How can I turn my root cellar into good foundation insulation?
We're in detail design phase of our new house in northeast CT. The frame will be a 2,000sq ft Saltbox, set into a slope. General scheme is superinsulated & airtight shell, and decision tree is in progress - on the HP window, active solar, and back-up choices.
The foundation will be conventionally formed concrete walls and slab. But, based on natural grade will have full-height walls only in the northwest corner: approx. 1/2 the length of the north wall (16-20') and 1/3 the west wall (8'), with one half-height step wall making up half the remaining length, down to a slab-on-grade making up the remaining length of north and west (east and south foundation will be all slab-on-grade).
Reading here and elsewhere, I've seen lots of good info, but no ideal choices, for insulating those full-height foundation walls. So, I'm considering just using root cellar space (with some added garden storage space) as the 'insulation'. That is, make an insulated interior wall buffering the full-height foundation walls, with an (approx.) 8'x16' air space behind it.
Closing the envelope and breaking the thermal bridges around that root cellar/airspace seems like a bit of a puzzle, but I'm guessing you all can suggest some straightforward solutions - at least for the ends/bottom/top of the interior basement wall, the root-cellar ceiling/overhead floor, and rim joist-to-exterior wall junction. Any/all ideas would be welcome.
Much more perplexing, however, is a thermal break of some kind between the root cellar floor and the basement floor on the other side of that interior buffer wall. Would some kind of break like a channel of porous blocks (set right into the universal slab) under the buffer wall work, and be worth the bother? If my whole slab is insulated underneath anyhow, do I even need to worry about this?
Looking forward to all your good insights on this, thanks!
Posted Fri, 03/22/2013 - 11:37
Edited Fri, 03/22/2013 - 12:03
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