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3799 Main St. #87024
Atlanta, GA 30337
USA

773.398.5288

Advanced residential construction and home improvement consulting and owner's advocacy in Atlanta, using the latest building performance diagnostic and modeling techniques and tools. Airtightness, insulation, HVAC, ventilation, moisture, and air quality and EMF consulting for homeowners and building professionals alike.

Videos/Podcasts/Articles

Home performance articles and stories from the field with internationally respected building forensics guru Corbett Lunsford at the Building Performance Workshop. Hear new episodes of the Building Performance Podcast, see new videos from the Home Performance YouTube channel, and learn all about how diagnostic testing (more than an 'Energy Audit') can make home improvement and new home construction a proven process!

Filtering by Tag: energy efficient

Building to Control Humidity

Corbett Lunsford

It's easy to overthink building science decisions- here, Corbett quickly summarizes the basics of controlling moisture in the Lunsford family home build, and for any home. Interactions between materials and systems like GP ForceField, Rockwool Insulation, and Ultra-Aire ventilating dehumidifiers are simple to understand if you use the 4-3-2-1 approach.

Learn more at: http://HomeDiagnosis.tv/atlanta-homestead

Framing the Floor at our High Performance House

Corbett Lunsford

Hear Grace and I discuss some of the interesting challenges so far as we begin the framing of the floors and walls of our family’s high performance house in Atlanta.

5-Layer Slab for High Performance House

Corbett Lunsford

Home Diagnosis TV series co-host Corbett Lunsford shows the installation of the 5 layers of performance control under his family's new house. Thanks to Royal Building Products, Rockwool Insulation, Stego Industries, and the subcontractors who worked so hard to get this right! More at: https://HomeDiagnosis.tv/atlanta-homestead

2 Years Later: is #TinyLab Still the Highest Performance Tiny House on Wheels?

Corbett Lunsford

Grace and Corbett built the world's highest performance tiny house on wheels in 2016. It was perfect. Then they toured it 13,000 miles across America and let 7,000 people come inside to feel, hear, and smell what perfectly tuned home performance is like.

What's the house performing like now, after all that torture? And under 2 inches of snow in Atlanta, Georgia? See for yourself in this 20-minute tour, complete with testing, demonstrations, and metrics that show Proof Is Possible, even for people who have never built a house before. The #TinyLab is still the undisputed most scientifically superior home performance demonstration in the world, and we sincerely hope others start challenging our work!

Ventilation Innovations at IBS 2018

Corbett Lunsford

Phil Rivas of Fantech shows Corbett around the Fantech booth at the International Builders Show 2018. Demonstrations of Inline Kitchen Exhaust hood with silencer, Energy Recovery Ventilator with balancing registers, HEPA filtration, and Dryer Booster Fans. Learn more at http://Fantech.net

Podcast #83 Affordable Housing That Kicks McMansions' Butts with Bill Lazar

Corbett Lunsford

Today Corbett talks with Bill Lazar of St. Johns Housing Partnership about how his organization built hundreds of affordable homes in St. Augustine, Florida, that are scientifically superior to the million dollar mansions going up across town. Recorded from the #TinyLab on the Proof Is Possible Tour.

People I Follow (and hope you will too)

Corbett Lunsford

Corbett gives you 8 podcasts, video channels, and blogs you may not have heard of, all about home performance, HVAC, and building awesomeness:

Matt Moreman's Obsessed Garage channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/MattMoreman

Bryan Orr's HVAC School podcast and channel: http://hvacrschool.com/

HVAC with Stephen Rardon channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/jewvenile77

Neil Comparetto's HVAC channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCICyuKv5NCGJu2gazjzgiGA/videos

Blake Reid's Terrawatt Home blog: http://www.terrawatthome.com/news/2017/10/23/keeping-things-dry-waimea-s-wet-side

Chris Laumer-Giddens' LG Squared channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2sJ6CQzqJ3DdeP7acjPRrg/videos

Adam Cohen's PassivHaus for Everyone channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmhV0KEJZWrMlmFHV0Je02Q

Stewart Brand's How Buildings Learn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvEqfg2sIH0

Insulating the High Performance Dry Room

Corbett Lunsford

Part 2 of building the #DryVault- the world's highest performance tool shed, in Atlanta. See Corbett insulate it to Grade 1 quality with Roxul Comfortbatts! For more on the insulation material, check out http://www.roxul.com/

Tour of the Building Performance Workshop in Atlanta

Corbett Lunsford

Welcome to the inaugural tour of the real life Building Performance Workshop on our high performance homestead in Atlanta, Georgia! From the translucent walls and roof to the airtight, insulated and dessicant dehumidified Dry Vault inside it, everything here is about making the invisible dynamics of building performance visible. Stay tuned for the blower door test, infrared thermal scan, air quality testing, and much more when the Workshop is built!

Do Tankless Water Heating Systems Perform Better?

Corbett Lunsford

Watch home performance diagnostics guru Corbett Lunsford test the performance of demand tankless water heaters, in the #TinyLab and in a big house.  You may be surprised to see that it doesn't work exactly as advertised.

How to Ventilate the #TinyLab (aka How To Pull Your Hair Out)

Corbett Lunsford

From the beginning, we've planned on this high performance tiny house on wheels (THOW) being airtight. That's a no-brainer, and everyone else wants airtight homes too, whether they know it yet or not. If you want to see how bright-eyed and bushy-tailed we were when we started planning the Tiny Lab, check out this webinar on the HVAC design:

After airtight construction, the next important step is always making sure the home is VENTILATED right, with fresh air in just the right amount. Too little fresh air, and you get staleness, odors, condensation, and a deep-seated disgusting feeling. Too much fresh air, and you're flushing conditioned air down the toilet.  The calculation for determining how much fresh air any house needs is called ASHRAE 62.2-2013, and you can see a simplified breakdown of that here:

And finally, you need to decide How Exactly You're Going To Do This.  That's always the sticking point, and designing and building this tiny house on our own has taught us that all day, every day. The devil's in the details. So began our ventilation adventure, and we immediately talked with our longtime friends at Panasonic, who recommended three pieces of equipment:

The ventilation strategy we were planning on initially was to exhaust air (20cfm minimum) from the shower (at the top right), which is only a few feet away from the kitchen (the L-shaped cabinet just below it), and supplying fresh air at the rear of the tiny house, in the underloft bedroom (at bottom).

We immediately faced a challenge with pressure equalization. Since this tiny house would be so airtight, the results of the blower door test would likely be less than 67cfm@50Pascals (2.0 ACH50). Without all the mumbo jumbo, that means that if I ran a regular exhaust fan in the bathroom or kitchen at anything close to 70cfm, I'd be sucking so hard on the house it would be as if a 20 mph wind was blowing on every single surface of the house (and that's a lot of surface- about 1000 sq. ft.)

Also, while the WhisperGreen bath exhaust fan can be 'manifolded' (which means connecting a duct system to the fan to distribute the air wherever you want it), the spot ERV cannot. A really cool MacGyver hack was recommended by Panasonic's technical team, which I think is awesome and could easily be done by anyone else per the instructions:

Although this is all very cool, it was deemed too iffy to work properly for the Tiny Lab because of all the customizations we're making with the on-wheels aspect, the tightness, the tiny size, etc. 

To keep this story from being ten pages long, let me just say that we are now on our FOURTH and final ventilation plan. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Brett Singer and our favorite dehumidification guru Lew Harriman both strongly urged us to use a fully-ducted HEAT Recovery Ventilator instead of the ENERGY Recovery Ventilator (which exchanges both heat and humidity). We'll be fighting the humidity the whole way, since every shower, cup of tea, and exhale will add to the moisture in the tiny house.

Also, we all agreed it would be infinitely better to exhaust the stovetop gases directly to outdoors with an ENERGY STAR kitchen exhaust hood.  We're keeping the pressure imbalances in check with a hole in the wall controlled with a mechanical damper that's activated by pressure imbalances.

Our final ventilation strategy is from our Product Partner BROAN, and we'll show you exactly how that miracle cure works when the system arrives next week!  Thanks for tuning in, and for your support in these trying times. Whew.

Tiny House Building Lessons Learned

Corbett Lunsford

We've been working on the Tiny Lab for almost a full month now, and there are lots of videos still in the queue, but here are the first few glimpses into the world of building a high performance 200 sq. ft. tiny house on wheels: