To take a systems approach to building in 2010 for me, means putting all functions under one roof. It means that for the first time, two home businesses [B&B and custom one-off cabinetry will be housed under the same roof.
In the spring of 2010 with the red tape snapped, cut and recycled, I was back in the trenches readying for foundation walls. We chose ICF (Integrated Concrete Foundation) because:
A. ICF was fast and quite slick.
B. The insulation was built in. With the Nudera brand my concrete contractor uses, there are dovetails cast into the extrusion, which draws the styrofoam right beside the concrete. He also likes the lime green colour as for him, it’s easier on the eyes in bright sunlight.
C. I can bond a second layer of R10 to the outside and get a wall that is R20 on the outside, to ameliorate cold air lowering the temperature of the pad.
D. It is unnecessary to use tar to waterproof the foundation wall.
After the walls were poured, it was time to make a decision about heating the joint. I chose *not* to supply the house with furnace nor hydronic in-floor heating.
Building a new home and speaking with other builders is like having a baby and listening to a former mother. Almost like belly buttons are like opinions, everyone has them. Almost!
My thoughts went like this:
A) The house already has a heat distribution system, vide, the HRV, heat recovery ventilator.
B) As jayöh’s knowledge about the German passivhaus standard grew, http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/passivhaus-beginners?page=1 he realized that many of these buildings are constructed like Thermos bottles. They do not have a central supply of heat. These passivhaus buildings rely on heat from appliances, thermal mass, cooking and the body heat of humans. The idea was pioneered in Germany around 1995.
C) There would be extensive use of thermal mass utilized within, as double layers of gypsum (drywall) would be employed.
D) There will be active systems like domestic hot water, DHW from a flat plate collector and a few PV photo voltaic panels would be arranged to capture free energy from the sun.
E) Put all together within a system, this is what makes this house bleeding edge. We don’t know how well it will perform and there are scant examples of this kind of construction here in the environs.
F) jayöh did get a second heat loss calculation from Aria Brands that manufacture the Lifebreath HRV. jayöh was informed that ‘some’ of these features have been done before in Canada. All I needed was a 3 kW electric heater implanted in the return air of the HRV.
I Am John Ötvös, aka jayöh.