Don’t Overcomplicate Air Sealing – You Just need a Caulk Gun

by | Mar 30, 2023 | #1920sMakeoverATL, Framing | 0 comments

At SawHorse Inc, we are proud to have exceeded the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) standard for the #1920sMakeoverATL project. But that’s not all. We went above and beyond the requirements of the Georgia Energy Code by more than 1600% for the Air Changes per Hour at 50 pascals (ACH50) test. Achieving such outstanding results might seem like it would require the use of high-end materials and products, but we proved that’s not the case.

We opted to use products already available in the market, such as the Huber Zip System, a widely used product by builders. The key was to focus on the sealing process to ensure we achieved the desired energy efficiency levels. We conducted a series of tests on the house in collaboration with Corbett Lunsford of Build Performance Workshop. By doing so, we identified areas where we could make further improvements and increase the Return on Investment (ROI) for the homeowners.

Through our testing with Build Performance Workshop, we discovered that adding each extra layer of improvement offered tangible benefits that ultimately helped us exceed expectations. We found that a proper air sealing strategy made a significant difference in achieving the desired energy efficiency levels. Most builders focus on the inside by sealing the gaps, holes, and cracks around doors, windows, and other areas, using foam and caulk. We tried an experiment, and it greatly exceeded our expectations. We air-sealed using Zip Liquid Flash and Zip Panel on the exterior and found that this was more than enough and actually outperformed what interior air-sealing can do. We installed the Zip Panels on the walls and roof like we always do. What we did differently was use the Zip System Liquid Flash on all of the edges of the panels to create an airtight barrier. It was so tight that it was 200% tighter than we needed for PHIUS.

The beauty of this project is that we demonstrated that achieving energy efficiency is not about buying expensive products but rather about using the right materials and sealing processes. By sealing the house to a tight standard, we ensured the homeowners would benefit from lower energy bills, increased comfort, and better indoor air quality.

We are proud of our work with the #1920sMakeoverATL project, and we look forward to continuing our efforts to promote sustainable building practices that benefit both homeowners and the environment.






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