The Construction of a High Performance Home: Week 7

Posted by Tim Biebel on Mar 21, 2017 8:27:00 AM

High performance home vermont

Hey now! Despite the blizzard of the century, perhaps even the history of the universe, great progress was made on the project last week. The windows were delivered to the site the day after the storm, before we even had a chance to dig out and were all in their final resting place by noon on Friday. The interior framing is 98.37% completed and this high performance home is ready for plumbing and wiring.

Setting windows has become a process all of its own. In the olden days, when I was just a youngster, we used to staple a piece of tar paper on the bottom of the window opening to help with drainage, apply caulking around the opening and then nail the window in to place. It felt like a fail-proof method. If the drainage plane was done correctly, the windows didn’t leak when installed that way. We do things a little different now because we try to eliminate the air leakage as much as possible.

As you can see from the pictures, we like to use the Zip System for the exterior sheathing, but we take it one step further and wrap the Zip Wall into the window wells as well in this high performance home. The joints are then taped, which creates a solid air barrier. Wrapping the window jamb with Zip Wall also helps tie the double stud wall together, so it serves a dual purpose. It complicates the framing process a little bit as the rough openings all need to be adjusted by one inch in both directions to allow for the plywood. Forgetting that one inch can be a real pain in the…

Next step is to set the window in the opening. Flashing is installed on the sill and caulking around the edge, just as in the days of my youth. Once installed, the nailing flange of the window is taped to the sheathing on the exterior of the unit and the interior of the window is taped to ZipWall Jamb. Those steps will be completed just before the siding is installed.

In the coming week, the crew will complete the garage framing and make the roof water tight. Then it’s on to shingling the roof and siding the house.

Click here to read week 6 update.

Click here to read week 8 update.

Here are a few more pictures for your viewing pleasure:

Vermont high performance home

high performance home stair framing systems

intello Membrane in a high performance home

building a high performance home in vermont

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Tim Biebel

by Tim Biebel

Tim Biebel is Vice President of Prudent Living, a leading net zero and energy efficiency building company located in Windsor, VT.

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