The purpose of this guide is to provide useful examples of high performance retrofit techniques for the building enclosure of wood frame residential construction in a cold and somewhat wet climate. The examples demonstrate effective management of liquid water (rain and ground water), airflow, water vapor flow and heat flow. Retrofit ventilation approaches are reviewed because mechanical ventilation is taken to be a necessary component in high performance buildings. This guide does not address mechanical heating, cooling or water heating systems beyond outlining basic combustion safety measures.
Existing homes present an incredible variety of conditions. The variations of building techniques over time and across different regions combined with the inherent individuality among builders lends to a mind-boggling variety of configurations in existing housing stock. Rather than try to encompass all of the possible solutions responding to each of various existing conditions, this guide details a limited number of options for deep energy retrofit of common configurations found in wood framed New England homes. Through its experience in guiding high performance retrofit projects, BSC has found the solutions in this guide to be applicable to the vast majority of circumstances. Some retrofit projects will require solutions that are not described in this guide.