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Architect for First Multi-Family Passive House in Vermont Makes the Switch

Seeing is believing. When Michael Wisniewski of Duncan Wisniewski Architecture saw a simulated blower door test demonstration at a local Passive House consulting group, he switched to ZIP System sheathing and tape for 30 units of affordable, senior housing in Milton, Vermont.

“In the past, we typically used a combination of oriented-strand board (OSB) and housewrap with blown-in insulation to achieve energy efficiency,” said Wisniewski. “We were kind of learning. But, we realized that if you really put pressure on traditional methods, air can transfer through the building envelope.”

A tight building envelop is essential for energy-efficient structures that pass Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS) standards. ZIP System sheathing and tape is a better continuous barrier than OSB and housewrap, which was crucial in getting Passive House designation (dependent on low air exchange) for Elm Place, the first multi-family passive house in Vermont.

“After seeing the results of the blower door test, we switched to ZIP System sheathing and tape to provide a continuous air barrier on our builds,” Wisneiewski added. 

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