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design phase question about best combo, wood, GSHP

Posted by littlecreekfarm (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 12, 12 at 8:21

DH and I are trying to decide on the best options for our planned new construction. It will be a 6000 sqft total 3 story with basement being finished handicapped walkout, first floor with MB, and "bonus" area in attic of 1200 sqft in MO where heating days outnumber cooling days (2800/1200 comes to mind). We are heavily leaning to ICF for basement/main floor, apparently local code requires framing of attic gables. Radiant floor heat is a strong desire. We have additional optional desires of heated garage and drive, heated patio (for chickens, lol) and indoor small forced-flow swimming pool. Orientation and design of house minimizes passive thermal gain and has exposed northern glass, so we expect to save $ on cooling and spend $ on heating needs.

We have unlimited free wood and have heated exclusively with wood for 5 years in indoor woodstove. DH wants to move the mess outside. I want a sufficient backup for resale or when I am too old to go out and stuff the woodstove. We also have use for a close pond for livestock watering and garden irrigation. No NG is available. In MO electricity is cheap but so are wages. DH is capable of almost all construction tasks, chooses to defer elevated ones, and needs some oversight for highly technical installations or designs.

Our current plan consists of radiant floor heat in concrete in basement floor, attached to joists in main floor and attic. Outdoor wood boiler with potentially undersized GSHP with pond loops. We are duplicating delivery with radiant and forced air (for AC and ventilation, very humid here to try radiant cooling). I did not want to add a third fuel source by adding propane even though that is strongly my cooking preference.

Sorry so long...I wanted to give as much info as possible, Please add ideas particularly about how to downsize and unduplicate.


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RE: design phase question about best combo, wood, GSHP

Why ICF? Expensive for R-value. This isn't necessarily the best forum for designing a new house so make sure you have checked others. Overall I'd probably not undersize the GSHP much - you may have code provisions that prevent that although I suppose electric strips can be your true backup heat.


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