Thinking About Construction Methods

Home construction techniques are one of the most challenging issues, be it for the home owner designing his first home with a professional, or a custom home builder building his 120th home.

So many aspects are evolving in the interrelated approaches, that must work in a coordinated fashion, not independently.  It would seem problems present themselves when these independent approaches interfere with an established group, in which no consideration for the other existing systems has been given.

How tight do we seal up the home? What happens to the moisture that shouldn’t have found it’s way underneath the subsheeting? No fresh air entering the envelope?  Now a days, we’re almost living in a thermos bottle. That’s certainly the most efficient in terms of energy, but not in terms of human life.  Windows allow natural light to enter, but extract energy performance for every square inch of glass.

How do we manage the air flow throughout the house, for cooling and heating? This is probably the most discussed topic in terms of efficiency of delivery systems of energy to the living space. Do we rely on the natural venturi effect of convection (drafts) to occur normally? Ceiling fans are a nice from a hypnotic effect of the slowly revolving blades, plus quite efficient for moving air floor to ceiling and limited movement throughout the entire home.

We will be taking advantage of the exposure to the sun, a southern exposure with space for solar photovoltaic collector panels…combined with electric grid mats in the floor.

We will be building with 2 X 6 studded wall because of the ease, versus other options.  The combination of insulation materials to achieve a high performance cavity without tunneling the window openings is best suited for the Pacific Northwest.

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