Cement Tile, a Time Honored Tradition

Cement tile is a fantastic way of adding color, personality, and excitement to any space. Authentic cement tile is hand poured by artisans from around the globe; no single tile is exactly the same. Big box stores have caught on, and now produce ceramic tile that mimics some of today’s most popular cement tile patterns. Ceramics are less costly and don’t have the same sealing requirements as cement tile, but with mass/mechanized production, the human touch is lost. In terms of durability, cement tile lasts a long time! There are successful installs all over the world, hundreds of years old, that still look impeccable. I saw this personally on my trip recent trip to Italy and France. Historically ceramics of similar age, haven’t held up as well. Read More

Rebar Spacing Made Easy

2015-02-20 12.19.52

Art Villarreal of EcoSafe Spaces Design+Build, surveys the scene of an urban infill project in the Brentwood neighborhood of Austin, TX.

Doug Cameron is a Healthy, High-Performance Builder & Remodeler with EcoSafe Spaces Design+Build in Austin, TX.

Good, Fast, Cheap: Pick Two

Fast and cheap doesn’t always equal bad, just most of the time…

What do you see wrong with the pictures below? I see potential building failure… Read More

Water Proofing: Why What You Don’t See Matters!

Doug Cameron is a Healthy, High-Performance Builder & Remodeler with EcoSafe Spaces in Austin, TX.

Flood Resistant, Fire Resistant Homes that are Healthy

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to flood resistant, fire resistant houses. My neighborhood in Austin, TX experienced a 100 year flood, last year. Though my house was spared, over 100 other homes in my neighborhood were not so lucky. Surrounding areas experienced significantly more flooded homes. So watching the costly and inconvenient renovations that followed really got me thinking. Is it possible to make a water resistant home, and why we’re at it, fire resistant? And, I’d like to keep it healthy.

R-Guard via Prosoco

R-Guard via Prosoco

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My Notes: AIA Roofing Technology Course “From B to T” Presented by Edis T. Oliver PE

WEB41. Low slope structural concrete roofs require a vapor barrier. Asphalt can act as an adhesive and vapor barrier.
2. Roofers should be certified, trained via roofing course (require certificate certification, and match up certificates to workers).
3. Single insulation layer failure due to insulation shrinking, screws creating thermal bridging, and screws resting just below skin.
4. TPO roof not cheaper than modified bituminous roof, if you do the exact same assembly (multiply, not single ply).
5. No asphalt kettles on single layer roof assembly, one of the few pros.
6. Roofing over an old roof last 2/3 as long as installing a new roof.
7. Avoid mechanically fastened single ply roof, use fully adhered
8. Avoid single layer roof insulation.
9. Avoid over-dependancy on manufacturer warranty.
10. A good assembly is key, and most skins are very similar.
11. MB roof better for a lot of foot traffic, i.e. accessing mechanical equipment.
12. Use traffic pads, and pipe hangers to protect roofs.
12. Roofs that are accessible get maintained. Roofs that aren’t easily accessible don’t get maintained.
*Presentation was geared mainly towards flat/low sloped commercial roofs, but lots of good roofing insight period.
Doug Cameron is a Healthy, High-Performance Builder & Remodeler with EcoSafe Spaces in Austin, TX.

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Outlets of the Future

2015 International Builder’s Show

Heading out to Las Vegas next week for the 2015 International Builders Show!

Booths representing vendors and educators from around the world will be on hand to talk shop via classes and demonstrations. This “exclusive to  the building industry” trendsetting annual show, last for three full days Jan.20-22.

I’m most looking forward to the building science classes, as well as seeing and touching all the newest products. Interestingly enough John Gruden, the football  coach and analyst, is the keynote speaker for the opening ceremony.

Here is a link to the event: http://www.buildersshow.com/Home/

Doug Cameron is a Healthy, High-Performance Builder & Remodeler with EcoSafe Spaces in Austin, TX.

Notes from “Perfect Wall” presentation by Matt Risinger & Architect Eric Rauser

AIA SummerCamp 2015:

Notes from “Perfect Wall” presentation by Matt Risinger & Architect Eric Rauser 
Fully adhered control layer on the outside

2 layers of 2″ rigid foam on exterior walls

2 layers of 3″ exterior rigid on roof

3 minis with no ducts

Erv + dehu

Comfort hit all in one zone

Churning air to utility room to counter stack effect

Long screws really hard to install

Clever floor plug loophole 😉
Heck of a home!

McMansion Surveys: Design & Compatibility Standards of Austin, TX

Austin, TX has some very particular design standards when it comes to preventing inter-city Monster houses, aka McMansions. Read More

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