Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thinking outside the building box, some sources

My hands have been on this keyboard for 100s of hours now, researching these last details of our house. Since most of the materials, applications and fixtures are not normally used in residential applications, I've had to swim through oceans of information to find these items with the help of my architect. Jan says that most of the residential norms are crap, so we HAVE to research every little corner and crevice for the ultimate THING. Most of the stuff we want has primarily been used in the commercial sector or green building, and as Ted says, it's because those things are built to last and simply are better (sigh!)... so here we go, I am freakin' tired, but am grateful that the Internet was invented in my lifetime.

First, insulation. Yes, we are using SIPs for most everything. But because our 2nd story cantilevers (overhangs) out above our pool, we have to use something other than our beloved SIPs. So, Ted suggested using batt on the floor of our 2nd story overhang to save money, but now I want to look at this natural fibre insulation that's safe, environmental because their made with post-industrial waste (recycled blue jeans!) and they are good quality for not too much money. The advantage is that even though they are more expensive per square foot ($0.39/sf batt insulation vs. $0.89-1.09/sf natural fibre insulation), you will save in labor costs because batt has to be stapled in and handled with care because of the itch and fiberglass irritation. This stuff can be put in by hand and don't need to be stapled in, so they are quickly installed and safe to handle as you can see with the baby below.

I found this company:
Bonded Logic at http://www.bondedlogic.com/

I couldn't resist posting this adorable photo:

Then on to ventilation ducts. We learned of a system that removes humidity from our bathrooms that can be planned with fewer punctures through our roof because they share the same vent to the outside. They are quieter & better designed so that you can control 2 or more bathrooms with the same ventilation duct.

Here's some information on them:
Fantech at http://www.fantech.net
and there's even this nifty timer that can clock the amount of time the vent fan should run (it's recommended that you run it for at LEAST 20 min after a shower):

As for our roof, since we're doing rainwater collection, we had to find an application that would make our flat roof design safe for drinking water. It had to be both ANSI/NSF Standard 61 approved and be able to waterproof our flat roof. We found ONE solution! It's called Hydrostop, and it's mostly used in commercial buildings.

Also, under our stucco, we had to find a plastic rainscreen that will draw water out so that it drains down in channels called Mortairvent. It is not commonly found in stucco applications, but of course we had to have it :-). According to the website, "Current construction designs call for manufactured stone directly against the metal lathe, which is placed against the plywood sheathing and housewrap. This allows moisture that penetrates the exterior cladding to become trapped between the exterior cladding and interior plywood sheathing. In time, this trapped moisture will cause rotting, mold and general deterioration of the plywood sheathing. Rainscreen technology should be used to allow this trapped moisture to drain." So that's why.


Paul said...

the fantech diagram shows an attic space. will this work with your flat roof application?

have you shopped any non OSB skinned SIP panels?

Jan & Myleen said...

Paul, that's a great question. Ours will be designed differently because we have floor trusses. So basically, the vent ducts will be underneath the floor, and the single vent going up to the roof will be hidden under some interior walls or in a closet (not sure which).

Regarding non OSB SIPs, we only thought about metal SIPs for our roof, but heard of some complications with putting those together. At the end, we decided that OSB SIPs are more economical and we are taking extra precautions to waterproof them (see the Hydrostop product).

Max said...

great images. Wow you guys are in the home stretch, or at least taking a mean run around 2nd base!