Home Improvement Blog

Pros and Cons of different decking material

Posted by william bateman on Tue, May 03, 2011 @ 10:19 AM

You are looking to build new deck but you may be confused about what type of material to use. This is a very common question that customers ask me all the time. Cedar, pressure treated and composite will all create a beautiful finished product in the end. It mostly boils down to the customer. If you like the look and feel of wood and don't mind a little maintenance over the years, wood is for you. If maintenance free is on your mind, composite is for you.

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The pros and cons of cedar decking:

If the natural look of wood is tops on your list, use cedar. The heartwood of the tree (the deeper colored red part, not the white sap part) is rot resistant. Cedar doesn’t readily absorb moisture— and, since moisture is what creates twisting and splitting, cedar decking tends to lie flat and straight. Most carpenters figure a lifespan of 15 to 20 years for cedar deck boards, but it can deteriorate faster when used for ground-level decks
and for shaded decks that are slow to dry out.

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To retain the color, you have to clean it and reseal it every year or two, and even then it’s a losing battle. I’ve never seen a 10-year-old cedar deck that still had that warm, rich look of new wood. Cedar is also soft; when used for stairs or for decks where furniture gets dragged around a lot, the edges in particular can get beat up. Finally, the cost of the cedar is moderate, more than pressure-treated but somewhat less than composite.

The pros and cons of pressure-treated decking:

If economy and longevity are your bag, go with pressure-treated wood. It’s stainable, hard enough to resist abuse, and many brands carry a lifetime (though limited) warranty. But beware, not all treated woods are created equal. The standard treated decking at my local lumberyard costs less than cedar. But inexpensive treated wood is often full of moisture and will shrink unevenly and twist when it dries. One homeowner told me, “Yeah, my treated deck may last forever—but it’s going to look BAD forever too.”

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We suggest you buy “choice,” “premium” or “select” treated boards. At about 40 percent more per linear foot, you’ll pay more, but the boards have fewer knots and straighter grain. And, since many of the higher grade choices are kiln-dried both before and after pressure treatment, they have less tendency to warp.

The pros and cons of composite decking:

If near-zero maintenance is your goal, buy composite decking. Most is made from recycled plastic and wood chips or sawdust. It’s more expensive than cedar, but once it’s down, it won’t rot, splinter or twist. The color change is even (though in shady, damp areas it can turn dark, like the example in the photo). You can even stain most types after four to six months. Since the material is defect free, you can use every inch. Maintenance involves spraying it off with a hose. Some people don’t like the look of the stuff and it’s cold on bare feet. But if you want to relax on your deck instead of work on it, bite the bullet and spend the extra cash.

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WMB Construction specializes in all forms of deck construction. We will work with you to find a deck that fits your budget and life style.

  • Raised decks

  • Ground level decks

  • Pool decks

  • Deck extensions

  • Pergolas

  • Tiered decks

  • Powerwashing

  • Deck painting and staining


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Topics: construction-general-painting-monroe, Monroe NY, Composite Decking Orange County NY, construction-general--monroe, Creations

Enhancement and saftey when adding an egress window to your basement

Posted by william bateman on Wed, Mar 16, 2011 @ 10:27 PM

Most of my customers are not to familiar with the word "egress". It is a term that mostly defines a fire escape window in your homes basement that acts as an exit in case of an emergency. It is the most effective way to move you and your loved ones out of harms way in case tragedy does occur. Can you imagine your loved ones trapped under fire with nowhere to go? Horrible thought but it happens more often then you can imagine.

What you Risk by not having an egress window:


  • In time of a possible tragedy, you and your loved ones need to be able to escape
  • National building codes require egress windows so if tragedy occurs, you will be held at fault.
  • When you sell, most building departments will require installation of an egress window.(not doing so will most likely create huge delays in closing dates)

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Within a few days we will cleanly dig and cut your foundation out for your newly installed egress window. With many installs under our belt, we have perfected installing egress windows with minimal dust and damage. Most contractors cut from the inside- out, we have perfected a technique from the outside-in that brings dust levels to extreme lows. Cutting on the inside reduces dust contents to an extreme low leaving your home virtually free of contaminating particles. Cutting inside will create enormous dust up to three stories high. It is kind of amazing where concrete dust will travel!

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 The ground has been excavated and concrete removed from the outside. This is a huge part of performing a quality and clean job when performing an egress window. You cannot believe the damage that can be done by hiring an unexperienced contractor for a project like this. Dust control is priority as well as maintaining the integrity of your foundation.

Egress windows will also enhance your basement:


  • More natural lightgreenwood excavating monroe ny
  • Better ventilation
  • Less mold and mildew
  • Makes rooms appear larger


Egress windows are a huge investment to your home. From protection to enhancement, think about what you will gain! It is one of the projects in your home you think the least about, but will have one of the biggest effects in the future!

I have to say, most of my calls for egress windows come from home sales that hold up closings for weeks or maybe months. You may have bought your home years ago and during inspection it was overlooked! The new codes have building departments all over enforcing it, and you may/or may not get away with it. If you are looking to sell, do your research ahead of time because the building department can make the closing process painful and costly for both buyer and seller! Most delays range from 3 weeks to a couple of months!

On the other hand, look into the safety and benefits an egress window will add to your home. Pound per penny, it is a wise investment.

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 Click on our logo to set up your free estimate!!



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Topics: Monroe NY, orange county ny, General Contractor, remodeling, Creations, egress windows

Damage due to poor drainage

Posted by william bateman on Fri, Mar 04, 2011 @ 11:06 PM

The weight of water is one of natures biggest fears. It costs Americans trillions of dollars a year just in home damage. This doesn't even account for damage costs at sea. Lets face it, the force of water sank the titanic and thousands perished. What are the consequences you can face in your own home.

From a small town in Monroe, NY we have our fair share of bad weather. Surrounding us is the Tri-state region which includes NY, NJ and Connecticut. Unlike the rest of the country, we don't experience too many tornadoes, hurricanes or earthquakes. We do have the tendency to experience massive snowstorms and crippling rain in the spring. Now we have experienced a hurricane!!!



Major rains will bring your home devastating results like this without proper drainage. My own personal home experienced this last year after 3 feet of snow and a following of 4 inches of rain. I immediately came to the conclusion that my newly purchased home had inadequate footing drains. Within weeks I broke ground and started replacing the damaged drains.

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 This picture above shows a curtain drain being installed and tied into the footing drains already installed. The idea is to divert water away from you home before it can enter. Without installing the correct drainage components can create results you may never thought possible!!

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WMB Construction excavated this property in Monroe, NY for water issues due to poor footing drains. What we found on top of digging blew my mind. The actual weight of water and ice collapsed the infrastructure of the foundation leaving the homeowners bedroom upstairs unsafe. The foundation had pushed itself in 4-5 inches.monroe landscaping drainage


As it may be hard to see from the photo, the foundation was almost at the point of complete failure. Even my helper looks puzzled how it happened!lol

The biggest overlooks of drainage:

  • What you can't see, will not hurt you!(huge misconception)

  • Worry about it later!(do you know mold and mildew problems will make you home worthless?)

  • We'll worry about those expanding foundation cracks in the future.(these issues don't go away, only become worse.)

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The results of poor footing drains

WMB Construction had to re support the upper level and remove the damaged areas of the foundation. All due to the strength and power of water!

How did we correct the problem?

  • We started by installing new block to match the existing wall structure.

  • Every row of block we installed "Durawall" reinforcement to ensure future strength

  • When block were installed to the existing grade we installed rebar through all the block.

  • Block holes were filled solid with 4,000 psi gravel mix cement to ensure no possible future movement of the wall.

  • Installed industry standard footing drain application.

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Drainage is the #1 key in keeping your home dry and free of mold and mildew! What you can't see, will hurt you and your investment!

Drainage services:

  • Footing drains

  • Curtain drains

  • Sump pumps

  • Gutter drainage







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Topics: construction-general-painting-monroe, Monroe NY, orange county ny, construction-general, Creations, footing drain

WMB Construction bathroom remodel, attached slideshow

Posted by william bateman on Tue, Mar 01, 2011 @ 09:37 PM

Bathroom renovations are one of our favorite remodels performed. Average of one or two weeks, we can transform your once dispicatble room into a room of beauty and elegance. WMB Construction has been creating elegant products for many years now throughout Orange County, NY.

On a personal level, I experience that my wife enjoys a shower 3-4 times a day. The bathroom is an area of your home that is a necessity that cleans, relieves, prepares and relaxes you for the next day, morning or the night! Now on that note, I mostly notice that women have a stronger desire to enjoy the bathroom. Soft soaps, candles, bubble bath, make-up, etc.; it is a priority to relax and keep themselves moisturized and beautiful. 



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Now, male or female, who would want to take a bath in this tub? Just think of the mold, rust and mildew that has been growing in this tub.

In this situation what to do:

  • Call "Rebath" to cover up the mold and mildew
  • Try bleach and ammonia to kill the bacteria
  • Sell and take a huge loss

In this situation there is only one realistic solution in correcting the problem!


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 A full bathroom renovation increases the value and quality of your life!!

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 WMB CONSTRUCTION new tub install and recessed shelf constructed!

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Within a week to two, we will transform your bathroom!


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Ever think of a recessed shelf built into your wall?


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In one to two weeks you can enjoy this!!!


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A new bathroom renovation gains:

  • Added value to your home
  • Eliminate mold and mildew problems
  • Elevated mood in a clean enviroment
  • Less health issues due to allergies
  • New fixtures create a better atomosphere for less water issues

WMB Construction is your full phase construction company for any of your home improvements needs!

Enjoy our selected slideshow of our most recent bathroom renovation.

Topics: Monroe NY, orange county ny, General Contractor, remodel, construction-general, bathrooms, Construction, Creations, monroe

WMB Construction with Benjamin Moore paint applications!

Posted by william bateman on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 @ 01:22 PM

Interior or exterior, there is no faster way to improve the appearance of your home. So many options of colors, shades and finishes to create a total transformation to your largest investment. You have the opportunity to create a warming atmosphere within the walls of your home in a couple of days without major renovation.pauls painting mccormick monroe nyA great paint job starts with a great product. Painting for many years out of Monroe, NY I have found that Benjamin Moore products are the best in the industry. They offer a large line and grades of paint for whatever your application may be.  With thousands of colors to choose from you can create the perfect color combination for your home. Benjamin Moore also has recommended color combinations available for you to see to make choosing easier.


Benjamin Moores five favorite greys:

Benjamin Moore paint color revere pewter HC-172

revere pewter (HC-172)

A light gray with warm undertones, this classic shade creates a unifying look that calms and restores. A great transitional color, it's perfect for an open floor plan.

Benjamin Moore Gray Paint Color kendall charcoal HC-166

kendall charcoal (HC-166)

Rich, deep, and luxurious, kendall charcoal pops beautifully when paired with crisp white room accents and trim. A versatile neutral, it also works well with most color schemes.

Benjamin Moore paint color cape may cobblestone 1474

cape may cobblestone (1474)

This classic, elegant gray confers a sense of spaciousness that makes it ideal for small bedrooms and areas like hallways and mudrooms.

Benjamin Moore paint color metropolitan AF-690

metropolitan (AF-690)

A stylish gray with cool blue undertones, metropolitan reflects the modern sophistication of 21st-century urban spaces.

Benjamin Moore paint color silhouette AF-655

silhouette (AF-655)

Red undertones make silhouette a sultry gray that can turn an unremarkable room into a lush, sumptuous space.

Each color almost seems to have a story being told behind it. Different color go with different styles, different emotions and different people. This is a story that dates back to the early 1900's when Henry Ford realized that not everybody wanted a black car. Colors describe people differently.

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Colour & Style Ideas by Sharon Grech

I believe that colour is the most affordable and influential factor to creating an atmosphere that best expresses your personal style! Paint colour can be vibrant, dramatic, tranquil or fun. With Colour & Style Ideas, I hope to inspire you to bring some colour into your life!

Sharon Grech is a Colour & Style expert with Benjamin Moore Paints in Canada and regularly appears on CityTV's CityLine with colourful room makeovers that appeal to all budgets and style preferences.

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Traditional plaid gets a modern update when partnered with an unexpected geometric. Soft cotton sateen sheets and coordinating decorative cushions complete the Lauren ensemble. With its understated palette, this collection is a perfect addition to any bedroom.
feather gray
ivory white
kingsport gray


The possibilites are endless when you start painting.

What you gain with a new paint job:

  • Fresh appearance to your home
  • Elevated mood
  • Inspiration
  • Added value to your home
  • Protection from the elements

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Contact us today for your free painting estimate!!

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Topics: Monroe NY, painting, orange county ny, remodel, construction-general--monroe, Creations

Five key drainage installations to eliminate your homes water issues

Posted by william bateman on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 @ 10:14 AM

Lots of water and no where for it to go. Water tables this time of year are at their capacity leaving water to seep into undesired areas. These areas usually consist of your homes basement. With improper drainage water cannot be diverted away from your home.

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Tips for removing water away and out of your home:

  • Install a sump pump inside your basement. It is installed in the concrete floor to relieve aquastatic pressure before it can enter into your home.
  • Install french drains inside your basement. Drains are installed in the corner of the wall and floor. Usually installed due to failing footing drains.
  • All homes are installed with footing drains unless built on a slab. Over time, older footing drains fail due to products used years ago or poor installation. Footing drains are the number one factor for relieving water away from your home.
  • Install a curtain drain. Curtain drains help relieve water before it reaches your footing drains. Also good for wet areas of your property.
  • Divert gutter downspouts away from home.

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 The key to good drainage is a good installation. Most systems fail due to poor installation and a misunderstanding of how the system works. Water is one of natures greatest forces and costs homeowners and insurance companies trillions of dollars a year.

Key factors when installing footing drains:

  • Make sure before you dig, call! Have a markout done so you don't hit any underground lines.
  • Use a minimum 4" corrugated pipe.
  • Use more gravel than necessary. Gravel is natural drainage.
  • Install filter fabric around gravel.
  • Install filter fabric around corrugated pipe.
  • Use a good quality foundation coating.

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 Curtain drains are a perfect way to relieve water away from your home or property. It works the same way as a footing drain and a lot of the time they are installed together. With both systems installed it cuts down your risk of water penetrating your home.

Why you might need a curtain drain:

  • Areas of your property are consistently wet
  • Water problems in your basement
  • Your soil has bad perculation

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Sump pumps are an excellent way of keeping unwanted water out of your basement. Installed in your basement floor, sump pumps relieve water from aquastatic pressure. In some areas, water tables are always high. As the pressure builds, water will always go where there is the least resistance. This will be in the cracks of your floor or walls. A sump pump catches any unwanted water before it can penetrate  into your home.

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 Removing water away from your home is always a good idea. Gutter downspouts drain a massive amount of water from your roof. Installing a 4" pipe in the ground to divert the water elsewhere is an excellent investment.

What you gain by diverting water from your downspouts:

  • Less water to worry about penetrating your foundation.
  • Less mold and mildew issues next to your home.
  • Much cleaner appearance.


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 Water problems are always an issue. Fixing the problem is another issue. In the picture above you can easily see the high water table before we installed the curtain drain. Contact WMB Construction today for your next water issue.

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Topics: orange county ny, General Contractor, remodel, Construction, basements, Creations, footing drain

Half priced bathrooms

Posted by william bateman on Wed, Feb 16, 2011 @ 08:51 AM

Complete bathroom renovations sometimes cannot be avoided if years of water and mildew has left your bathroom in disrepair. In many cases though, your walls and ceiling may be in good condition leaving you only to change the components of your bathroom. Most bathrooms deteriorate in the shower area. Years ago cement board was not available on the market so moisture resistant sheetrock was used. Moisture resistant sheetrock was good for its time,  but in contact with water it would quickly deteriorate. When installing cement board, you are replacing a water resistant product with a waterproof product, huge difference.

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 Due to economic times, our customers have liked the idea of a quick makeover that leaves them with all new components in their bathroom at a discounted price. In the picture above we replaced the old neo-angle showerbase, new divertor, cement board, tile floor and ceiling, vanity and paint.

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This was the shower before we started. You can easily see the decor of the bathroom tile is outdated and in need of replacement. The original two valve diverter had been leaking for years and was beyond repair. We replaced it with a more modern single hand diverter. 


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 Customer was thrilled with the new bathroom remodel we performed and left them with a few extra bucks in their pocket. Their new bathroom is ready for many more years of use.

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 This is another bathroom remodel we performed in Monroe, NY. You can easily see in the photo the mildew and water damage. The  tub was one of the cheapest tubs on the market, a steel tub. The tub was rusting for many years and we removed it just in time before more damage occured. We installed a new Americast tub in place of the old and replaced all new components in the bathroom. We were able to save the walls in this bathroom.

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You would never know this was the same bathroom. We removed the old motel look and upgraded the entire appearance of the bathroom in a few days. Another happy customer with a WMB Construction remodel.


Topics: painting, remodel, bathrooms, Construction, construction-general--monroe, Creations

Enhance your kitchen by adding a tile backsplash

Posted by william bateman on Tue, Feb 08, 2011 @ 12:10 PM

The backsplash of your kitchen can take quite a beating from water, grease and grime. Your backsplash wall with a little paint applied over the sheetrock surface is not enough protection from these elements. Soon the paint and sheetrock will deteriorate leaving more of a problem. If you have a formica countertop that isn't caulked correctly, you can risk damage to the countertop due to water penetration.

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Besides just protection, tile backsplashes add elegance and beauty to your kitchen. With so many decorating options available for your kitchen, a backsplash will have the most impact. From natural stone, to ceramic tile, to different borders; the ideas start to become endless.



In this photo we installed a natural stone tile. You can quickly see the difference it made to this kitchen. Because natural stone is porous, Bright Seal was applied to the tile to seal and protect. The sealer also enhances the natural beauty of the tile.

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 The tile installed even made the beauty of the faucet stand out. This countertop came unequipped without any attached backsplash. The customer almost lost the countertop due to water penetrating and delaminating the formica. We saved the countertop just in time by adding the tile backsplash and sealing off all voids where water could penetrate.

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In this photo we installed ceramic subway tile with a natural stone border. The countertop in this photo is equipped with a 4" backsplash giving the countertop a little more integrity.

The added beauty and protection with a tile backsplash is an unmatched upgrade to your kitchen. Tile back splashes also offer added value to your home along with peace in mind that you will get longevity out of your kitchen. 


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Topics: orange county ny, remodel, construction-general--monroe, Creations, kitchens, tile

Bathroom remodel and added benefits

Posted by william bateman on Sat, Feb 05, 2011 @ 11:30 PM

Bathroom remodels are one of my favorite creations for customers. Creating a beautiful bathroom and seeing the faces of my customers when the project is complete is worth everything in the world. Your bathroom supplies you with all the necessities to create a surreal environment. That hot shower on a cold day after work to soothe your aching muscles or that hot and humid day in the summer to cool down, the bathroom is always the room in the house to relax and clean up.

With hundreds of bathroom renovations performed over the years, WMB Construction prides itself in installing a quality bathroom in an adequate time frame. When we perform a bathroom installation, just like any other projects, we perform one job at a time making your job our main concern before other waiting customers. We know and realize what it is like not to have an operating bathroom in your home. Within 1-2 wks we will have you up and running in your new bathroom remodel.



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Now just think about all your bathroom options. You can leave the original floor plan or possibly move everything around. From a tub to a shower stall or maybe a mud job where we build you a custom shower base. Water spouts that divert water in every direction at you or that jet tub you always wanted. Ideas are endless when creating your bathroom oasis at home.

Topics: construction-general, bathrooms, construction-general--monroe, Creations

Energy efficiency with Certainteed

Posted by william bateman on Sun, Jan 23, 2011 @ 09:38 AM



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The most inexpensive energy is the energy not consumed in the first place. Design that incorporates high levels of thermal insulation, whole building air tightness, high performance windows, passive solar design techniques and energy saving technologies will create buildings that are more energy efficient and comfortable. CertainTeed Building Science gives insight into the cause and effect dynamic between improving a building’s energy efficiency without compromising the buildings indoor air quality or building envelopes hygrothermal performance over time.

To make buildings more energy efficient and comfortable, heat flow must be controlled. While it is impossible to completely stop the three modes of heat transfer – conduction, convection and radiation – it is possible to slow the rate of energy exchange by increasing the thermal performance of building envelopes – foundations, walls and roof-ceiling assemblies – using quality cavity and continuous insulation materials. Freedom from thermal bridging is especially important in improving the overall energy efficiency of a building envelope. Thermal bridges are weak points in the building envelope that cause unwanted loss of energy usually associated with structural components in the system. Isolating framing from the outdoor environment, especially highly conductive building materials like steel, aluminum and concrete, with continuous exterior insulation systems is critical to performance.

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Controlling air leakage is a very important step in improving the energy efficiency and comfort of a building. Constructing air tight buildings with compartmentalized spaces significantly reduces the seasonal heating and cooling load energy demands on a building. Air tight buildings require controlled fresh air ventilation in order to maintain a healthful indoor environment. Ideally, energy recovery ventilators are used to exchange air between the indoor and outdoor environments to minimize the energy impact of the fresh air exchange.northern windows

High performance, energy efficient fenestration products are critical to increasing the energy efficiency of a building, since a high percentage of the building envelopes surface area includes windows, curtain walls and doors. The designer must consider the heating and cooling load requirements for the building based on site orientation and climate.
Today designers have the ability to harness or dissipate energy from the sun by integrating passive solar design techniques and active solar energy technologies into buildings that include:

High solar reflective and thermal emittance roofing systems

Green roofs

Seasonal shading systems

As well as active solar systems that include:

Building integrated photovoltaic systems

Solar thermal water heating

In addition, energy efficient lighting, appliances, heating systems and air conditioning equipment are available to reduce internal loads. Air tight thermally insulated air distribution systems effectively deliver conditioned air to occupied spaces, improving comfort while increasing system energy efficiency.

CertainTeed Building Science resources provide you with a keen understanding of the laws of building physics – heat, air and moisture flow – that directly contribute to a building’s energy efficiency. Search our resources that include videos, articles, white papers, educational presentations and literature to learn about:

The three modes of heat flow

Types of thermal insulation materials and applications

Thermal performance attributes of insulated assemblies

Building air flow

Air barrier systems and applications

High performance fenestration products - windows, curtain walls and doors

High solar reflective and thermal emittance roofs

Building envelope and HVAC system performance evaluation techniques


Topics: construction-general-painting-monroe, Creations, certainteed