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posted by Satibaba on Apr 21, 2014

After reading negative post on this forum, as a lifetime "Ecologically Sound" builder I have to post a positive response for AAC . Having lived in a celestory (clearstory) AAC home and an AAC Shop with adjoined Guest Quarters for 10 years, situated Above Prescott, AZ at 5800ft. altitude. The tempratures ranging from 5 degrees F. to 100 degrees F. with monsoons in summer, and snow in winter. We have infloor radiant heat, yet we seldom use more than a 1000 watt bathroom heater after baths or occasionally in the bedroom. The radiant heat is used less than 8 hrs. a day for two to three weeks...

posted by lloydalter on Apr 11, 2014

I don't think it is a question of urine separating beating composting toilets; it can do both and in fact a urine-separating composting toilet works better than a normal one. It needs far less heat to dry stuff out and it smells far better because most of the odor is often from the ammonia and the pee. There are a couple on the market, including the biolan naturum http://www....

posted by lloydalter on Mar 27, 2014

My former boss Graham Hill, who built a high end tiny apartment after he left TreeHugger, used induction in an interesting way: since they use so little power and are so cool, he has three plug-in units that he keeps in a drawer and takes out as needed. Most of the time he needs only one; for dinner (who cooks in Manhattan) he might use two. being cool and portable has some big space-saving advantages. http://www.treehugger.com/slideshows/interior-design/...

posted by brucedonelson on Mar 22, 2014

If you insulate the mechanical room, your HPWH will certainly become quiter to you upstairs. But it will have less heat available from upstairs to draw on, so the Mech Room will get colder and its efficiency will drop. During the summer you may want to vent the HPWH into the house to harvest the coolth. You might also bring in a duct to it to bring it warm air from the house. But these ducts may also send noise around.

In a desgn I had had for a HPWH in an unheated mechanical room here in Oregon, I included a buried air supply to prewarm the air for the heater. Trenching was not a...

posted by atwilson on Mar 17, 2014

Unfortunately, I don't have a fourth eMonitor circuit for 220-volt loads, so I'm not currently collecting that information. I'm hoping to figure out a way to add a few circuits for data collection.

posted by tristan on Mar 17, 2014

Alex, how many watts does the cooktop draw when it's on at full tilt? Partial? Any idea how many kilowatt-hours you consume through it on a daily basis?

posted by vbpreston on Mar 13, 2014

My concern would be to run a sump pump and the furnace during power outages. A frig too would be nice, but less necessary ( after all if you need the heat, it will be cold outside...). Would it be possible to make part of one's solar array island-capable? How much would it take to run a small sump pump (that would only run occasionally) plus the furnace (Burnhams' 2nd-smallest condensing boiler)? I would think 1500 watts would suffice for that purpose, but the SMA system only works when the sun is shining, and sounds like it wouldn't handle the motors anyway. Also, if you were to use the...

Roxul Mineral Wool Insulation Batts
posted by Peter Yost on Mar 6, 2014

Yes, makes perfect sense that you would like to improve the thermal performance of your walls by completing the cavity fill.

You only need to be concerned about the temperature of your first condensing surface (in this case, the interior plywood skin of your SIP-like panel) if:

1. the cavity fill insulation is vapor permeable

2. you don't have an interior vapor retarder

3. you are running wintertime interior relative humidities that support your dew point calculation.

You don't state what insulation you will be using to fill the wall framing cavities,...

Roxul Mineral Wool Insulation Batts
posted by Alan Benoit on Mar 3, 2014

I have a bit of a dilema. We are building a new town library in Vermont and we are trying to decide what to do with the wall cavities. We have a SIP-like panel on the exterior with 2" of polyiso sandwiched between plywood sheets, giving us R-14 continuous outside the wall. Because of the building's dimensions, the wall studs are 2x8s and 2x10s. When I calculate the condensation proability inside the wall cavity, it suggests that we have only about R-14 between the studs. Doing so would only fill 2-3.5" of the cavity and leave the rest empty. Because this is to be a 100yr building,...

posted by SDofVT on Mar 3, 2014

I have a bit of a dilema.  We are building a new town library in Vermont and we are trying to decide what to do with the wall cavities.  We have a SIP-like panel on the exterior with 2" of polyiso sandwiched between plywood sheets, giving us R-14 continuous outside the wall.  Because of the building's dimensions, the wall studs are 2x8s and 2x10s.  When I calculate the condensation proability inside the wall cavity, it suggests that we have only about R-14 between the studs.  Doing so would only fill 2-3.5" of the cavity and leave the rest empty.  Because this is to be a 100yr building,...

posted by Satibaba on Apr 21, 2014

After reading negative post on this forum, as a lifetime "Ecologically Sound" builder I have to post a positive response for AAC . Having lived in a celestory (clearstory) AAC home and an AAC Shop with adjoined Guest Quarters for 10 years, situated Above Prescott, AZ at 5800ft. altitude. The tempratures ranging from 5 degrees F. to 100 degrees F. with monsoons in summer, and snow in winter. We have infloor radiant heat, yet we seldom use more than a 1000 watt bathroom heater after baths or occasionally in the bedroom. The radiant heat is used less than 8 hrs. a day for two to three weeks...

posted by lloydalter on Apr 11, 2014

I don't think it is a question of urine separating beating composting toilets; it can do both and in fact a urine-separating composting toilet works better than a normal one. It needs far less heat to dry stuff out and it smells far better because most of the odor is often from the ammonia and the pee. There are a couple on the market, including the biolan naturum http://www....

posted by lloydalter on Mar 27, 2014

My former boss Graham Hill, who built a high end tiny apartment after he left TreeHugger, used induction in an interesting way: since they use so little power and are so cool, he has three plug-in units that he keeps in a drawer and takes out as needed. Most of the time he needs only one; for dinner (who cooks in Manhattan) he might use two. being cool and portable has some big space-saving advantages. http://www.treehugger.com/slideshows/interior-design/...

posted by brucedonelson on Mar 22, 2014

If you insulate the mechanical room, your HPWH will certainly become quiter to you upstairs. But it will have less heat available from upstairs to draw on, so the Mech Room will get colder and its efficiency will drop. During the summer you may want to vent the HPWH into the house to harvest the coolth. You might also bring in a duct to it to bring it warm air from the house. But these ducts may also send noise around.

In a desgn I had had for a HPWH in an unheated mechanical room here in Oregon, I included a buried air supply to prewarm the air for the heater. Trenching was not a...

posted by atwilson on Mar 17, 2014

Unfortunately, I don't have a fourth eMonitor circuit for 220-volt loads, so I'm not currently collecting that information. I'm hoping to figure out a way to add a few circuits for data collection.

posted by tristan on Mar 17, 2014

Alex, how many watts does the cooktop draw when it's on at full tilt? Partial? Any idea how many kilowatt-hours you consume through it on a daily basis?

posted by vbpreston on Mar 13, 2014

My concern would be to run a sump pump and the furnace during power outages. A frig too would be nice, but less necessary ( after all if you need the heat, it will be cold outside...). Would it be possible to make part of one's solar array island-capable? How much would it take to run a small sump pump (that would only run occasionally) plus the furnace (Burnhams' 2nd-smallest condensing boiler)? I would think 1500 watts would suffice for that purpose, but the SMA system only works when the sun is shining, and sounds like it wouldn't handle the motors anyway. Also, if you were to use the...

posted by SDofVT on Mar 3, 2014

I have a bit of a dilema.  We are building a new town library in Vermont and we are trying to decide what to do with the wall cavities.  We have a SIP-like panel on the exterior with 2" of polyiso sandwiched between plywood sheets, giving us R-14 continuous outside the wall.  Because of the building's dimensions, the wall studs are 2x8s and 2x10s.  When I calculate the condensation proability inside the wall cavity, it suggests that we have only about R-14 between the studs.  Doing so would only fill 2-3.5" of the cavity and leave the rest empty.  Because this is to be a 100yr building,...

posted by lawrencelile on Feb 24, 2014

A fellow was trying to convince me that this EPS ionsulation behind the vinyl would add R-10 to a building.  I had considered using his company to do some other renovations at one of my buildings, and the subject of siding came up.  I essentially threw him out, and told him not only would I not hire him to side anything, I would not hire him for any other type of construction if that was the kind of exaggerated claim he'd make.  This kind of hucksterism is common in the industry, I believe.  

posted by tgray on Feb 19, 2014

I would agree, seems high, 44 kwh/day x 30 = 1326 kwh/ month or around $200/month- not including the rest of Electrical use beyong heat pump.  cannot draw any firm conclusions until there is a year or two of whole house data, converted to Btu/sf.  Just looking at my Passive House cheat sheet, annual heating allowance must be under 11.1 kwh/ sf, if house is 1600 sf that is 17760 kwh/yr...

Roxul Mineral Wool Insulation Batts
posted by Peter Yost on Mar 6, 2014

Yes, makes perfect sense that you would like to improve the thermal performance of your walls by completing the cavity fill.

You only need to be concerned about the temperature of your first condensing surface (in this case, the interior plywood skin of your SIP-like panel) if:

1. the cavity fill insulation is vapor permeable

2. you don't have an interior vapor retarder

3. you are running wintertime interior relative humidities that support your dew point calculation.

You don't state what insulation you will be using to fill the wall framing cavities,...

Roxul Mineral Wool Insulation Batts
posted by Alan Benoit on Mar 3, 2014

I have a bit of a dilema. We are building a new town library in Vermont and we are trying to decide what to do with the wall cavities. We have a SIP-like panel on the exterior with 2" of polyiso sandwiched between plywood sheets, giving us R-14 continuous outside the wall. Because of the building's dimensions, the wall studs are 2x8s and 2x10s. When I calculate the condensation proability inside the wall cavity, it suggests that we have only about R-14 between the studs. Doing so would only fill 2-3.5" of the cavity and leave the rest empty. Because this is to be a 100yr building,...

posted by Nadav Malin on Jan 2, 2014

Viracon has distributed to design firms--but not posted publicly--a generic HPD covering all constituents of it's glazing products. They also offer to create a product-specific version on demand for a project. But the generic version they've created doesn't meet the LEED minimum disclosure requirements, so it's doubtful that their custom HPD would, either.

Stealth 0.8 GPF Ultra High-Efficiency Toilet
posted by lemon on Dec 3, 2013

We installed these in our new house and they work great. Excellent product.

posted by behrlich on Nov 13, 2013

Hi Sahar,

With a little patience you can find the material information embedded in their pdfs. But it looks to me like some of the information you recieved was distorted.1)   Based on the test data, I don't think worker exposure would be too much of an issue. Here is a link to that data http://calstarproducts.com/pdf/GradientMemo_072809.pdf. Workers cutting brick and generating dust should be wearing appropriate protection anyway, so I don't think this is an issue, but I might be a bit more cautious with fly ash...

posted by mmagnusson on Nov 13, 2013

Our office works primarily in brick, and a lot of the brick distribution companies are commenting negatively on this product. Anyone work with it yet?

1) All fly ash contains a certain percentage of toxic materials, so masons have to handle this material differently than a traditional brick.

2) The fly ash is being imported into the US to make this product, which is less green than brick company XYZ which is in the region.

I am on the fence regarding what is true and what is false. I can't easily find information regarding these issues on the Calstar website.

posted by mmagnusson on Nov 13, 2013

Our office works primarily in brick, and a lot of the brick distribution companies are commenting negatively on this product. Anyone work with it yet?

1) All fly ash contains a certain percentage of toxic materials, so masons have to handle this material differently than a traditional brick.

2) The fly ash is being imported into the US to make this product, which is less green than brick company XYZ which is in the region.

I am on the fence regarding what is true and what is false. I can't easily find information regarding these issues on the Calstar website.

Forest Wool and ECI II
posted by jemills on Oct 14, 2013

Easy to install and provides great R-value.  Only concern is drying time.

Renewal by Andersen Windows
posted by ccrawford2 on Jun 10, 2013

These would be fine for warmer temperate climates, where heat loss and gain are not significant issues. I've usually used the 400 Series, and they are surprisingly well constructed for the money, the doors especially. But I'll likely never specify them again in the northeast. The range of European passive house certified windows available at a good price point make them unacceptable options, even on a budget.

posted by ttabach on May 16, 2013

Am hearing about this new technology and seeing positive reviews online but have also being told that they're not appropriate for larger, older homes. What are the challenges and limitations of heating an older, larger home with a new heatpump system?

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