Tag Archives: hvac

Notes, 30 June 2015

  • Steven scheduled meetings in July with hardware suppliers to consider door handles, hinges, etc.
  • Barry Samsel from Custom Plumbing checked the “barrel-style” P-trap for mudroom sink, confirmed it will comply with City of Austin building codes.
  • Steven added the mudroom sink and bathroom vanities to the specification documents.
  • Mark Rehberg advises that Ben Feldt, engineer, did not deliver the structural framing plans he promised for 29 June. Mark is chasing Ben. Update: Plans delivered!
  • Steven spoke with Bryan Mitchell from Carrier. The Cor Internet-connected thermostats continue in development and will be streamed into Emerald Hill as soon as available, probably late 4Q 2015.
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Back in the remodel saddle

Back from NYC and “day job” earning money to pay for this remodel, tackling the to-do list:

  • Manual J. Kyle from Elite advises that his math now calls for 4 tons HVAC, after reviewing numbers with Austin Energy Green Building. Kyle updated system configuration, saving the Leons approximately $500. Kyle advises he will contact AEGB with updated numbers and share copy with Steven.

HVAC observation. Emerald Hill at approximately 3200 sq ft heated will have half the HVAC "tonnage" as the Leon's existing 4200 sq ft heated -- 4 tons dual speed at Emerald Hill vs. 8 tons multispeed at Sea Eagle View. Emerald Hill is getting new insulation -- foam in the attic, blown-in in the walls, new exterior sheathing, new siding, new dual-pane insulated windows, and more, but will that suffice when Sea Eagle has foam everywhere? This math is worrisome ...

Kyle messages: "Bigger system will give you the extra capacity to cool the house more quickly if you wanted it cooler than 75 degrees when it is more than 100 outside and also will give you extra capacity if you have a lot of guests.

"The smaller system will run more often and remove humidity better and generally speaking be more efficient."

  • Habitat. Mark Rehberg from Ranserve reports Habitat pickups #2 and #3 of donated items are now scheduled for 2 July and 8 July.
  • Structural Engineer. Steven pinged Ben Feldt to ask for ETA on structural engineering needed for wood framing, plumbers, HVAC chases.
  • Exterior siding. Brett Grinkmeyer, architect; Mark and Ron from Ranserve; and Steven will schedule a meeting at Ranserve to review options for Hardie exterior siding — what reveal, what finish, what labor budget, what materials budget.
  • Front door. This is a Critical Path Item (CPI). Steven is working with Mark and Ron to identify options — wood species, paintable or stainable, glass or no glass.
  • Doors. Additional exterior doors at kitchen, back door, garage, and interior doors. Mark tells Steven that Ranserve has received proposal from BMC West. Ron is reviewing. Steven asks to share.
  • Door hardware/handles. Steven began contacting 2-3 weeks ago suppliers of door “jewelry” recommended by Ranserve. He’s starting to get responses.
  • First draw. Steven is coordinating paperwork for first draw payment to Ranserve by SouthStar Bank SSB. It’s a process. Brett Grinkmeyer completed his architectural signoff. Kathleen Baker at Ranserve has to complete form supplied by Dawn Embry at SouthStar. Steven will sign. Larry Weisinger at SouthStar will inspect house. Ranserve will receive money.
  • Plumbing fixtures. Ron, site supervisor, and Barry at Custom Plumbing are to complete review of plumbing fixtures selected by Jacquela and Steven. With that review, Kathleen from Ranserve and Steven will be able to finalize the Ferguson order.
  • Flooring. Will we be able to save and refinish the existing oak floors?
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Manual J

Manual J is the name for a specific protocol (often called “Heat Load Calculation” or “Cooling Load Calculation“) used to determine how much heating/cooling a home needs to stay cool and dry in the summer and warm in the winter.

There are books, certifications, software to compute the design parameters of the home — insulation, window U-factor and SHGC, roof type, house wrap, and more.

To a layman, it’s right up there with smoke and mirrors, and Arthur C. Clarke reciting “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

But Texas would not be habitable if not for the invention of air conditioning.

Kyle Bacon at Elite Heating & Air Conditioning calculated the Manual J for Emerald Hill at 5 tons. Ross Britton, the consultant, agreed.

Today, however, Austin Energy Green Building messaged, reporting they calculate Manual J at 4 tons — and they ask us to “please revise” the HVAC system accordingly.

Steven alerted Kyle and Ross. Steven asked Kyle to check his numbers and contact Austin Green Building to compare his math with AEGB, “to reach agreement via collaboration.”

Stay tuned.

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Things we did today: 18 June 2015

  • Habitat. Lauren Gregory from Habitat scheduled pickup for 24 June of items staged in the garage for donation.
  • HVAC. Kyle Bacon at Elite HVAC and Bryan Mitchell at Carrier are reviewing the HVAC systems and selections. Ross Britton finalized bath vent/light units with Elite. Elite updated quote to include vent/light units selected by Steven.
  • Doors. Ron Dahlke from Ranserve obtained quote for potential front door from Brian Wolter at Stock Building Supply. Steven will review with Ron. Still waiting on additional exterior and interior door quote from BMC West.
  • Countertops. Steven is scheduling a meeting with Kim Strmiska at Austin Stone Works to walk the “boneyard” for “remaindered” material left over from other jobs that might be adopted for use as shelving in the master shower and at the fireplace hearth.
  • Plumbing fixtures. Steven received updated quote from Jonell Speak at Ferguson and forwarded to Ranserve and Jacquela for final review and approval.
  • Kitchen appliances. Steven messaged Kristin Nauert at Harway with questions about the appliance selections, working toward final review and approval.
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