Cover image for Builder's guide to cold climates : details for design and construction
Builder's guide to cold climates : details for design and construction
Lstiburek, Joseph W.
Personal Author:
[Revised edition].
Publication Information:
Newtown, CT : Taunton Press : Distributed by Publishers Group West, [2000]

Physical Description:
xi, 335 pages : illustrations, map ; 22 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TH153 .L78 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This manual presents the best techniques for energy and resource efficient residential construction in the colder climates of North America. Lstiburek (a forensic engineer who heads Building Science Corp. in Massachusetts) presents information on the practicalities of choosing the right insulation, heating systems, keeping heat in, air and moisture barriers, exterior wood priming, avoiding cold corners and plates, sealing air barriers, considering drainage planes behind siding, avoiding insulation gaps, and flashing window openings. Contains many diagrams. Spiral wire binding.

Author Notes

Joseph Lstiburek heads Building Science Corporation in Westford, Massachusetts.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

A region's climate is arguably the most important factor to consider when a structure is built. If inappropriate building techniques or materials are used, a house could be uncomfortable, energy inefficient, or, worst of all, subject to early failure. Overbuilding is inappropriate, too, because it wastes valuable materials. Lstiburek, a forensic engineer and authority on moisture-related building problems, has created two useful titles that will guide homebuilders/remodelers toward the best design for their geographic area. For the purposes of this book, cold climates include New England, the southern Great Lakes states, most of the Midwest, Plains, and Mountain states, coastal British Columbia, and southern Ontario. Mixed climates include the coastal Pacific Northwest and the Southern states from central Texas to the Atlantic (excluding Florida and the southernmost portions of other states). Both titles are remarkably similar--only those details that apply to a particular climate differ. This parallel structure should prove useful to readers who build/design in several climates and use both books. Each area or system of a house is covered--foundations, framing, plumbing, electricity, insulation, heating, ventilation and air conditioning--with profuse illustrations (more than half of the book) supplementing the brief text. Appendixes cover many aspects of energy efficiency. Although they are over the heads of most do-it-yourselfers, these guides will prove useful to builders and carpenters who live in the relevant areas (one hopes that all of North America will eventually covered). They should be included in comprehensive public library collections.--Jonathan Hershey; Akron-Summit Cty. P.L., OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Thermal Insulationp. 2
Tighter Building Enclosures and New Materialsp. 2
Heating and Cooling Systemsp. 3
Intergrationp. 4
1 The House Systemp. 5
Functional Relationshipsp. 5
Prioritizationp. 10
People Prioritiesp. 11
Building Prioritiesp. 11
Environmental Prioritiesp. 11
2 Home Designerp. 13
Site Planningp. 13
House Layoutp. 15
Basic Structures and Dimensionsp. 17
Building Envelopep. 19
Material Selectionp. 20
Sub-Systemsp. 21
Appliancesp. 22
Commissioningp. 23
3 General Contractorp. 25
Concernsp. 25
Materials on the Building Sitep. 27
4 Foundationsp. 29
Concernsp. 29
Water Managed Foundationsp. 30
Frost Movementp. 31
Soil Gasp. 31
Moisturep. 31
Crawl Spacesp. 33
Polyethylene Under Slabsp. 33
Carpetsp. 34
Insects and Termitesp. 34
5 Framingp. 65
Concernsp. 65
Frame Movementp. 66
Rainp. 67
Air Flow Retarderp. 67
Moisturep. 67
Paint and Trimp. 67
6 Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF)p. 123
Concernsp. 123
7 Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS)p. 147
Concernsp. 147
8 Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)p. 165
Concernsp. 165
Ventilation Requirementsp. 166
Combustion Appliancesp. 168
Recirculating Fansp. 177
Air Handlers and Ductworkp. 177
Large Exhaust Fansp. 180
Clothes Dryersp. 180
9 Plumbingp. 187
Concernsp. 187
Tubs and Shower Stallsp. 187
Water Consumptionp. 188
10 Electricalp. 193
Concernsp. 193
11 Insulationp. 201
Concernsp. 201
Fiberglassp. 202
Cellulosep. 202
Roofsp. 203
Crawl Spacesp. 203
Spray Foamp. 203
12 Drywallp. 209
Concernsp. 209
Truss Upliftp. 210
Air Flow Retardersp. 210
Ceramic Tile Tub and Shower Enclosuresp. 211
Winter Constructionp. 211
13 Paintingp. 219
Concernsp. 219
Interior Surfacesp. 221
14 Appendicesp. 223
Appendix I Rain and Drainage Planesp. 223
Appendix II Air Flow Retardersp. 249
Appendix III Insulations, Sheathings and Vapor Diffusion Retardersp. 263
Appendix IV Windowsp. 293
Appendix V Air Leakage Testing, Pressure Balancing, and Combustion Safetyp. 303
Appendix VI Goals, Obejectives and Criteria for Energy and Resource Efficient Buildingsp. 311
Appendix VII Additional Resourcesp. 323
Indexp. 327