My floorplans...any ideas?

jayneesFebruary 8, 2006

Here are our floorplans, including the indication for true south in relation to our placement on our lot.

As for some design notes: we plan on having Solatubes in the upstairs baths and walk-in closets. We plan on having clerestory windows on the upstairs hallway giving ample southern daylighting into hallway AND the two-story foyer. We plan on doing a geothermal heat pump.

Due to costs that we're estimating for the build (not even counting interior stuff like appliances, surfaces, paint, mouldings, etc. - JUST the structure of the house), we're not going to do spray foam insulation, opting instead for regular fiberglass with rigid foam on the exterior.

Any comments would be appreciated with regard to general passive solar design on this floorplan.

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Solatubes are GREAT . . . even on overcast days they can let in LOTS of light . . . but not the heat . . . .

Suggest you think about 'canning the f'glas . . . cellulose is better insulation . . far more environmentally friendly . .. loose blown in the attic areas . . "wet" blown in the wall cavities . . . no settling in the walls; and loose is perfect for attic type locations. R-value for blown is based upon SETTLED depth . . . not installed depth.

Not only better insulation and better environmentally; but it's also great sound deadener . . . that is what it was originally developed for. Treated with borate salts; this serves not only as a great fire retardant; but is also deadly to ants etc . . while being quite harmless to humans / pets except for direct ingestion. Boric acid is a common treatment for eye infections . . .

Consider a metal roof . . . no, doesn't need to be $tanding $eam . . it can be had for prices competitive with conventional roofing . . . in a wide variety of colors / profiles . . can make a DRAMATIC impact on appearance. Sheds snow like a banshee . . no more roof shovelin' . . makes a great sound during a rain . . . will last longer than YOU will . . . it will also hold MUCH less heat than conventional roofs do; so at night it cools off much quicker than conventional. That means a cooler house / less A/C if you use it . . . .


    Bookmark   February 8, 2006 at 7:05PM
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Yeah, I thought about blown cellulose but I've heard that you can get pockets of open air even if it's blown in wet, which gave me pause. That's why we decided on FG with rigid foam even though it's less eco-friendly.

I'll definitely look into a metal roof. A friend of mine in NC has a metal roof and LOVES IT and I have to say it was very nicelooking when I first saw it.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2006 at 7:26PM
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Gary, I have indeed been reading the Chiras book - reading and highlighting stuff as I go!!

I know that building small is recommended, however this house will be our house for the next 20-30 years and so we want it to be as close to our "dream house" as we can afford to build. There are currently two adults, two toddlers, four cats and one dog in our 1800 sq ft house and it's a bit tight. In the house above, it's 3700 sq ft. We plan on having at LEAST one more child if not two, and would like to add another dog to the mix. So we feel 3700 sq ft will fit our family perfectly for our lifestyle and needs.

As for the rooms: We ARE planning on zone heating/cooling so that we can shut off spaces that are unused for any length of time. The gym and home theater rooms will be used semi-regularly - the gym will be used by two people for two hours a day each. The home theater will be used a few times a week. The guest room will be used at least once a month since we have family that visits often and would probably become our oldest child's room when we have another child (but she'll get booted when family visits). My parents are getting older, thus the reason the guest room is on the main floor. No stairs. That storage room will be like a garage space - unheated/uncooled, unfinished blank space. It's for lawn mowers, recycling, garden equipment, sports gear, etc. The dining room is a must-have again since we have family that visits regularly and need the formal eating space that seats 8-12 people.

I'll look into the HEED simulation software - that sounds great!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 9:24AM
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