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Old 10-20-2012, 01:07 PM   #16
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Why do we still build like old times?


Only drawback to a sealed/airtight/"efficient" home/construction is if you get a leak, much bigger problem with mitigation. As in MOLD. Walls packed with insulation will never "breathe" like the drafty inefficient walls. All your energy savings go out the window with ripping out sheet rock, and rebuilding an entire wall to remove stinky /potentially toxic mold if you have a leak that goes undetected for a year or so.

Also, codes. Usually, the decision is mandated by codes for building specs. You dont have a choice.

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Old 10-20-2012, 03:48 PM   #17
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Why do we still build like old times?


Because housing is an expensive and long-lived product, there will always be an innate conservatism in the way houses are built.
Change will always come as technologies evolve, but in housing, the better results come when the change is gradual and evolutionary, rather than revolutionary.
After WW2, there was a desperate housing shortage in the UK. Many new systems were designed, mostly using steel and concrete, with a view to providing more and cheaper housing.
Most of these systems either failed, or were too expensive and were quietly dropped by the mid 1950s when housebuilding returned to traditional masonry construction.
However, some new ideas, materials and techniques stuck, such as plasterboard instead of l&p, chipboard instead of t&g, and roof trusses instead of cut roofs. The changes are thus evolutionary rather than revolutionary.
Also, mortgage companies are wary of lending against new and untried methods of building.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:56 AM   #18
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Why do we still build like old times?


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Only drawback to a sealed/airtight/"efficient" home/construction is if you get a leak, much bigger problem with mitigation. As in MOLD. Walls packed with insulation will never "breathe" like the drafty inefficient walls.
I think this a growing misconception on what the "advanced" buildings of the future need to be. Spray foam is being considered as THE STUFF to use if you want energy efficiency. I can't even begin to explain how much I hate how spray foam is widely utilized today. You're right that if you get a leak at all, the whole structure is at risk. What about the 20 year renovations most homes get? You have to chisel that crap out...
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:55 PM   #19
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Why do we still build like old times?


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Lets use the Chevy Volt as an example.....in the long term it can save a lot of money.....but the upfront cost is high....

Same with building.....sticker shock.....

I'm doing my own work on a 2-story addition....have learned a ton over the past year....after awhile you start to see the payback cost on certain items......

Like most things....atv the end of the day it comes down to $$$$$
Lets use your Chevy Volt for example the hype is good, the cost is ridiculous you only get 20 miles on a charge, when you have to use gas it must be high test, and when you plug it in your electric bill triples. It is a car made in USA with Japanese steel, Korean batteries, a Mexican wiring harness, They are now saying GM is losing $40,000 every time they sell one, sorry tell me the good points again.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:55 AM   #20
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Why do we still build like old times?


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Lets use your Chevy Volt for example the hype is good, the cost is ridiculous you only get 20 miles on a charge, when you have to use gas it must be high test, and when you plug it in your electric bill triples. It is a car made in USA with Japanese steel, Korean batteries, a Mexican wiring harness, They are now saying GM is losing $40,000 every time they sell one, sorry tell me the good points again.
Exactly; The economics of car-ownership is not just down to cost-of-fuel-per-mile, but the whole package of design, manufacture, distribution and maintenance.
I would have thought hybrids are more expensive to maintain and that only film stars can afford the Toyota Prius. And what about safety issues? Cars may be becoming lighter but are they any safer in a collision? What price saving the planet from a few grammes of CO2 if you've lost a leg?
I'll stick to my draughty and noisy old 4x4 any day.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:51 AM   #21
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Why do we still build like old times?


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I'll stick to my draughty and noisy old 4x4 any day.
I did a cost analysis of buying a hybrid or full-electric or keeping my V-6 S10. Even if gas went up to $6 per gallon, it is still more economical for me to run my truck at 18 miles per gallon with a 40-mile round-trip commute. My analysis included insurances, $0 down loan payments, electrical usage at market rates, and mileage at $0.50 (inline with CT DOT mandates).

Not to mention, the electrical charge times are +/-20 hours at 120V-15amp. If you want faster charge times (which most everyone who works 40hr/week does) you'll likely need an electrical system upgrade to handle the welder size electrical load. Drives it even further away from economical feasibility...

This relates to the spray foam craze. Just because it works a little better than batt type insulations doesn't mean it's truly economically better over it's lifespan. The repair costs of a hybrid vehicle and spray foamed structure are way higher than traditional vehicle and batt. structure.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:34 AM   #22
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Why do we still build like old times?


Was 2 years ago this January they changed the energy codes here.
Only way to achieve there codes in a 2x6 wall is with blown in insulation,
For ceilings, and is a lot of flat roofs on older homes here, have to use 2x12 to get proper r value.
They changed the codes on venting, hvac, windows ... they changed everything.
We used to drop off a set of plans, get a permit in a day or so.
Now drop off a set of plans, they will look at them in 3 to 4 weeks.

Problem was the inspectors also had to be re-certified to understand the codes.
They were so confusing, the inspectors did not know.
Ask one inspector about roof venting and get one answer, another inspector will give a different answer.

They call you back in 4 weeks, they want you to submit a detailed drawing of the hvac, and the manufacturer specs on the windows. Wait 2 more weeks .... just crazy!
I do remodel and room additions, on new construction would be easier to design around the new codes. They almost made it impossible for remodel.

They did a report, was estimated the energy savings would take the average home owner 20 years to recoup the investment.

The past year, they finally backed off some of the more crazy new codes, simplified the process so everyone can understand.
We can get a permit in about 2-3 weeks now.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:58 PM   #23
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Why do we still build like old times?


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Only way to achieve there codes in a 2x6 wall is with blown in insulation,
For ceilings, and is a lot of flat roofs on older homes here, have to use 2x12 to get proper r value.
Rigid insulative sheathing is pretty much mandatory now to achieve code R values. I like it and include it in my details as it does 3 things in one step: 1) Eliminates thermal bridging 2) Provides air barrier eliminating the need for gwb caulking 3) Provides vapor retarder eliminating the need for faced insulations or applied layers (plastics, etc.)

By placing the bulk of the insulation/air/vapor envelope on the exterior you allow for elec/plbg/misc to be installed and renovated without disturbing those important layers.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:21 PM   #24
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Why do we still build like old times?


Sometimes cost is prohibitive, people are maxed out and trying to get the most for their money. I think rigid foam sheathing is a good idea, I have never used it.
Will have to look more into it.
Stucco is preferred siding out here in the desert, often with a remodel is built in cost such as upgrading the service panel , now the new room added needs siding, will stick out like a sore thumb against the old stucco on house, is new stucco all around.
Before that is done, may need to replace old existing windows. Adding a room can be a snowball affect.
Most these older homes have zero to minimal insulation at best. So we like to install 2" rigid foam to exterior of house before wrapping it for new stucco, it helps a lot.

I posted earlier in this thread that I like to do double 2x4 walls 12" apart. You can surpass any insulation codes with this method.
But you just doubled your framing bill, twice the material and labour.
Here is a couple photos, first one is just the first round of framing, second photo is close to completion. You can see the 12" walls around the windows and the arch.
Does make it very efficient, also adds character.
Cant resize them and can only provide a link.
http://i49.tinypic.com/21lok1y.jpg
http://i47.tinypic.com/2emd9w0.jpg
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:33 PM   #25
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Why do we still build like old times?


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I think rigid foam sheathing is a good idea, I have never used it.
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So we like to install 2" rigid foam to exterior of house before wrapping it for new stucco, it helps a lot.
Sounds like you have used it...
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:20 PM   #26
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Why do we still build like old times?


May have misinterpreted rigid foam sheathing.
For some reason I was thinking of a product that I have seen in the past.
Is actually 7/16" osb with 2" foam applied to it.
I have seen other variations with 1/2" foam applied to it. I am not sure what these rigid panels are for, but what I pictured when you said rigid foam sheathing.

Which got me thinking, wonder if these panels could be used in construction to increase the insulation while still meeting code?
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:31 PM   #27
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Why do we still build like old times?


The extra osb sheathing applied to the foam is for applications where wood/vinyl siding will be applied since the nails need a structural surface closer than 2" away. Energy efficiency wise it all functions the same.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:38 PM   #28
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Why do we still build like old times?


Quote:
Originally Posted by funfool View Post
Was 2 years ago this January they changed the energy codes here.
Only way to achieve there codes in a 2x6 wall is with blown in insulation,
For ceilings, and is a lot of flat roofs on older homes here, have to use 2x12 to get proper r value.
They changed the codes on venting, hvac, windows ... they changed everything.
We used to drop off a set of plans, get a permit in a day or so.
Now drop off a set of plans, they will look at them in 3 to 4 weeks.

Problem was the inspectors also had to be re-certified to understand the codes.
They were so confusing, the inspectors did not know.
Ask one inspector about roof venting and get one answer, another inspector will give a different answer.

They call you back in 4 weeks, they want you to submit a detailed drawing of the hvac, and the manufacturer specs on the windows. Wait 2 more weeks .... just crazy!
I do remodel and room additions, on new construction would be easier to design around the new codes. They almost made it impossible for remodel.

They did a report, was estimated the energy savings would take the average home owner 20 years to recoup the investment.

The past year, they finally backed off some of the more crazy new codes, simplified the process so everyone can understand.
We can get a permit in about 2-3 weeks now.
Have close friends in I'll Be Quirky and Santa Fe. One tour stop I visited was a relatively new post office, I think in Albuquerque proper, that was straw walled and then adobe. It was fairly new and I was wondering how it worked out?

My friend in Santa Fe, a renowned dental ceramist, lost his house in a gruesome divorce but it was of similar construction, solar and nicely placed on the lot to maximize energy efficiency. I remember it being extremely comfortable in summer and winter with an annual energy bill that made me take a second look. I was still trying to keep my Mom's house going and pumping $400-500/month in forced air heat straight out glass sliding doors just to start. His annual bill was not much higher than a month of heat for Mom's house.

My best Albuquerque friend lives up in a neighborhood on the volcanic ridge side. His place is huge, nicely insulated but also has too much glass. He did put a Swedish pellet furnace in the basement where his office is.

Last edited by user1007; 10-25-2012 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:25 AM   #29
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Why do we still build like old times?


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solar and nicely placed on the lot to maximize energy efficiency.
The fact that this is rarely considered during the design stages is probably the most perplexing part (for me) of modern construction practices. Simple orientation and design (doesn't cost more) can have HUGE impacts on energy loading.
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:12 PM   #30
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Why do we still build like old times?


It may be so we can remember the old times and historical significance of the building. It reminds us of where we where with architecture then. There are some really old houses down south and when we went on vacation, I really enjoyed touring.

Some older structures maybe are also built better....?

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