Sunday, September 30, 2012

Solar Heat Pipes

A green feature I wanted included in the build was the installation of solar heat pipes going from the roof to the mechanical room. Solar heat pipes are metal, insulated pipes that carry heat generated from solar thermal collector units on the roof down into a heat exchanger in the main hot water tank.

The collector unit is capable of generating heat even on cloudy days, so I'm hopeful this will give me good energy savings during the winter. 

I'm only installing the heat pipes for now to try and save cost.

The pipes start out on the roof...
They then make its way through the kitchen...
...go down a crowded wall in the foyer...
...and finally end up in the dark mechanical room

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Siding Part 1 - Moisture barrier

I've been neglecting the blog ever since I started a new job, and there are lots of updates I need to provide! Let's start with the outside. The materials for the siding have finally arrived, so the siding guys have started their work. The first step to siding a house is to wrap the exterior with some sort of a moisture barrier.

There are two major choices for a moisture barrier: Tyvek, or tar paper. I left this decision up to the siding subcontractor since both options seem about equally effective. The subcontractor chose tar paper since it's more time-tested and a bit cheaper than Tyvek.

Once insulation is complete in a few key spots, they can begin applying siding to the house.