AuthorTopic: A new 'Stead  (Read 144 times)

Online Nearingsfault

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A new 'Stead
« on: January 28, 2020, 06:00:42 AM »
As some of you know I am uprooting myself and planning on building a new 'Stead. Its been coming for some time but My partner and I have recently purchased land and are preparing our households for sale.
A great deal of technologies have matured in the last 15 years and the next house will incorporate a lot of those technologies while maintaining the low running costs of this one.
Main construction: ICF right to the rafters. This home used an ICF basement and traditional above ground framing. The cost for doing it yourself has fallen so that apart from much more labour the material costs are in line with each other. You end up with a completely sealed structure with R28 walls and no thermal breaks. The energy cost of the concrete is high of course but the lower energy costs of lifetime operation makes it balance out within 3 years. Windows will be triple paned north shield https://www.northshield.ca/windows/casement-windows/ I've used them before and the price has come down as the technology has matured.
Heating and cooling is still up in the air. The plan for this house will be an all electric.That was a tough decision because I am a very conservative builder but the time is right.  Backup heat and cooking will be looked after by a battery bank and inverter for a hotplate and to run the heat pump. Induction cookstoves, on demand electric hot water, grid tied solar, radiant heat, and geothermal are all in the batting cage. The winners will have to undergo some Darwinian scrutiny and also answer to budget pressure.
Geothermal is looking good though. 15 years ago geothermal was specialized and insanely expensive. Today you have choices. I'm looking into a kit myself where the unit come precharged with refrigerant, the ground loops are pre measured, concentrated antifreeze is shipped to you, the water pump unit is unpressurised so no air purging... The list goes on and on and gets a little technical but someone took a good hard look at all the elements that made geothermal expensive (mostly specialized labour) and solved them.  I'm looking at this company here:   https://www.123zeroenergy.com/geocool-2-0-ton-geothermal-heat-pump-with-install-package.html. The same company does cold weather air to liquid heat pumps for heating and cooling... Cheaper and less work.

Solar is my baby so I will be installing a net metered array either on the roof or the ground depending on final home design and approval from the aesthetic committee. I looked at offgrid as that is where my heart lies but I do not want a propane backup genny again and it would defeat the whole all electric vibe. There will be an offgrid array feeding a limited amount of house loads though. The reason for going ongrid with the main array is largely the way the utility costs are going. Propane prices fluctuate as much as 100 percent over the course of a year and that is in a time of record low gas prices. At some point the price will rebound and I do not want to be on the wrong side of the fossil fuel curve. On the electric side Ontario has a large hydroelectric and nuclear supply of electricity which is fairly green but expensive. the cost of delivery has stabilized but the cost of a KW Hr of electricity is going up. Currently in a rural low density area in ontario its about $0.25 per KW Hr with delivery. If you can take out the consumption side with a solar array it can make for very affordable energy. Yes electric heat is inefficient compared to gas but if you add in geothermal you gain back that efficiency and more with the 3 to 1 heat gain magic of compressors. Again its early days. A 10kW solar array can produce about 120000kWHR a year in my area. If we find in the first year that we can make due with an all electric resistive heating system that is the path we will take... Its hard to model since the home will be crazy efficient... There is another element which is you have to think of it as an investment. I could take the money I'll spend on solar put it in a savings account and make 2 to 3 percent on the money which I will then pay tax on or I can invest it in solar which will reduce my home operating costs thereby acting like a 6 to 8 percent return on my money without a tax burden... In this era of crazy volatility in the markets and extremely low interest on safe investments if you have the money to invest solar is worth it!!!
Cheers,  NF
« Last Edit: January 28, 2020, 06:08:35 AM by Nearingsfault »
If its important then try something, fail, disect, learn from it, try again, and again and again until it kills you or you succeed.

Offline RE

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Re: A new 'Stead
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2020, 06:32:02 AM »
As some of you know I am uprooting myself and planning on building a new 'Stead. Its been coming for some time but My partner and I have recently purchased land and are preparing our households for sale.
A great deal of technologies have matured in the last 15 years and the next house will incorporate a lot of those technologies while maintaining the low running costs of this one.
Main construction: ICF right to the rafters. This home used an ICF basement and traditional above ground framing. The cost for doing it yourself has fallen so that apart from much more labour the material costs are in line with each other. You end up with a completely sealed structure with R28 walls and no thermal breaks. The energy cost of the concrete is high of course but the lower energy costs of lifetime operation makes it balance out within 3 years. Windows will be triple paned north shield https://www.northshield.ca/windows/casement-windows/ I've used them before and the price has come down as the technology has matured.
Heating and cooling is still up in the air. The plan for this house will be an all electric.That was a tough decision because I am a very conservative builder but the time is right.  Backup heat and cooking will be looked after by a battery bank and inverter for a hotplate and to run the heat pump. Induction cookstoves, on demand electric hot water, grid tied solar, radiant heat, and geothermal are all in the batting cage. The winners will have to undergo some Darwinian scrutiny and also answer to budget pressure.
Geothermal is looking good though. 15 years ago geothermal was specialized and insanely expensive. Today you have choices. I'm looking into a kit myself where the unit come precharged with refrigerant, the ground loops are pre measured, concentrated antifreeze is shipped to you, the water pump unit is unpressurised so no air purging... The list goes on and on and gets a little technical but someone took a good hard look at all the elements that made geothermal expensive (mostly specialized labour) and solved them.  I'm looking at this company here:   https://www.123zeroenergy.com/geocool-2-0-ton-geothermal-heat-pump-with-install-package.html. The same company does cold weather air to liquid heat pumps for heating and cooling... Cheaper and less work.

Solar is my baby so I will be installing a net metered array either on the roof or the ground depending on final home design and approval from the aesthetic committee. I looked at offgrid as that is where my heart lies but I do not want a propane backup genny again and it would defeat the whole all electric vibe. There will be an offgrid array feeding a limited amount of house loads though. The reason for going ongrid with the main array is largely the way the utility costs are going. Propane prices fluctuate as much as 100 percent over the course of a year and that is in a time of record low gas prices. At some point the price will rebound and I do not want to be on the wrong side of the fossil fuel curve. On the electric side Ontario has a large hydroelectric and nuclear supply of electricity which is fairly green but expensive. the cost of delivery has stabilized but the cost of a KW Hr of electricity is going up. Currently in a rural low density area in ontario its about $0.25 per KW Hr with delivery. If you can take out the consumption side with a solar array it can make for very affordable energy. Yes electric heat is inefficient compared to gas but if you add in geothermal you gain back that efficiency and more with the 3 to 1 heat gain magic of compressors. Again its early days. A 10kW solar array can produce about 120000kWHR a year in my area. If we find in the first year that we can make due with an all electric resistive heating system that is the path we will take... Its hard to model since the home will be crazy efficient... There is another element which is you have to think of it as an investment. I could take the money I'll spend on solar put it in a savings account and make 2 to 3 percent on the money which I will then pay tax on or I can invest it in solar which will reduce my home operating costs thereby acting like a 6 to 8 percent return on my money without a tax burden... In this era of crazy volatility in the markets and extremely low interest on safe investments if you have the money to invest solar is worth it!!!
Cheers,  NF

DING DING DING!

This goes in a Compilation Blog Post I am putting together for the Diner 8th Anniversary Week:icon_sunny:

As soon as the fucking JUICE gets turned back on anyhow.  ::)

RE
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Offline Eddie

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Re: A new 'Stead
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2020, 07:12:54 AM »
As some of you know I am uprooting myself and planning on building a new 'Stead. Its been coming for some time but My partner and I have recently purchased land and are preparing our households for sale.
A great deal of technologies have matured in the last 15 years and the next house will incorporate a lot of those technologies while maintaining the low running costs of this one.
Main construction: ICF right to the rafters. This home used an ICF basement and traditional above ground framing. The cost for doing it yourself has fallen so that apart from much more labour the material costs are in line with each other. You end up with a completely sealed structure with R28 walls and no thermal breaks. The energy cost of the concrete is high of course but the lower energy costs of lifetime operation makes it balance out within 3 years. Windows will be triple paned north shield https://www.northshield.ca/windows/casement-windows/ I've used them before and the price has come down as the technology has matured.
Heating and cooling is still up in the air. The plan for this house will be an all electric.That was a tough decision because I am a very conservative builder but the time is right.  Backup heat and cooking will be looked after by a battery bank and inverter for a hotplate and to run the heat pump. Induction cookstoves, on demand electric hot water, grid tied solar, radiant heat, and geothermal are all in the batting cage. The winners will have to undergo some Darwinian scrutiny and also answer to budget pressure.
Geothermal is looking good though. 15 years ago geothermal was specialized and insanely expensive. Today you have choices. I'm looking into a kit myself where the unit come precharged with refrigerant, the ground loops are pre measured, concentrated antifreeze is shipped to you, the water pump unit is unpressurised so no air purging... The list goes on and on and gets a little technical but someone took a good hard look at all the elements that made geothermal expensive (mostly specialized labour) and solved them.  I'm looking at this company here:   https://www.123zeroenergy.com/geocool-2-0-ton-geothermal-heat-pump-with-install-package.html. The same company does cold weather air to liquid heat pumps for heating and cooling... Cheaper and less work.

Solar is my baby so I will be installing a net metered array either on the roof or the ground depending on final home design and approval from the aesthetic committee. I looked at offgrid as that is where my heart lies but I do not want a propane backup genny again and it would defeat the whole all electric vibe. There will be an offgrid array feeding a limited amount of house loads though. The reason for going ongrid with the main array is largely the way the utility costs are going. Propane prices fluctuate as much as 100 percent over the course of a year and that is in a time of record low gas prices. At some point the price will rebound and I do not want to be on the wrong side of the fossil fuel curve. On the electric side Ontario has a large hydroelectric and nuclear supply of electricity which is fairly green but expensive. the cost of delivery has stabilized but the cost of a KW Hr of electricity is going up. Currently in a rural low density area in ontario its about $0.25 per KW Hr with delivery. If you can take out the consumption side with a solar array it can make for very affordable energy. Yes electric heat is inefficient compared to gas but if you add in geothermal you gain back that efficiency and more with the 3 to 1 heat gain magic of compressors. Again its early days. A 10kW solar array can produce about 120000kWHR a year in my area. If we find in the first year that we can make due with an all electric resistive heating system that is the path we will take... Its hard to model since the home will be crazy efficient... There is another element which is you have to think of it as an investment. I could take the money I'll spend on solar put it in a savings account and make 2 to 3 percent on the money which I will then pay tax on or I can invest it in solar which will reduce my home operating costs thereby acting like a 6 to 8 percent return on my money without a tax burden... In this era of crazy volatility in the markets and extremely low interest on safe investments if you have the money to invest solar is worth it!!!
Cheers,  NF

DING DING DING!

This goes in a Compilation Blog Post I am putting together for the Diner 8th Anniversary Week:icon_sunny:

As soon as the fucking JUICE gets turned back on anyhow.  ::)

RE

Thanks for all the info, NF. I was not up to speed on the state ICF consruction.

Reminds me of our (mine and RE's and other Diners) dome training, as far as what you get.

Poured concrete is probably less technically demanding than doing a dome, which requires some expertise with spraying gunnite or the whole thing can end up messed up and irreparable if done wrong.

Any opinions on the value of geothermal in a cooling climate? I'm more interested in anything that  can be DIY'ed.

I've intended to do a DIY AC project for our lake cottage using mini-splits to replace our old window unit heat pumps, which are still working but noisy and susceptible to having the fans ruined by mud dauber wasps if not used for extended periods.

My partner and I are still debating on trying to build something on our rural place. It isn't out of the question. I've just been carrying so much debt for so long......and too many irons in the fire. She wants me to hang in a bit longer rather than sell out now....and the place is nearly paid for after 11 years, which is not bad, considering I  paid a premium for the land and the interest was always higher than a typical mortgage. it was 5.5% in the early days and now bumped up to 6.5% with another nine years on.a pay-off note......but I make extra payments and have since the first month.

It means no retirement anytime soon to keep it...but I can do it. Maybe for the best. At some point we definitely will cash out of the house in the burbs, which has a lot of equity these days. I could put that nest egg into more rentals instead of the stead. Equity is not something to count on in this world now, but I'm a short timer compared to you.
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Online Nearingsfault

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Re: A new 'Stead
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2020, 07:28:12 AM »
I did a commissioning for a solar system on a monolithic dome recently. Price wise it ended up being 2.5 times the cost of an icf build including the roof on the icf and he was not done yet as every wall and trim piece is custom... not for me and I'm a trim carpenter!
Air to air heat pumps are much more reasonable but efficiency wise ground loops rule for heating or cooling. If you have ground that is moist even more so. It's more work and takes more land but is very quiet. It really is at the point now that it's cheaper to increase the heat pump size than to reinsulate.  Do both of course. How many tonnes is your ac heat pump?
I just reread your post. That same company kits would work for cooling as and they are for the diy crowd. You would need an air handler and ductwork or several air handlers and fans for rooms... and condensation lines.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2020, 07:51:42 AM by Nearingsfault »
If its important then try something, fail, disect, learn from it, try again, and again and again until it kills you or you succeed.

 

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