Gaines Group Architects
ductwork install

Duct Work is Key to a Healthy Building

Duct work is a key to a healthy building. While there is not any one single thing that can be done in a building to achieve healthy indoor air quality, duct work is a critical element in the system. On one of our current projects at a local church, we are in the construction...
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Energy Efficient Homes

Be sure to ask for healthy indoor air quality in your new home.

There are some common things on the wish list for most custom homes. Clients want an open floor plan, lots of light, a beautiful kitchen, luxurious master bathroom, and connection to the outside. However, it is not often asked for – healthy indoor air quality. Materials,...

Should my new house “breathe?”

Ask any seasoned carpenter (that does not understand building science) and they are likely to tell you “don’t build too tight, you want your house to breathe.” This is a tried and true “because that is the way we always do it idea.”   Early in...

Is your home wasting your money – thermal envelope issues identified

Your energy bills depend on having a complete thermal envelope. This home owner added insulation to the attic stair which is a good thing. However, there are still problems. The type of insulation used behind the stair only works when it is not compressed and if it creates an air...

X-Ray vision is required to do a full renovation

I remember as a kid seeing ads for X-Ray goggles on the back of comic books. The idea of being able to see through a wall was a thing of fantasies for young aspiring spy kids. Now today, as a practicing architect, I find that x-ray goggles are not only possible, but a requirement...

Green Term Defined: Volatile Organic Compounds

We hear about Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) all the time in marketing of paint. That new paint smell that we have suffered through for years in the construction industry, well it turns out, is not good for you. Who would have thought all those air fresheners we added...
LEED Project

Questions to Ask When Looking for the Perfect Green Products

When you are selecting building products, you may never find a perfect, green solution. Here are some questions you can ask to make sure you select the best green products: Can I reuse what I already have? Can I donate or recycle what I no longer want? What product can I choose...

“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...

Top 10 Things to Do This Summer for Your Home and Health

1      Plant a shade tree. A tree absorbs carbon dioxide, improves air quality, and controls flooding by minimizing runoff and topsoil loss. If located right it can offer free air conditioning on a sunny day for you and your home. 2      Switch all your light bulbs to LEDs (or at...
air leakage

Green Term Defined: Thermal Envelope

The thermal envelope is the barrier used to protect your interior environment from heat transfer from inside to outside. It may be portions of the exterior envelope and portions of interior elements. The effectiveness of this barrier is dependent on insulation levels, air...