Gaines Group Architects
Ventilated Fireplace

Quality Design could save your life – Fireplaces & Air Quality

It is no surprise that amidst a pandemic people are spending much more time in their homes. Overall human beings spend a significant amount of time indoors, meaning the air we breathe is a lot less healthy and could affect our overall well-being later in life. This reason alone...
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Green Term Defined: Blower Door Test

The most important cost-effective construction solution used to lower energy bills is a reduction of air-leakage. The test used to determine air tightness in a home is required in the 2009 International Residential Code, it is called a blower door test. However, there is a second...

Green Terms Defined: Permeability

Permeability is a HUGE topic in our mixed humid climate for anyone involved in the construction industry. The perm rating of a product is the measure of the diffusion of water vapor through a material. This vapor drive through a building material can make or break the durability,...

Going Green: Should You Build Your Home to a Higher Standard?

Going green when building a sustainable home is the first step in ensuring you are helping your environment and your wallet for years to come. How are your eco-friendly decisions benefiting your home? It is easy to dismiss making a decision that protects forests in South America...

Decisions made during construction will impact indoor air quality for years to come.

We spend a lot of time thinking about the health impacts of the building when designing an energy-efficient home. The ventilation rate needs to be designed and the materials used should be selected with care. Then construction starts and it is cold outside. The next thing you...

Help! My house is cold, so I need my HVAC system fixed. Who do I call?

I get questions on a regular basis about home comfort and efficiency. This question came from someone who read my blog and wanted to get their HVAC system adjusted and wanted to know who to call. “Our house is quite cold this winter and our energy costs are pretty high...

Cold bonus room issues identified, solutions provided

Many new homes are taking advantage of that space above the attached garage for an additional bedroom / bonus room space. It was made possible by the invention of the attic frame truss that is able to span a two car garage and provide a 12′ wide usable room above. However,...

Got a cold bonus room, building science can fix it.

Back to the building science questions. What can you tell me about this room just by looking at the picture? Also, how do you fix it?
encapsulated crawl space

Green Term Defined: Dehumidifier

Do you need a dehumidifier? We live in a mixed humid climate in Virginia and so often, you hear from the heating and cooling contractors in the area that there is a need to add humidification. If the house is tight – energy efficient, healthy, and durable, you should not...

Vented Attic Space – Building Science issues identified

Following up on the blog question posted yesterday. This is a photo taken between a vented attic and a conditioned space. The dirty line at the bottom of the insulation shows the path of air infiltration from conditioned to unconditioned space. This is a typical problem in...