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3799 Main St. #87024
Atlanta, GA 30337


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.


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: tiny house engineering

Formaldehyde-Free Plywood for Airtight Homes

Corbett Lunsford

All plywood has formaldehyde in it, except Purebond. Why anyone would choose normal plywood for interior surfaces is perfectly clear: they have no idea that it will poison them.  Let's set the record straight on the only plywood that should be used inside a new, airtight home. YOU CAN BUY PUREBOND AT HOME DEPOT, PEOPLE.

#TinyLab Noise Reduction Test with APC Cork Flooring

Corbett Lunsford

Grace and Corbett Lunsford show not just the installation of APC Cork floating floor planks, but also the sound reduction testing to prove that it's performing the way it's supposed to! See the #TinyLab on the Proof Is Possible Tour in 2016:

How to Perfectly Balance a Tiny House Trailer

Corbett Lunsford

Today we ordered the fabrication of our custom tiny house trailer- big step, and it took a lot of sweat and time to get here. The process is like anything- the more you know, the more you realize you don't know, and it just gets more sweaty and time-intensive as you go. Here's what we learned about how to place the axles for your custom tiny house trailer:

  1. Know how the balance should work on a tiny house. Because you're not building it to sit still, the balance should not be in perfect equilibrium. You don't want to let go of the front of the trailer and have it remain upright and balanced; generally you'll want 10% of the total weight to be resting on the tongue. This means if our tiny house is 10,000 lbs, the tongue will weigh 1,000 lbs. You will not be picking that up.
    You don't want the trailer pulling up on the back of your tow vehicle, and when you get it moving, the momentum will do weird things to the trailer's behavior if it has a shed roof front-to-back like ours. The wind is going to want to push down on the back of the trailer to flatten out the plane (we have not hired an aerodynamics engineer to find out how much, but we believe it's not substantial).
    There's a great article on managing tiny house towing weights here.

  2. Know where your trailer fabricator likes to put the axles as a default. It's interesting- the two main trailer fabricators, Tumbleweed and Tiny Home Builders, put their axles at slightly different points along the length of the tiny house trailer as a default. Tumbleweed puts the center of axles 55% of the way back, and Tiny Home Builders puts theirs 58% back (both of these are measured from the front of the trailer bed, not the tip of the tongue). Either of these are approximately correct enough for most tiny house people, but if you want to use a more accurate engineering approach, then read on...

  3. Know how much your tiny house will weigh. This is very challenging. You need to account for every stud, joist, insulation unit, fixture, piece of heating/cooling equipment, furniture, etc, etc. We did this by building a 3D computer model of our Tiny Lab and creating an inventory from there in a spreadsheet. Our engineer buddy John Bergman then figured out where the center of gravity was in the X, Y, and Z axes (vertically, front to back, and left to right). The Tiny Lab is estimated to be 9,300 lbs, with the center of gravity right down the middle, and 45% of the way back.

  4. Split your axles over the point 10% of the way further back. Our axles are located 55% of the way back, which Dan Louche at Tiny Home Builders was easily able to include in our trailer design. Stay tuned for all the videos of the construction process, which starts in under a month!

Engineering a TOURING Tiny House: See the Full Series

Corbett Lunsford

Grace and Corbett are building a performance-proven tiny house on wheels called the Tiny Lab! It's going to be built from November to February, and it starts a 16-city US Tour in March of 2016. The Crowd Sourcing Campaign is happening NOW on RocketHub- CLICK HERE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE TOUR! Here's the full series of four webinars from August 2015 detailing the engineering of a super cool tiny house on wheels!

In #1: SHAPE AND LAYOUT, Corbett and Grace show the 3D sketchup model of the Tiny Lab, and bring engineer John Bergman in for some heavy lifting to do with pinpointing the center of gravity on this 24 ft trailer tiny house.

In #2: AIRSEALING, INSULATION, & WEATHER BARRIERS, tour the process of energy modeling the tiny house to determine the optimal R-values and level of airtightness, and hear about vapor barriers, moisture control, and drainage.

In #3: HEATING, COOLING, AND VENTILATION, you get a taste for how wrong a lot of the discussion goes about homes in general, and tiny homes especially. The HVAC design, including Manual J heat load calculations and hourly solar gain curves are analyzed and used for things as straightforward as deciding which direction to park the tiny house.

In #4: BELLS & WHISTLES, see behind the design of the solar PV kit, formaldehyde-free plywood built-ins, composting toilet, off-grid plumbing challenges, and luxury items that just add that quality of life that tiny house occupants are seeking.

We really hope you'll tune in for the videos of construction- you can subscribe to our YouTube channel right now with one click!

Engineering a TOURING Tiny House: Airsealing, Insulation, Weather Barriers

Corbett Lunsford

Grace and Corbett Lunsford walk through the process of engineering their Tiny Lab, a tiny house taking them on the Proof Is Possible US Tour! Tonight's episode is on designing the barriers to heat bleed, air leakage, and water leakage.
WORKING TINY LAB SPECS: Floor 2x6 with R-21 EcoBatt insulation. Walls 2x4 with R-15 EcoBatt insulation. Ceiling 2x6 with R-21 EcoBatt insulation. Air leakage down to 2 ACH50 or less.

I struggle with frustration, and you might be able to hear it in this presentation.  I'm frustrated that as a relative newbie in the homebuilding industry, I'm constantly seeing work done thoughtlessly, or at least with not as much thought as work deserves. Sorry if I come across as an a-hole, I promise I'm not- I just care a whole heck of a lot, and I spend all day in buildings where my caring comes back to haunt me.

Engineering a TOURING Tiny House: SHAPE & LAYOUT

Corbett Lunsford

In our first reveal of the Tiny Lab, Grace and I show off the structural and stress engineering basics of a tiny house, assisted by actual engineer John Bergman.


We believe showing home performance dynamics through the lens of a tiny house tour will make it click for a lot of American homeowners. That's why we've created the Proof Is Possible Tour, and we'll visit 16 US cities in 2016! 

Tiny House Engineering Webinars in August!

Corbett Lunsford

In 2016, the Proof Is Possible Tour will visit 16 U.S. cities, and we'll be training homeowners to understand measured home performance so they can truly OWN their homes. And our ride: a touring tiny house on wheels!

Over the next 4 weeks, Grace and I will show you the performance design of the Tiny Lab, a performance-proven design. Learn how the engineering of a tiny house gets done, and understand the performance of homes big or small through this tiny example!


WEEK 1: Engineering the Shape & Layout
WEEK 2: Engineering the Insulation, Airseal, & Weather Barriers
WEEK 3: Engineering the HVAC
WEEK 4: Engineering the Bells & Whistles