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Air Seal Cost

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  • Air Seal Cost

    I'm trying to figure out the cost difference in material and labor between air sealing a monolithic concrete enveloped compared to getting the same (ACH whatever the value of) a layered stick build (osb, drywall, etc). The concrete perhaps ICF or conventional should be lower.

    I'd like to hear from anyone that has air sealed both. Concrete vs stick, especially a concrete roof that is monolithic to walls.

    If you can give me a rom material cost and man hours per square foot I'll factor my local labor rate that be great! Assume penetrations are the same.

    Gracias amigo's....
    Last edited by CASHCOW; 08-21-2014, 08:13 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Air Seal Cost

    In general terms, you can get every bit as tight with conventional construction and much more cost effectively that concrete or ICF.
    "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

    Sir Frances Drake


    • #3
      Re: Air Seal Cost

      That makes no sense to me when comparing a high strength cast in place portland cement that bonds to practically everything in it's path especially sharp objects with nothing to seal after cast except penetrations vs a weaker bond line sealant to every stud/osb gap to begin with, then another check at drywall, etc....I read the stick builders are doing several blower door test to get low ACH.....I do not understand the need to spend more than one check on a 4" thick ICF wall bonded to foam penetrations installed....but what do I know since I have never done it. No difference or less to build with layered non-cement products vs monolithic cement products especially bonded in a SIP or sandwich assemble is hard to believe.

      I'm not getting any consistent answers and very few from three different sites. Here is one below from a CT resident pro...he makes no sense either to me since how can someone screw up the air seal pouring high strength concrete vs layers of stick building.....what materials do you use to air seal 4-6" concrete walls? What is there to air seal that happen when it was poured, especially with low perm foam bonded to it.

      Rumor has it mass cost more, seems like there are some benefits to mass that are very difficult to put cost comparisons to. My mass design is about equal or less than our local mainstream stick build, with a much better product. This is just one I am struggle to place value on, it may not be one at all, seems like it is. Perhaps subjective, I wish I could find data on the two with actual logged and tracked hours for the same design. Notice he did say stick cost less.....


      "Cost difference is none to hundreds of dollars - it all depends on who built it, how well, etc... most builders easily hit an ACH of 5 - 7 without trying & 3 or less by following the checklist required by the 09/12 codes (case of caulk & a can of foam or two...)

      Ahh ICF's - sure they should be less but it all depends on the door bucks & sealing around all the other penetrations - still takes time & effort to do the job right & oh about the same materials required above."

      Interesting my ACH told me a rumor that our mainstream here rarely do blower door test and the ones he has seen struggled getting below 20, bunch of ding dongs I guess lol. Unless he did know what he is talking about this should be a walk in the park beating competition around here. Most around here never heard the term passivhaus. Very few ICF or mass builds to compare.

      The next one is more of a GC question # of trades managed which we know is HUGE! Mass envelope 1-3 depending, stick double at least. It will be difficult to quantify too since it depends how many homes are being built at a time, how good the subs are in each trade, level of skill required (mine is low), etc. I don't think anyone can debate less is more in general when it comes to managing trades, well beside the ones that will debate common sense or logic :)

      Thanks for the response Ted.
      Last edited by CASHCOW; 08-22-2014, 06:45 AM.