Community: Plans Review

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8 Answers

Is this a good insulation strategy for apartment over garage (new construction)?

In early planning stages for a detached single-car garage/small shop with ~600 SF apartment above, as accessory dwelling unit (rental) to my house. Would like to approach Passive House standards for air sealing and overall energy use.

Footprint ~ 14' x 42', on a relatively narrow, deep lot. Thickened slab foundation. Stair to second story apartment inside building envelope. Climate zone 5, 6700 heating degree days, 10F winter design temperature.

Considering Remote wall system, as follows (from inside out):

Asked By David Drake | Nov 15 15
6 Answers

Overdoing south-facing glazing

My current plan includes roughly 148 sqft of south-facing glazing on a 1400 sqft house. We have some nice views, and some small interior spaces that I want to open up with large windows. The house is in zone 6 at ~45* N latitude.

I have relied on the annual analysis calculator at to determine that I want a 3' eave overhang 1' above my 5' tall windows. However, there is a 10' wide glass door that will receive too much sun.

Asked By Jim Tyler | Nov 4 15
10 Answers

Foundation insulation details

I am hoping to meet with my foundation contractor in the near future and want to make sure I am as close as possible to having my ducks in a row. Can you guys take a look at the insulation details below and see if I am on the right track? An explanation of my plan:

Asked By Jim Tyler | Oct 21 15
9 Answers

Transition from REMOTE house to batt insulated garage on same plane

I am trying to figure out how to frame the transition from house to garage on a new construction home with REMOTE walls on the house, and batt insulation in the garage. I would like siding to continue on one plane across this transition. I did my best to draw a detail of my plan, which should be attached. A basic description of key components is:

House sheathing is wrapped in bituthane or drainwrap, which is continuous around the corner and between the living and garage space.

Asked By Jim Tyler | Oct 7 15
12 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
23 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
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 25 14
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