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      EFFICIENCY AND COMFORT THROUGH DEEP ENERGY RETROFITS: BALANCING ENERGY AND MOISTURE MANAGEMENT

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          Abstract

          Preservationists must accept the need to improve the energy performance of the existing building stock. We simply cannot ignore the fact that the electrical power that runs our buildings contributes substantially to global warming and climate change. Let’s be clear that meeting sustainable energy targets will require substantially improving building envelope performance.

          Carl Elefante, The Greenest Building Is the One That’s Already Built

          INTRODUCTION

          Homes that survived to be called “ historic” did so because they worked ; that is, they delivered a level of performance that met the owner’s expectations and tolerance level without catastrophic damage to the home, pocketbook, or surrounding environment. Home performance expectations have changed and now include a desire to use less energy while at the same time realizing a level of comfort that includes air conditioning and constant temperatures in all rooms. In order to meet these performance expectations, old homes often require some “re-engineering.”

          Increasing insulation will advance energy efficiency goals, reduce costs, and make a home more sustainable but by itself is insufficient, and, often, it can also upset the moisture balance resulting in unexpected mold and sick building syndrome. Improvement in moisture management design is a critically important consideration whenever energy efficiency is increased; however, many projects fail to address moisture adequately. This article will walk through the process of insulating and air sealing a house (two very different activities, sometimes combined, sometimes not), and shed particular light on how different approaches encourage or discourage moisture problems.

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          Most cited references 3

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          “Closed Crawlspaces Do Double Duty.”

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            “Air Barrier or Vapor Barrier?”

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              “Closed Crawlspaces Do Double Duty.”

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                jgrb
                Journal of Green Building
                College Publishing
                1552-6100
                1943-4618
                1943-4618
                Summer 2010
                : 5
                : 3
                : 3-15
                Author notes

                1 Aaron Lubeck, GC, Founder of Trinity Design | Build, author of Green Restorations: Sustainable Building in Historic Homes, and lecturer at Duke University’s Nicholas School for the Environment. He developed and re-constructed 209 N Gregson, a 1927 building that achieved LEED-Platinum. Email: aalubeck@ 123456gmail.com .

                2. Francis Conlin, PE, Senior Engineer for Southern Energy Management (SEM), a Building Science and Renewable Energy Provider based in North Carolina. SEM has certified over 6,000 homes for the EPA Energy Star Program and has recently initiated an existing building energy retrofit division.

                Article
                jgb.5.3.3
                10.3992/jgb.5.3.3
                ©2010 by College Publishing. All rights reserved.

                Volumes 1-7 of JOGB are open access and do not require permission for use, though proper citation should be given. To view the licenses, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

                Page count
                Pages: 15
                Product
                Categories
                INDUSTRY CORNER

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