Bautex Blocks Create Energy-Efficient Homes in Hot, Humid, and Wet Houston

energy efficient homes houston

Building a Bautex Block home in humid, hot, and wet Houston ensures a tight building envelope that is energy-efficient and controls moisture intrusion and accumulation.

Moisture-resis­tance and energy-effi­cien­cy are essential features in Houston home where there is an average annual relative humidity in the morning of 90 percent and an annual high tem­per­a­ture of 80°F. Fur­ther­more, the region’s wet climate, due to hur­ri­canes and frequent heavy rains, results in average annual pre­cip­i­ta­tion of 49.8 inches, often occupied with dangerous flooding.

A Houston house built with the Bautex Wall System provides an energy-efficient, durable, healthy, and com­fort­able home that will lessen a homeowner’s main­te­nance, repair, and energy costs.

Building an Energy-Efficient Home in Hot, Humid, and Wet Houston

An energy-efficient house in hot, humid, and wet Houston is vital to con­trol­ling energy bills and pre­vent­ing moisture accu­mu­la­tion within the wall systems. Fur­ther­more, energy efficient homes in Houston benefit the envi­ron­ment by using less energy. Critical elements of an energy-efficient Houston home include a moisture control plan, a tight building envelope, site ori­en­ta­tion, and the placement of the windows, rooms, and ductwork.

A Moisture Control Plan for an Energy-Efficient Home in Houston

Builders and archi­tects of energy-efficient homes in Houston must consider the wet climate and excessive humidity of the region. Crucial to the design of an energy-efficient home in Houston is con­trol­ling moisture entry, accu­mu­la­tion, and removal. Three vital com­po­nents for pre­vent­ing moisture intrusion and accu­mu­la­tion in a Houston home are exterior drainage systems, a weather-resistant barrier (WRB), and a high-quality heating, ven­ti­la­tion, and air con­di­tion­ing (HVAC) system.

Exterior Drainage Com­po­nents for Con­trol­ling Moisture Intrusion to an Energy-Efficient Home in Houston

Exterior drainage com­po­nents for the walls, foun­da­tion, roof, skylights, doors, and windows provide some pro­tec­tion from moisture accu­mu­la­tion in a wall system from ground­wa­ter and rainwater. For example, canopies keep water away from windows, overhangs keep water away from walls, and site grading keeps moisture away from the foun­da­tion perimeters.

However, cladding systems can still absorb vast amounts of moisture; therefore, the design of wall systems must also consider the inward flow of moisture from rain and groundwater.

Weather-Resistant Barriers for Con­trol­ling Moisture Intrusion and Accumulation

A weather-resistant barrier (WRB) is a crucial element of a wall system for air and moisture control in a Houston home. A WRB protects a house from water and air infil­tra­tion. A high-quality WRB is both moisture- and air-resistant and ensures a home is energy-efficient, healthy, com­fort­able, and durable.

An HVAC System for Con­trol­ling Air and Moisture in an Energy-Efficient Home in Houston

A correctly installed HVAC system can manage the moisture levels in the air-con­di­tioned spaces of a house in hot and humid Houston. Without a con­trolled ven­ti­la­tion system, moisture levels will increase, which can cause con­den­sa­tion on window surfaces and give rise to surface mold, as well as con­den­sa­tion within walls and roof areas. A con­trolled ven­ti­la­tion system is crucial to removing excess moisture from the air-con­di­tioned spaces of a home in humid and hot Houston.

Energy-Efficient Homes in Houston Require Tight Building Envelopes

A tight building envelope minimizes heat gains and moisture intrusion and is critical to creating a dry and cool house in Houston. Essential for an energy efficient and tight building envelope is con­tin­u­ous insu­la­tion (CI) and an air and moisture barrier. Con­tin­u­ous insu­la­tion, along with an air and moisture barrier, stops moisture intrusion and air leaks. The envelope must consider all the exterior com­po­nents of the home: the walls, foun­da­tion, roofing, and doors and windows.

The Walls of an Energy-Efficient Home in Houston

The walls of an energy-efficient home should con­tribute towards a tight building envelope that stops heat gains or losses by con­duc­tion, con­vec­tion, and thermal radiation. An energy-efficient home in Houston should have walls with a rea­son­ably high effective R‑value. Energy-efficient walls are a crucial component of a tight building envelope of a Houston home.

The Roofing of an Energy-Efficient Home in Houston

A cool roof of an energy-efficient home in Houston protects against solar heat gains and keeps the home and attic spaces cool. For example, materials like slate are a good roofing product for an energy-efficient, cool roof because they reflect the sun’s rays. In contrast, darker roofing materials, like asphalt shingles are not a good product for a cool roof because they absorb the sun’s heat, which will move to the inside of a home. Cool roofs limit solar heat gains, lessen energy bills, and improve the indoor comfort for home­own­ers in hot and humid Houston.

The Door and Windows of an Energy-Efficient Home in Houston

The doors, windows, and skylights of an energy-efficient house in Houston lessen energy use and save home­own­ers money. Design of an energy-efficient house should include energy-efficient doors, windows, and skylights appro­pri­ate to Houston’s climate zone.

Site and Room Orientation of an Energy-Efficient Home in Houston

Correct site ori­en­ta­tion of a Houston house is key for taking advantage of the sun’s energy. In Houston, north-south ori­en­ta­tion of a house lessens direct sunlight during the summer (which lowers cooling demands) and maximizes daylight during the colder months (which decreases heating needs).

Room ori­en­ta­tion is also a vital con­sid­er­a­tion of an energy-efficient home in Houston.

  • East-facing rooms have good sun in the morning and are cool in the late afternoon, which is fitting for kitchens and bedrooms.
  • North-facing rooms have good day long sun and suitable for common areas, like the living room.
  • West-facing rooms get the late day sun, so uncom­fort­able for kitchens and bedrooms.
  • South-facing rooms have low levels of sun exposure and most appro­pri­ate for utility areas like the garage and laundry room.

Location of Ductwork of an Energy-Efficient Home in Houston

For an energy-efficient home in Houston, it is critical to locate the ductwork inside the home’s envelope. Ducts placed in uncon­di­tioned areas can increase cooling costs by 15 percent. Fur­ther­more, in hot, humid, and wet regions like Houston, moisture will collect on the over­heat­ed ductwork.

Building an Energy-Efficient Home in Houston with the Bautex Wall System

The Bautex Wall System are a high thermal mass wall product that produces a tight building envelope for an energy-efficient and moisture-resistant home in Houston. The Bautex Block meets the thermal per­for­mance set by the IRC and IBC and provides an R‑14 con­tin­u­ous insu­la­tion that meets, if not goes beyond, the standards of the ASHRAE 90.1.

Impor­tant­ly, applying the Bautex AMB 20 air and moisture barrier to the Bautex Blocks produces a moisture-resistant, airtight house, critical in hot, wet and humid Houston. The Bautex Wall System is an excellent product choice for an energy-efficient and moisture-resistant home in Houston.