For readers that have been in energy-efficient construction for a while now, you will probably relate to Tim McDonald's experience. When he got his Passive House certification in 2008, the process was, "from scratch in all ways." In our recent interview, Tim had this to say about some of his early work on energy-efficient buildings. "I had to think through the most effective way to design the thermal envelope, the air barrier and the weather-resistant barriers. I had to figure out the details of how a window joined with the wall so that it not only shed water but maintained the airtightness of the thermal envelope."
Contrast that with Tim's most recent project, Capital 2, in Philadelphia, where he chose to build with the Build SMART Building Envelope System. "You’re pretty much guaranteed the performance of the envelope,” he says. This systematized approach means that architects don’t have to worry about figuring out all the details anymore. “I know exactly where the window heights are going to be,” McDonald says. “I know exactly where things are going to line up. I know exactly that the way it’s drawn is the way it’s going to be built, which isn’t always the case when it comes to designers.”
Here is Tim's interview, where Tim talks about his experience building Capital 2.