TABLE OF CONTENTSAIR SEALING 2INSULATION 6 ATTIC WALLS BASEMENT | CRAWLSPACEQUALITY CONTROL 12HEATING & COOLING 13 HEATING COOLINGWATER 15
THE HAMMER AND HAND WAYHammer & Hand is dedicated to stewardship of the built environment through craft andscience. Since founding Hammer & Hand in 1995, we have been guided by an ethic ofquality, durability and beauty embodied in John Ruskin’s words from over a century ago:“When we build, let us think that we build forever. Let it be such work as our descendantswill thank us for.”Hammer and Hand’s environmental ethos is foundational to our building practices. Webuild to last, the most fundamental definition of sustainability.Home Performance and the WholeHouse ApproachAt Hammer & Hand, we believe thatanything worth doing is worth doingright. We build to the highest degreeof quality, durability, and beauty.Physical comfort, structural integrity,and aesthetic beauty are all essentialqualities to any home. Like a three-legged stool, buildings becomeinadequate if even one is sacrificed. We make no sacrifices. By Hammer and Hand, allthings do stand.Hammer and Hand is certified by the Building Performance Institute. Our building sciencetechnicians are always seeking out information on the latest building methodologies andhow they interface with old homes. Guided by a rigorous understanding of buildingphysics and dynamics, we provide clients with the highest quality home energy retrofitpossible.Our home performance team always endeavors to optimize our work to provide thegreatest improvements in comfort, safety, and indoor air quality while maximizing the cost-effectiveness of the project. We achieve this by scrutinizing each variable and fine-tuningthe scope of the project for optimal performance.
AIR SEALING: BasicsStack EffectAir sealing significantly reduces heat loss through stack effect. Stack effect occurs when warm airrises and escapes from the attic and pulls cold outdoor air through cracks and holes in thebasement or crawl space to replace the air that escaped. Conditioned air escaping into an atticcan also carry moisture with it. This moisture will be deposited on the cold roof deck above andcan lead to moisture issues such as rot.
Infrared image of Cold Air Infiltration Air Sealing Improving the air tightness of a building is the top priority and first step in improving the comfort and energy efficiency of the building. Without air sealing, conditioned air, whether hot or cold, will escape through gaps in the building’s envelope. If insulation has been installed without air sealing, conditioned air can even escape through the insulation. This is the same thing that happens when you are wearing a sweater without a jacket on a cold windy day.
AIR SEALING:ATTIC FLOOR FOR CELLULOSE INSULATION Reducing air leakage is often the single most effective step you can take towards a more efficient, healthy and comfortable home. Minimizing air leakage can reduce heating and cooling bills, and improve indoor air quality and comfort. We air seal all air penetrations in the building’s envelope for any space we touch. This is best building practice and we will not cut corners to cut cost. Ceiling penetrations are air sealed and insulated with spray foam. The foam expands to fill all gaps and cracks, stopping heat loss via both conduction and convection.
AIR SEALING: BASEMENT Much of the cold air infiltration caused by the stack effect occurs where the wood part of the house rests on the concrete foundation walls. This part of the house is called the “rim joist”. Our professional project managers will supervise the project to ensure that all areas not being spray foamed are masked and protected. We always propose to air seal the accessible rim joists with spray foam to reduce cold air infiltration and heat loss from stack effect.
INSULATION: ATTIC – SPRAY FOAM Spray Foam Encapsulated Attics An un-insulated and un-air-sealed roof deck leaks heat and warm conditioned air in the winter. On hot days in the summer, this process is reversed: the un- insulated roof deck radiates heat into the uncomfortably hot interior. When installed as a continuous blanket across the roof deck the spray foam insulation eliminates any potential for conditioned air loss and produces high performance insulation that won’t degrade over time. Installing spray foam insulation is often the highest quality, most durable solution for attic spaces. Hammer and Hand utilizes 100% water blown spray foam insulation with NO formaldehyde, HFCs, CFCs or HCFCs.
INSULATION: ATTIC – SPRAY FOAM Insulating the roof deck with high performance spray foam To encapsulate attic spaces, spray foam insulation is installed on the roof deck. Insulating the roof deck with spray foam has many advantages over traditional attic floor insulation: Eliminates the possibility of conditioned air leakage through conventional batt insulation The spray foam will never sag or become less effective as opposed to typical batt insulation installations which provide no air sealing and can quickly sag, thereby becoming ineffective Insulating the roof deck: Stops condensation from forming on the roof deck, preventing long term moisture issues Maximizes the amount of usable space in your home Eliminates duct leakage by bringing ducts into conditioned space
INSULATION: ATTIC - CELLULOSE Insulating Attics with Cellulose Our cellulose insulation is the most cost effective way to insulate large attics at the very tops of homes. Cellulose Insulation has the lowest embodied energy of all insulation and is composed of 85% recycled content. Insulation cannot work effectively if it is not combined with air sealing. After removing the old insulation, spray foam is used to fill all the gaps and cracks in the attic space where costly air leakage typically occurs. Once the air sealing is complete, a thick seamless blanket of cellulose insulation can be installed. Attic hatch is insulated with 4” of foil-faced rigid foam insulation.
INSULATION: WALLS - DENSE PACKED CELLULOSE Insulating Exterior Walls with Cellulose The cellulose insulation is dense packed into exterior wall cavities to a density of 3.5lbs/cubic foot. Dense packing the wall cavity with cellulose reduces conditioned air leakage and heat loss and provides a quieter more comfortable home. Certified insulation technicians install the dense packed cellulose by first removing the siding. Drilling into exterior sheathing and dense packing into wall cavity.
INSULATION: WALLS – DENSE PACKED CELLULOSE Wall cavity is filled with dense packed cellulose and ready to be patched up. Once the cavity is filled drilled holes are patched with original wood and covered with Grip Rite house tape. The siding is reinstalled to the homes original look.
INSULATION: CRAWL SPACE Crawlspaces are the below-floor spaces beneath homes that generally have exposed soil and un-insulated foundation walls. If the crawlspace has ductwork or is connected to the basement, it is best to insulate the foundation walls. A seamless heavy-duty soil barrier is sealed to the foundation walls to improve indoor air quality and prevent long-term moisture issues. Encapsulating the crawl space yields the greatest increase in energy efficiency and air quality. When there are moisture issues in the crawl space it may be wise to insulate the under-floor as opposed to the foundation walls. This option will create high performance insulation directly under the floor and allows homeowners to not have to undertake moisture mitigation.
QUALITY CONTROL Infrared Quality Control Our professional project managers will quality control all dense packed walls with an infrared camera to ensure that all wall cavities have been completely filled. The cold wall that appears purple in the IR image would have gone un- insulated had we not caught it with IR imaging.
HEATING & COOLING: GAS FURNACE Many of the old furnaces in the Portland area use outdated “natural draft” combustion technology. This technology takes air from within the building, uses it for combustion, and should send the byproducts to the outside. In order to exhaust the combustion byproducts, the natural draft technology relies on the tendency of warm air to rise. Negative pressures created within a home (like when the bath fan or the dryer is running), can be enough to pull combustion byproducts such as carbon monoxide into your home. This process is known as “backdrafting”. Hammer and Hand always proposes to upgrade outdated and old furnaces to improve the safety, comfort, and efficiency of the home. Upgrading to a properly sized high efficiency sealed combustion furnace will decrease your heating bill and seals the combustion process off from the home.
HEATING & COOLING: HEAT PUMP Heat pumps are an extremely efficient source of electric heat. A heat pump extracts heat from outside air and moves it inside during the heating season. The process is reversed during summer to provide cooling. Ductless heat pumps can be installed in homes without costly ductwork and can provide zonal heating within the home. In Portland’s mild climate, heat pumps are both extremely cost-effective and efficient.
WATER HEATING Sealed combustion, tankless water heaters seal the combustion process off from within the home completely eliminating the possibility of backdrafting. They are also much more efficient and reduce water usage by up to 50%. For homes with electric hot water, the super-insulated Marathon hot water tank is the most efficient upgrade available. The tanks have a lifetime warranty.
VENTING Buildings must have adequate ventilation to provide fresh air for occupants and prevent any long-term moisture issues. Mechanical ventilation is hard ducted to the exterior. Inadequate ventilation can lead to mold, mildew, and rot. This can negatively impact occupant health and destroy building materials.
TESTIMONIALS“Hammer and Hand [was] my contractor for the Clean Energy Works Oregon retrofit project.They were receptive to our needs and gave me answers to all of my questions. I didnt feel likeI was being oversold at any time. My house has gone from damp and cold to delightfully warmand toasty. I love my new furnace, tankless water heater, bathroom exhaust fan, external wallinsulation, and crawlspace encapsulation. The Hand H team managed the project and thesubs really well. I am so happy with the results and would recommend them to anyone lookingfor a contractor that will provide you with quality work and dedication to sustainable practicesand materials.” – Julia, SE Portland Homeowner, February 14, 2012“While I have had a few things done in my house in the past, no company did as good asHammer and Hand. They were on time, always let me know what was going on in the projectand came up with ways to get around the many quirks of my 1904 home. Kevin or Tomcontacted me every day of the project to let me know what to expect and to let me know that ifI had any questions I should contact them. All the subcontractors did an excellent job. Theyeven all looked out for my cat to make sure she didn’t get outside. So I went from freezing inwinter because the house had almost no insulation and expensive to run Cadet space heatersto nice and toasty. The heat pump is quiet, the exhaust fan in the bathroom turns on by motiondetection (how cool is that!) and I am finally warm. Thank you Hammer and Hand.” – Susan,SE Portland Homeowner, November 7, 2011Update: ““My latest electric bill was for $85. Last year between firewood and the electric bill Ipaid $205 (and the house is also way warmer this winter) so this has helped tremendously.Again, thank you for all your help with my newly warm home.” – Susan, SE PortlandHomeowner, February 11, 2012“Through this process I learned that Hammer & Hand and CEWO are highly knowledgeableand up to date with trends in sustainability. I respect their honesty and using the best qualitymaterials. Immediately after the work was done, the first thing I noticed was that my home wasquieter. Now, I can take my hat and coat off when Im home. I cant wait to see what summerbrings to the house and I hope I will see a big savings in my utility bills. I highly recommendHammer and Hand!”–Patty, SE Portland Homeowner, January 27, 2012
“What a great idea that was! … With the new insulation in, the temperature of the house staysmore even, so Im comfortable at a lower temperature, and Im expecting to see a big reductionin my monthly gas bill, too. I really enjoyed working with all the H&H personnel, who are easyto talk to and always ready to explain things.” – Margaret, North Portland Homeowner, January24, 2012“Wow! Our gas bill on the "Equal Pay" plan with NW Natural just dropped from $94 per monthto $37 based on the new usage averages!” –Terri, NE Portland Homeowner, March 2, 2012“The work was clean and you would not be able to find the installation. My wife and I arearchitects so had particular requests and schedules, and they handled everything with noadditional costs. The project manager was informative and on top of the subs, and managedthe CEWO process easily. I hope to work with them again soon.”–March 16, 2012“It’s Fantastic. Our Energy bill is half of what it was last month.” –Holly, SE PortlandHomeowner, March 19, 2012“All my friends come over and notice the difference. It’s cozier and warmer.” – Julia, SEPortland Homeowner, March 19, 2012 More reviews and references available upon request!