About to build a house. Questions abound on choices.
Long time lurker here, came through the NY Times article on the Park Passivehaus built in Seattle.
We're about to build a house here in Seattle as well, a prefab home through Greenfab. We've settled on a layout, about 1700 ft^2 for 3 of us, with an extra basement BR for my wife's work space (200 ft^2) and a MIL apartment (1BR, 600 ft^2). We're modifying a variant of their 1700 series home.
The PGH 'standard' according to the builder would put the project above our target budget. They are building to the 2012 IECC code - R21 walls (fiberglass), R39 roof, 3ach verifiable via blower testing..
The 1FL and 2FL systems will be ductless minisplits.
The basement rooms will be concrete floor, radiant wall panels. No underslab insulation was specified - I guess IECC says, R10 if using slab radiant heat. We aren't using radiant...
We started talking to the Conservation Services Group who advises on these issues locally, and they told me a few things:
1. Dont spend money at our perf envelope on triple pane. that's the last thing.
2. Perhaps upgrade wall insulation to something not fiberglass.
3. Consider solar, as the payback with Seattle incentives is under 7 years
4. Get LEED or Built Green certification, it improves resale value and the builder should know paperwork since they built the first LEED plat cert home in Seattle.
I've tried to provide as much detail as I know. Given our budget constraints - where would we spend money gainfully? I think that fiberglsas -> cellulose in walls might be more costly than the $7k we might save on triple->double pane.
Given the fact that the basement will be full time occupied, it seems underslab insulation is really going to help but, how much? EPS?
Resale value is important to us, as we may have to move at some point. I'm not building as an investment property, I'd love to stay, but I said that about our East coast apartment.... and here we are.
Flood/water control in basement is important given Seattle mold issues. Lot is flat, a tear down of a pre war home. The current basement is musty but no indication of mold.
This site's been fantastic for a tech geek like me, but like our software projects, we need to prioritize feature and budget. Where can I get best bang for my buck now? I wish I could do the PGH standard but we can't.
Your wisdom is appreciated.
Posted Sat, 12/28/2013 - 11:19
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