Category Archives: Insulation

Legalize Industrial Hemp Nau

Well, it’s Hemp History Week.  Here’s the short version of the industrial hemp rant:

If you think the US is a capitalist country, think again. We can buy all the industrial hemp products we want, but we can’t grow the raw material to make the products ourselves. Can you say, “trade imbalance”? To learn a bit more, watch these two short videos we were involved in that discuss industrial hemp generally and then specifically as it applies to our Nauhaus prototype:

Hemcrete Installation Continues/ Mountain Works Stops By

The Hemcrete installation continued today in the freezing weather, and is up to the second floor.  Ian Snider from Mountain Works dropped by yesterday to discuss some of the sustainably harvested wood he will be supplying to the project. Ian’s company uses horses to remove the trees that they selectively cull as part of a forest stewardship process.

If you’re interested in volunteering for the Nauhaus Prototype Project, please contact Billy.

Click here to view the entire Nauhaus Prototype Construction Chronology.

Ian Snyder and Jeff Buscher
Ian Snider and Jeff Buscher


House with forms on the South side.
House with forms on the South side.
elisha measures
Elisha measures.
Shutter being attached.
Shutter being attached.
elisha
Elisha
Sarah tamps the Hemcrete.
Sarah tamps the Hemcrete.


mixing
Hemcrete in Mixer
madera-mixing
Nauhaus Building Systems mixes Hemcrete.
interior forms
Shutters line the interior South wall.
Interior of South and West Hemcrete walls with no forms.
Interior of West and North walls without forms.
Electrical Box in Hemcrete
Electrical Box in Hemcrete


Eco-Panels Installed

Eco-Panels came out on Tuesday and Wednesday and installed the S.I.P. roof.  The finished roof system for the Nauhaus Prototype will have an insulation value of about R80 when completed, because the spaces between the 8″ rafters will be packed with cellulose.

Some information about Eco-Panels, from their website:

For a truly superior building envelope Eco-Panels manufactures the only R60 panel on the market today coming in at just 8.5″ in thickness.  This panel, designed specifically for use in arctic regions, is perfect for the passive house or net zero energy designs where most modeling software calls for an R40 wall and R60 roof (of course this will vary based on region).  This roof panel will perform at better than R60 at 20deg F (-7deg C) using LTTP (long term thermal profile) and temperature vs k-factor performance data provided by the foam component manufacturer.

  • 8 1/2″(21.6 cm) = R60+
  • Maximum panel length is 12′-0″ (360 cm) although this can be increased to 16′-0″ for large opportunities
  • Maximum panel width is 4′-0″ (120 cm)
  • The insulation is high-R-value polyurethane foam injected at a density of 2.5 pounds per cubic foot.

Click here to view the entire Nauhaus Prototype Construction Chronology.

Garnet Igneous delivers supplies.
Garnet Igneous delivers supplies.
The framing is ready to receive the Eco Panels S.I.P.s.
The framing is ready to receive the Eco Panels S.I.P.s.

Chris Cashman
Chris Cashman
Eco Panels Truck
Eco-Panels Truck
Matt, Mike and Tim
Matt, Mike and Tim
The Eco Panels S.I.P.s are attached to a special bracket and lifted with a crane.
The Eco-Panels S.I.P.s are attached to a special bracket and lifted with a crane.
Craig Payne
Jeffrey
Matt and Elijah install panels.
Matt and Elijah install panels.
Matt prepares for an Eco Panel.
Matt prepares for an Eco Panel.
Matt and Elijah attach panels to the North side of the roof.
Matt and Elijah attach panels to the North side of the roof.
8.5" R-60 Eco Panel on Rafter
8.5" R60 Eco-Panel S.I.P. on 8" Rafter
Eco Panels being installed on the South side of the roof
Eco-Panels being installed on the South side of the roof
Northeast Corner
Northeast Corner

West Gable
West Gable
All of the Eco Panels are installed.
All of the Eco-Panels are installed. Next we will add the overhangs and metal roofing.

We've Got Hemcrete!

Northwest Corner of Nauhaus Prototype
Northwest Corner of Nauhaus Prototype

………………………..

Well, one wall anyway.

Yesterday Ian and Mario from Lime Technologies came out in the rain to help us install some Hemcrete, starting the first home in the United States to be built with the product.

The rest will be installed after the Eco Panels go up.

Click here to view the entire Nauhaus Prototype Construction Chronology.



Click here to watch the full interview with Ian Pritchett.

Concrete Scoring and Hemcrete Testing

Today, the concrete slab was scored on a three foot grid, to prevent cracking.  David Madera and Greg Flavell of Hemp Technologies also helped us to perform a full-size Hemcrete test.

Click here to view the entire Nauhaus Prototype Construction Chronology.

Scored Concrete Slab
Scored Concrete Slab
Scored Concrete Slab
Scored Concrete Slab
Hemcrete Mix
Hemcrete Mix
12" Hemcrete Form
12" Hemcrete Form

Completed 12" Hemcrete Wall
Completed Hemcrete Wall

Foam Insulation Sprayed

Today, Home Energy Partners came out to spray the closed-cell insulation for the slab and exterior walls.

Click here to view the entire Nauhaus Prototype Construction Chronology.

Advantek sheathing and brick mold are installed first to stop the foam and eventually to support the Hemcrete.
Advantek sheathing and brick mold are installed first to stop the foam and eventually to support the Hemcrete.
Brick Mold Installation
Brick Mold Installation
Home Energy Partners Spraying North Wall
Home Energy Partners Spraying North Wall
Home Energy Partners Spraying North Wall
Home Energy Partners Spraying North Wall
Home Energy Partners Spraying Underslab Foam Insulation
Home Energy Partners Spraying Underslab Foam Insulation
Home Energy Partners Spraying Underslab Foam Insulation
Home Energy Partners Spraying Underslab Foam Insulation
Spray Foam Insulation around Ground Loop Stub-out
Spray Foam Insulation around Ground Loop Stub-out
Spray Foam Insulation on CMU
Spray Foam Insulation on CMU

Organic Soy Spray Foam Insulation

Eco Panels has a great explanation of what’s going on with all the new soy based polyurethane insulations.

…all polyurethanes are petroleum derivatives obtained by combining a polyisocyanate (iso) group with a polyalcohol (polyol) group. A great chemistry write-up on polyurethane foam can be found here. While polyurethane foam can take many forms, from car seats and mattresses to spray foam insulation, the isocyanates are relatively few while the “secret sauce” of the polyol can vary wildly from manufacturer to manufacturer and product to product. To cover up its petroleum heritage some companies call these components the harmless sounding “Part A” and “Part B”, and even give the finished foam product hokey descriptions like “…having anglefood cake like consistency”, but they’re all coming from pretty much the same or very similar chemistry.

Most people know that by fermenting fruits or vegetables you can derive an alcoholic beverage (think corn->moonshine, grapes->wine, etc). This can exactly be the alcohol needed for the reaction required to make polyurethane foam! In fact, the preferred alcohol in most of the polyurethane foam industry for the past 50+ years has been acquired from post-process sugar beets – the same sugar beets used to make table sugar. This happens to be the desired alcohol because it simply gives the best overall performance of characteristics that are important to the people that use foam. Flow (in application), adhesion, strength, insulation, etc., are just a few of the characteristics looked at.

Many companies experiment with their polyol (remember this is the “secret sauce”) to chase different desirable properties, and sometimes, as in the case of soybeans, the greatest property achieved is MARKETING. I’ve spoken with many large foam manufacturers and they’ve all tried soy-based foams but admit that quite frankly it does not insulate as well, or flow as well, or adhere as well as the sugar based foams. Sugar beets are natural and organic, and so are soy beans, so why all of the hype for soy?

Eco-panels.com

Gravel and Vapor Barrier

Today, another 20 mil. vapor barrier was spread over gravel, in preparation for the insulation and concrete slab.

Click here to view the entire Nauhaus Prototype Construction Chronology.

Drain and Insulation with Gravel
Drain and Insulation with Gravel
Finished Gravel
Finished Gravel

Vapor Barrier at CMU
Vapor Barrier at CMU
All penetrations through the vapor barrier are carefully sealed.
All penetrations through the vapor barrier are carefully sealed.

Finished Vapor Barrier
Finished Vapor Barrier



Slab Edge Insulation and Drain

Today the foam insulation and drain were installed at the edges of the stem walls, and the CMU was sealed.

Click here to view the entire Nauhaus Prototype Construction Chronology.

This insulation will serve as a thermal break for the concrete slab.
This insulation will serve as a thermal break for the concrete slab.

The CMU is sealed to lock out moisture.
The CMU is sealed to lock out moisture.
These ties in the side of the CMU will serve a a mechanical connection to the spray foam insulation.
These ties in the side of the CMU will serve a a mechanical connection to the spray foam insulation.