Community: Plans Review

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15 Answers

Double Stud Wall sheathing and vapor barrier


I am building a 10" thick double stud wall that will be dense packed with blown in cellulose. I live in Virginia in climate zone 4 in a mixed-humid climate. I am worried about warm air getting into my wall cavities and possibly condensing on the cold sheathing during the winter months. I have been thinking about my different options and was hoping to get some advice on each option.

Asked By Jimmy Nguyen | Sep 30 15
9 Answers

Below grade XPS placement, protection, and detailing

I'm pouring a traditional 8" concrete foundation for a client this week. They planned to have us place 2" of XPS foam on the outside of the walls for insulation. Once they can afford to finish the basement, they would place another 2" of foam on the inside of the walls between treated 2x2s and sheetrock over it for the finished assembly.

I've attached a rough sketch of the various components.

Asked By Nethaniel Ealy | Sep 16 15
11 Answers

Best strategy for waterproofing and insulating a half block/half brick basement?

I live in a 1920's home in Central Ohio (Climate Zone 5A). The basement has an exposed French drain (ie, the weeping holes, trench, gravel and tile are there, but have not been covered with concrete) with sump pump. The basement is 2/3rds below ground, with the walls made up of half cement block (bottom portion) and half brick and mortar (top portion). The brick and mortar is partially above ground and is covered on the exterior with a stone and mortar veneer.

Asked By Matt Bierlein | Jul 13 15
4 Answers

Design for a ventilated low-slope roof

We are building an energy efficient house in central Vermont. Part of the house is one story and has a "shed" roof with a 3/12 pitch in which the ceiling is parallel to the roof (the highest point of the cathedral ceiling is 12.5 ft). Our architect wants us to build a cold, ventilated roof based on ideas from Joe Lstiburek.

Asked By Timothy Denny | Aug 9 15
1 Answer

Floor plans

I am in beginning stages of diy renovation of a rundown double wide mobile home.

52' x 28' . the midline where they meet is 13.5' for each side.

I was wondering where i could go to get a better floor plan that is more energy
efficient. I believe that i can move things around. the limiting factor is the
walls in certain sections needed to support the roof.

Any advice on who I can contact ?

Would it be an architect ?

Thanks for any help.!!

Asked By Jacq snow | Aug 4 15
21 Answers

Community insights for a straw & steel green build?

We are building a straw-bale house with steel bones in Sacramento, CA in spring 2015 and I'd love to get some insights from the community! We are pretty far along into the design process, but with nothing purchased as of yet I'd love to get some input before we put our money where our mouths are.

Our goal is to have a (mostly) passively heated and cooled home in (relativity) temperate Sacramento, CA. Passivhaus would be nice but it's an aspiration rather than a goal. Our lot has a number of trees for shade that we plan to utilize, especially in the western aspect.

Asked By Nick Campbell | Aug 26 14
6 Answers

Solar orientation design trade-offs — tough decisions

I have the unique opportunity to build an net-zero spec house for an investor in my local area. It's a 1450 sq ft. ranch with a garage on a slab. Building to "pretty awesome" house principles. Air-tight, High R, Triple glazed euro windows, etc etc.

My dilemma is the trade-offs between curb appeal, design functionality and optimum solar orientation for solar PV and glazing.

Asked By Ben Freed | Jul 6 15
15 Answers

Planning a new double-stud house — what should I change?

My wife and I are planning a 2,100-square-foot house in Massachusetts. Here's the plan: a south-facing wall with glazing equal to 13% of the 1st floor area. A 5" radiant slab on grade with 4' frost wall on footings insulated with 4" of xps underneath with a stepped foundation top to minimize thermal bridging.

We were planning a 10 1/2" cavity double-stud wall with dense-pack damp-spray cellulose and lots of air sealing. Huber Zip System exterior sheathing with strapping and vertical pine siding sealed on all sides for a rainscreen wall.

Asked By noah kaput | Sep 15 11
1 Answer

Do these calculations seem reasonable?

I created an excel heat loss model for a proposed house design to help me select what steps beyond code compliance will have the most impact. I would appreciate any comments that more experienced people might have on my results. The house is about 2300 square feet above grade in climate zone 5 (about 100 miles from the zone 6 border). The second floor is about 1/3 the size of the first floor. The baseline code compliant model uses the following assumptions:
• 2x6 walls, 16 o.c., cellulose in cavity
• Attic cellulose R = 38
• Basement R = 12
• Windows U = 0.35
• ACF50 = 3

Asked By Reid Baldwin | Jun 16 15
6 Answers

Skip the plywood, go right ot the Comfortboard IS

I live in central Vermont, heating zone 6, hoping to get a little bit of feedback on the wall system I have in mind for a 4 season workshop (barn), with small efficiency apartment on the second floor.

Asked By Blake Olson | May 2 15
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