Sunday, January 2, 2011

The House - Inside Walls

This is becoming exciting. The outside of the house has its shape, and the inside has insulation at least part way up the walls. So at this point, it is possible to start framing the inside partition walls and to put up the second floor (or 1st floor for Europe). It's exciting because finally the inside of the house will start to take shape and the division of the rooms will start to show the final result.
Nothing unusual about this process, just 2x4 framing, cutting and installation of TJI and floors.

The lower floor partition walls

Lower floor partitions from above

TJIs and Timberstrand beams

TJIs on the first floor

Insulation and a sub-floor
BC's finest cedar! We'll be installing another one above to the main ridge beam.

Future view from the upper floor
Today is January 2, 2011. I will be in Canada until around the 20th of January. Our next activities for when I get back to Italy is to complete the insulation on the upper floor, the inside framing and to start with the electrical and plumbing systems.
More postings when I get back!

The House - Insulation

Here we are again. As mentioned, the roof is done for now, so the inside insulation, framing and more insulation could start.
Insulation is an important part of any house, and more so in a house that is going to be energy efficient and going to be certified. 
As mentioned before, we are using a lot of insulation, in fact a truck load and a half arrived from Belgium for the exterior walls alone. The R-values are going to be quite amazing! The theory od insulation in the winter simple to grasp. In the summer the high insulation value works in a similar fashion as it holds the summer heat outside, and keeps the night cool that the house absorbs, on the inside. Studies have shown that the house will consume around 600 Euros of energy per YEAR (not month, YEAR). This is simply astounding as most houses consume 8-10 times that amount. 
The concept is quite simple. We build the outside walls and mount the roof to that structure. This wall is a 2x6 frame and in completely insulated. The middle structure is 100% insulation and is not in any way structural. The vapour barrier is mounted to the warm side of this layer, and then on top of that is another thinner wall (2x4) that will be used for all the services (electrical, plumbing and other wiring) and to hold up the 1st floor. Simple idea: the outside wall, middle insulation layer and vapour barrier all are separate from the interior walls and floors. That way the vapour barrier remains 100% intact. No holes for plumbing and wires!

The first outside walls being insulated

You may notice that this insulation is a peculiar colour. It is a recycled product that is manufactured in Belgium. It contains no formaldehyde binders and is certified to be a green product. It requires 70% less energy to manufacturer than other similar products due to the use of vegetable based binders. The only unfortunate by product is the somewhat less than appealing colour. Oh well!

12cm foil backed panels installed
After the 2x6 exterior walls are insulated, we then install 12cm of foil backed panels.So at this point we have 11" of insulation (or about R-44) in the walls.  All the seams and plastic washers are sealed with tape, and then a vapour barrier is installed and sealed, as shown below.

11" of insulation, and more to come.

Bottom floor of vapour barrier installed and taped

    Don't look to closely at all the construction crap. But the sky is amazing! And we have a porch!

Insulating the roof. 32cm (R-52) so far....
  So, now that the insulation is in the outer walls, and the rigid panels and vapour barrier are installed and sealed, the inside service wall and the inside partition walls can be built.
The remainder of the insulation will be installed just as we did the lower portions.