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RE: Green Homes

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  • Steve Stelzer
    The Houston Habitat for Humanity Director told me two years ago that they typically build an energy efficient house. They started with a demonstration house
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 5, 2001
      The Houston Habitat for Humanity Director told me two years ago that they
      typically build an energy efficient house. They started with a
      demonstration house built with the National Association of Homebuilders and
      various other organizations, including the Florida Solar Energy Center, to
      optimize the basic Habitat house about ten years ago. I believe they use
      fairly standard building materials, with the "green" characteristic being
      the energy efficiency.

      Regards,
      Steve Stelzer
    • William M. Bell, Jr.
      We are in the process of building a home in the Houston area. It is very easy and not too expensive to build an energy efficient home. 1. Vent Skin or
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 5, 2001
        We are in the process of building a home in the Houston area.

        It is very easy and not too expensive to build an energy efficient home.
        1. Vent Skin or Envelope. That means that there is an outer skin, an air
        space, and then an inner wall that contains a reflective or radient barrier.
        In our case, we used foil-backed OSB board for sheething. We then used
        treated 1x2 stripping, lined up with the interior studs. We then put our
        fiber cement board over the firring strips. This meant that the sun
        (especially the western and eastern exposures) strikes the fiber cement
        board (which does not retain much heat). Because there is an air space
        between the fiber cement board and the interior wall of the house, the heat
        can only be transmitted through radient energy. The Radient barrier on the
        OSB board reflects about 80% of this radient heat. The air space is part of
        a total, natural venting system which draws heat and humidity from the
        house. The cooler air enters at the bottom of the wall, rises to to top of
        the wall and up the rafters and out the top of the house ridge vent.

        At 4:00 pm in August, the western side of the wall (inside the house and
        before insulation) did not feel warmer than the ambient air.

        The entire additional cost for a 27' square house:
        >$3.00 to $5.00 per sheet for the OSB Board with the radient barrier, times
        80 sheets = about $240 to $400
        >1x2 x8' firring strips 100 x 2.50 = $250 (I can't remember the exact cost)
        >additional labor for firring around windows $200
        Total additional expense was $690 to $850

        This is a small amount to dramatically improve the energy efficiency of a
        house.

        2. Orientation to the sun. This is simple. All it takes is some planning and
        self control. Don't buy a lot that forces you to orient the house in an
        inefficient manner. Don't put your big windows on the east or west
        exposures.

        3. Overhangs. This will keep out the direct summer sun and will help
        preserve your home from the effects of the weather.

        These three, simple items can really help to keep the house cool in summer
        and warm in winter. Most of these ideas can be supported from information
        found at the Florida Solar Energy Center. Most of the solar information that
        I have reviewed in the past was designed for solar heating. That is not our
        problem here.

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Steve Stelzer <steve@...>
        To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Monday, February 05, 2001 9:01 AM
        Subject: [hreg] RE: Green Homes


        >
        >
        > The Houston Habitat for Humanity Director told me two years ago that they
        > typically build an energy efficient house. They started with a
        > demonstration house built with the National Association of Homebuilders
        and
        > various other organizations, including the Florida Solar Energy Center,
        to
        > optimize the basic Habitat house about ten years ago. I believe they use
        > fairly standard building materials, with the "green" characteristic being
        > the energy efficiency.
        >
        > Regards,
        > Steve Stelzer
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Kevin L. Conlin
        I think those are good suggestions to a common problem, all make sense, and all are appropriate for this climate. Kevin ... From: William M. Bell, Jr.
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 5, 2001
          I think those are good suggestions to a common problem, all make sense,
          and all are appropriate for this climate. Kevin

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: William M. Bell, Jr. <wmb@...>
          To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Monday, February 05, 2001 1:50 PM
          Subject: Re: [hreg] RE: Green Homes


          > We are in the process of building a home in the Houston area.
          >
          > It is very easy and not too expensive to build an energy efficient home.
          > 1. Vent Skin or Envelope. That means that there is an outer skin, an air
          > space, and then an inner wall that contains a reflective or radient
          barrier.
          > In our case, we used foil-backed OSB board for sheething. We then used
          > treated 1x2 stripping, lined up with the interior studs. We then put our
          > fiber cement board over the firring strips. This meant that the sun
          > (especially the western and eastern exposures) strikes the fiber cement
          > board (which does not retain much heat). Because there is an air space
          > between the fiber cement board and the interior wall of the house, the
          heat
          > can only be transmitted through radient energy. The Radient barrier on the
          > OSB board reflects about 80% of this radient heat. The air space is part
          of
          > a total, natural venting system which draws heat and humidity from the
          > house. The cooler air enters at the bottom of the wall, rises to to top of
          > the wall and up the rafters and out the top of the house ridge vent.
          >
          > At 4:00 pm in August, the western side of the wall (inside the house and
          > before insulation) did not feel warmer than the ambient air.
          >
          > The entire additional cost for a 27' square house:
          > >$3.00 to $5.00 per sheet for the OSB Board with the radient barrier,
          times
          > 80 sheets = about $240 to $400
          > >1x2 x8' firring strips 100 x 2.50 = $250 (I can't remember the exact
          cost)
          > >additional labor for firring around windows $200
          > Total additional expense was $690 to $850
          >
          > This is a small amount to dramatically improve the energy efficiency of a
          > house.
          >
          > 2. Orientation to the sun. This is simple. All it takes is some planning
          and
          > self control. Don't buy a lot that forces you to orient the house in an
          > inefficient manner. Don't put your big windows on the east or west
          > exposures.
          >
          > 3. Overhangs. This will keep out the direct summer sun and will help
          > preserve your home from the effects of the weather.
          >
          > These three, simple items can really help to keep the house cool in summer
          > and warm in winter. Most of these ideas can be supported from information
          > found at the Florida Solar Energy Center. Most of the solar information
          that
          > I have reviewed in the past was designed for solar heating. That is not
          our
          > problem here.
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: Steve Stelzer <steve@...>
          > To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
          > Sent: Monday, February 05, 2001 9:01 AM
          > Subject: [hreg] RE: Green Homes
          >
          >
          > >
          > >
          > > The Houston Habitat for Humanity Director told me two years ago that
          they
          > > typically build an energy efficient house. They started with a
          > > demonstration house built with the National Association of Homebuilders
          > and
          > > various other organizations, including the Florida Solar Energy Center,
          > to
          > > optimize the basic Habitat house about ten years ago. I believe they
          use
          > > fairly standard building materials, with the "green" characteristic
          being
          > > the energy efficiency.
          > >
          > > Regards,
          > > Steve Stelzer
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
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