[Greenbuilding] over-insulating

Bill Allen bill.allen at verizon.net
Fri Jan 29 07:19:36 MST 2016


I have been brainstorming the same concept except I have additional requirements for the heater:
1) needs to provide the living room ambiance of a traditional firplace when desired.
2) power a radient floor system if neccessary.

I guess #2 could be just a large hot water storage used for both dhw and underfloor heating but I believe they require different temp ranges.

I have a lot of wood and want to burn it in the most efficient, non-poluting way to supply all my requirements. Assume a well insulated, tight envelope (not built yet...dreaming up my retirement home in the mountains of NE PA).

Will also have plentry of south facing roof area for both PV and solar thermal. Perhaps the solar thermal could be used for the radient heating with the fire for dhw.

Would love any thoughts...



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-------- Original message --------
From: Norbert Senf <norbert.senf at gmail.com> 
Date:01/29/2016  8:43 AM  (GMT-05:00) 
To: Green Building <greenbuilding at lists.bioenergylists.org> 
Cc:  
Subject: Re: [Greenbuilding] over-insulating 

This reminds me of an interesting concept from Fairbanks, Alaska:
Alaska building researchers have developed a popular super envelope system that reduces your heat load practically to zero. It adds about $100,000 to the cost of conventional 2x4 framing construction up there. A heater mason friend and a plumber colleague developed the following idea, that has been very successful in practice:

- skip the $100,000 envelope add-on
- use 2x6 framing w, 2" foam on the outside, tight construction, good attic insulation, etc.
- design in a wood fired masonry heater with a hot water system.

- you now have an extremely clean and efficient fireplace, plus just enough heat load and heat storage that you can fire the masonry heater once a day and have it make all your domestic hot water.
- domestic hot water is very expensive in Alaska, so you get a great payback.

On Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 11:52 PM, Reuben Deumling <9watts at gmail.com> wrote:
I agree, Bob. 

I was using Frank's term, and compared to what is generally recommended (for our climate zone) eleven inches would probably be considered excessive. 
Mostly I posted this little summary because it seems like it confirms my long-standing hunch that you can achieve something along the lines of what is promised in the Passivhaus fine print without spending a mint or using crazy gizmos or materials. 

I like heating with wood, and think I'll miss it when it becomes merely an occasional thing, but then there is the weeks and months I don't need to look for, cut and split and stack and haul and restack and move and move again, and make fires every day for 5-6 months of every year....

On Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 8:45 PM, Bob Waldrop <bwaldrop1952 at att.net> wrote:
It seems to me that you didn't "over-insulate," instead, you insulated the "right amount".  Ever since we defied all the local conventional wisdom and put nine inches of insulation into our walls by insulating the existing walls and then building new walls five inches inside of the exterior walls and insulating those, we've been enjoying lower heating and air conditioning bills.  Personally, I think that generally most builders underinsulate businesses and condemn their occupants to perpetual indenture to utility companies.  

Bob Waldrop, Okie City

On 1/28/2016 10:17 PM, Gennaro Brooks-Church - Eco Brooklyn wrote:
Congrats Ruben on your remodel. Sounds great. 

On Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 7:04 PM,               Reuben Deumling <9watts at gmail.com> wrote:

However...the heating demand for this space is very nearly zero. The whole house (before this remodel) burned through about 5 cords/winter and it was never really cozy. So far this winter my mom's burned a little over one-tenth of a cord. 

Reuben

* I know I asked a bunch of questions about this project of you folks along the way. A belated thank                     you to all. 



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-- 
Sent from Mobile, excuse the brevity.
Gennaro Brooks-Church, Director
Eco Brooklyn
347-244-3016
22 2nd St, BK NY 11231 


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-- 
Norbert Senf
Masonry Stove Builders
25 Brouse Road, RR 5
Shawville Québec J0X 2Y0
819.647.5092
www.heatkit.com
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