Building SIPsmart: HVAC and Serious Windows

| 4/30/2010 11:00:05 AM

Dome Home Exterior 

Michael Morley is posting regular updates about his progress building a unique green home with structural insulated panels (SIPs). This is an update from April 29, 2010. You can find previous posts here.
We have been completing the interior framing and bringing our subs through the job in the last couple of weeks. Our HVAC pro Paul Oehlert, of Oehlert Heating and Air, installed the 24,000 BTU (2 ton) 16 SEER air source heat pump and the supply and return ducting to the system.

Dome Home InteriorThe 12-inch floor trusses allowed good distribution of the ducting, but there is not enough room to cross ducting or even plumbing pipes. We have some dropped ceilings in the master and master bath, but they really add to the space with different ceiling heights.

Paul will also provide venting for the Whisper Green Panasonic programmable bath fans. These will be set to provide continuous ventilation at a preset CFM (cubic feet per minute) based on volume, and then kick up to 130 CFM when the switch is thrown. They have super quiet ECM motors that draw very little power. It’s a great solution for an affordable home. More detail on that later.

The crew installed the Serious 501 series windows in the dome portion over the last few days, and I am happy with them. They are a sturdy all-vinyl construction, but I was not excited about the loose plastic nailing flanges to install them. With a little practice and a block of wood to set the flanges we could prep a window in just a few minutes. They do set stainless screws and covers to install solidly through the jambs into the framing. The performance rating is very high with a U-value of .18 and a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient of .24.

More details later on some of these advanced technologies, and we almost have the time-lapse video ready for you to watch. Jackson Morley put together a very smooth movie that takes you through the shell process in 2 minutes and 24 seconds. It will be posted very soon.

Mary Reynolds
5/15/2010 11:16:04 AM

Does anyone else see this looks like the male anatomy? It wouldn't be my first choice in design.

5/12/2010 11:02:46 AM

This is one cool green house. Like this home, energy-efficient home improvements doesn't have to be costly. There are a lot of cost-effective and energy efficient products out in the market nowadays such as window tints. Since new heating and cooling system can still be costly, window tints could be a best substitute for expensive cooling and heating system. While most window films are for reducing solar heat gain in the summer, low-e films both block summer heat and improve winter heat retention. Learn more about window tints at They provide relevant information about window tints such as its types, quotations and will help you locate the best professional tinter near your area.

Pam Walton_1
5/11/2010 12:48:11 PM

If you're thinking about a green remodel, get a great new DVD: "The Forever Home: Going Green." It’s a refreshing look at a SF Bay Area home remodeling project. The planning and architecture consider not only the needs of the home, but also those of the environment and the home's surroundings. A green house for an extraordinary couple. Extras on the DVD include a conversation with Brian Gitt, CEO of BuildItGreen. "The Forever Home" will be broadcast in June in the LA area on KCET and in Boston on WGBX. Watch a preview clip and purchase the 27 minute DVD at

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