Community: Plans Review

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20 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
26 Answers

Review my home insulation plan

I'm building a new house, and would love to hear feedback on the insulation plan. It can be found here: http://lazukars.bitbucket.org/house.png

DESIGN GOALS:

- Have a consistent insulation pattern up from the basement and up through the roof. In this case XPS on the exterior and ccSPF on the interior.
- Eliminate thermal bridges wherever possible.
- Double the insulation required by code

CONCERNS WITH THIS DESIGN:

- Foam Sandwich: The current sandwich of XPS on OSB on ccSPF will create OSB rot. The OSB will not be able to dry to the interior.

Asked By Ryan Lazuka | Aug 18 14
4 Answers

Bathroom remodel plans call for 3 sconces next to medicine cabinets (two 60-watt bulbs each in frosted glass fixtures)

Plans also call for two 4" cans 5 feet behind sinks for lighting by the closet. The contractor wants to add two recessed 4" cans above sinks (on dimmers). We also have a large skylight in the room. Advice? Thank you!

Asked By Suzanne Taylor | Aug 4 14
13 Answers

Check my wall strategy?

We're about to begin framing on a new house in zone 6A (Minneapolis). From months of reading and following posts here, I've devised what I think is a wall/insulation strategy that will work. Does this look right, or are there any tweaks that could make it:
a) perform better (within reason; we're going after the "pretty good" model, not a Passivhaus)
b) more cost-effective
c) easier to build

The concept (inside to out):
- Drywall
- 2x6 stud wall
- Membrain or similar (6-mil poly if the inspector insists...sigh)
- 5.5" blown fiberglass cavity insulation (BIBS) = R-23

Asked By Joshua Wyatt | Jul 28 14
3 Answers

Ventilation through HVAC air return

My house has no ventilation aside from the bath and kitchen exhausts. This needs to change. ASHRAE 62.2 wants me to have 66cfm, and BSC-01 42cfm. No way I'm getting that through the cracks of the windows. But I don't want a whole 'nother duct system. I already have ducts! Also, I don't like the idea of exhaust-only. Where's that air gonna come from? My crawlspace is icky!

Asked By Jacob Weel | Jun 21 14
3 Answers

Beginning of a big (for me) project

Looking for some input. It feels like I've done too much research and have started to confuse myself with all the options out there (icf/persist/remote/double stud/ radiant/ gshp, mini splits/ oil fired boiler, windows, siding, choices), So I'll at the beginning looking for some insight from the pro's.

The house will be in upstate NY CZ6A 99% temp of -6f, 43* lat. building on a hill overlooking a lake (lake is due east of building site) prevailing wind is from the west. I plan on doing as much of the work as possible (to keep the price in reason budget is pretty tight).

Asked By Trevor Chadwick | Apr 28 14
20 Answers

Pretty Good Wall Design - Maybe

Hello,
The attached file shows a wall design concept for a new house build near Minneapolis, Mn. I'm trying to design a wall that is both easy to build and has good performance.

Asked By Karl Overn | Apr 20 14
4 Answers

Retrofitting an uninsulated slab for radiant

We are planning a major renovation of our 1970s ranch and would like in-floor radiant heat. The house is on an uninsulated slab in climate zone 5A. Our current plan is to insulate with 1.5" XPS over the slab, lay Schluter Bekotec over the insulation, place the the PEX in the Bekotec, screed then tile thoughout the house.

Asked By Jessica Marchesi | Apr 6 14
1 Answer

Move the interior 2x24 vertical EPS to the outside of foundation?

For anyone who naturally performs THERM calculations in their head, the answer would be intuitively obvious, but to know for sure I'd have to stop and learn THERM (which wouldn't be a bad idea).

Before I build this, would it be better to place to layers of vertical 2" EPS on the outside, maybe 32" and 16" deep, to reduce what looks like an excessive thermal bridge right at the top of the foundation?
Cross section:

Asked By Chuck Jensen | Apr 16 14
2 Answers

About to break ground, would like to hear feedback on design

This will be located in SW Colorado climate zone 6B (ICC zone 5B). Long axis due east-west with a 45 deg bend on the west 1/3. Attached is a pdf of a typical cross section of the proposed design. I will have some specific questions forethcoming but this is partly a test to see how the pdf looks posted.

Asked By Chuck Jensen | Apr 12 14
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