Saturday, June 19, 2010

Richmond Virginia Zero Energy Home Progress & Appearance

It seems time to show how far the house has progressed and at the same time illustrate that a ZEH does not have to look unconventional. Placing the Schuco PV panels on the back of the south slanted garage roof aided in this outcome, as they are nearly unnoticeable from the street. I would add that the unusual ceiling planes of the pictured great room have caused Mark, our builder, a lot of thought in terms of where to set the boundary for the conditioned space, how to keep the HVAC ducting in those confines, and where to use loose cellulose versus spray foam insulation. It is becoming increasingly apparent how challenging it is to take the basic principles of a ZEH and translate them into a workable application.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Net Zero Energy Virginia Home and best practices...

As you tighten the envelope of the home, control of moisture becomes much more important, and standard practices become too low a target. the last thing you want is to have your tight envelope trapping wayward water. The dark material you see here coming up behind the brick is 30lb felt underlayment. Although the SIS already forms a vapor barrier, our builder, Mark Waring, prefers the redundancy of additionally installing the felt on top of the SIS.

The green material you see is GreenGuard® RainDrop® Housewrap.
RainDrop’s innovative drainage channels keep water out of the wall system. The channels won’t crimp, collapse, or flatten, ensuring water will drain no matter how tightly cladding is nailed to the wall. Because it’s not perforated, RainDrop resists air and water infiltration. Plus it breathes to allow moisture vapor to escape. With its high tear resistance and translucent design, installation is quick and easy with no job site waste. And it stays UV-stable up to 4 months. RainDrop is an ideal secondary weather barrier for fiber cement, vinyl, foam-backed vinyl, and wood sidings and meets the National, Standard, Uniform and International Building Code requirements for air barriers, moisture protection barriers and weather-resistive barriers. It is used on top of the SIS and behind any of the areas to be covered with shingling.