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How to build a cheap Passive House

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

Re: How to build a cheap Passive House

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 01 Jan 2018, 19:03:00

I think you understand the principles. You need to further understand the "best practices" that have been determined for the area, climate, and type of structure you have. That comes from online research, or from paying a contractor with a reputation in the local area, or from hiring a consultant from the Building Science Corporation: https://buildingscience.com/

It would not be beyond reason to attend one of BSC's "Building Science Fundamentals" classes, such as:

https://buildingscience.com/events/renovation-and-rehabilitation?sku=BSO-18-001

...because many of the things you think you know are wrong, and some important things are not obvious. I'm interested in a distinct type of structure, a timber frame saltbox, and I want complete fire resistance. Therefore I have attended a 1-day workshop on timber frame construction, and researched the following: timber framing, saltbox homes, passive homes, SIPs (structural Insulated panels), magnesium oxide SIPs, magnesium oxide siding, solar PV systems, wind turbines, energy efficient appliances, energy efficient HVAC, early Colonial architecture, etc. etc. etc.

Planning is everything. When the time to act comes, you are ready and can make the correct choices the first time.
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Warning: Messages timestamped before April 1, 2016, 06:00 PST were posted by the unmodified human KaiserJeep 1.0
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Re: How to build a cheap Passive House

Unread postby GHung » Thu 04 Jan 2018, 09:58:28

baha wrote:Hey Folks, I am thread jumping...

This is my thread and I will do what I want :)

The climate chaos thread is off in another direction but I want to respond to COG here, because it is relative.

COG said..."I like climate controlled environments and flush toilets. Nothing is stopping you from moving to India and living in a slum except yourself. Go forth and do so and give me a range report on how its so much better."

The implication here is that by giving up the perks of modern life and consumerism I will surely be miserable. He wants confirmation of his personal beliefs.

Then he said..."Go to the breaker box, turn off power, go outside and live there. You are free young man, go explore. Enjoy, but for the love of God quit bitching about how good you have it. You must be a millennial."

Ha,ha...my responses of happiness and glee don't fit into his world view. So I should shut up :) :lol:

I have done what he asked. I left the suburban world of excess and consumerism and moved to a world of conservation and self-reliance. I refused the easy availability of grocery store veggies from Mexico and chose freely to do the work needed to grow them better. I will bitch and moan about the social irresponsibility of Duke Power all I want and the people who are dependent on them. I will laugh at you for paying interest rates, bankers, investment advisors, and taxes on all your wonderful income. :) You have lost your connections...

I have found mine. The preps I read on Peakoil.com made so much sense to me 10 years ago that I just did them. I read all the lists and took them to heart. I worked hard and focussed on the goal and here I am :)

But instead of feeling I have lost something...I feel I have gained so much. I live in harmony with Mother Earth and Father Sun. I work with people, and for people, who share my values and direction. I connect with it all right down to the dirt under my fingernails. It feels good :)

I may stop posting my successes because I don't like pompous assholes either. But the truth is...life here struggling to survive is 10 times better than life in suburbia behind a video screen.

You should join me :)


Welcome to the world of the fruits of your own labor, and don't let the parasites get you down.
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Re: How to build a cheap Passive House

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 04 Jan 2018, 19:12:35

Ghung - Not to brag but I have a 100% passive house: it just sits there and doesn't do a f*cking thing. LOL.

Actually super insolated and very efficient AC. And just ran the numbers again for some solar assist but my electricity is just so cheap it's very difficult to justify.
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Re: How to build a cheap Passive House

Unread postby GHung » Thu 04 Jan 2018, 19:39:39

ROCKMAN wrote:Ghung - Not to brag but I have a 100% passive house: it just sits there and doesn't do a f*cking thing. LOL.

Actually super insolated and very efficient AC. And just ran the numbers again for some solar assist but my electricity is just so cheap it's very difficult to justify.


You drill up natural gas. Natural gas makes electricity. Electricity runs your AC, keeps your house cool. ===> Enjoying the fruits of your labor :razz:
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Re: How to build a cheap Passive House

Unread postby Pops » Tue 11 Dec 2018, 14:18:54

Looks like you've done a great job!

The biggest thing we found with the blower door was the amount of infiltration around interior doors and base. Sounds like you've sealed up the perimeter walls at the foundation but don't forget the suction from heat differential can pull from the attic too. 1954 your house was "platform framed" (unlike our 1914 balloon frame manse) but it certainly wasn't sealed tight and those mechanical penetrations at the top plates are hard to find.

Just calk the base top and bottom and all cracks in interior and exterior jambs and casing.
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Re: How to build a cheap Passive House

Unread postby GHung » Tue 11 Dec 2018, 16:27:36

baha wrote:Thanks Pops :)

I have caulked and sealed outside doors and casings but I haven't done any interior doors. I'm sure there is some outside air that can penetrate the interior walls but not much. The spray foam seals it all up from below but like you said the attic is not so tight. I was thinking about rolling out a vapor barrier plastic layer on top of the insulation in the attic. The old paper barrier on the bottom of the original insulation is crap after all these years.


If your ceilings aren't sealed and you put a vapor barrier on top of the existing insulation, in the winter, moisture in the house will migrate through your existing insulation and condense on the barrier, dripping back down. Mold city.
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Re: How to build a cheap Passive House

Unread postby GHung » Tue 11 Dec 2018, 18:29:54

baha wrote:Yeah Ghung, your right. I have read about it. Some people do this with a radiant barrier that is supposed to pass moisture. I'm not so sure. I should probably leave it alone. It's nice and warm in here :)

I got 9" of snow in the last few days. I bet you really got dumped on :P 8O


We barely got a dusting, just a couple of inches of cold rain. I even had to run the genny for a while to keep batteries happy (actually to keep my wife's TV happy). We live in a remarkable little valley that is protected from all sides, sort of like in the old scifi; Day the World Ended, where the heroic scientist had a doomstead surrounded by lead ore mountains :roll:

Image

We usually avoid the cold "wedge" from the east that you guys get sometimes. Our nasty cold blasts generally sneak in from the NW. Anyway, the freeze line stayed east of us. Asheville got it pretty bad.
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