superinsulated

Vermont House Uses Only Half a Cord of Firewood

Posted on March 30,2015 by user-756436 in Corson

When my friend Laura Murphy mentioned that her neighbors in Ripton, Vermont, Chris and Zoe Pike, stayed warm last winter by burning just half a cord of firewood, I was intrigued. So I tracked down the Pikes to learn a few more details about their house.

A Pioneer of Low-Energy Homes Since 1973

Posted on March 30,2015 by AlexWilson in Bruce Brownell

Bruce Brownell, of Adirondack Alternate Energy, has been creating low-energy, largely passive-solar-heated, resilient homes in the Northeast for forty years — and he’s still going strong. Since 1973, Bruce has built more than 375 homes in 15 states, a third of them in very cold (over 8,500-degree-day) climates. Most require just a few hundred dollars of heat per year.

Designing Superinsulated Walls

Posted on March 30,2015 by user-961160 in cellulose

[Editor's note: Roger and Lynn Normand are building a [no-glossary]Passivhaus[/no-glossary] in Maine. This is the 12th article in a series that will follow their project from planning through construction.] I’ve always enjoyed watching new homes being built. From the humble beginnings of a simple hole in the ground, a job site gradually changes as a succession of tradesmen arrive daily to craft concrete, lumber, roofing, windows, drywall, copper pipes into basic shelter, before giving way to a parade of cabinets, appliances and other finishing touches.

A Superinsulated House in Rural Minnesota

Posted on March 30,2015 by user-756436 in design

Electric resistance heating systems have a bad reputation. While the required equipment is cheap (and sometimes cheap-looking), homes with electric heat are known for their high fuel bills.

Solar Versus Superinsulation: A 30-Year-Old Debate

Posted on March 30,2015 by user-756436 in active solar

The oil price shock of 1973 sparked a burst of interest in “solar houses.” During the 1970s, owner-builders all over the U.S. erected homes with extensive south-facing glazing — sometimes sloped, sometimes vertical. Many of these houses included added thermal mass — concrete floors, concrete-block walls, or 55-gallon drums filled with water.

Heating a Tight, Well-Insulated House

Posted on March 30,2015 by user-756436 in direct vent

If you build a small, tight, well-insulated home — in other words, a green home — it won’t need much heat. Since typical residential furnaces and boilers are rated at 40,000 to 80,000 Btuh, they are seriously oversized for a superinsulated home, which may have a heating design load as low as 10,000 to 15,000 Btuh. Builders have been struggling for decades with the question, “What’s the best way to heat a superinsulated home?” Your solution will depend in part on your answers to a couple of other questions:

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