We have been talking with Roxul makers of the arguably the best batt insulation available. They are interested in being part of our project and of suggested that their newer product called Comfort Board would be a better way to reach our goals of R44. This product would be installed exterior to the building sheathing, on the outside of the framing. Exterior insulation like this makes for a continuous building envelope that is more efficient. With any luck Roxul will be able to support our project in a big way.
At long last we have come to a decision about insulating our slab. We installed 6” of EPS foam under the slab of the house with 3” of insulation between the slab and foundation walls. In the garage we put only 3” under and 1 1/2” insulation around the perimeter. Our crawl space will have 3” of rigid board installed on the walls with plywood over top to assist in mounting plumbing pipes and pumps.
With this system we are leaving all of the concrete exposed to the cold, choosing instead to bring the insulated layer around to the inside of the concrete. Our 12” thick wall will cover the 8” concrete wall and 3” of foam before the slab starts.
We have broken ground on the 8th Living Building Challenge project in BC. The ground was easy and sandy. Ground water was found about 8’ below the surface. This was expected due to the spring rains and high water tables of the nearby creek. Our rain water tanks and earth tubes will be kept 1’ above ground water. Our foundation and footings are well above this level (2’ required by local code).
Integral Design Group has been excellent in helping with the design of Ethel Lane House. Their scope of work includes:
Here is a wonderful explanation of the systems of Ethel Lane House prepared by Integral Group.
Our surveyor, Goddard Land Survey, has completed their work to locate the building at the back of the property. And now we are left to consider the elevation of the building to the nearby Mill Creek.
The two numbers that are important are:
1. Lake level 343.6m
2. the floodplain level of Mill Creek is 347.4m.
Our survey indicated that our elevation at ground will be 347.91m.
Our goal is to install the equivalent of 12” diameter duct into a trench around the perimeter of the building. This trench will simply act as a method of cooling the fresh air supply in the summer or warming it up in the winter. We will be using 100” of polyethylene Big “O” similar to the material used in perimeter drains.