Green Terms defined: Exterior Foam Insulation


Exterior foam insulation can be used to enhance the energy performance of a wood stud wall system. When a traditional wall system, using 2x studs, is the only place you insulate – 25% of the wall is left un-insulated. Or rather, 25% of a traditional wall is made of wood studs which does not have…

“Your house needs to breathe” is a blatant lie


Talking with any experienced carpenter, you have probably heard the phrase “a house needs to breath, you don’t want to build it too tight.” This is common folklore that has been passed down from generation to generation. Your builder tells you he is doing something that is good for your home by letting it leak…

Duke Gardens – Harrisonburg Apartment Renvoation


Duke Gardens (which I introduced in this post) is almost done and the details are coming together just as planned. In a competitive market all building owners look for advantages they can gain over the competition to get tenants in both residential and commercial. In our new multi-family projects we are able to design a…

Design Matters – why it matters to me and I want it to matter to you.


I blog a lot about building science, the importance of holistic design, and occasionally local business leaders. I have told stories about a typical day in the life of an architect, the value of memberships in industry organizations, and my daughter’s view of the world – “you just have to stop being lazy and fix…

Simple solutions that reduce energy consumption – transpired solar collector


In the commercial building world, design is often overlooked from the performance side. The focus often goes to aesthetics and maximizing the built area while balancing the environmental impacts on the surrounding site(s). The indoor environmental quality and energy consumption of the building design is left out of the process. This is a huge mistake…

Our deck needs to be replaced, what should we do?


A back deck is almost standard on a new home these days. There used to be one solution, pressure treated wood for most homes. Now there are countless options depending on your budget. So what is right for your deck project? 1. The economic answer is still pressure treated. However, as you probably already know,…

The Gaines Group, PLC adds depth and experience with James Halstead, Jr.


 For Immediate Release:  The Gaines Group, PLC adds depth and experience with James Halstead, Jr. Press Inquiries: Charles Hendricks, AIA, CSI, CDT, CAPS, LEED AP 540-437-0012, cbhendricks@thegainesgroup.com Charlottesville, VA – The Gaines Group, PLC is pleased to announce the addition of James Halstead, Jr. to our Charlottesville, VA design team. James brings 16 years of…

10 Ways to Lower your Monthly Water Bills


Cutting your water usage saves money, conserves water resources, and cuts your energy usage. Implement these simple ideas to get started saving water. 1. Check faucets and pipes for leaks. A small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water per day. 2. Check the toilet for leaks. Put a little…

Harrisonburg Blogs of Interest


Funkhouser Real Estate Group – Real estate blog Harrisonblog – People, Places, Events, and Issues in Harrisonburg (with an emphasis on real estate) Harrisonburg Architect – Tips about healthy, energy-efficient, durable architectural design Harrisonburg Career Coaching – all about career development Harrisonburg’s Home Page – innovative blog highlighting the best of Harrisonburg Harrisonburg Housing Matters – Real Estate…