air barrier / Guides

Building science for LEED v4 wall design made easy
Concept and design

Building science for LEED v4 wall design made easy - video

...air barrier from the assault it would normally receive from wiring and other penetrations when we rely on an interior polyethylene as an air and vapour barrier. See our pages on vapour and air movement & the difference between air & vapor barriers to get a better idea of how this works, and why it makes so much sense t...

Celsius Solar Igloo
Solar thermal collectors

Celsius: The solar heated igloo!

...barrier (interior) and the air barrier (exterior). Us: How is the sun used to heat and power the igloo? L. McC : Recessed in the south wall are solar air heating panels that capture the heat of the sun during the day and store it in the thermal mass bench which then radiates heat at night. On the roof are photovoltaic ...

Crawlspace radon barrier installation for radon mitigation
Radon in Homes - Mitigation

Removing radon gas from basements and crawlspaces

...airly good condition should provide enough of an air barrier to contain radon below it. A contractor will drill two small test holes in the concrete floor on opposite sides of the basement, then install a vacuum in one and measure air flow with the other. If there is sufficient air movement below the slab, then a rad...

What is Interstitial Condensation? (And how to stop it!)
Walls and Roofs

What is Interstitial Condensation in Walls or Roofs? (And how to stop it!)

...air clients about that fact. Polyethylene vapor barriers in combination with air conditioning in homes can rot walls because of the condensation they may cause. This is why if you have a newer home with an impermeable poly vapor barrier, you are at risk of drawing warm and humid exterior air into your wall assembly w...

Installing foam panel insulation, which is best?
Insulation and soundproofing

Rigid insulation panels: which ones to use for different applications

...air quality, and the R value will never change, whereas foam products will deteriorate over time as the gases escape. Mineral wool is rated at about R 4, it is unharmed by moisture, it is not a vapour barrier at any thickness, nor is it an air barrier. It also provides better soundproofing, and being made with stone,...

Basement Design for walls prevents mold & midlew when renovating & finishing
Healthy indoor air quality

Basement renovations: How to prevent mold when finishing basements

...air barrier and a vapour barrier. However, it has been known to shrink after application, leaving air gaps and a lack of thermal protection. Another downside to the original SPUF is that some blowing agents have a high global warming potential (GWP). For this reason, we like to explore less harmful alternatives whene...

Choosing a building envelope
Wall assemblies - new construction

Choosing a building envelope - starting with the perfect wall

...airtight and, most importantly, with better ventilation like HRV's or ERV's or air conditioning. There is also much more understanding of how buildings work and why walls can fail in a home with air conditioning, even when built to code . For example, if a home is built of timber and will be air conditioned in summer...

Installing Siding Correctly
Exterior cladding

How to install siding

...air space between siding and sheathing should also allow humid air to escape. In order for both of these actions to take place, when siding is installed correctly there needs to be a continuous space behind siding where water can drain and air can flow. Common siding installation mistakes to avoid: Caulking the t...

Step by step guide for slab-on-grade home construction
Slab on Grade

Slab-on-grade construction: the ecoHOME A to Z Slab building guide

...AIR / VAPOUR BARRIERS FOR SLAB ON GRADE: Install anchor bolts and lateral insulating panels and then the center panels. Next, cut around the plumbing system and mechanical equipment. Ensure that there are no gaps in the insulation, even in problem areas. Install a polyethylene air / vapour barrier over the enti...

Choosing between OSB or Plywood for house sheathing for Roofs, Walls & Floors.
Wood and organic materials

Which is better, OSB or Plywood for Roofs, Walls & Floors?

...barriers (CMHC): "Materials that act as vapour barriers (vapour retarders), including certain types of insulation, must be located within the assembly so that moisture moving from the inside to the outside does not condense and accumulate within the assembly. This means that vapour barriers should be located on the w...

Spray Foam Insulation - Is it Good or Toxic & Dangerous?
Insulation and soundproofing

Is spray foam insulation a good choice for your home? Or a toxic recipe for disaster?

...airtight (when first applied); it works as a vapor barrier and it adds a significant level of insulation to a home, further reducing the energy needed for heating and cooling. An all-in-one product for home renovation that provides the insulation, air barrier plus vapor barrier is, at least superficially, a very appeal...