Category Archives: Energy Efficiency

Energy star and lowering consumption.

Where to start? Energy Audit!

One of the most exciting parts of becoming a LEED project is meeting so many people who are working on sustainable construction and design services. Many are young and just starting their own businesses and they are hard working, dependable, … Continue reading

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Rebate!

We received our $180 rebate from Xcel Energy for our $300 Energy Audit. Now we are qualified to apply for other Xcel Energy rebates for insulation and a new energy efficient boiler which this house really needs. Here is what … Continue reading

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Repurposed Materials

Mark Benjamin, of Crown Jade, recommended this very imaginative business in Denver as a source of the R-15 insulation I needed for the perimeter of the foundation.   Repurposed Materials is mostly dedicated to reusing industrial materials in new, imaginative … Continue reading

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Radiant Heat Intro

This new slab floor and our goal of energy efficiency point towards even, warm floor, radiant heat instead of the existing baseboards. Since hydronic radiant heat requires a lower temperature than baseboards, it is capable of incorporating several different heat … Continue reading

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Uponor Wirsbo Complete Design Assistance Manual 4th Edition

The very best resource I found for understanding the requirements and design parameters of radiant heating was a book borrowed from my friends who installed their own radiant system a few years ago. It is a large paperback from Uponor … Continue reading

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Designing a Kiva Fireplace with a Boiler Stove Insert

I have always admired Kiva fireplaces. They seem both rustic and homey. And this house already has a rough stucco wall in the living room area so a Kiva seemed to be a perfect fit. Our architect, James Plagmann, drew … Continue reading

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Insulstar!

Quite a bit of time went into researching the insulation for under the slab. The engineers were concerned about the insulation holding up to the stresses that the wafflemat would be mitigating. Apparently no other customers of Wafflemat had required … Continue reading

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Water Loop in Action

The water supply trunk loop is connected and stubbed out. This is the longest above the concrete connection. The pipe near the wall will connect the washing machine and the other connection will run to the guest bathroom. This long … Continue reading

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Radiant Design Revisited

Since the excitement of the new floor is out of the way, time to go back and talk about the actual layout of the oxygen barrier Pex used in the radiant floor. The references and calculations used to design the … Continue reading

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Radiant Installation

Unfortunately the pex roll was unweildly and as the first zone was unrolled, the pex became extremely tangled. The 1000 ft. roll came in a box and did not have a plastic sleeve to hold it in place. Several crimps … Continue reading

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Triangle Tube Boiler

We first heard of small, highly efficient, condensing boilers from Melissa when she did our Energy Audit. After some research, I found many recommendations for the Triangle Tube boilers. They have stainless steel heat exchangers, and copper piping. They are … Continue reading

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May Snow!

Denver has an interesting climate. Snow tends to fall most often in the spring. This year it snowed on the first of May (and the second had more flurries.) This snow does not tend to stay around long and in … Continue reading

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Hot Town in the Summertime

Denver has a particularly temperate climate but it does get hot and even humid there. Last summer there were several stifling days while I worked tearing out the walls. So I was planning to find a cooling solution for this … Continue reading

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Sweet Serendipity and Awnings

Amazingly I met the woman who with her husband originally had the house designed and built. I knew the original owners’ names from the county website and found out a bit about them from a neighbor. I found that the … Continue reading

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Hot Water at Last!

YES! Endless hot water @ 2.4 gallons per minute. That was enough for a nice long shower, first one in the house in about a year. So nice to finally have the water system connected and hot water running again. … Continue reading

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Air Barriers

One of the benefits of blogging is to organize thoughts about next steps. When Sarah visited, she advised me to finish the external barrier first and that was a helpful comment in a sometimes overwhelming project. I am taking apart … Continue reading

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Roxul Rock Wool Arrives

After a couple of false starts by Lowes, the rock wool insulation was finally delivered, which meant a full day of hauling it from the pallets on the driveway to the inside. This job fell to our son-in-law and four … Continue reading

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More About Rock Wool

Insulation, just like so many LEED building options was a rather tortuous decision. I was introduced to the idea of using rock wool by Sarah, my LEED expert friend. She recommended looking at rock wool for a couple of reasons. … Continue reading

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Rock Around the Wool

After many months of installation, plus some time off for a retirement trip and family visiting, the rock wool mostly got installed. Of course these oversize pillows make a large difference in the house being able to hold its passive … Continue reading

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A Light in the Attic

After all I had to take a work light up into the attic so I could see to install the recycled/reused insulation from the deconstruction to increase the R-value in the small attic over the back bedroom and bath. The … Continue reading

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