My retirement home will be a Hemp Home! I feel a Hemp Home addresses the main issue facing mankind today co2 emissions without sacrificing comfort needed in both energy and lifestyle choices.
To ensure that my retirement income will provide the needed security as I age in place my hemp home will enable me to use natural resources in the building of the energy efficient structure-controlling costs in the build and the future energy costs.
Taking pointers from the first American Settlers: I will build my home from the land and use as many natural resources as possible.
I will use stones and rocks in the building of the Rubble Foundation that will support the Hemp Wall Construction.
I will grow and harvest the Hemp needed to build the walls-using Hempcrete-a natural lime based binder.
I plan to use a combination of Post and Beam – Timber Frame Construction techniques.
Canadian Solar Panels for electricity
Comfort-Sustainability-Natural Resources-Are just 3 areas that critical attention is given to in this sustainable design.
Netzero or better energy production from Solar Panels for electricity needs
Rainwater and Greywater Recycling for water need
Energy Conscious Build Technique
Rainwater and Greywater Recycling
Electric Radiant Floor Heating
Hempcrete will be utilized in the flooring and walls.
Hemp Building addresses the issue that plagues traditional building techniques when the cost of carbon emissions is factored into the manufacturing process of the needed building materials. Scotty
p dir=”ltr” style=”padding-left:30px;”>I’ve been toying around with using the Catalan Vault Constructionbuild technique of Spanish Masons to construct the roof. [When I watched this youtube video of the Spanish Masons I realized that I can reduce the lumber needed to construct the roof and then by adding a slurry of hempcrete to the top of the roof I will have the strength needed to protect my home from the elements and provided the water barrier needed.]
To be continued- future posts will include: Design Plans, Material Lists, Hemp growing techniques, Hemp Harvesting, Timberframe construction, Hempwall Building, and more.
I strongly urge everyone who is involved in remodeling, retrofitting, weatherizing, or any other construction related project with a StLouis Building review and practice these must do activities when working on the typical StLouis brick or masonry building.
Improper Building or Retrofitting Techniques could lead to: Respiratory Problems, Indoor Pollution, Combustion from Natural Gas Appliances, as well as the further deterioration of your brick building.
In the preceding post on-Less Weight Equals More Horsepower I used the comparison on how the US Automakers figured out how to make our Automobiles use less gas by lightening the vehicles weights which increased horsepower which equates into less Petrol needed for operation and how the same principles can be applied to a Buildings Energy Use and Needs. The principles I will be blogging about applies to any building-Residential or Commercial and can be used to give your Bank Account More Horsepower!
Lets start by going room by room and looking around at all the Gadgets/Appliances that are using electricity. Simple DIY Energy Audits -that anyone can perform on your building. Keep in Mind the Following two bullet points when Inspecting the Gadgets and Appliances.
What Gadgets or Appliances in your building are always on and consuming energy? This is Vampire Power [i].
Rule of Thumb? “ If your appliances are old enough to Vote it needs replaced with a newer Energy Star Appliance. [ii] ”
Here are examples of my energy use for my buildings for my DIY Energy Audit Home Office Location (Home Office).
I performed a Room by Room walk-thru inspecting taking notes of everything that used electricity. (When I’m performing a Computerized Energy Audit using Equest Software I log the information into the program and it does the math for me plus outlines areas for improvement with ROI for all costs involved.) But we’re going Old School on this Energy Audit and you will only need a basic calculator or pen and notepad.
The Benefits of Performing an Old School Energy Audit by hand and figuring things by hand is the A-Hah Moment of Energy Use- you will gain a greater understanding of:
watts of energy, kilo watts, how watts and kilowatts translate into dollars.
Time in UseHrs / day
Electricity UsedMeasured in watts
Vampire PowerYes or No
FORMULA FOR ESTIMATING ENERGY CONSUMPTION
(Wattage × Hours Used Per Day= total watts )
Cost to Operate in St Louis using Ameren UE combined electricity rate plus service fees =.11/w1 kilowatt (kW) = 1,000 Watts (total watts ÷ 1000 = Daily Kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption) x $.11= Amount in $.
Bedroom 1(hours per day spent sleeping 8.7)
2-Lights- 3 bulbs ave 65 W
Bedroom 2 [which has dual functions in my Residence as Home Office and
Lights-1 overhead with 2 light bulbs-2 desktop lights Ave W of 40×3= 120 w
CPU – awake / asleep = 120 / 30 or less
Monitor – awake / asleep = 150 / 30 or less
Laptop = 50
Radio (stereo) = 70–400
Refrigerator (frost-free, 16 cubic feet) = 725
19″ = 65–110
27″ = 113
36″ = 133
53″ – 61″ Projection = 170
Flat screen = 120
Toaster = 800–1400
Toaster oven = 1225
VCR/DVD = 17–21 / 20–25
Vacuum cleaner = 1000–1440
Water heater (40 gallon) = 4500–5500
Water pump (deep well) = 250–1100
Water bed (with heater, no cover) = 120–380
FORMULA FOR ESTIMATING ENERGY CONSUMPTION-Use this formula to estimate an appliance’s energy use:
(Wattage × Hours Used Per Day) ÷ 1000 = Daily Kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption
1 kilowatt (kW) = 1,000 Watts
Multiply this by the number of days you use the appliance during the year for the annual consumption in kWh per year.
ESTIMATING ANNUAL COST TO RUN AN APPLIANCE
Multiply the annual consumption in kWh per year (that you calculated above) by your local utility’s rate per kWh consumed to calculate the annual cost to run an appliance. Note: To estimate the number of hours that a refrigerator actually operates at its maximum wattage, divide the total time the refrigerator is plugged in by three. Refrigerators, although turned “on” all the time, actually cycle on and off as needed to maintain interior temperatures.
If you are reading this I’m going to assume that you aren’t a google bot or bing bot and wear clothes in your daily activities. You are an actual human being who wears clothes.
Besides the obvious fact we wear clothes to cover our nakedness.
We humans wear clothes for protection: protection for our bodies: from the heat, from the cold, from rain and snow-summed all up from the Elements.
We protect ourselves with clothes against the Climate and Elements we live in.
Just as you wear clothes to protect yourself from the elements the various parts of a properly constructed energy efficient building are there to protect it from the elements while keeping the inhabitants comfortable.
While it may sound complex in Nature it’s really rather simple in content when talking about a Building.
The simple comparison in how warm and dryan Insulated Wind Breaker is to aSimple T-Shirt.
The Windbreakerstops theCold Airfrom reaching your skin and the Insulationis the stuff that keeps the cold from creeping close to your body.
While a T Shirt lets in both Air and Cold thus failing to keep you warm and dry. (This is the Framing of your Building. )
A Sweatshirt will help seal out a little cold but not for long. (This is the Insulation in your Building. )
But when a Windbreaker is put on over the Sweatshirt and T-Shirt it is such relief to be warm- almost anything is tolerable when in a Cold Windy Environment. (This is the Air Barrier in your Building.)
Caps or Hats (The roof of your Building see upcoming post-seeking sponsors)
Shoes and boots (The Foundation / Basement of your Building see upcoming post-seeking sponsors)
Examples 1 thru 5 when applied to a Building is your Buildings Envelope or Outer Shell.
The buildings we live and work in need protection too. Just as you will add layers against the cold to stay warm in today’s extreme climate. Your Building needs the same protection against the Elements of Heat and Cold.
The best protection against the Elements cold and heat from entering your building is: Insulation.
Insulation is your Number One Sourcefor keeping your building’s energy consumption as low as possible while staying comfortable.
Insulation keeps the Heat and Cold from creeping in your Building.
While building Insulation comes in many forms it basically performs the basic action that I mentioned above when talking about wearing a sweatshirt.
Insulation is there to keep out the heat and cold that make life uncomfortable– (to include the uncomfortable feelingyou get when you pay your local monthly Gas and Electric utility bills- for the over priced services they provide your building.)
Just as the Windbreaker stops the Wind from interfering with your body. The Air Barrier does the same for your Home or Office. Normal construction techniques have various Air Barriers All of which are designed to eliminate and reduce the cold or warm air from entering and leaving your Building. This is the second most crucial step in protecting a building against the Elements of heat and cold.
So what is the T-shirt used in this examples place in a building. The T Shirt in this example is the Buildings Walls and Roof. See the bare wall in this photo of the Benton Rehab Project
while the crew and I were rehabbing this building in St Louis. This is the framing without layers of Insulation or Air Barrier. It’s obvious that these walls will not keep out any heat or cold. Just as a t-shirt performs.
The Air Barrier and Insulation coupled with a few other areas of your building is your Buildings Envelope.
Scotty, Scotts Contracting St Louis Renewable Energy 4/2/13
This is just a basic estimate on materials made from guesses with my drawing. Without knowing exact dimensions of planned addition, materials chosen, and how you plan to finish the interior of the addition I can’t determine a cost. (use $70-$100/sq ft for Total Costs)
Home Depot Kingshighway, St Louis MO for Material Costs
Increasing Middle America’s Access to Capital for Energy Improvements
While middle income Americans have historically invested in improvements that maintain and increase the value of their homes, they have seen an important source of financing – the equity in their properties – evaporate at the same time that their access to other loan products has been restricted. A number of energy efficiency programs are deploying credit enhancements, novel underwriting criteria, and innovative financing tools to reduce risks for both financiers and borrowers in an effort to increase the availability of energy efficiency financing for middle income households. While many of these programs are income-targeted, the challenges, opportunities, and emerging models for providing access to capital may apply more broadly across income groups in the residential sector.
If you have ever wanted to super insulate your home or business against the cold and heat and protect the bank account from the rising costs of our Electricity Rates – Ameren UE and New Gas Rate Hikes – Laclede Gas. The following offer I received from a couple of my Spray Insulation Dealers is just what your Bank Account needs.
ISOCYANATE PROMOTIONWhile Supplies last we are offering our customers 500 lbs of PMDI Isocyanate forbelow wholesale prices!! Compatible with most all spray foam products, very clean, high quality ISO.
YOUR PRICE$ 650.00
Promotions running on 500lb Iso’s and system pricing on our EcoGuard 500 and EcoTite 1200. Let us start helping you save money today!
EcoSeal 500 .5 OPEN CELL foam. 18,000 board feet yield, odorless and excellent adhesion.
EcoTite 1200 1.2lb open cell spray foam. R-Value 5.0 per inch. 3.55 perms per inch, has a tensile strength close to closed cell foam. No scraping or scarfing, Odorless products
Syenergy Spray Foam Specialistsoffers a broad range of innovative solutions to meet all your needs. Whether big or small, our products are made with precision, in accordance with the highest quality standards. All Syenergy spray foam products are custom blended when you order to insure the highest quality and the freshest material. You can rely on our products to get the job done right!An overview of our Products:
Syenergy 1800W & 1800 245fa– Class one thermoset 1.7 and 1.8 lb. water blown Closed cell Spray Foam Insulation that has a high r value of 5.5 per inch and contains the highest level of agriculturally based renewable resources content available on the market.Read More….
ECOSAFE Spray Foam Insulation is the newest SPF company to the market. Our goal is to produce the most technologically advanced products at the most affordable price. Homeowners demand the safest, greenest products for their home and ECOSAFE strives to deliver. Our certified contractor program encompasses all areas of the spray foam business, so that every time a contractor installs ECOSAFE products, it is installed to our specifications.
POll-How can I help you Save Money on your Winter-Time Heating Bills?
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Warm air leaking into your home during the summer and out of your home during the winter and can waste a lot of your energy dollars. One of the quickest dollar-saving tasks you can do is caulk, seal, and weatherstrip all seams, cracks, and openings to the outside. You can save on your heating and cooling bill by reducing the air leaks in your home.
Hint: Use Fire Rated: 5/8″Fire Rated Drywall or Sheetrock with Fire Proof Caulking to Create the Air Tight Seal
How Does the Air Escape?
Air infiltrates into and out of your home through every hole and crack. About one-third of this air infiltrates through openings in your ceilings, walls, and floors.
First, test your home for air tightness. On a windy day, carefully hold a lit incense stick or a smoke pen next to your windows, doors, electrical boxes, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, ceiling fixtures, attic hatches, and other locations where there is a possible air path to the outside. If the smoke stream travels horizontally, you have located an air leak that may need caulking, sealing, or weatherstripping.
Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows that leak air.
Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring penetrates through walls, floors, ceilings, and soffits over cabinets.
Install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls.
Look for dirty spots in your insulation, which often indicate holes where air leaks into and out of your house. You can seal the holes with low-expansion spray foam made for this purpose.
Look for dirty spots on your ceiling paint and carpet, which may indicate air leaks at interior wall/ceiling joints and wall/floor joists. These joints can be caulked.
Install storm windows over single-pane windows or replace them with more efficient windows, such as double-pane. See Windows on page 18 for more information.
When the fireplace is not in use, keep the flue damper tightly closed. A chimney is designed specifically for smoke to escape, so until you close it, warm air escapes—24 hours a day!
For new construction, reduce exterior wall leaks by installing house wrap, taping the joints of exterior sheathing, and comprehensively caulking and sealing the exterior walls.
Use foam sealant around larger gaps around windows, baseboards, and other places where warm air may be leaking out.
Kitchen exhaust fan covers can keep air from leaking in when the exhaust fan is not in use. The covers typically attach via magnets for ease of replacement.
Replacing existing door bottoms and thresholds with ones that have pliable sealing gaskets is a great way to eliminate conditioned air leaking out from underneath the doors.
Fireplace flues are made from metal, and over time repeated heating and cooling can cause the metal to warp or break, creating a channel for hot or cold air loss. Inflatable chimney balloons are designed to fit beneath your fireplace flue during periods of non-use. They are made from several layers of durable plastic and can be removed easily and reused hundreds of times. Should you forget to remove the balloon before making a fire, the balloon will automatically deflate within seconds of coming into contact with heat.
Sources of Air Leaks in Your Home
Areas that leak air into and out of your home cost you lots of money. Check the areas listed below.
Water and furnace flues
Electrical outlets and switches
Plumbing and utility access
Scotts Contracting is available to assist you in improving your Home or Business Energy Demands. Please use this form to Contact Scotty, Scotts Contracting to schedule a FREE Energy Analysis for your Property.