Permit plan set

Plans submitted for permit

We’re applying for our building permit this week. We finally have the plans updated and the documents ready. We have to submit them to the local town first for a general approval, to make sure we’re following any local ordinances, then its off to the county inspector for review and approval. With luck we could have our permit by the end of next week. I’ve included the final plan set that we’re submitting for the permit. Enjoy.

6 Responses to “Permit plan set”


  1. 1 Jim Merrithew 7-January-2011 at 6:45 pm

    Larry, In your various plans and analysis, did you ever consider installing an airlock to reduce heat loss in winter and gain in summer?
    In diagram E-2, the electrical layout for the ground floor, beside the East door, you have a switch marked S4. One line leads to the stairway. Does this switch control a stairway light also?
    Have you considered installing motion activated lights in the storage and transit areas such as closets, stairwells, and halls?
    I like your idea of including a window and exhaust ventilation in the bedroom closets. These areas will be brighter and the air will be fresher. -Jim

  2. 3 Jim Merrithew 10-January-2011 at 2:11 pm

    In the ground floor ventilation diagram it looks like you plan to vent the stove hood through the HRV. Recently, in a post on another site, (it might have been made by Martin on the GBA in a question about a stove hood which vented 1200 CFM) there was a comment that ducting the stove to the HRV could cause problems. The grease can clog the exchanger. I think their suggestion was to vent the stove hood directly to the exterior and place an exhaust HRV vent elsewhere in the kitchen, but at some distance from the stove.
    I have much to learn about heat flows, so please excuse the following observation if it is too basic.
    In the bedrooms, the heating ducts are placed in the bathroom wall. The closet cold air returns are located on the warm interior walls. Even though the exterior walls are extremely well insulated, the exterior corners would be the coolest place in the room.
    Would it not make more sense to place the heating ducts at the Southeast and the Southwest corners of the bedrooms, with the exhausts at the Northeast and Northwest corners of the closets? This would bring the heat to the external walls.

    • 4 Larry 10-January-2011 at 8:17 pm

      Good questions.

      I need to update the plans to indicate some of the changes, one of which is the venting diagram. The vent in the kitchen has moved. It is still in the kitchen but not tied into the stove vent for the very reasons you describe above. Our stove is electric so we’re not venting to the outside. If you have an HRV/ERV, which is a balanced system, you don’t really want to be directly venting things like the stove or bathroom to the exterior. We’re paying good money for our ERV, so I want to let it do all the work of venting.

      As for your next question, the ducts are for the ERV only. It is not for heating. Heat will be supplied by an air source heat pump on the first floor. It is ductless and referred to as a mini-split. I think this is because there are two parts, an interior and exterior unit. They are tied together by a refrigeration fluid line. According to my energy consultants, that is all the heat we will need for the whole house, unless the outside air temperature drops below 17 degrees for a prolonged period of time, in which case the auxiliary electric resistance heat starts to kick in.

      The location and sizing of ducts was recommended by the energy consultants. I read a lot to try and figure it out myself. I succeeded only in generating lots of questions.

  3. 5 Jim Merrithew 11-January-2011 at 4:29 pm

    Thanks for the answers. In the Green Building Advisor discussion about the turbo stove vent, after several people had commented on the wisdom of such a powerful fan, the suggestion was to install a make-up air inlet. Otherwise, as you mention, the HRV/ERV was out of balance.
    On the floor plan, I noticed that several doors are 30 inches wide. My experience is that moving washers, dryers, cabinets and other large items through narrow doors is extremely difficult. Sometimes doors, trim or frames must be removed to accommodate the move. It would be relatively simple to install wider doors at this stage of the construction. The cost differential between a 30 inch door and a 32 or 34 inch unit is not too significant.

    I noticed you plan to install some floor tile. Will you add any other thermal mass to absorb the passive solar heat. Earlier today, I posted a link to the Mill Creek NetZero Home in Edmonton. Conrad, the homeowner, did an extensive essay on his calculations to incorporate thermal mass in their home.

    • 6 Larry 12-January-2011 at 11:43 am

      I’ve seen Conrad’s calculations. I didn’t find a lot of consensus on the use of mass in a super-insulated house. I suggest talking to the PassivHaus people or do a search on their site to see what they say about thermal mass. It was one of the things we really wanted in the beginning (along with the masonry stove) before we discovered the super-insulated home concept.

      My feeling is that if you’re building a conventionally framed and insulated house with lots of window area then you need a solar flywheel so you don’t overheat during the day. But when you get to high levels of insulation you really don’t ‘need’ a lot of window area and solar mass, both of which are expensive. That’s not to say you couldn’t make a case for it, and in Conrad’s case, he wanted it so he made the numbers work.

      He also quotes Chiras 8% rule. It’s been a while since I read The Solar House but I don’t recall there being a lot of super-insulated examples in that book. I’m happy to be corrected in that respect, but I haven’t seen a lot of research that points to any major advantages for solar mass in a super-insulated house. I know Katrin Klingenberg used a concrete floor in her Smith House to absorb heat, but her house still over-heated until she built deciduous sun shades. I’m not sure how much heat she would have sacrificed in the day and saved at night by choosing a better south-facing windows to floor area ratio.

      Ask me in 2012 and I’ll tell you what I think then.


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