Building Science Issues identified in this home addition.


This home addition has it share of problems. Outdated wiring, interiors, and fixtures. However, the big problem is water damage as you might expect from the flat roof and sloping landscape. Here you can see the overhang has rot caused by lack of gutters and water running over the surface for years. This is amplified…

Do you trust your water?


There has been a lot of water issues in the news as of late. Do you trust your water? What happens in an emergency – do you have a water plan? Poor water quality can impact us all from wildlife to humans. Virginia has reported $6.1 billion in drinking water infrastructure needs over the next…

Downtown Harrisonburg Office – Phase 1 Demolition


Demolition has started on the Downtown Harrisonburg office building we designed. Nielsen Builders is doing the construction. Here are some pictures that show the existing conditions. This will become the Child Protective Services building in Harrisonburg. Dust has started to fly. Here are some pictures of things starting to change.  Here is the end goal.

Typical home energy problems – building science issues identified


Most homes built to code minimum standards¬†(the worst possible home you can build by law) are energy hogs. This home is no exception. Doing an energy audit and using a thermal image camera, you can immediately see there are problems. The band board in the basement is glowing showing a huge thermal bridge to the…

Remember to clear your outdoor HVAC unit during the snow storm


Remember when you are clearing your driveway today to also remove the snow away from your outdoor units. Snow, ice, and leaves can pile up around your outdoor heat pump which could drastically reduce the efficiency of the unit. The outdoor unit may also not be able to defrost as intended shortening the lifespan of…

Green Term Defined: Vegetated Roof


A green roof, living roof, or vegetated roof are all terms used to describe a partially or completely covered roof with vegetation over a waterproof membrane. There are two types of vegetated roofs, intensive or extensive. The difference is simply the depth of the planting medium. The traditional vegetated roof uses larger plants and a…

Design flaws identified in this speculative home


Thanks for all your comments about the design flaws in the below images. You guys hit all the high points. The biggest is accessibility for sure. A door handle that can be opened with an elbow as well as a hand offers more flexibility for those of any ability. If you have your hands full…