I recently bought a house and got some great advice from this group on sizing a new heat pump for it. My current house is a transitional home until I can complete the design and construction of my "dream" home. I want to be smart in designing my dream home to be energy efficient. Learning about heat/cool loads and Manual J calculations has made me realize they can be useful in making design decisions for my dream house.
I am considering technologies such as SIPS which almost eliminate thermal bridges.
So the overall wall performance of a SIP with R24 insulation is close to R24. This contrasts with say a 2x6 wall with R19 batts that because of bridging may only yield R13. I assume manual J takes into consideration this overall performance when it provides information walls like a 2x6 wall with R-19 batts.
I also am deciding whether or not to have a flat ceiling over my living room (with an uninsulated air space between the roof and the ceiling) or a cathedral ceiling (made with traditional framing or maybe an R40 SIP).
I am wondering if I should spend the approximate $150 to buy Manual J so I can determine how these and other options effect heat/cool loads.
1. Does Manual J provide information on new construction techniques like SIPS and ICFs?
2. As a layman of hopefully at least average intelligence but with NO background in HVAC, will I be able to understand the information in Manual J so I can apply it?