Windows And Walls Unlimited

Windows And Walls Unlimited – “A green house is a built house.” This quote from architect Carl Elfante covers one of the main reasons for historic preservation. We often think of sustainability as something that can only be achieved in new construction, where LEED certifications and new technologies can help reduce a building’s carbon footprint , but continuity and historical space do not need to exist in separate worlds.

New buildings need new materials. And this means that their work uses a lot of resources, money, and energy, not to mention that many new ones are shorter than the old ones (just look at the difference in between old and new growth). So when you have the opportunity to reuse an existing building, it seems like a no-brainer. Today, there are ways to green your home (including preserving its old fabric) to reduce energy use and lower your energy bill. Here’s a look at some.

Windows And Walls Unlimited

Windows And Walls Unlimited

Before you start making changes to your historic home to make it more energy efficient, you need to first identify the areas of your home that need help. The best way to do this is to do an energy audit. One of the most popular features is the blower door test. This test involves using a high-powered fan to remove air from the building, which reduces internal pressure. The air difference is then measured with a pressure gauge. As the Charleston Preservation Society explains, “The pressure difference causes outside air to enter the building through cracks, drafts, or openings that aren’t opened.” .” This will show you where to seal windows, doors and other areas.

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One of the biggest misconceptions is that old houses are watertight because of their historic windows and the only solution is to replace them. As the National Trust Policy and Research Lab points out in its study, Saving Windows, Saving Money, historical windows are not worth closing completely. Instead, weatherproof them or install low-impact windows to preserve drafts and lower your energy bill. The study found that restoring windows is the most cost-effective way to reduce the carbon footprint of a historic home. As a bonus, the old wood found in old windows lasts longer than modern wood, so keeping historic windows will save you from having to replace them more often. to them.

Energy is trapped in uninsulated spaces, including basements, crawl spaces, and attics. Separate these spaces to prevent air. Cellulose is a great choice because unlike cotton, it is reversible.

Just remember: you should avoid separating the walls because you will destroy the permeable vapor barrier found in historic buildings. The walls of historic buildings are built to breathe, and preventing the movement of air and heat through and around the wall can lead to problems like water retention.

Artificial cooling and heating methods can be some of the highest energy consumers in a historic home. This may sound simple, but if you have shutters in your historic home, use them! It’s a great way to keep your home cozy during the summer months and it costs you nothing. Simply open your windows and close the windows to allow natural air to flow into your home during the summer. Shutters prevent the strong rays of the sun from entering the windows, thus keeping the interior of your home comfortable. Additionally, window screens serve a similar function if the history is correct.

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If you can, install solar and geothermal renewable energy sources on your historic property. For example, solar panels, if installed correctly, will actually generate electricity and help lower your bill. When connected to a national power grid, new wind turbines can help generate electricity using renewable resources in a more efficient way. Read more about installing solar panels on historic sites.

Trees are a great way to save energy in your home. Deciduous trees provide shade in the summer. During the colder months, when the leaves fall, they allow the sun to warm your home.

According to the US Department of Public Utilities, high efficiency incandescent bulbs use 25 percent of the energy of standard light bulbs. They do not change the way of historical lights where the lights are visible, like LEDs. Otherwise, LEDs are a good choice when the bulb is covered by headlights or frosted lenses.

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If you’re renovating a historic home and looking to replace missing pieces (doors, crown molding, furniture, etc.), check out salvage companies first. buying new things.

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There are many salvage companies around that take building blocks and other old things from buildings that are being torn down. Buying antiques and used items helps prevent landfill and is a great way to breathe new life into discarded historic pieces.

If you need another reason to convince you to reuse a historic building instead of rebuilding, note that the National Trust’s Greenest Building: Quantifying the Environmental Value of Building Reuse study shows that “10 Out of 80 years for a new building that is 30% better than an existing building with the usual construction to overcome the negative effects of climate change related to the construction process, through useful jobs.Delivered to your inbox.

CMU walls are common in Florida and other parts of the Southeast, but the practice of setting back windows and doors in different openings in solid block walls shows measuring a water challenge for builders.

In short, those recesses become water traps for wind-driven rain and therefore require a two-step process involving the application of sealant and waterproofing. And both steps contain important details that must be done correctly.

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Due to their width, brick walls often have deep openings for windows, but protecting the system from wind and rain requires careful attention to detail. | Photo: Courtesy of IBACOS

The first step is to seal the backs and sides of the wood on the windows and doors using ASTM C920 Class 25 High Grade Sealant. Apply the sealant on the back of the box in a zigzag pattern, place the box in the hole and slide the screws inside the box into the box. Then run a second coat of sealant in the area between the outside of the box and the car.

The most common mistake I see here is not using enough sealant. Most installers use a ¼ inch nut or smaller. But to make a good seal on the uneven surface of the blocks, a 3/8″ to 1/2″ thickness is needed.

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Next, apply a waterproofing membrane to the area. Almost all concrete walls are finished with plaster, so the membrane must be approved for use after the plaster to ensure a solid bond.

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Why do you need this cover? Without it, the capillary action draws the rain into the pores of the exposed tank and water enters the home.

The best solution is to use two layers of water. After installing the box, connect the two boards and increase the front sides of the doors.

Some trial versions may require at least 8 inches of opening on all sides to make the opening and container watertight. However, two full coats are rare. Some tools only work, and when both are used, the thickness is not the same.

The reason for the widespread use of waterproofing is that the windows and doors in block walls do not have nailing flanges like those found in masonry walls. But they are screwed instead of clamps. And although the space around the window is filled with low-density foam, this space is a weak point for water ingress. A box covered with water is impermeable to water, which can then travel to (or into) the block.

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Many builders simply (and wrongly) attach the waterproofing to the sill, then extend it halfway through the door. They think the tank is where the water gets in (it is), but forget that rain can draw water into the gaps around the window or door (it is).

I often see houses where water is applied to the block after drying. This is a sign that the block holes are not sealed properly because the installer was too quick and did not apply a thick coating or made to the surface. These houses are in great danger of water.

When installing windows, always use a pre-made three-step sill that has an additional screen on the inside of the sill to provide additional protection against rain and wind.

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As a Senior Construction Manager in the PERFORM Builder Solutions team at IBACOS, Graham Davies manages quality and performance in the building industry.

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