On the cover of Fine Homebuilding

May 01, 2021, by Joshua Salinger

Back in 2018 Josh Salinger and Ben Valentin went to 'Building Science Summer Camp' at Dr. Joe Lstiburek's house in Westford, MA. Every field has its standard bearer and Dr. Joe has been leading the charge in building science and high performance building for decades as the principle of Building Science Corporation. This is his annual event where the best in our industry are invited to hobnob and present on the latest ideas and discussions. 

Beyond feeling lucky to be there and overwhelmed with the content, food, drink, music and people (you never know who you may be standing next to at this event) we ended up making a great connection. Josh was in the building at the far end of Dr. Joe's property which had housed, among other things a wall of Veuve Clicquot, an impromtu bluegrass jam session, and a vaulted ceiling assembly moisture test and found himself in a very archane discussion about the inner workings of a Minotair- a cutting edge fresh air and heating/cooling device. 

One of the people who Josh was in the discussion with just happened to be Brian Pontolilo, the editor of Fine Homebuilding and Green Building Advisor. After this discussion Josh left the building to go check out the food tent which contained the culinary results of 4 tow behind smokers, a commercial kitchen build for the express purpose of this event, rows of refrigerators, coolers and even some live lobsters. While filling up his cardboard plate beyond it's natural capacity he looked up to see Brian on the other side of the banquet table. Brian and Josh ended up having a great discussion about the food and some other small talk that nobody remembers. Brian asked Josh for his business card and Josh obliged. 

A month or so later, we got a call at the office and it was Brain asking for Josh. We ended up writing an article for Green Building Advisor about a recently completed home we designed and built called 'Insights from a Practical Passive House' and thus started our relationship with GBA and FHB. 

After a few videos, webinars and interviews for Fine Homebuilding Josh crafted an article about foam-free and vaulted roof assemblies for mixed and cold climates. Basically, it was a design for a roof that allowed our team to build a cost effective vaulted roof that is super durable, healthy and avoids all the environmental impact petrochemical foam imparts on people and the climate. After quite a bit of editing and working its way throug the process at FHB it is now out and available in print. And its the cover story no less!

We have been reading FHB for almost two decades and it has been a great friend and teacher to us. Josh used to read every article until he understood it thourougly, whether it had any direct bearing upon the work we engaged in or not- everything from window installs, to TPO roofing, to finish carpentry tricks, to tools to just about everything having to do with houses. To not only have the pleasure of writing an article for the magazine, but to have it be placed so prominently on the cover is a honor and is something that really means a lot. This is the apex of our industry and to be teaching others and spreading the gospel of high performance building as climate action puts us in a place we could only have dreamed of when we first started this journey. 

Thanks to Brian Pontolilo and everyone at FHB and GBA for taking a chance with us. We look forward to future collaborations and hope that this will help others create healthy, resisilient, efficient and beautiful homes for people and the planet. 

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