Has anyone here ever used sometihng like this Therma Steel to build a house?
I am about to make a decision to use something like Therma Steel or sticks to build. My problemis that I believe in a few years heating and cooling are going to be one of our biggest monthly expenses. We have been doing the same things for way longer than I can remember to build houses and they are not gettting any better.
There will still be a lot of wood in the house but an R value of 25 impresses me.
Interesting product. I've no experience with it but one element stood out in my mind based on the info from the website - plumbing.
Somewhere in the specs is noted any field modifications to the panels must be approved by the manufacturer (to me means 'or void warranty'). Does that include the plumbing supply, waste and venting? - Plumbing seemed to be one item that wasn't specifically addressed in the assembly instructions/specs unless I missed it completely. Not to say it couldn't be done with a double panel wall with say 6" open space in between to create a plumbing chase. The sample house plan indicates a thicker panel wall at plumbing so thats probably what they propose to do. I'd avoid placing plumbing at an exterior wall to avoid compromising the panels R values.
Most of the heat gain/loss to the building will obviously occur at the exterior wall and roof panels. The manufacturer will want you to build your whole house out of their panels. Unless it might void their warranty for structural support, there's no reason you couldn't build the interior partitions with the traditional studs and drywall. In fact, doing so may help ease the plumbing challenges as well as save some money by reducing the total number of panels you have to buy.
'Electrical chases' appear to be thought out and premolded within the panels but may limit where you want outlets or other connectivity devices like phone, cable, cat 5 cabling (if desired), home theater.
Perhaps the panels could exclusively be used as the roofing substrate as well as the sheathing layer between the exterior stud wall and the exterior siding - that would be a premium total cost for the exterior walls though. I would imagine the return on investment in energy cost savings wouldnt take long to pay for the panels.
I know for sure the house I'm sitting in right now doesnt come close to R25, but it would be nice.
It is possible though to build very well insulated coventional stickframed buildings. We have done it for decades in Europe. I guess that the American building industry is oldfashioned because of your cheap energy. 8'' rockwool is standard wall insulation in new houses in Finland and Sweden.
That does not necsessarily tell that it is possible in hot and moist climates.
I know nothing about and have no oppinions about Thermasteel.
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