Author: Mariah Morgan

Getting Spray Foam Right

by Rachel White This blog post was originally posted in January 2016, before we fully understood the issues of embodied carbon in construction. That research has led us to reduce but not eliminate our use of spray foam. In some cases – old basement walls, for instance – spray foam is so superior to any… Read more »

Two Carbon Smart Ideas in the Attic

unfinished attic interior

by Rachel White A wide-open attic with no storage and no mechanical equipment. I can’t remember the last time we worked in an attic like this. Most of the attics Byggmeister retrofits already house an air handler. Or they will soon, as the majority of our projects include at least partial electrification, and attic space… Read more »

Rethinking Our Approach to Insulation

an attic with a window

by Rachel White In 2018, the International Government Panel on Climate Change put the world on notice: to avert catastrophic and irreversible climate change we would have to hold global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. And to hold warming to this level, we would need to cut global emissions roughly in half… Read more »

Energy Efficiency and Home Health: What’s the Connection?

protocols for home energy upgrades by Rachel White It may seem counterintuitive, but energy efficiency and home health are intimately connected. Let's start with some basic building science: a house (or any building) is a system. What this means is that each subsystem in your house-from ductwork to windows, from foundations to bath fans-exists in a complex and dynamic interrelationship... Read more »

Managing a Job for Success

by Kristina Eldrenkamp This past fall, Byggmeister organized a workshop for lead carpenters on project management. The goal was to exchange ideas and best practices for launching and running an on-time, on-budget job. The event’s attendees were lead carpenters and project managers from the peer-review business network that Byggmeister participates in, Bottom Lines. The Bottom… Read more »

Operating At Net Zero Energy

net zero by Paul Eldrenkamp and Rachel White A few months ago we completed a deep energy retrofit of a house that we hope will be net-zero energy—in other words, that we hope will produce as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis. If we succeed this will be our first net zero project. There... Read more »

Ice Dam It: Don’t Get Mad, Get Insulation (and Air Sealing)

ice dam

by Paul Eldrenkamp Whenever we suffer a severe winter, our phones ring off the hook with calls from people with ice dams who are none too happy about it. By this point though damage is already done. We’d much rather people call us before they get ice dams, because the best way to deal with… Read more »

A Socioeconomic Context For Ice Dams

ice dam

by Paul Eldrenkamp This past winter, national insurance companies were sending their “catastrophe response teams” to the Boston area. I personally met with adjusters and cleanup crews from places as far ranging as Minnesota, Utah, Tennessee, and Alabama and there was a preponderance of ice dams. The catastrophe had nothing to do with hurricanes or… Read more »

Sound Decisions: Designing for Acoustical Comfort

Alicia Larsen

by Rachel White Over the course of our 30+ years in business we could count on two hands the number of renovations where acoustics played a major role. While we have occasionally been asked to provide sound isolation, on the vast majority of projects acoustics aren’t even discussed. To some extent this makes perfect sense;… Read more »

Bringing Your Renovation To Life

by Rachel White Designing a renovation is a collaborative process at Byggmeister. Between the time we first visit a house and sign a construction contract, several members of our planning group will have had a hand in developing the project. For more than a decade Karin Mahdavi has been a key member of this team. An… Read more »