This post is Part 4 of a 4-part series on the Not So Big Bungalow. If you haven’t already read the previous installments, Part 1 — Introduction, Part 2 — Main Level, and Part 3 — Upper Level, I would recommend doing so first, before reading below.
The Not So Big Bungalow’s foundation, walls, and roof are made using an innovative panelization system called SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels), which makes it super energy efficient, and extra quiet on the inside, and even a Zero Energy Home if desired.
I’ve designed many of my homes to be built with SIPs. They allow construction to happen much faster than is typical, and are a superior construction system to the standard stud frame construction that most houses are built with, both in terms of energy efficiency and structural integrity. If you want to weather a hurricane, for example, this is the system to use. And if you are looking for a way to make the interior of your home super quiet, SIPs will amaze you.
Simply put, a Zero Energy Home (ZEH) is a home that produces as much energy as it consumes. Some of the benefits of the ZEH approach are zero energy bills, low carbon emissions, increased home value, and improved health and comfort, not to mention easing the burden on an increasingly overloaded planet.
SIPs have a very high insulation value, and when installed properly, provide lower air infiltration rates than any mainstream building system. It is the tightness of these homes that results in very low energy consumption. A key ingredient is controlled ventilation, using an ERV (a type of air-to-air heat exchanger referred to as Energy Recovery Ventilation), which results in high indoor air quality (IAQ). At the core of the Zero Energy approach to home design is the desire to provide a safe, healthy, and extremely quiet interior environment.
These features also positively affect the value of the home, as mortgage lenders will often take the reduced operating costs into account when calculating mortgage applications.
Michael Morley—friend, colleague, fellow author, and an expert in Structural Insulated Panel (SIPs) construction methods—worked with me to create The Not So Big Bungalow SIPs Kit, which contains all the components to construct the thermal/structural shell of this home, except for doors and windows. (For a complete list of materials, see the Not So Big Bungalow SIPs Kit Materials and Estimate.)
The benefits of this approach to the construction process are significant. The building shell can be completed in just a few days, which keeps the interior protected from the elements, and thus dry and weather-tight throughout the building process. The air and moisture details included in the kit give the house outstanding durability, with low to zero operating costs, and very low maintenance costs.
The Not So Big Bungalow is a model for the way that cutting edge houses are now being built, with high quality materials, a highly insulated thermal envelope, and construction techniques that minimize long term operating costs.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of the Not So Big Bungalow. Perhaps if enough people start asking for houses with more character, we will see more Not So Big Bungalows being built. I know the demand is there for smaller, better-designed homes. We just have to change our notion of what a house includes. That’s why the subtitle of The Not So Big House is “a blueprint for the way we really live.”
The house plans for the Not So Big Bungalow are highly detailed, and delineate all the “Not So Big” features and characteristics that I explain in my books. The SIPs kit provides all the parts required to create the structural and thermal building envelope (all the parts that make the building stand up and keep the inside insulated from the outside), except for the doors and windows.
Although the plans and kit are sold separately, both are needed in order to build the house. Click on the separate links below for more details, and for ordering information.
300-101 400-101 300-320 300-070 300-206 200-310 300-135 300-208 810-403 400-050 640-916 642-997 300-209 400-201 200-355 352-001 642-999 350-080 MB2-712 400-051 C2150-606 1Z0-434 1Z0-146 C2090-919 C9560-655 642-64 100-101 CQE CSSLP 200-125 210-060 210-065 210-260 220-801 220-802 220-901 220-902 2V0-620 2V0-621 2V0-621D 300-075 300-115 AWS-SYSOPS 640-692 640-911 1Z0-144 1z0-434 1Z0-803 1Z0-804 000-089 000-105 70-246 70-270 70-346 70-347 70-410