Favorite Building Sites and Books

Just thought I’d share a few of the sites, links and books that I’ve been using a lot these days.

First, a book my rhyming upstate neighbor lent me, Builder’s Guide to Cold Climates by Joseph Lstiburek from the Building Science Press. My favorite part is the calculation to determine the proportion of exterior insulation (sometimes referred to as outsulation) to interior insulation. The idea it to ensure that the temperature at the interface of the two systems is above freezing so you don’t have condensation problems in the wall in the coldest months of the year. I included this calculation in the spreadsheet I attached to my earlier post on energy calculations.

On the same topic of insulation and how and where to put it, I enjoy following the the spirited debates on two sites, the “Energy Efficiency and Durability” category on the GreenBuildingAdvisor.com/community site, and the “Forums” on the Journal of Light Construction (forums.jlconline.com/forums) site. They often cross link to each other and tend to see some of the same people contributing to both. They cover lots of good questions about insulation, how to use the HERS index, foam vs cellulose, you name it.

GreenBuildingAdvisor charges for its research papers but also has a good free blog.

Now for my most favorite site, BuildingScience.com‘s research papers. They have a treasure trove of information, my favorite paper of late is the RR-0903 report on total wall R values which I references in my earlier post on Energy Calculations. But they have lots of good content on just about every building topic. And did I mention all their content is free?

I also monitor the 100k House blog. They are a great resource for energy efficient products. Check out this excellent post on Passive House Ventilation Design. They’ve done their homework and are building some great stuff in Philly for the right price range.

Another book I mentioned in the earlier post was The Passive Solar House by James Kachadorian. I’m not particularly interested in building a house in the way he pioneered (the solar slab), but its the best resource I’ve found to do the rough energy calculations for both heat loss and heat gain.

There’s also a new book coming out soon about net zero houses called  Toward a Zero Energy Home, from the same authors of Green From the Ground Up. I’m looking forward to it.

If you know other great building science related books or sites that I should check out, let me know.

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