most troublesome room in the house with the most comfort complaints from home owners.

 …

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Added by Greg Labbe on October 28, 2013 at 3:30pm — 3 Comments

Spot the Design Weakness - For Northern Climates

If we had a dime for each weak building assembly detail we saw, we’d be rich. In our 14 years of diagnosing comfort problems for clients; the exposed floor ranks as one of the most stark discomfort features of a home, new or old.

Walking home from the coffee shop Sunday and came across the feature below. Have a look at the photo and see how many design errors you can pick out:…

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Added by Greg Labbe on October 22, 2013 at 7:49pm — 11 Comments

Quickest way to Field-check you Model 3 Flow Sensor!

I think the question I get asked the most is, well I dunno know, it happens a lot, enough that I would remark on it – a lot of people come up to me and they say “How do I know if my flow sensor is positioned within spec?“

My answer’s always the same, I say: “Listen. Luckily we don’t have to go all the way back to the Civil War to answer this…” ¹

The truth is, most never check, but here’s a quick easy way to ensure your Minneapolis fan’s flow sensor’s positioned properly in the…

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Added by Greg Labbe on September 30, 2013 at 7:59am — No Comments

Good Drainage Planes stop Capillary Action

We use drainage gaps or planes in wall systems to stop water from entering the building shell and causing deterioration or mould. This air gap does two things if wide enough; it prevents water’s surface tension from staying or even climbing up the wall and the gap also disperses the forces of wind driven rain or solar vapour drive. Let’s look at…

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Added by Greg Labbe on April 22, 2013 at 11:00am — No Comments

When do I do the air leakage test?

Thankfully more and more new homes in Ontario are being 3rd party airtightness tested. Some do it to comply with EnerGuide80, some builders want to distinguish their build quality by having it ‘pass’ an air test or to meet a branded standard like EnergySTAR and many, surprisingly, still don’t get tested at all. Understandably many builders and architects are nervous about…

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Added by Greg Labbe on February 5, 2013 at 5:12am — No Comments

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