The Right Material Choices

It is important to engage in your project early to find the right materials and systems

materialselectionsmallerVery often structural, enclosure, and insulating materials get chosen for the wrong reasons, thus raising costs and decreasing project quality and building performance. Examples include:

Calling for fly ash concrete when slag is much more available; or calling for 'highf ly ash' concrete without limiting the use of cement (which is how to reduce your carbon footpring).

Calling for straw bale walls in situations of high moisture risk and low thermal insulation requirements, such as unheated garages.

Using insulating concrete forms where they will do no good, as in retaining walls.

Designing a highly glazed passive solar wall without insulating the enclosure or providing thermal mass.
                          Lots of glass + no mass = freeze your ass

Expecting high mass walls, such as concrete or rammed earth, to be 'just like' insulation. They are not.

The right materials in the right place can save money, reduce the risk of moisture problems, and increase building efficiency, while the wrong materials or assemblies can have the opposite effects.

I'm an agnostic. I don't push any particular technology or system, having seen too many people suffer the consequences of choosing materials and products - mainstream or alternative - without thinking through the bigger picture.

I can help you make this process relatively easy, which can save time and money, while increasing your building's efficiency, expecially if I can help in the beginning of design.