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Old 01-03-12, 06:36 PM   #5
Master EcoRenovator
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Western Wisconsin.
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Sounds like a decent design to me as well.
I'm a fan of saving money and energy on windows that don't open, sure you want enough windows that open that you get some cross ventilation, but having some pitcher windows that are triple pane can save a lot on window cost and they have fewer seals to leak.
I also got to check out the house that has the ground tempering of incoming fresh air via a ground loop of pex instead of using earth tubes, it's a slick system that takes care of the cooling needs of the house in the summer as well.
I worked for a number of years building straw bale houses and found that when working with other contractors that you have to assume that they are going to treat your project as a normal house so any details that might not be standard you need to be clear about and get in writing that they realize these details are there, we had issues with the footings for our walls being to narrower for a 20" thick straw wall, truss companies wanting to sell us trusses that didn't have space for R70 attic insulation and foundations that didn't have the amount of insulation that we specified.
In my own house and in others I've had to deal with insulation contractors that skimped on insulation in really extreme ways too.

I really like the idea of building up the soil around the house if you don't happen to own a south facing slope, I hate houses that you have to go up or down steps to get to the main floor/kitchen, 2-3 steps going up is ok, but hauling groceries in gets old and as you age it becomes more of an issue.
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