Oops. Man, did I just dig in deep. :-\
I swear it looked like weathered OSB and no studs in the photo.
I puzzled over what appeared to be new windows for a bit before
inserting my entire left leg into my piehole. Sorry about that.
Consider the source - a moron with bad eyesight.
Next question: "How do you hang upper kitchen cabinets on a straw bale
Left hand part of that other link (with all the code violations <g>)
... after the fact.
BTW, Leon and I teamed up on this kitchen ... it turned out gorgeous and
can't really be appreciated from photos.
I figured the ledger boards for the cabinets after learning what I was
Beautiful work! And a much clearer picture. I especially like the
built in (Mission style?) china hutch. I assume you guys built all
the cabinetry as well?
Admit it, you posted that grainy picture just to troll...
Uh... Perhaps I'm missing something, but what the hell kind of
construction is this? It looks like something I saw in Reynosa,
Mexico. I could fill a notebook with the code violations in this
photo. What is holding up the right corner of the.. err... building?
Over where the water damage is... It looks as though the stubbed out
closet thing on the left has more integrity than the whole of the
building. That wiring, the roof, the walls, the window header, jack
and king studs (or lack thereof). I thought of post and beam but there
seem to be neither. I can't see the cross section of the walls, but...
The insulation in the gables looks OK, but what am I missing here?
Was the insulation used to glue this thing together?
If this is your home or shop, pardon me. ;-) The fuzziness of the
photo makes it difficult to see the details - but it kinda made my
hair stand on end when I first saw it. Perhaps it is an optical
illusion. I seem to recall looking at some homes you built a few
years ago and was pretty certain that you built some fine looking
houses. Is this the inside of one? :-o
Google "straw bale construction". That stuff you see on the walls isn't
OSB, it's straw bales. As to filling the book with code violations, go
ahead, but first make sure you're looking at the right code. And yes, in an
increasing number of localities there _is_ code for straw bale construction.
Don't need to Google it, but wasn't expecting it either. Looked like
old, weathered OSB in the photo. I hope the occupant doesn't smoke.
And that is still quite a span on those rafters - I hope the
insulation is covering another 4" of width.
For some reason, reminds me of a brash young architect who built a
home in the Arizona desert back in the 70's out of discarded steel
barrels filled with antifreeze mix for thermal mass. My first exposure
to a "solar" home.
Nowhere I've lived would allow either type of construction for
occupied space, but I've never lived in the Midwest.
Thanks for clearing that up...
LOL. You could try, but you'd fail miserably. :)
Rest assured this puppy is structurally engineered to the max and has
passed strict structural engineering requirements and ALL residential
code inspections from ass to appetite ... foundation, framing,
electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and my own anal persona. :)
What is holding up the right corner of the.. err... building?
It's a post and beam, infill, straw bale wall, new SF residential
construction (2200 sf, single story, completed 10/1/09).
Travis Cty, Texas is one of the few places that has a straw bale wall
construction building code. All you can see from the photographs is
insulation and the straw bales, none of the structural framing in
visible, so don't fool yourself thinking you can see code violations ...
trust me, there are NONE! :)
Estimated R42 - R48 value, all mechanical ductwork in thermal envelope.
I didn't go for a LEEDS certification on this one because of the added
expense due to the initial engineering completed too late for the first
few LEEDS registration requirements ... it would have held the project
up and played havoc with the construction schedule. Too bad, though ...
it was built to that spec and would have passed.
Nifty project ... looking back I enjoyed it, but damn glad to be
finished. It was my first "alternative construction" project, but now
that the cherry is broke, I would do another in a heartbeat ... besides
I am now one of the few in the area _well_ qualified to build one now. <g>
I'm glad you took that assault with humor. You have to admit that if
you were expecting conventional construction and saw that photo,
thinking that the brown was OSB, that you'd freak as well. I have no
doubt that with your usual attention to detail it was all spot on.
I've not been here in a while and had no idea what you were up to.
Cool! Literally. A couple of ice cubes should cool this thing in the
summer. I imagine the cost of insulation was considerably less than
fibreglass or foam. Got a figure worked up? Is the straw treated in
some fashion for fire/insect resistance? How is the sound deadening?
The first is always the toughest - and the one you'll never forget.
You should post a link to a photo of the completed project.
Didn't mean to imply "perfect" when using the word optimal. But when
observing the fashion in which many of the houses were built in this
area, mediocre would be a vast improvement. The now collapsed building
boom in the Atlanta area resulted in various carpetbagger profiteers
throwing up some horrible construction with little to no supervision
of their untrained "imported" laborers. We have no unions (short of a
few electricians) and the inspectors are bought off in the planning
stages of the latest "Gated McMansion Communities." It's not all bad,
just much of it. I expect many of the quadraplex condos built will
fall apart within 15 years, assuming the ground doesn't give way
underneath due to the horrific slopes they built upon yet poorly
I grabbed it and will probably throw together a tiny program that
allows entering the variables and what ifing without recompiling the
program. You are welcome to it, and will credit your efforts.
You should grab a copy of MathCAD, Mathmatica or Maple.
You'd love the graphs and charts...
I also perused your web entire site hoping to see some of the internal
details of your panels. Alas, I understand about the lack of positive
feedback, Thank You's, and generally unappreciative nature of the
Internet. Since 1998 I have received exactly 6 responses on my
personal site, and several of those were bitching that a device driver
wouldn't work with their non-approved hardware.
Cripes - we've become a greedy, expectant lot.
I'm curious, what are you using for the heat exchanger?
Is the glazing polycarbonate or glass?
Do you bother to insulate the framing of the units?
Hey, I'd be so excited about removing another hole from my wallet I
might need a rag to clean up. ;-)
I have no data with which to form an opinion, and haven't actually
built anything due to my location but that is good to know. I may
throw something together after looking over your site.
Unfortunately, I live in a topographical depression surrounded by
trees and get little sunlight at the south end of the house, even in
winter, due to the quantity of pine trees. Roses won't even grow along
the south wall. The west side receives far more, but that not an
optimal place for a collector in the south unless it is shuttered.
I like the restaurants and creative community, but the crime, traffic
problems, and strangely lacking economies of scale make large cities
undesirable for me. Atlanta was a far better place when it had less
than a million people and considerably fewer carpetbagger politicians.
Actually, I didn't. I was born in downtown Atlanta and lived in GA
until 30. I left after being endlessly harassed by a bunch of crooked
right-wing politicians, an idiot Nixon era assistant US District
attorney and his sycophant friends. Even your past employer, IBM,
figures into that long, demented story as well. I still get flack
over it 22 years later. If I call an attorney in the state of Georgia
they either hang up or transfer me to voice mail when I mention my
name. The last democratic governor of the state, who is also a lawyer
of sorts, won't talk to me and I worked on his TV as a kid. I am left
to conclude that they are an arrogant, collusive, self-serving lot of
Apparently some of my biggest enemies are as well. ;-)
Which is curious, because I used to hang out with some pretty wealthy
people in N. Atlanta before I crossed paths with this particular
bunch. Oh, well.
No need - the real credit goes to the guys who helped me formulate the
problem earlier in the thread. The summary post was to give everyone a
final opportunity to point out any errors I might have had.
It was an eye-opener for me - and helped me understand why the building
was always comfortably warm in the morning when that 10'x10' door had
been opened in the evening to "let all the heat out" when he put his
pickup truck away.
I should, but my shopping list is already impossibly long. I cheat by
writing macros to turn my cad package into a plotting program. It's not
as elegant, but it gets the job done.
/Very/ thin, glossy black aluminum ribbon.
It's a 6mm twinwall polycarbonate roofing product with a cross section
that looks like a ladder. I chose it because it's safer and more durable
than glass, and because it's a particularly good insulator.
I don't because five of the six surfaces are (at least mostly) inside
the structure's skin. The gap around the perimeter is normally filled
with insulating foam, so it's just not worth (also) insulating the inside.
He has a neighbor who has a shop about the same size and who pays out
about half the installed price of the two panels every year for propane
to heat his shop (only when he's actually working in it). The good news
for my customer is that his shop is /always/ warm - and the bad news is
that his wife now stores her plants in the shop during the winter...
(unabashed brag) It takes a really good absorber/heat exchanger for me
to be able to make that claim. Don't just throw something together.
Think about the problem first (it's truly a systems problem) and /then/
throw it together. :)
I was born in the Emory hospital and lived in a two story apartment on
Peachtree - which then was a quiet two-lane street, and behind the
apartment building there were woods. Somewhere I have photos to prove
it, and I have an 8x10 of the tiny Atlanta airport with a lone Eastern
Airlines DC-3 parked on the tarmac. It's changed a lot.
I haven't spent much time in Atlanta since 1960, but I recall that even
that late it was socially important to be either a member of (or closely
associated with) a "good" old family, and that social linkage was a
major factor being able to conduct serious business. I can imagine just
how crazy things must have become when the tsunami of damyankees washed
over the city not long after. I'd guess that "demented" might be
Thermal mass is an important part of the system. Especially when it
gets -30F. I could never tolerate that kind of cold, having lived in
temperate climates my entire life. It only gets worse with advancing
I remember a young architect in Arizona using steel barrels filled
with antifreeze solution as thermal mass - and walls - for his studio
back in the 70's. The antifreeze was double duty - rust control and to
prohibit expansion from freezing.
Glossy, not flat or carbon black - that is interesting.
Flat ribbon, not rippled or stamped with fins?
Sounds like the stuff used on greenhouse windows.
I built a greenhouse window add-on and tried to use a similar product
but no one stocked it locally and the freight for the panels was
outrageous. I couldn't believe that with a half dozen plastic
distributors the stuff was not available locally.
Already have that problem now. All of them. Kerosene tripled in price
after buying a heater for the shop - after carefully calculating the
BTU/lb and cost of every energy source available. Now they all run
just about the same per BTU. Fancy that...
Also have various plants including two Daturas blooming in the shop as
we speak. They sure smell up the place before going dormant.
Yup. Was born in St. Joseph's Hospital before it was absorbed by the
Piedmont Hospital Group - a definite "for profit" entity. Had friends
that worked for Eastern and we built some pretty hot rotary engines.
Eastern is gone, of course, and so are most of the woods. The city is
essentially dead at night - the hundreds of bars and restaurants are
mostly gone. Even the ESPN place closed last month. It is sad to
compare what was with what is.
Well that explains the inbreeding, dementia, and cronyism of those in
power. And the outlying areas, like Marietta, Whew! Just how many
"coloreds" and Jews can you unjustly hang on the Marietta square
before it gets old...
Actually, the early migrant Yankees brought a lot of good stuff to the
city. Education, money, class. Not so much these days, however.
Thanks for the input! If I get around to constructing an exchanger
I'll shoot you a line and photo.
It was to me, too. That the ribbon starts out black is just a nod to
what everyone "knows" about how collectors work.
What's /really/ interesting is that highly polished gold ribbon should
work even better - but, of course, it'd still /appear/ black to
observers - and the increase in performance would be very small relative
to the increase in cost.
Remember my 'breakthrough' question? This is where the answer led.
Right - not flat, not rippled, and not stamped with fins. :)
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