Construction Best Practices
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Our 'Best Practices Manual' is the product of Hammer & Hand’s ongoing work to document and internally codify our standard operating procedures for construction practice.

It has evolved into a guidebook of field-tested construction details, many shaped by Hammer & Hand’s experience in high performance passive building. We expect the information contained herein to grow, deepen, and evolve as it is informed by experience in the field and collaboration with the many professionals with whom we are honored to work.

The first edition of the manual focused on ensuring proper moisture management in buildings, with particular emphasis on our fluid-applied flashing approach to window and door installation, our preferred method for constructing ventilated rain screens, our approaches to new basement construction and basement retrofits, as well as other details. This edition includes those details, some of which have been refined, and adds sections about walls and roof assemblies, detailing key strategies for controlling heat, air, and moisture.

To our employees: this manual is a guide, not gospel. You will routinely encounter realities in the field that do not match “laboratory conditions,” and will need to adapt accordingly. What needs to remain constant is that fieldwork is guided by sound building science, so be sure to consult with our in-house building science experts when adapting these details. Also, manufacturer’s installation instructions and architect’s construction drawings and specifications always take precedence over the details in this Best Practices Manual. Any discrepancies with this manual should trigger discussion with the architect about alternative approaches to their detailing. However, any alterations to architect’s plans must be approved by the architect and such approval memorialized in an SK, ASI, RFI or other contractual method.

To our industry colleagues: we share this manual in the spirit of collaboration. These details have been developed through extensive in-the-dirt experience and informed by building science training and practice. From our experience in the maritime Pacific Northwest, they combine durability, performance, and constructability. That said, we know there are several ways to solve any building problem, and also respect that responsibility for the design of construction details ultimately rests with the architect. The details in this manual can be a starting point for discussion as we collaborate with you on a project. And you are free to draw upon them in any project you are designing, regardless of whether we’re involved.

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