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kwlafayette





Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Posts: 6155
Reputation: 156.2Reputation: 156.2
votes: 28
Location: Saskatoon Saskatchewan

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:39 am    Post subject: Efficient new house. Reply with quote

Well, it looks like we are going to do it, buy some land and live the acreage lifestyle.

I am thinking Arxx foundation, RTM R2000 house, WaterFurnace Envision (gives heat, cool, and some hot water), some solar hot water from EnerWorks, and a waste heat recovery system. If I can convince the wife, there will be composting toilets too. I figure, if we do it right, we would not even need a gas line, although I am not sure if you could get all the hot water you need in winter without some kind of conventional heater. Also, the septic system would basically be gray water only with composting toilets, so much easier and safer to deal with than raw sewage. It could save a ton of money over the years, but I am not sure how expensive it would be up front.

Any Tory general contractors out there with experience with any of these kinds of systems?
Cool Blue





Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Posts: 3130
Reputation: 114.9
votes: 10
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool. My wife and I were thinking of doing something similar in a few years.

I also tried to sell her on the idea of a composting toilet. She wants a bathroom in the basement but I don't want to do the plumbing so I suggested a composter; she didn't go for it.

Quote:

Also, the septic system would basically be gray water only with composting toilets, so much easier and safer to deal with than raw sewage.


With a septic tank I believe you need the bacteria in "solid waste" from toilets for them to work properly; otherwise nothing will breakdown. Have you looked into this?
plantguy





Joined: 27 Jul 2007
Posts: 452
Reputation: 96.8Reputation: 96.8
votes: 1
Location: Lower Economy, Nova Scotia

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you looked into the rules and reg's for a "grey water" system? Some places, like Arizona encourage and even mandate them but they are illegal in some parts of Canada. I know this because I wanted to install a grey water tank at the cottage and was told by the Dept. of Environment that they would fine me up the wazoo if I did.
plantguy





Joined: 27 Jul 2007
Posts: 452
Reputation: 96.8Reputation: 96.8
votes: 1
Location: Lower Economy, Nova Scotia

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

P.S. Go for the remote unit for a composting toilet as opposed to the stand alone unit. I have both and the general opinion is that the stand alones are GROSS. When people go to use the stand alone at the cottage they generally say they'll wait till they get home.
kwlafayette





Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Posts: 6155
Reputation: 156.2Reputation: 156.2
votes: 28
Location: Saskatoon Saskatchewan

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just got an email from Rock Paper Sun, apparently, there is or soon will be a $1000 grant for solar hot water on new homes. Makes it that much easier to buy!

http://www.energystarsask.ca/i.....ws_id=9287

http://www.saskenergy.com/savi.....whomes.asp
FF_Canuck





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 3360
Reputation: 73.4
votes: 17
Location: Southern Alberta

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got no experience with the construction you'll be doing, but I'm interested. Hoepfully you'll keep us updated.
Sheila





Joined: 09 Feb 2008
Posts: 556
Reputation: -6.8
votes: 16
Location: Central Alberta

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My neighbour across the back alley, had both solar and wind power. The new solar panels are better than the old ones, if the old ones had snow on them, they wouldn't work as well. The wind and solar charged 12 batteries and he ran all his appliances off of this except the heat generating ones, stove and dryer. They take too much power for him to be able to hook it up to his system.
We have under floor heat, which is great in the winter. If we had only had a one story house, then we could have gotten away with only this type of heating. But since we have another story, we had to have a furnace to heat it. We have low e glass windows and a really cool solar tube upstairs which basically allows us to not use any lights all day long.
kwlafayette





Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Posts: 6155
Reputation: 156.2Reputation: 156.2
votes: 28
Location: Saskatoon Saskatchewan

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Photovoltaics are a suckers bet, they are not nearly efficient enough to make them worth while. I will be using the heat from the sun directly.

Been talking to some tradesmen, sounds like getting gas trenched in could cost as much as the foundation of the house. Definitely something to avoid if you can manage it.
Cool Blue





Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Posts: 3130
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votes: 10
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Been talking to some tradesmen, sounds like getting gas trenched in could cost as much as the foundation of the house. Definitely something to avoid if you can manage it.


Can you run off propane tanks instead?
kwlafayette





Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Posts: 6155
Reputation: 156.2Reputation: 156.2
votes: 28
Location: Saskatoon Saskatchewan

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anything that runs on natural gas runs on propane with a tiny bit of modification, all you need is a larger jet opening for natural gas. I was thinking I would not need gas at all. Geothermal will give me heat, cool, and up to 70% of the hot water, and the solar hot water will help with any shortage. If needed, an electric tankless unit could be installed to take up any shortfall not covered by those two options together. All the appliances are electric, the only thing left for the gas would be the BBQ. And I am not renting a huge tank and paying for hundres of liters of propane just for that.
Cool Blue





Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Posts: 3130
Reputation: 114.9
votes: 10
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd love to try out geothermal.

Any idea how much that costs?

My uncle said his model of tankless water heater can also be used to heat the home. His house is 4 times the size of mine and he claims it costs him about half of what I pay in heating.
kwlafayette





Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Posts: 6155
Reputation: 156.2Reputation: 156.2
votes: 28
Location: Saskatoon Saskatchewan

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The guy from Saskatoon Geothermal said that for new construction, you can ballpark it with $11 per square foot. That is for a vertical closed loop system, which apparently gives a better heat transfer than a horizontal loop. So if you are building a 1000 square foot house, $11,000.

Well or surface water can also be tapped in an open loop configuration, don't know what that costs. It is about $8000 for a 2 collector solar water system, good for 3 - 6 people.

PS. $15,000 or more to get gas trenched in. The contractor I curl with said a guy was charged $15,000 to get gas from the end of his driveway to his house.
kwlafayette





Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Posts: 6155
Reputation: 156.2Reputation: 156.2
votes: 28
Location: Saskatoon Saskatchewan

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, after 2 days of the Saskatoon Home Styles show, I think I have changed my preference from Arxx to Logix ICF. Also, the experience guy in geothermal around Sask is Dwight, and he does NextEnergy geothermal.
Cool Blue





Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Posts: 3130
Reputation: 114.9
votes: 10
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking of installing a basement in my old house using those Styrofoam bricks; good choice.
Craig
Site Admin




Joined: 29 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Me being lazy...

Anyone have a link to good information about tax credits for making your house more efficient. There are a couple of things I want to do...
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