UnBuild It Podcast

UnBuild It Podcast

THE GOOD news: our homebuilding industry is jam-packed with new materials, new techniques, new systems, and it’s so easy to get information online, in an instant. THE BAD news: How do we know what we can trust; what will work and under what conditions? Where do we turn to separate out the spin-and-hype from the true-and-square? We’ve got you covered! The UnBuild It Podcast is an industry leading opportunity to get good information. UnBuild It podcast is a three member team – Peter Yost; Building Scientist, Jake Bruton; Builder and Remodeler, and Steven Baczek; Architect. We are nationally recognized industry leaders: Jake as a homebuilder; Steve as an architect, and Peter as a building scientist. You can find us at leading homebuilding industry events, in top-notch publications, and online media outlets.We believe that solid industry-related information has four key ingredients;RELEVANCE: You need insight on your job site. Jake, Steve, and Peter are in the field on a regular basis doing what we all strive to do. We walk thewalk – then talk about the walk. The three of us have been working togetherlong enough to build on each other’s expertise, but also not take ourselvestoo seriously. We are among the best at taking what may seem like complicated concepts, breaking them down, and turning them into job site ready breakthroughs.ACCURACY: Jake is often quoted as saying “Trust but Validate.” We don’t ask you to be the bleeding, leading edge; we develop trusted solutions based on our own work in the field, pushing each other to practice what we preach. Our accuracy comes out of triangulation: building, design, performance.UTILITY: We guarantee that each podcast episode will have you moving from all ears to all action. Our information is born from our own work. We pride ourselves on delivering information you can use the same day you make it through an episode. CAMARADERIE: We work together because we love homebuilding, hitting the airwaves, and humor. If you are not having fun learning with us during eachepisode, we are not doing our job.


February 15, 2024 33 mins

1. Actually 3 questions--can you/how do you/should you vent a pyramidal roof with dormers? (PS - I just had to look up the pronunciation of "pyramidal"--I found both pronunciations...). 

2. How do I configure for adequate air supply and noise control for a heat pump water heater (HPWH) in a 1400 square foot, tight home in Montana?

And then, I would like to apologize for Steve and his: "A polar bear walks into a ba...

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The boys INTEND to tackle TWO submitted questions but only manage one: Are open-joint claddings better moisture-managed better than traditional lap claddings? This episode is quite the mix of banter, building science, and building history. And note that the last resource in the list below is a great short video with Joe Lstiburek of Building Science Corporation on open-joint claddings.

Pete's Resource(s):

1. wikipedia definition...

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January 15, 2024 28 mins

Listener Bill B poses this question and the boys run with it for the whole podcast: "Can you share the details and the reasons for installing flangeless windows in different planes of deep wall assemblies?" Lots to consider here in terms of ALL of the control layers and their continuity.

Pete's Resource(s):

- BSC Window Installation Sequence: https://buildingscience.com/documents/reports/rr-0407-installing-a-window-wit...

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You know the boys get weepy over water pretty easily, but Steve's focus on starting with the site drives this podcast. The site is the context for the building, and broadening to site water management can really take the load off of building assembly water management. This podcast is all about digging deeper into building (sorry, just could not resist...).

 Pete's Resource(s): 

1. Pete has a series of YouTube video clips on...

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We have a big announcement this week as we return to our first time having Matt Risinger on the podcast.

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Jake and his builder team--Luke Mann, (Rangeline Homes), Shane Durkin (Patriot High Performance Homes), and Jackson Andrews (Jackson Andrews Building + Design)--work through all sorts of cool, key approaches to consider with your trades:

·      Paying subs in 21 days

·      Scheduling a site visit for a new potential sub

·      Pulling subs into the bidding process 

·      Using suppliers to evaluate potential new subs 

·      Trade tea...

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Jake takes his builder team--Luke Man, (Rangeline Homes), Shane Durkin (Patriot High-Performance Homes), and Jackson Andrews (Jackson Andrews Building + Design)--through this final topic with questions like:

- Do you want your company to grow? (These guys vary in size from 2 to 16...)

- How do you decide when to hire and who to hire? 

- Are you working in the business or on the business?

- Do you have a company culture that suits your ...

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Luke Mann (Rangeline Homes), Shane Durkin (Patriot High-Performance Homes), and Jackson Andrews (Jackson Andrews Building + Design) work through this topic with host Jake Bruton. Key concepts include carefully distinguishing punch list vs. additional scope of work; covering closeout in project-starting customer expectations document; an extended comparison of builder closeout process to a new car purchase; dealing with "closeo...

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October 19, 2023 39 mins

This is Q&A with Adult Supervision: Kohta Ueno. Kohta is so efficient we nailed SIX building enclosure questions: Listener Gagan - reconfiguring existing walls with new control layers; Listener Bill: the need for dedicated vent space with vertical metal siding on ICF walls; Listener Michael - rainscreens for roofs instead of walls; Listener Sean - best detail for using mineral wool (exterior continuous rigid insulation) on a ro...

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Jake hooks up with the same custom builder team 

For a roundtable discussion on the ideal client. Key topics include vetting clients by matching company strengths to client expectations and budget; the two-way street of tr...

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Guest Reuben Rudisill is Huber's Research, Development, & Innovation engineer, joining Jake & Pete from the Building Science Corporation Summer Symposium in Westford, MA. Jake & Pete know just enough to get in trouble when it comes to structural details of ZIP, ZIP-R, and Advantech Huber OSB panels, so Reuben quite gently sets these guys straight on how high-performance OSB is manufactured and tested, how fasteners...

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Join Jake and Steve as they chat with Ross Trethewey, of TE2 Engineering and This Old House, at Building Science Summer Camp 2023.

Check out TE2 Engineering

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Steve calls SketchUp his electronic clay model which he can use with his builder, his enclosure consultant, and his clients. Pete gives up the dirt on WebSoilSurvey, the 1st tool he uses on every project design/spec review. Jake heads home for his favorite tool - his new Aarow Building office. Last but not least: Steve returns with his 2nd favorite tool--the field. Getting out to job sites and seeing his design work play out as a p...

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What should we monitor, and what do we do about elevated levels of indoor pollutants? Air temperature, relative humidity, parts per million CO2, PM 2.5

Pete's Resource(s):
- "Measuring (and Understanding) Humidity" - https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/article/measuring-and-understanding-humidity

- "Inhalable Particulate Matter and Health" - https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/resources/inhalable-particula...

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The top leading edge of a PSA tape running horizontally is not weather-lapped or mechanically attached, depending solely on the adhesion of that top edge to the substrate to keep water out of the WRB/PSA tape system. Are ALL PSA tapes in WRB systems self-terminating? Is there a way to quantify the top-edge adhesion that makes the tape self-terminating? The boys go at it over this one!

Pete's Resource(s):

1. Pete's blogs on ...

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Our homes use way more water than you think they need to. The boys dive deep into water efficiency and performance, from toilets to showerheads to hot water recirc systems.

Pete's Resource(s):

1. EPA Water Sense: https://www.epa.gov/watersense

2.  2016 AWWA Residential End Uses of Water - https://www.awwa.org/Portals/0/AWWA/ETS/Resources/WaterConservationResidential_End_Uses_of_Water.pdf

3. Gary Klein Efficient Hot Water Systems -...

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Despite how consistently and relentlessly the boys have dissed ICFs, this episode takes ICFs seriously and fairly (or as best as Jake, Steve, and Pete are capable of...).

Pete's Resource(s)

1. "Costs & Benefits of Insulating Concrete Forms for Residential Construction" (https://www.huduser.gov/publications/pdf/icfbenefit.pdf): A bit dated but still useful given that the PATH program (Partnership for Advancing ...

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June 8, 2023 35 mins

Four Cool Questions: 

1 - Airtight Drywall Approach from Aussie Sean; 

2 - Continuous Insulation (moving from below-grade to above-grade walls) from UBIP buddy Ian;

3 - Frost Protected Shallow Foundations (anonymous) ; 

4 - Roof penetrations from Jake's IG buddy Jeff

Pete's Resource(s):

1. Myron Ferguson ADA YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mhv9iFE3AY4

2. "A Slick Transition from Foundation Insulation to Wall S...

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May 25, 2023 32 mins

This week the UBIP takes on the topic of control. Jake tries to convince Peter and Steve that the hierarchy we address the four control layers is wrong. Can Jake turn Peter or Steve to his dark side of ideas? Probably not, but the conversation is still valid. Where do you land?

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Lots to consider from frame to finish in terms of materials and connection to main structure. The boys agreed that--for bulk water management--attaching the deck ledger to the main structure should be done either for lateral stability only or with the ledger spaced out from the main structure.

Pete's Resource(s):

1. FPL Deck Guide: https://www.fpl.fs.usda.gov/documnts/pdf1997/falk97d.pdf (dated, yes, but seminal and it's wr...

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