Yesterday a LEED expert and architect designer came from Washington DC to visit the project and give me a personal consultation gratis!! This unbelievable event was arranged by her mom, who with her husband had the house designed and built in 1984. Sarah grew up in a passive solar earth friendly home and it influenced her career choice. She is thrilled that the house has become a LEED gut remodel project.
One of the major issues that she addressed is the insulation requirements, although we also talked about the work done so far, ways to upgrade the windows and a plan to finish and verify the thermal envelope first, and then add the interior finishing work. She has experience with other gut remodels that proved the system of wall assembly with only a small opening in the drywall that was later patched and resealed. She verified that thermal imaging is one way of proving the insulation install meets Energy Star requirements, especially for Energy Star version 2. She recommended keeping the existing wall structure in the rear of the house and in fact everywhere that other reasons don’t require the removal of the drywall. If verifiable, the current wall is about R 25, more than adequate to meet the 5% over recommended insulation standard.
We would still need to condition the crawlspace, and upgrade the radon mitigation system in that part of the house from passive to active. We need to removed drywall so that the electrician can get to the wiring in the slab area, and we need to replace the windows and doors to finish the thermal envelope portion of the project, get it inspected, and then move on to the interior. It was wonderful to obtain her advice and forethought about the project. I can’t be more happy that the original owner responded to my request for information about the house. Her advice is to write up the insulation plan and submit it to my provider for review. If they have issues with the plan, we can meet together with the Washington D. C. rule makers to discuss options and finalize a plan.
What an amazing visit and amazing weekend! Thanks to the family who all came over to get their photos taken with the old house and its new owner.