A reader of my blog asked about my insulation problems with the shop how we fixed them. Basically I called up Randy who called the insulation company and he sent his guys out to fix the areas where the mineral wool was too compressed. Did they fix it perfectly? No, but they did a pretty good job as evidenced by the thermal performance of the building.
John went into the shop on the all time record high day July 1, 2012 when the outside temperature was 107F. The shop temperature with the air conditioner turned off (because John always leaves it off) was 80F. Most days when he went to work in the shop, the temperature was in the 70s. Sometimes the temp was fine but he had to turn on the air conditioner just because of the humidity.
Lessons and Solutions:
1. You have to be explicit with every person working on your building. Since I will be working directly on the house most of the time, I will be there to directly tell everyone what I want. There are challenges involved with that though. I have to use terminology that the people helping me understand. I have to be assertive, but not offensive or condescending. (Ask my brother about the condescending thing. He's got stories, I'm sure.)
2. One way we will work on communication is that we will hold at least one meeting well before we even start to build the house. I'll take the subs and Randy out to dinner in a meeting room and go over the goals of the house emphasizing quality and energy performance. Probably will take 2-3 meetings. I will pay them for their time. I think if people feel they have input, they will more invested in the house.
3. There will be a communication board up with posted drawings and places to put comments so everyone can see what the concerns are.
4. I am doing my net zero house class right now to learn more about the most important aspects of energy performance - reducing air leakage, maximizing insulation for this area, dealing with humidity, cooling strategies for the superinsulated house in the Southeast, planning for future upgrades, solar, etc.
I think the house will be incredible. John still goes into his shop and can't believe he has such a great shop. (Now if he had just let me put a little tiny bathroom in it, he could live there.)