Building College Video

Have you noticed how all of a sudden everyone wants to call their product "Green". 

We have and we know that consumers are looking for factual information to make educated choices for their new homes. 

We have worked a long time to create a building structure which is cost effective, strong, saves energy, and makes your home a healthier place to live. With the help of numerous industry experts, and more Pad's than you can shake a stick at its finally done.

A 3500 sq foot home in Houston Texas with a monthly bill of only 89 dollars for heating and cooling.

Excited so are we and better yet soon this will be affordable for homes in all price ranges.  This is not a new product but rather a systems approach to building a home using well tested products which have been around for years in harmony with each other.

If you want more information contact us but first we invite you  sit back and allow us to help educate you so that you can become a more informed consumer.  To aid in this we have drawn on many sources. One of the best we have found is the Code College an in depth series featuring building science expert Steve Easley. 

We also have information from the US and Canada Departments of Energy, the National Association of Home Builders, Green building information from many sources and just plain old common sense.

There is lots of information and we are constantly updating as we research new products, and refine old techniques.  Regardless of who builds your home pleas feel free to use this resource and take your time to learn what you feel would be best for your individual needs.

You can access each video by clicking on the underlined text.

BUILDING ENVELOPE > Insulation: Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulations

Features & Benefits
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thumbnail Why closed cell spray foam works better than other common insulations.

Installation & Codes
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thumbnail An in depth video lesson on Foam insulation how and why it works as well as how your contractor should install closed cell spray foam in walls, attics, basements, etc.

Construction Foam 101
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thumbnail Physical & chemical differences among foam insulations.

BUILDING ENVELOPE > Insulation: Open Cell Spray Foam Insulation

Spray Foam
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thumbnail Millions of tiny air pockets make foam insulation a very good insulation source. Take a look at how spray foam insulation works and the various methods for applying it correctly.

BUILDING ENVELOPE > Sealed Attic Systems

Sealed Attic Systems Overview
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thumbnail When wind moves across or through a structure, airflow and the moisture it carries reduce insulation's effectiveness. Steve Easley and research engineer Tony Zatkulak examine a new breathable membrane product that helps seal the attic space, reducing air leakage through the roof and preventing moisture buildup.

The Code
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thumbnail Building codes require that contractors ventilate attics to reduce moisture buildup. This video presents a new membrane product that provides an alternative to fully venting the attic, an option currently under evaluation for approval by code authorities.

Installation Using Drape Method
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thumbnail This video demonstrates the drape method of installing a membrane product that creates a sealed attic system. Installers show how to loosely lay the membrane over rafters. They then use a simple jig to fasten the membrane, creating a 1-1/2-inch air space between the underside of the roof sheathing and the membrane itself.

Installation Using Furring Method
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thumbnail With the furring method of installation, see how installers first fasten the membrane tight across the surface of the rafters. Next, they attach furring strips over the top of the membrane and then install the roof sheathing over the furring strips to create an air space between the underside of the roof sheathing and the membrane itself.

Installation Using Rafter Cap Method
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thumbnail The Rafter Cap installation method uses "U" shaped plastic channels that snap into place, fitting tightly over the top of the rafters to fasten the membrane to the rafters. This video shows how installers combine this installation method with the Drape method to create air space between the roof sheathing and the membrane itself.

BUILDING ENVELOPE > Radiant Barriers

Installing Flexible Radiant barriers
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thumbnail In this video, we learn how to install one type of radiant barrier, drapeable or flexible radiant barrier.

Installing sheet type Radiant Barriers
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thumbnail Radiant barriers also come in a variety of sheet forms. Here we investigate these types of radiant barriers.

HVAC > Air Conditioning

AC Sizing
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thumbnail John Proctor, with Proctor Engineering, gives an overview of the necessary step needed to ensure the proper sizing of A/C units and ducts.

AC Installation
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thumbnail Approximately 50% of the money spent on A/C systems is due to inefficiencies in the installation process. John Proctor, engineer and HVAC consultant, outlines proper A/C installation procedures and achieving optimum airflow.

HVAC > HVAC Zoning

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thumbnail Properly designing and installing a zoned HVAC distribution system can result in greater comfort, system efficiency and energy savings.

HVAC > HVAC and Building Pressures

HVAC and Building Pressures
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thumbnail Charlie Gohman of the Arizona Department of Commerce explains how properly designed and installed duct systems can prevent pressure imbalances in the house, leading to energy savings, safer, and more comfortable homes.

HVAC > Ducts

Duct Blaster Demonstration
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thumbnail HVAC Contractor Doug Beaman demonstrates using a Duct Blaster™ for testing duct leakage in a "How to" video segment.

WATER HEATING > Gas Domestic Water Heating

Gas DHW System Overview
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thumbnail Gas domestic Hot Water systems are a very prevalent type of system in today's housing. Here we learn about the different system types and general considerations for their usage

Gas DHW System Installation
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thumbnail The installation of a gas DHW system is simple, as long as all the relevant standards are considered, as we learn in this video.

WATER HEATING > Gas Tankless Water Heaters

Installing Tankless Water Heaters
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thumbnail Instantaneous tankless Water Heaters are gaining in popularity for their efficiency and cost savings. Here we learn the details of their installation with an industry expert.

BUILDING SCIENCE > Mold and Mold Prevention

Mold Overview
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thumbnail Steve Easley explains Mold and its properties; how and where it grows, and common causes of Mold growth. He also investigates the conditions that lend themselves to Mold growth in the home, and how the construction of a new home with respect to insulation and air tightness impacts those conditions.

What Is Mold?
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thumbnail Steve Easley interviews a Certified Industrial Hygienist and they discuss the health effects of mold, how it spreads, and go over some facts one should know before sampling for Mold in advance of doing something to treat it.

Treating Mold
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thumbnail Steve and Susan complete this video series by discussing when and how you should treat mold when you find it in a home.

Mold in Buildings
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thumbnail Steve Easley discusses mold in buildings with Jed Waldman, a health services official from California.

Preventing Mold
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thumbnail Cosimina Panetti, of the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP), talks about some of the methods for and impacts of preventing mold in buildings.

BUILDING SCIENCE > Water Management1

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thumbnail There are many construction process details to consider when accounting for proper Water Management in the pre-construction phase. This video covers many of these subjects, Including:
  • Inspection checklist
  • Activate temporary electric pole
  • Proper scheduling
  • Vapor drive/diffusion defined
  • Code differences in regions

  • Foundation
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    thumbnail Proper detailing of the foundation is essential to Water Management in new construction. Join us as we take a look at the details of a good, water-managed foundation and how the following details are handled;
  • Footer
         Drain tile installation
         Pea gravel in place
  • Sump pump installed/daylights drain hard piped
  • Foundation
         Seal wall ties
  • Under slab poly
  • Material staging area/temp. drive and walks

  • Wall Framing
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    thumbnail There are many steps a builder must take when framing the walls of a home to assure that moisture and bulk water are managed. These issues and details include;
  • Inspect material on delivery/protect from moisture
  • Keep subfloors dry
  • Wall sheathing
  • House wraps
  • Chimney/fireplace flashing

  • Roof
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    thumbnail The roof catches and sheds a tremendous amount of water over the course of a year. How a builder details that roof impacts that buildings ability to handle that load with attention paid to;
  • Proper shingle install
  • Valley, step flashing, cricket installation
  • Proper sealing of penetrations
  • Proper attic ventilation

  • Mechanicals
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    thumbnail A home's mechanical systems play and important part in keeping it dry and free from moisture problems that can cause callbacks for builders and health and comfort problems for homeowners. In this video we will take a look at the following systems and their interrelationships;
  • Proper sizing
  • Dampers
  • Outside air intake
  • Humidifiers
  • Proper PVC and copper install
  • Sealing/flashing wall and roof penetrations
  • Sump pumps
  • Bath fans
  • Range hoods
  • Dryer vents
  • Gas fireplaces

  • Insulation
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    thumbnail How insulation is installed and detailed also impacts the management of moisture in a new home. A number of issues must be properly addressed, as in this video and;
  • Kraft faced insulation
  • Insulate behind tub/shower units
  • Proper sealing of penetration
  • Caulking
  • Seal where you see light

  • Exterior Cladding
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    thumbnail Like the roof, the walls and their exterior finish must be properly detailed to shed a tremendous amount of direct, run-off and wind-blown rainfall. In order to properly handle that water, care must be taken with the following details;
  • Wood
          Vinyl/Aluminum Siding
          Hang Siding
          Proper J channel/starter & strip installation
  • Cement Board
  • Head and bed joints
  • Maintaining a clean air space
  • Weep holes
    Lightweight Stone
  • Double layer weather membrane
  • Scratch coat
  • Proper door and window flashing

    • Flashing and Runoff Controls
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      thumbnail Finally, dealing with the holes in the various building elements and how we direct water away from them and the main building elements is critical to moving the water out. In this video we take a look at a number of these issues, including;
    • Window and door flashing/sealing
    • Review all roof and wall penetrations
    • Proper gutter and downspout sizing and installation
    • Splash blocks
    • Final grade details

    • BUILDING SCIENCE > Water Management2

      Siding Systems - How Walls Work
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    • Deflect
    • Drain
    • Dry
    • Durable

    • Proper Installation Guidelines for Fiberglass Insulation
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    • Fitting fiberglass Batts in stud bays
    • Fitting around outlets and pipes
    • Compressing the batts
    • Friction fit vs. Stapling

    • Insulation - How it Works
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    • What is Thermal Bridging?
    • Heat loss calculations
    • Condensation on studs and drywall

    • Polyiso Insulation Features and Benefits
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    • Polyiso Rigid Foam Wall Insulation
    • How it's made
    • Types and uses of polyiso foam insulation

    • Moisture Management in Cladding Systems
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    • Areas where water leaks into walls
    • Sealing wall penetrations
    • Common mistakes in wall installations
    • Caulks and sealants
    • Flashing around doors and windows over the drainage plane

    • Insulation - Warm Walls and Vapor Migration
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    • Vapor retarders
    • Moisture and vapor diffusion
    • Recommendations for wall and attic insulations

    • Thermal Bridging in Walls
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      thumbnail Keeping the wall assembly warm is essential to controlling moisture and preventing mold and performance problems. These issues are further elaborated upon in this video;
    • Vapor Migration
    • Dew Point
    • Condensation & Mold

    • Controlling Humidity in Walls
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      thumbnail The Building Science behind humidity and moisture control in walls is further investigated in this video, including;
    • Absolute Humidity explained
    • Changing Relative Humidity in a room
    • Thermal bridging in a wall

    • Proper Installation of Cementitious Siding
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    • Cutting boards
    • Proper nailing
    • Installing lap board siding
    • Installing trim
    • Special cutting tools
    • Install mistakes to avoid

    • Correct Installation of Roofing and Attic Ventilation
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    • Proper roofing installation from drip edges to ridge vents
    • How to install roof underlayment
    • Where to install roof flashing
    • Nailing patterns, fasteners
    • Types of shingles, starter strips
    • Attic ventilation
    • Common mistakes in attic ventilation

    • BUILDING SCIENCE > Applied Building Science for Hot/Humid Climates

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      thumbnail Doug Garrett and Steve Easley lay the groundwork for the "House as a System" approach to residential design and construction, and describe the "Building Team" approach.

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      thumbnail Everything starts with the foundation, as does applied building science. Join Doug and Steve as they work on the foundation and its design, construction and related details which impact the rest of the home as it is constructed.

      Framing and Roof
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      thumbnail So much depends on the framing design and detailing when a building professional thinks about that building system and how it must accommodate the other building systems. Attention to air sealing, detailing for incorporating mechanicals and utilities, providing a drainage plane and many other aspects must be considered. Listen and watch as Doug and Steve take you through from the bottom plate to the roof of this phase of the design and construction process.

      Mechanicals 1
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      thumbnail The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in a house are perhaps the most important and misunderstood in the homebuilding process. Attention to HVAC location, design, sizing, location, and maintenance are covered in this section which is essential for HVAC professionals and builders alike

      Mechanicals 2
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      thumbnail The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in a house are perhaps the most important and misunderstood in the homebuilding process. Attention to HVAC location, design, sizing, location, and maintenance are covered in this section which is essential for HVAC professionals and builders alike.

      Insulation, Drywall, Plumbing and Electrical
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      thumbnail Understanding the properties of different insulation materials, along with the importance of how we install them is covered in this section. The best design intent can quickly be undermined by poor planning and construction of the envelope finish and utility systems that must be included before a home is closed in. This section covers many of the do's and don'ts of these sub-trades, and considerations that must be made to not undo what we have done right to this point in the "House as a System" approach.

      Additional Tips
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      thumbnail In this segment you will learn some key additional tips from Doug on a variety of handy construction details that will fill in the gaps in the "House as a System" approach to homebuilding and prevent water and moisture from adversely impacting the finished product.

      What To Do If You Have Mold
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      thumbnail Some of the homes you've built, designed or conditioned are experiencing mold problems. Learn some of the basics about Mold and its impacts from Industrial Hygienist Susan Raterman in this section and some great tips on how to mitigate Mold, including useful references to the latest protocols for mitigation.

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      thumbnail “All this is going to make my homes more expensive”, most builders would say. Not so, say Doug and Steve, as they bring it all together to shift a homes costs to provide more cost-effective and better homes, as well as to cut the builder’s liability and callback costs.

      BUILDING ENVELOPE > Fenestration

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      thumbnail Steve Easley gives us an overview of low-e glass and the effect it can have on a home's energy efficiency.

      Energy Performance
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      thumbnail Take a closer look at spectrally selective low-e glass and what the NFRC label tells about windows' energy performance.

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      thumbnail Here Steve Easley visits a manufacturing facility to help us learn about how high performance glass is made, and the differences in various glazing products and performance elements of that glass.

      Window sizing
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      thumbnail The area and orientation of windows in a home can have a huge impact on comfort and energy bills. Here the impacts of window area including energy consumption and HVAC sizing are examined.

      Window Performance
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      thumbnail Today's housing market often demands greater window areas, and these greater areas can conflict with energy code compliance. Here we learn generally how today's high performance windows can satisfy both the need for more window area and performance for code compliance.

      BUILDING ENVELOPE > Housewraps

      Housewrap Overview
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      thumbnail In this video we investigate where leaks can cause energy losses, how air barriers work and demonstrates why properly installed housewraps can help prevent this. Steve Easley goes over the reasons for, and the need to create, an air barrier and the benefits in terms of performance and energy efficiency.

      Installing Air Barriers
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      thumbnail When properly installed, a housewrap can serve as both and effective air and serve as the home's weather resistive barrier. Steve Easley and product specialist Dean Whitehead go over the proper installation of a homewrap.

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      thumbnail Steve and product specialist Kay Demey talk about the importance of flashing wall openings like windows and doors and integrating these elements into a properly installed housewrap system.

      Reflective Housewraps Overview
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      thumbnail Here, Steve Easley and research engineer Tony Zatkulak introduce reflective housewraps, a new product that helps protect the effective R-value of insulation in a structure by reducing radiant heat flow.

      BUILDING ENVELOPE > Insulation: Rigid Foam Insulation

      Overview of Rigid Foam Insulation
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      thumbnail Doug Bibee, Residential Technical Specialist, Dow Building Materials, explains the benefits of using insulated foam sheathing in to increase energy efficiency and help prevent moisture/mold problems.

      Exterior Wall Sheathing
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      thumbnail Wood framing typically represents 25% of the surface area of walls, so the proper installation of insulated foam sheathing can prevent thermal bridging and increase energy efficiency in a house.

      Exterior Basements and Slabs
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      thumbnail Insulating the exterior foundation walls helps the concrete stay warm and uses thermal mass properties to help keep the basement warmer. Find out how to install exterior insulated foam sheathing.

      Interior Basement and Crawlspaces
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      thumbnail Installing insulated foam sheathing on the interior walls of a pre-existing basement helps prevent heat loss and moisture problems.

      BUILDING ENVELOPE > Insulation: SIPs

      SIPs - Overview
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      thumbnail Structural Insulated Panel Overview: Frank Baker, President of Insulspan, discusses SIP construction.

      SIPs - Installation
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      thumbnail Structural Insulated Panel Installation: Michael Morley, SIPS builder and author of "Building with SIPS," discusses the proper installation techniques of Structural Insulated Panels.

      SIPs - The Code
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      thumbnail Frank Baker, President of Insulspan, discusses the building code requirements for SIPS.

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      BUILDING ENVELOPE > Insulation: Cellulose Insulation

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      thumbnail Cellulose insulation has many unique benefits when installed properly and to manufacturer's specifications. The following video segments give a look at this recyclable material and how it is installed in a home.

      Insulating Walls
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      thumbnail Steve Easley and Energy consultant Rick Chitwood cover all the necessary steps to ensure the best R-values when installing cellulose in walls.

      Insulating Ceilings
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      thumbnail Steve and Rick discuss the methods and equipment used in blowing cellulose insulation into attics.

      BUILDING ENVELOPE > Insulation: Fiberglass Insulation

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      thumbnail Steve and insulation expert Joe Arrigo go over the care must be taken to assure that fiberglass insulation is installed properly with no voids or gaps and in contact with all surfaces.

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      thumbnail Here we see the methods for the high quality installation of fiberglass insulation.

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      thumbnail High quality installation of insulation procedures for raised floors and floors over garages.

      Materials and Safety
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      thumbnail Materials and safety considerations for high quality installation of insulation.

      RENEWABLES > Photovoltaics

      Residential Photovoltaics
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      thumbnail Expert PV installer Bill Brooks goes over the basics of a Solar Photovoltaic system, how they work, and the various components and considerations for a PV system.

      PV Installation
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      thumbnail Bill and Steve get into greater detail on the siting, sizing and installation of a solar PV system

      RENEWABLES > Wind Power

      Wind Power
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      thumbnail This desert-dweller has installed and lived with a Wind Power system for a number of years, and shares her insight on these systems, their installation, maintenance and use.

      TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS > Modular Storm Shelters

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      thumbnail Aboveground shelters protect people from windborne debris during hurricanes or tornadoes. Installers can easily add a modular storm shelter to an existing home, or incorporate the shelter into a new building design. Here, Steve Easley and associate engineer Jeff Hanks describe the protective features of in-home shelters.

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      thumbnail Modular Storm Shelters are quick and easy to install; many take less than one day. In this video, Dana Perry describes the steps that qualified installers take to fit the components of a modular storm shelter system together.

      TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS > Mold and Mold Treatment

      Mold and Materials
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      thumbnail Steve interviews Certified Industrial Hygienist Susan Raterman on the subject of Mold and how it can be prevented by the proper handling and use of materials, as well as by using mold-resistant materials, and how mold should be treated when it is present in a building.

      Mold Treatment
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      thumbnail There are many misconceptions about how mold should be treated when it is discovered in buildings. Steve talks with an industry expert about some of those misconceptions, as well as products and how they should be applied to eradicate and prevent mold.