A site with a blog with very few additions, BUT with great information! Alan from Think NOLA sent this to me via his newsletter and the information is sound. You can ask questions if you like and the folks will respond. It's a great resource!
Latest blog post:
The Top Ten Construction Errors in New Orleans
September 8th, 2006 by Myron Katz
10. Failing to obtain advice from a certified energy consultant, before planning construction, on issues such as sizing air conditioning, employing multiple energy controls, placing the boundaries of the conditioned area and specifying the right materials, mechanical equipment, appliances and their installation.
9. Putting air-conditioning ducts in non-conditioned spaces. This always results in major energy losses from heat flow through the duct insulation and usually causes ducts to sweat. Very commonly, ducts leak to unconditioned spaces. This can lower pressure and cause the house to “suck,” leading to higher energy bills, poor indoor air quality and building degradation.
8. Tampering with original construction features of a building may cause major problems if it includes the incorrect addition of vents or insulation, the sealing of windows or attics, or the use of materials that can retard moisture flows.
7. Building walls that can’t handle a rain every day for one month straight.
6. Not having enough drying to handle air infiltration often causes people to set thermostats below 75 degrees; moisture then builds up in walls or floors and damage is likely.
5. Ignoring subsidence by laying a simple slab, using chain-wall or pier foundations on the moving soil of New Orleans instead of using an integrated structure like reinforced, interconnected concrete pilings holding up a 1½ foot slab.
4. Skipping certified, third-party oversight and inspections throughout construction.
3. Disconnecting the home from beneficial energy flows coming from the sun and the earth.
2. Using advice or specifications provided by out-of-town instead of local “experts.”
1. Ignoring the events in late summer of 2005 as a prediction of the future and not hurricane-proofing windows and roofs or flood-proofing walls and floors. At the very least, we should be adding hurricane-resistant glass and protecting roofs by putting hips on all four sides which extend three feet beyond the walls, connecting rafter-ends to the building and using hurricane clips and straps to connect the rafters through the structure all the way to the foundation. To resist floods, the best insulation, wall boards and structural components are water-tolerant materials or treatments, and we should raise and reinforce foundations. However, to really do it right, new homes should be built using a minimum of wood since this material is neither sufficiently moisture-resistant nor strong enough to withstand hurricanes and floods!
Air conditioning, Construction Planning, Efficient Housing, Insulation, New Orleans