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gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #21 
That's too bad Lance. I was able to get a write-off for about 36 sheets of 1" polyiso when I resided my house a couple of years ago. It's not much, but it did help my taxes that year. So will you be building an off grid PV setup? My electrical needs are pretty low(<500KW on average) and it is something I would like to try if for no other reason than I have some power should there be an outage.

Greg in MN

EcoMotive

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Reply with quote  #22 
The local power company offers some small rebates for buying things like programmable thermostats, EnergyStar windows and heat recovery ventilators but that's about it.

I'm looking into getting a small wind turbine since we get a lot of wind here and I now have enough space to do a proper setup with the collapsing tower and everything.

Even though net metering is out of the question I may be able to connect the turbine onto the grid and just accept the fact that any excess power I generate is lost without any sort of credit. It will probably still prove to be a worthwhile investment especially during the winter.

Lance in Newfoundland

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 “Only primitives & barbarians lack knowledge of houses turned to face the winter sun.” 
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gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #23 
I replaced all of the windows and doors on my house several years ago with Energy Star windows and doors. Unfortunately, there was no rebate program until the following year. I have thought about a small wind turbine on the top of my house, but living in the city limits the height above the house to six feet, which is below the tree line. Too bad too, as I am on a hill and catch a lot of wind, especially during the winter when the trees drop their leaves. 

Greg in MN
Bert

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Reply with quote  #24 
I had a wind turbine installed at my last house. Between that and the geothermal, we got a few thousand rebate back.
If I could do it over I would go with solar panels over wind. The wind generator only produce about $5.00 a month. I know solar panels would do better.
The geothermal really worked great and we made our money back. Lower the heating/cooling bills a lot.


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Bert K.
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EcoMotive

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Reply with quote  #25 
I think most of my solar energy requirements will be satisfied with my hydronic solar thermal system. However, if I install a wind turbine I may as well add a couple of PV panels since a lot of the equipment will be common to both systems. 

The provincial government that passed the legislation making grid tie power generation illegal just got voted out and replaced with a new majority government a few months ago. Who knows, maybe they'll undo it.

Lance in Newfoundland

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 “Only primitives & barbarians lack knowledge of houses turned to face the winter sun.” 
Greek philosopher Aeschylus


EcoMotive

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Reply with quote  #26 


Well I'm glad to say that we finally got started on construction. It's been a very busy two weeks between work and this project but we're finally finished the foundation. Unfortunately, I still couldn't find anyone willing to try a frost protected shallow foundation so with time running out I opted for a standard footing and frost wall configuration.

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Lance in Newfoundland

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 “Only primitives & barbarians lack knowledge of houses turned to face the winter sun.” 
Greek philosopher Aeschylus


gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #27 
How deep will the footings be below grade? Even a simple fence post has to go down 48" where I am. By a frost wall do you mean insulation will be applied to the outside of the foundation? Around here new homes often use insulation panels as the molds for the concrete pour. Once the concrete sets any supports are removed, but the concrete remains sandwiched between the insulation panels.

Greg in MN
EcoMotive

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Reply with quote  #28 
The frost wall is 48" tall while the footings are 10". The finished grade should be about 10 - 11" inches below the top of the frost wall so that leaves a depth of about 47 - 48".

48" is the standard depth around here but the frost rarely penetrates anywhere near that. I would feel safe at 24" myself, especially in a sheltered location like this site.

Since the footings are well below the frost line and there's no heated living space inside the frost wall I see no benefit to adding insulation to the outside. Some people say that the insulation will cushion the foundation against the freeze/thaw movement of the ground but I'm planning on adding a drainage plane of crushed stone from the weeping tile all the way to the surface. It should do the trick as well as cut back on pests.

Lance in Newfoundland

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 “Only primitives & barbarians lack knowledge of houses turned to face the winter sun.” 
Greek philosopher Aeschylus


EcoMotive

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Reply with quote  #29 
Hi All, 

I made a lot of progress on the house since my last update. Most of June and July was slow going but we've been pushing ahead pretty quickly in the last few weeks. Framing is almost complete and I have to say - it's pretty sweet to see those big, thick Larsen Truss walls take shape.

I'm right in the thick of it now but I'll try to post at least a few photos every couple of days. I'm getting a dedicated website for the house that will showcase a lot of detail so I'll keep it brief.

I'm starting from back several months ago and will eventually catch up to present time...



[LARGE]

[LARGE]

[LARGE]As a long term durability measure for the foundation I wanted to keep the surrounding ground nice and dry. This will hopefully mitigate the risks of frost heave as well as keep pests away. Even though it's not a standard practice for slab on grade foundations, I decided to apply a foundation coating and build a robust weeping tile system.

An upgrade from the standard corrugated flex pipe, this weeping tile system is constructed from 4" perforated rigid PVC piping. It's high point is at the far back corner of the house and has a continuous slope towards the opposite corner where it exits to the storm sewer. There are gentile, sweeping bends instead of abrupt turns to minimize flow resistance and clean-outs are provided at regular intervals in case of a clog.




[LARGE]The whole weeping tile system was wrapped in heavy duty filter fabric before being backfilled.



[LARGE]
A second septic tank was buried near one corner of the the house to use as a rainwater cistern. Rainwater from approximately 55% of the roof area will be directed into this tank and used for irrigation of two large vegetable gardens on the property. The overflow from this tank as well as the runoff from the rest of the roof will be channeled to a nearby rain garden for infiltration on-site



[LARGE] 
[LARGE]The in-slab plumbing was completed and connected to the septic system in the back yard.



[LARGE]Special knockouts were placed in the frost wall to provide a channel in the concrete for drain-waste-vent pipes to come up through. Most of the pipes are at least one size bigger than the code requirement.



[LARGE]A main clean-out was located just outside the foundation because it would have otherwise been located in the living room floor. It will be cut to the level of the finished grade later.


Lance in Newfoundland

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 “Only primitives & barbarians lack knowledge of houses turned to face the winter sun.” 
Greek philosopher Aeschylus


gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #30 
Lance-

I can only imagine how much thought and work go into what you are doing. It's great that you are documenting and posting the progress for others. I look forward to seeing the progress. Do you have an expected move in date?

Greg in MN 
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