Here's another thought. Betsy and I are entertaining the idea of building a new home and are seriously considering a steel construction. I understand that if you keep your sanity in it's construction, you can at least keep the cost competitive with conventionally built homes. The claim is that energy conservation is better. However, I haven't spoken to anyone who actually lives in one. So, I'm wondering if anyone here has personal experience with this? If so would you please comment.
Also provide the exterior color of your roof and what kind of insulation you have in the attic. Is the roof insulated or just the ceiling or both?
Last edited by MWinfrey; September 11th, 2013 at 08:36 AM.
Even if in our country steel constructions are mostly for offices I would recommend
a theme to think of:
Put a roof garden on top of the roof - this is the best to cool during hot summer days
without wasting energy for cooling equipment. The plants take the heat energy out.
Then you might add some solar panels on the roof or outside the walls - the energy taken
is not heating your rooms when the sun is most active - but brings some electric
power to reduce external costs. There are even glass windows with integrated solar panels.
We have quite a lot of experience in this: with roof gardens over 50 years...
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yep very aware of the benefits of landscaping in general and to be more specific, roof gardens. Will definitely have that in my plans in some way. However, I'm more concerned with my original questions for now as I gather information.
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Not sure if you can get access to it, but "Channel 4" in the UK had a very interesting TV series called
It followed individuals through their own projects of building their own homes.
Interesting because of the inovation vai many forms of construction techniques and materials
and most projects tried to incorporate the energy saving side to their best abilites.
Hope your able to get acces to view it, past episodes I think are avaliable
on the Channel 4 site.
Well worth viewing even to see what people went through re: pit falls and joy... Grand Designs - Channel 4
Wish you well with it, sounds exciting...
Every moment I wake up I realize I know nothing, and then I smile...
Last edited by zt379; September 10th, 2013 at 01:32 PM.
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The term passive house (Passivhaus in German) refers to a rigorous, voluntary, standard for energy efficiency in a building, reducing its ecological footprint. It results in ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling. A similar standard, MINERGIE-P, is used in Switzerland. The standard is not confined to residential properties; several office buildings, schools, kindergartens and a supermarket have also been constructed to the standard. Passive design is not an attachment or supplement to architectural design, but a design process that is integrated with architectural design. Although it is mostly applied to new buildings, it has also been used for refurbishments.
Estimates of the number of Passivhaus buildings around the world in late 2008 ranged from 15,000 to 20,000 structures. As of August 2010, there were approximately 25,000 such certified structures of all types in Europe, while in the United States there were only 13, with a few dozens more under construction. The vast majority of passive structures have been built in German-speaking countries and Scandinavia.
The Passivhaus standard for central Europe requires that the building fulfills the following requirements:The building must be designed to have an annual heating demand as calculated with the Passivhaus Planning Package of not more than 15 kWh/m² per year (4746 btu/ft² per year) in heating and 15 kWh/m² per year cooling energy OR to be designed with a peak heat load of 10W/m².Total primary energy (source energy for electricity and etc.) consumption (primary energy for heating, hot water and electricity) must not be more than 120 kWh/m² per year (3.79 × 104 btu/ft² per year).The building must not leak more air than 0.6 times the house volume per hour (n50 ≤ 0.6 / hour) at 50 Pa (N/m²) as tested by a blower door.
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In the United States, a house built to the Passive House standard results in a building that requires space heating energy of 1 BTU per square foot (11 kJ/m²) per heating degree day, compared with about 5 to 15 BTUs per square foot (56-170 kJ/m²) per heating degree day for a similar building built to meet the 2003 Model Energy Efficiency Code. This is between 75 and 95% less energy for space heating and cooling than current new buildings that meet today's US energy efficiency codes. The Passivhaus in the German-language camp of Waldsee, Minnesota was designed under the guidance of architect Stephan Tanner of INTEP, LLC, a Minneapolis- and Munich-based consulting company for high performance and sustainable construction. Waldsee BioHaus is modeled on Germany’s Passivhaus standard: beyond that of the U.S. LEED standard which improves quality of life inside the building while using 85% less energy than a house built to Minnesota building codes.