Aug 26, 2010: CERV, yard shaping
The final electrical inspection was successful on Tuesday. They want to come back when the kitchen is installed, but other than that, electrically the house is finished.
We have continued to work with our CERV house conditioning system and things are progressing well. The weather we have had recently shows the CERV’s versatility. At night we are able to pull in fresh air to cool the house without operating the system compressor. This is free cooling. It is this type of weather where an ERV in a conventional system is not beneficial and will limit free cooling ability unless a damper bypass system is installed in the ducts.
The house has remained in a comfortable temperature range all summer despite only having the conditioning system installed for the past few weeks. Mostly we have been pulling moisture out of the house. The drywall, tiling, and painting added a lot of moisture to the house in addition to the water contained in the concrete slab. It has been a few hundred liters of water that we have pulled from the house by dehumidification and it is finally at an acceptable relative humidity level. Below are some pictures of the CERV. We will be adding more details of this system soon.
Next month, an article we wrote on appliance and house energy interaction will appear in Appliance Design magazine. Also, starting next month will be a monthly column in the ASHRAE Journal on designing and building zero energy houses. I will either post the articles or a link to them when available.
All exterior work is complete, so today the yard is being shaped with the proper slope away from the house and a berm in the back yard for the rain garden.
Here is the back of the house where a dirt berm is being shaped that will be the location of a rain garden. All rainwater that hits the roof is sent to the cistern, which you can see the access port just below and to the right of the back patio. When the cistern is full, there is an overflow exit which sends the water to the rainwater where it is held so it can slowly soak into the ground instead of flowing into storm sewers.
Here you can see the shadow edge at the bottom of the clerestory windows. In the next week or so direct sunlight will once again enter the house to provide passive solar heating. At the Fall equinox on September 22 the shadow edge will be at the top of the windows letting sun enter the entire window surface.
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