Tuesday, June 16, 2009

June Updates

Hi all, this is the other (prospective) homeowner, the Intern Architect. I have been quite lax in contributing, and now I feel like I have a lot to say...

Lets start off with a few photos of the house...

Front view (dig the porch!) Dining room, Fireplace, Master Bedroom, Wonderful odd lavatory, and lovely, ferny backyard.

We think it's a beautiful old thing, and can't wait to see our own furniture and clutter in it.

Updates on Justin's previous posts:

We're probably going to use dense-pack cellulose for our insulation. There's some in the wall already from a free city program, and going in with new cellulose will get us within our HERS target range, and avoid the expense of cleaning it out to blow in foam. It's disappointing, however, that we're going to max out at r-13 or so.

We though we were going to have to take down the interior walls to let George inspect our insulation installation. There was no way for us to get full credit for the insulation we'd blow in otherwise, which would keep us from getting our HERS score, and our LEED rating, by extension. We are able to avoid this by paying someone to thermally image the walls with an infrared camera to inspect the heat transfer through the walls, which would let George see where the insulation was lacking, and have the installer correct it.

The program demands that no more than 10% of any cavity be void, meaning our insulation installer really has to know what he's doing. This is important – the insulation already in the walls was so poorly installed that the walls are essentially uninsulated. The studs and lath were even visible in the infrared photos...

We may still switch to foam. Tripolymer is very affordable, and having walls come in at r-13, r-15 max is not sitting well with us. Even though most heat loss/gain is through our roof (which we can get up to r-44, nice...) it just doesn't feel right.

So, our HERS score: we're coming it at 82, and the max we can get is 85. Which is adequate. We're disappointed that our house won't be more high performing, but we're out of reasonable options.

More to come soon!