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  1. #14
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    In other words, should the home be able to cool to 72 degrees, 76 degrees, etc?
    Normal design temps are 75* ( 50% humidity) summer, 70* winter. Have you installed all your privacy window shading/blinds?
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  2. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimj View Post
    Normal design temps are 75* ( 50% humidity) summer, 70* winter. Have you installed all your privacy window shading/blinds?

    Ok when the system is correctly sized, installed, etc. it should be able to reach a temperature of 75 degrees if exterior temp is approx 100? Sounds reasonable and what we are achieving in all other areas of the home. The area of concern has windows (wall of 8ft tall x 18 ft wide ) but they do not have coverings. There is no direct sun because the large patio is covering/shading. There are several 2x1.5 ft windows at the top of the room that are not covered for aesthetic reasons. They are a dual paned (very thick glass) but not tinted, covered etc. The rest of the home has window coverings.

  3. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAVE View Post
    This is what we've been concerned about all along. There is no shortage of shoddy contractors out here. We assumed because our builder usually builds multi million dollar homes our smaller home would be an "easy build". The cubic footage of this home is probably far from customary for a 5000 sq ft home. Some bedrooms reach 16 ft high in addition to attic space above. Most hallways are 10-12 ft high and formal areas reach 18-26 ft.

    Merely a comment, but can someone in the architectural world, design world, or builder world please tell me why a single story house in far south Texas really needs ceilings that peak at 26 feet??

    The scant info I found online about Contec wall systems show a minimum thickness of 4".
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  4. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAVE View Post
    Ok when the system is correctly sized, installed, etc. it should be able to reach a temperature of 75 degrees if exterior temp is approx 100? Sounds reasonable and what we are achieving in all other areas of the home. The area of concern has windows (wall of 8ft tall x 18 ft wide ) but they do not have coverings. There is no direct sun because the large patio is covering/shading. There are several 2x1.5 ft windows at the top of the room that are not covered for aesthetic reasons. They are a dual paned (very thick glass) but not tinted, covered etc. The rest of the home has window coverings.
    When doing a Manual J the designer would figure blinds/ window covering for 8' x 18' windows for privacy purposes ( unless told differently by the GC or owner), but would not for the 2' x 1.5' as they are for daylight lighting. You may have great overhangs/ patio's but even GREAT windows are not walls.
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  5. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shophound View Post
    Merely a comment, but can someone in the architectural world, design world, or builder world please tell me why a single story house in far south Texas really needs ceilings that peak at 26 feet??

    The scant info I found online about Contec wall systems show a minimum thickness of 4".
    To give HVAC contractors headaches! LOL
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  6. #19
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    Nov 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shophound View Post
    Merely a comment, but can someone in the architectural world, design world, or builder world please tell me why a single story house in far south Texas really needs ceilings that peak at 26 feet??

    The scant info I found online about Contec wall systems show a minimum thickness of 4".
    2" must be a Special design.

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  7. #20
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    Oct 2002
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    Lot of laten heat from drywall, paint etc.. May change alot after you 100% finished and humidity stablizes. AC first spend energy removing humidity then gets to work dropping temperature.

    Remember,high ceiling do not require more AC. It is the sq. ft. of the walls and roof, not the volume.

  8. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shophound View Post
    Merely a comment, but can someone in the architectural world, design world, or builder world please tell me why a single story house in far south Texas really needs ceilings that peak at 26 feet??

    The scant info I found online about Contec wall systems show a minimum thickness of 4".
    Because it makes a home appear very impressive wthout dramatically increasing construction costs. Taller walls, but the same roof area. The roof and roof joists drive construciotn costs. that's why you don;t see deep overhangs anymore on home, since we all have AC. Who needs natural shading when you have AC?


    With high ceilings, sometiems it's best to take advantage of it and let hte how air stratify up there and locate supply registers near the ground level. Then use ceiling fans in winter ot push that warm air down.

    Older homes frequently had high ceilings SPECIFICALLY to address comfort in the summer by allowing hot air to hang at hte ceiling. You then had very tall double hung windows where you vented how air out hte top sash, and allowed convection to drive cool air in the lower sash. Rooms were divided and not open concept, walls and floors ahd a lot of mass and that all inhibits convection between floors. When open cencept was popularized by Frank Lloyd Wright, you'll notice that ALL of his homes are single story, but use naturla stone or brick facades, and very, very, very deep overhangs for natural shading and usually had plenty of trees and shade. His homes cooled very well and gave an open connected sense to the outdoors while still allowing privacy with a shaded facade. Middle class Foursquare craftsman homes usually had dormers to vent how ait out of the upper floor.


    I'm wondering if the solar heat gain was not correctly calculated on this home. Either that, or the air leaksage and insulation value was overestimated. I'm not sure how well manual J factors in the sun baking a composite low mass wall assembly and heat soaking it. Those tall walls means that shading is minimal at all times of the day on those walls.

  9. #22
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    That Contec is some sort of prefab tongue and groove hallow steel wall panel. Depending on the cladding, it could end up having pretty highly conductive thermal properties. It looks liek it's intended for commerical and industrial use. I think we're used a version of these with foam core insulation for building siding/cladding/wall assemblies on industrial buildings. I'd guess that the 3" thick panels we have are about R4 at best. You normally fasten these to structural steel. They are not structural assemblies.

  10. #23
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    I just reread the first post. A home this sizewith stucco and open cell foam, should have pretty ow heat gain. The roof and windows must be dirivng the heat gain. It's a low mass structure and thsoe tall ceilings are makign hte home act more similarly to a nearly 8-10,000 sqft structure. However, with the R value that you should have, 11 tosn of cooling should be plenty. It does sound like the large area (which tends to have the highest internal heat loads ofrm cooking, appliances, occupancy, lights, is causign the issue.

    Where is the equipment and ductwork located? Attic space?

  11. #24
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    Mar 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by motoguy128 View Post
    I just reread the first post. A home this sizewith stucco and open cell foam, should have pretty ow heat gain. The roof and windows must be dirivng the heat gain. It's a low mass structure and thsoe tall ceilings are makign hte home act more similarly to a nearly 8-10,000 sqft structure. However, with the R value that you should have, 11 tosn of cooling should be plenty. It does sound like the large area (which tends to have the highest internal heat loads ofrm cooking, appliances, occupancy, lights, is causign the issue.

    Where is the equipment and ductwork located? Attic space?

    When the house was designed we specified the equipment to be housed inside the home (not attic space). Each unit has a closet. The doors were fitted with 25x30 wood louvered grilles that were built with more spacing than traditional metal grilles. However, the large room does not have a return in it (as mentioned previously it is around the corner in the hallway).

  12. #25
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    Mar 2012
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    The block is basically a cement panel that is attached over the framing, foam sheets (not sure what they are called) and barrier. This is instead of the typical design of framing and mesh used here. The block isn't for structural stability.

  13. #26
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    Too bad tha block isn't inside the insulated space of the home so you gain that thermal mass. I personally would have put insulation on the exterior of the block, then the stucco. But getting wire mesh attached to the block kthrough foam board to hold the stucco is tricky. Then just leave an air gap and then drywall. But this isn't a common construction method.

    Honestly, given the wall construction, I'm a little confused as to why your having issues. On paper, I would think that would be plenty of cooling if not oversized.

    You might want to look at a getting someone in with a IR camera to verify the wall insulation and compare different parts of the home. Basically an energy audit.

    Another question... do you have one of thsoe GIANT vent hoods in the kitchen that are popular now? When running, those can add over 2 tons of cooling capacity on a 90F humid day. However, your system should have caught up overnight.

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