Friday, March 12, 2010


Hello All,

Below you will find several design options for the Corning House!  You will also find comments below each.  Please feel free to create comment strings as we'd like this to be an on going open discussion on the design so that we can make informed and democratic decisions.

Here are some general comments on the designs and systems involved:

System Discussion:

  •           People like Options 3&4 but worried about cooling potential.
  •           Many wished they could experience these systems to see if they really worked.
  •           A local HVAC person has done hydronic systems in the past.
  •           Responsiveness of systems was a concern (managing expectations important)
  •           Many saw the potential advantages of designing the house around the system rather than the system around the house.
  •           Corning residents generally live in the same home for a longer period than people elsewhere, so energy savings can result in a significant figure.
  •           Some commented that our estimates for utility savings on Option 2 were low.
  •           What flow rate is needed to engage a tankless water heater?
  •           How are supply and return air vents positioned with an HRV?
  •           People suggested that a wall or window air conditioner would suffice for cooling or be added later if cooling strategy didn’t meet needs.  You could frame this in for retrofit.
  •           Wood or corn stove as auxiliary?
  •           Reassess the idea of ‘comfort zone’ in relation to systems.  What compromises must be made?
  •           Controlling humidity goes a long way to help cool

Design Discussion:

  •          Consider ag and road dust because it can be a big concern.
  •           Mixed opinion about interior backer walls for SIPs and thick wall construction.  Perception of wall depth.  Takes up a significant amount of square footage.
  •           960 sf minimum footprint for single story in Corning
  •           Stairs should be at least 4ft wide to allow passage of larger items
  •           Trusses are more expensive than shed roof
  •           Is two story appearance too much for an already prominent site?
  •           Consider distance from entry to kitchen for groceries
  •           People want a garage
  •           Pitch of roof should be at least 3:12 to avoid leakage.  Flatter is okay if roof is drains in multiple directions.
  •           Overhangs are important.  How do you make them economical?
  •           Keep replicability in mind.  Potential for an infill site?
  •           General consensus was that ranches were more desirable than two story homes.
  •           Contractors said stairs on exterior walls were cheaper.

  •           Could you use spray-on insulation on the exterior of a foundation?
  •           Quick cost estimate rules:

o   $100 / sf for first floor
o   $50 / sf for upper stories
o   This assumes 2x4 walls, vinyl siding, asphalt roof, and basic finishes

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