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SouthernBelle ~

detailaddict Of course this is just my opinion but I would avoid the spray. It's toxic and so many times, as dreamdoctor pointed out, the installation becomes an act of over-zealousness -- I know a family who built a "green" house - in their attic it was pitch black, NO light came through. These people catch everything. One gets a cold, everyone gets a cold (they're breathing the same air, constantly) and then, there's the toxic issue. I mean, no one really knows yet just HOW dangerous this can be, we only know that yes, indeed, it is dangerous. Go for the wool batting (I did) and think of your health as being more valuable than anything else. Just my two cents.

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dreamdoctor

No more so than the carpet, flooring, adhesives in the engineered wood products, vinyl siding, furniture, rigid insulation, vapor barrier etc etc etc. More people die in fires from smoke inhalation than the flames regardless of the insulation type. Had spray foam installed in a 100 year old reno a couple months ago - it is quiet, warm/cool when it is supposed to be, dry, sealed and was affordable and we got rebates for insulation and air sealing. Spray foam is to be thermally protected when installed - if it is in direct contact with flames it has either not been installed according to code or the structure is well into its burning phase.

With a well sealed home it is imperative to have a ERV or HRV to bring in fresh air with out compromising energy efficiency. All projects should be designed holistically but even more with a high performance home - the owners need to be clued into/educated how it works like any other system or product. Ideally the whole design is as intuitive/self-regulating and low tech as possible.

On the other hand - I would welcome the return to the days when people built with natural materials that are available locally. My buddy has a house built similarly to this home. I visited him in a chilly, late December one year in mid Kansas. I asked him how long the wood stove had been on (sole source of heat) as the temp inside was perfect - we said he had not used it yet. Kept nicely cool in the summer too. Course he did not have large expanses of glass either. When the environment and health trump profit and speed, things will change for the better.

I use a SIP system that is made of structure foam and steel - the foam is protected by 18 gauge steel. No off gassing or flame concerns. The system is high performance so it uses very little energy which limits the creation of green house gasses and helps the bigger picture. The system is also recyclable so if it is ever destroyed in a disaster (caused by climate change) it won't all end up in the landfill.

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BananaRoad Posters

We're happy to see the "Posters" didn't make the top 10 list haha :) - although, we would have put "Clowns" at #1! Thanks for a great article

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