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Do any of you do energy star construction on new homes? We just started doing them all that way and I'm surprised by the energy bills my home owners are getting. One just told me their last gas bill was around $50 compared to her sisters house that is 10 years old being $150. We do caulk quite a bit more than the norm but I was happy to hear the results. Anyone else have similar experiences. Any word on the Epact tax credit being extended?
 

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Yes, I worked for a builder here for 3yrs as assit. super. We were the first home builders to do this type of construction here in Ontario.

We went through many learning curves. A few important ones -
1 - full bsmt. insulation- I would recomment full height 2" foam, spray foam the ribbon area.
2 - HRV system - take great care that this is sized and installed correctly. We had many problems resulting from undersized units that were not properly installed. I found that most companies really do not have a good grasp of what is required, as the technology is still new to some of them.
3- educate the home buyer. You should explain all systems to them in detail. I would tell them that they are basically living in a plastic bag, and must control temp. and humidity. Many had no idea what was required, even though we had given them ample documentation.
 

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Yes, it's a good thing.

I use 2x4 walls with r-13 fiberglass, then 1" eps as sheathing with diagonal steel bracing, no osb. This gives me 5-18 and they give me r-1 for the air space between the eps and the brick.

I just got done taking all the cutouts from my windows and doors and cutting them up and putting them in the rim joist area. I have yet to put the eps on the rim joist on the outside, but I have 2" on the inside. Later I'll put R-19 fiberglass on top of this. Anyway, the windows have yet to be insulated in the basement and there are places where the rim joist is above the sill plate and you can see light yet. It was -20 fahrenheit 2 nights ago and the basement temperature was at 26 with only the floor deck above and the sheathed walls, sheathed roof, but no sheetrock, etc.

I thought that was pretty good given the circumstances.

The heat loss calculation is 25,700 BTUH for 900 square feet up and the same in the basement (townhome). They are requiring r-50 in the attic nowadays.
 
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