Ann Vole

Building science and BS

There have been a few people and government-funded groups who have made progress in the science of buildings but the actual scientific testing has been minimal. Companies with products to sell and building contractors and manufacturers will do pointed testing to confirm what they already suspect is the case but actual testing for science's sake is rarely the goal. Because my goal is to help poor people renovate old buildings in order to save money, monetary gain is eliminated from the motivation. I have seen a few test rooms people have made for testing walls, windows, doors, etc and they are almost nothing compared to my planned test room. Doing actual science and making videos about it could be my future claim to fame.

Ann Vole

latest idea on wall design for my first deep energy reno

I wanted to make an air barrier around the studs to keep them in the indoor space heat but still wanted to put aircrete (aerated concrete insulation) between the studs. The attachment methods of the insulation to the studs was also a problem to eliminate thermal bridging and expensive hardware like long stainless steel screws (stainless steel conducts heat far less than other metals/alloys... but is rather expensive). One idea was to use paper or similar material as a stress-strength element to hold insulation 90 degrees relative to the wall. My latest idea is as follows: use the more ridged form of mineral wool in a 1 1/2 inch thickness to extend the 2 x 4 studs toward the inside to the 5/7-outside-2/7-inside point in the wall (in terms of R-value) where an air-barrier made of foil or reflective plastic on each side of a 1/2 inch air gap is used as both an air and vapor barrier and a radiant heat barrier. The thin material like paper to do this will extend through the stud area of the wall to also support the insulation on the outside of the studs. Because I want to do the outside later than the inside, the extra span of paper will be hidden between the aircrete and the existing outer sheathing (likely shiplap). The inside edge of this paper-lined piece of stiff mineral wool will have some material that can hold screws like wood or "fake wood" plastic composite material. After installing strength supports to prevent racking between the studs, the stud bays will be filled with aircrete. The remaining volume is filled with normal mineral wool (which has slightly higher R-value per thickness than the stiff mineral wool boards) glued to the stud extensions to hold them in place. The outside layer of reflective gap at the 5/7-2/7 point can be glued to these mineral wool batts. Horizontal furring strips can maintain the gap between the two reflective layers. New paper-wrapped stiff mineral wool "studs" can be attached vertically to these horizontal furring strips through the inside reflective layer. Finally on the inside of these with regular mineral wool between them, an inside surface can be put (vapor open but air-blocking) and a gap for drying and heating the back side of thermal-storage-PCM drywall boards (PCM is Phase Change Materials). T-shaped metal like is used for suspended ceilings can replace studs to attach two layers of this PCM drywall to the ceiling and floors of the room. When doing the outside, fire-rated ridged insulation will be used to extend the studs outward (possibly mineral wool but there are more expensive and more ridged options I might use) and like the inside, regular mineral wool glued on to those extensions. An outside surface is made with inset horizontal furring for a square-opening surface that the outside cladding can slide against. The outside cladding is then hung from the eves and attached to the ground to allow the house to move in an earthquake without damaging the cladding.

Ann Vole

Mixing viral with niche

I have figured out how to get hundreds or thousands of eyes on something using happy animals who appear to be thinking human thoughts (yes, they might actually be thinking the same things but not necessarily). I have also figured out world-changing ideas that would only have a handful of people in the world who would appreciate and act on those ideas. The new goal is to hide those ideas in plain sight but within viral social media content so most people never notice the idea but those who need to see the idea will recognize it and then be able to track down the details by following clues placed in the viral content.

Ann Vole

Morality play

Morality is fine if it is about your own behavior but as soon as it is someone else who you think is immoral, you are using the same plot of every situation where mass killing has occurred. The three-act play plot of the story is as follows: 1) some group of people is declared to be immoral 2) attempts are made to prevent these people from spreading their ideas or practices 3) due to the failure of their attempts to change these people, they feel it is morally acceptable to harm, deport, kill, etc these people. If you think someone is being immoral... you are already an actor in the movie that ends in genocide or the like. I was going to use the Nazis as an example but I think what I wrote is clear enough that I don't have to show that your attempts to control someone else is exactly what the Germans did before or during the Nazi regimen.

Ann Vole

Thermal bridging includes screws

The industry standard for attaching insulation to the outside of a wall is to use screws. Granted, the single point type thermal bridges are less of a problem than things like "girts" but the forces on the screws are greater making non-metal ones difficult to impossible. One option is to make walls that are only held to the building by extending the floor plywood or similarly attached plywood to hold otherwise separate walls for holding the siding or furring strips for the siding. There is something called the "Larson truss" which is basically a less-strong truss by making it out of small pieces of plywood or OSB rather than a continuous piece... it only needs to hold on the siding and maybe the weight of the insulation (but blown-in stuff usually has no incentive to move other than by gravity on the bottom). I want to try and hang a separate wall from the rafters to eliminate all thermal bridging as long as I can glue the insulation to the furring strips or insulated studs like the T-stud brand of new insulated stud company product. Thermal bridging is not the only consideration... I want the additional wall of insulation to move independent to the building so it remains air-tight after an earthquake or foundation shifting or tornado. Cost is also a consideration because those long screws are not cheap.

Ann Vole

New first steps for deep energy retrofit

The most "dangerous" things for trying to keep the air-tight status of your walls is the "penetrations" of the walls and roof for utilities-type things. Typical buildings have the majority of the electrical inside the walls and floors and ceilings... all of that has to go. If you are taking a long time to retrofit and especially if you are living in the building while renovating, you need electricity. You will also appreciate a fully functional bathroom. There are lots of ways to eliminate almost all penetrations by plumbing such as air-entry units that eliminate plumbing stacks. The problem is these things may not be accepted by building inspectors or local building codes or the plumber hired. If you start with the plumbing and electrical as a complete rebuild and have everything inside the expected inside wall surface or air-tight floor and ceiling membranes, you can have everything ready to use during construction and you know all penetrations you cannot avoid as they are already in place. The next step is opening the walls and removing the old obsolete electrical and plumbing which you know for sure is disconnected. Removing potentially dangerous things like asbestos and rodent stuff is also not going to contaminate the insides of your electrical conduit and boxes and the plumbing (because it is all air-tight and new and can be covered as needed). This is my latest plan... setting out conduit and wire chases to install a new electrical system at the point where the new inside non-load-bearing wall will be located eventually. Then I can do the plumbing systems including electrical things that interact with the plumbing (water heaters, pumps, detectors, solar thermal systems). Then finally, the new electrical and thermal heat systems are available for HVAC stuff (but will be under-sized because the walls are not made efficient yet... but something). One last benefit is if you are changing window and door placement prior to air-tight goal efforts, you don't have to worry about existing plumbing and electrical being in the way of changes. Wire chases in baseboards is a good idea as it eliminates a lot of potential air leakage through the wall. Concrete work, if needed, is far easier with running water available.

Ann Vole

Old Facebook repost (bipolar mixed meds)

one website says only three medications treat both bipolar's manic and depressive states. I feel I might need to return to medications but need to keep the dose as low as possible to not mess with my intestinal health as bad intestinal health results in chronic pain problems. The three include lithium which I know works for bipolar but is rather harsh to the intestinal system. The Wikipedia article for the other two are in the comments

Ann Vole

lots of secrets

A lot of things have happened to me this week that can basically be described as government overreach. It is not going to break me but I also don't really want anyone to know about these troubles with government-appointed officials and contracts. Eliminating my goals in life for a few years and just being a boring stay-at-home extremely poor person is the only fate available to me. At least I got back on Facebook for entertainment but I may have to eliminate the internet for saving money. Like a lot of poor people, free internet access at public libraries is the cheap option. Calling the police or fire is going to mean finding someone with a cellphone... or one of those pay-as-you-go "burner" phones that I never use but store beside the fire extinguisher.

Ann Vole

Facebook event horizon

I think I figured out why Facebook is booting me... I have been making events in two Facebook groups for the same event for about two years now... I think two months ago they said one copy was against their standards but refused to show the post then (so I had no clue what post was a problem) then last month they booted me for a whole month due to "spam" about the time I made those events for last month. This month they just marked both the event data and the event image as spam for both groups (and booted me for "suspicious activity"). If this is the case, I am far less leery of doing ANYTHING on Facebook. I reported "something's broken" with "events" and detailed how these events are made in the two groups and marked as spam and if it happens again, our organization will have to make event notifications on a different platform.

Ann Vole

binary trinity of freedoms

In the construction industry (and other industries too) you have the saying "fast, cheap, good... you can only pick two" I think there is a similar choice of three conflicting things in the area of freedom. Freedom is not safe but with laws and rights, we gain some safety in trade for some freedom. But put in the model of a binary trinity we can say "freedom, safety, governance... pick two". Of course you should always strive for getting all three at once but too much safety and you lose something, too much rights and governance and you lose something, too much freedom and something's got to give. I want to give my rodents more freedom but of course their cages are for their safety so I am trying to design a governance system to give them limited freedom with the cost of some safety. One of the key selling points of Islamic states is safety but of course you have no freedom and now some people are protesting the loss of safety (re Iran's accidental plane downing) but something has to give... either they lose the governance and get freedom and safety or they keep the governance and lose more of the scant freedom they have gained lately in favor of safety. I am constantly running into governance messing with my freedom but here in Canada, almost all that governance is in place to give me safety.