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The High-Performance Home, Part 4: Windows And Wraps

Rona Easton and Lonn Combs of EASTON+COMBS, the award-winning architectural office based in New Marlborough, Mass. have allowed Rural Intelligence to look over their shoulders (and those of their client) throughout the construction process of a high-performance home going up right now. This is the second installment of eight (or so — this is construction, after all) in a series that is giving us a lens into the building of an energy efficient house in Egremont, Mass.

Most of the triple-glazed, European-style windows have been installed.

Some days on site this last month, it truly felt like the depths of winter, reminding us of the advantages of triple-glazed windows. It doesn’t matter how high the wall performance is; windows just have a lower insulating capacity. In fact, an average double-glazed window insulates to about 1/13th the level of our wall assembly, and even well installed windows will feel cold (although this is actually convection, not a draft). Triple-glazed windows perform about twice as well as double, enough so that you can sit comfortably in front of them in winter.

View of the house from the south.

View of the house from the north.

The interior is beginning to take shape while the installation of the windows proceeds. The interior wrap has been attached to the building frame and taped, and the cellulose insulation will be installed soon. (Cellulose is one of the oldest types of insulation — a fill that is blown into the wall, rather than laid in like a blanket. Modern cellulose is made from recycled newspaper, treated with a fire retardant and a non-toxic chemical that repels insects.)

The European-style “tilt and turn” triple-glazed windows provide further value in their engineered, thermally broken frames. On the left is the tilt position and on the right is the turn.

The interior wrap has been installed. As part of the wall assembly the wrap will control moisture movement through the wall — in both directions — making sure none is trapped in the wall.

Next, installation of the standing seam metal roof and façade will begin, forming the exterior face of the rainscreen.

Windows in the kitchen provide south and west light and views.


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Posted by Lisa Green on 01/09/17 at 07:23 PM • Permalink