Energy Gurus - HELP!

duttyDecember 3, 2012


We are building in SW Florida and wanted SIP but no one here has ANY experience with it and we are so far down the path now we can't even revisit that. So, we looked into ICF but that was a stretch for the budget. We finally settled on a 4x8 frame house figuring we could use great windows, doors, and insulation. Well, due to some unforeseen events, some things came in WAY over budget and we are looking to cut costs. Our architect suggested concrete block on the first floor and frame on the second. Because we have to ship wood into FLorida but concrete block is manufactured a few hours away it would be a big savings.

For all you energy gurus out there... is there a way to make concrete block more energy efficient? What would you do with block construction?

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Epiarch Designs

actually concrete block can be quite efficient if done correctly. by placing the insulation on the exterior, it allows the interior mass to store your heat (or cool) for the house and keep temps a little more consistant. Most of our commercial projects we still build with block and exterior insulation. We typically add 3" of XPS to the exterior over an air barrier coating applied to the block.
In your climate you can get by with a lot less.
You have to decide how you want to finish the interior. You can adhere gyp or you can also plaster it. There are other finishes they can talk to you about.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 5:51PM
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Thank you! I mentioned XPS to my contractor and he said he wasn't sure if it met hurricane code. We must adhere to Miami-Dade code so I guess I need to do a bit more research on XPS. Thank you for the response... it is VERY much appreciated.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 8:17PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I wouldn't build with anything edible in FL....termites are such an issue and not a fan of the chemicals they use to eliminate them. Mom's house was wood and it was a perpetual headache.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 8:38AM
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posted on other thread.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 3:40PM
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Epiarch Designs

I know you said ICF was a stretch, but I would really drill down and see if you can find other places to cut besides your shell. You can only do your shell once, so put your money into that. Cut finishes, cabinets, counters, trim work, bath fixtures, lighting, whatever. Put your money into your shell. It protects you, your family and belongings. It offers energy paybacks. You get a tight, strong home. Granite counters does none of those. Put in good windows with a high DP rating as well.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 9:40AM
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