Gaines Group Architects

Design Matters – New construction vs custom construction

Design matters. If you are building a new home, proper planning and design will provide you with the most energy-efficient, durable, and healthy home. There are many things that are done in new home construction that are considered standard, that might or might not be healthy,...

Should you vent your crawl space?

If your home has a crawl space with plastic laying loosely on the floor and insulation above your head inside the floor joists – you are wasting energy, have poor indoor-air-quality, and could be growing mold. In our mixed-humid climate, we should seal and condition our...

What is the correct way to test for radon? Indoor Air Quality Tips

Radon is estimated to cause thousands of lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year. The EPA recommends that you test your home for radon and install a mitigation system if the level is 4 picocuries per liter or higher. Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk, and in many...

Your health depends on it – Healthy Indoor Air Quality

As we learn more about building science homes are being built tighter through good construction details. This is a GOOD thing. The new worry is that many products used in homes off gas chemicals known in the industry at Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s). These chemicals...

Indoor Air Quality issues in your home

Do you have you have your clothes dry cleaned? What about the carpet in your home? What chemicals are used in those processes? Where do those chemicals go after the cleaning? The air inside a home can be as much as 5 x’s as toxic as the air outside. Is your home making you...

VOCs in Construction: Is Your Home Making You Sick?

I was at a local hardware store purchasing paint supplies last week. The elderly woman behind me in line (that was very interested in my reasons for purchasing the items) asked why I did not buy any paint. I told her that I wanted to use a paint that had No-VOC’s in the...

Citizen Architect – Design Matters

I believe that as an architect I have an ethical duty to design solutions that are energy efficient, durable, and healthy. It is my job to understand the materials that are available in the market today, know how to use the materials effectively, and to know the impacts on indoor...

Humidity issues in your home? You need one of these.

  As we build our homes tighter and tighter, we are trapping water vapor and destroying our indoor air quality. We produce humidity living in the home, cooking, washing clothes, and burning wood. With all these sources of water, not to mention taking showers, where does the...

It is not all about design when talking to an architect

I worked with a potential new client last night to understand why her electric bills were so high in her home. We found places to easily cut the energy use and places where it is possible but will be a little more difficult. She took all the advice I had to give and is working on...

Crawl Space moisture problems

I am helping this home owner fix a problem left for them by the previous owners of a newly purchased home. In our mixed humid climate, crawl spaces should not be vented, but it has been done for years by builders that do not understand building science. This home had the added...
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