|Lake Side View|
This house was built to the same specifications as all the new construction I've designed for the last 5 or 6 years, even before our current stringent energy code took effect. The energy code is designed by "Climate Zone" and in Dutchess and Columbia County in NYS, we are considered Zone 5. (Ulster County is Zone 6, and requires higher R-values)
|Great Room Fireplace|
|Barn Wood Accent Wall separates Kitchen Area|
|Framing and Installing the exterior continuous INSULATED sheathing|
For our climate zone, what works is using 1" of exterior continuous foam insulation over 2x4 studs with Rockwool Batt in the cavities. I've had guys tell me they felt like they were back in the 1970s by using 2x4s instead of 2x6s, for the wall studs, as well as worry that the building will not be "stout" or "strong". Fear not! 2x4s are strong enough to be the framing of our walls. Fun Fact: 2x6s were only used to "fit more insulation" - but what we now know from Building Science teaches us about the value of using a continuous layer of insulation and air-barrier and the major weaknesses- like thermal bridging- of relying on cavity insulation alone. So! What's old is new again, and we frame our walls with 2x4 studs.
|Rockwool Cavity Insulation in walls|
|Foyer Entry- Catwalk Overlook into Great Room|
The mechanical systems REALLY need to be looked at closely to not be over-designed. We are so close to Passive House standard (.6 ACH) and if we can do just a bit more to seal our building envelope to acheive that # at our blower door test, then it's a whole new ball game - not just efficient heating/cooling systems - but NO HEATING/COOLING SYSTEM!
|Spray Foam insulation makes an air-tight and quiet building|