Friday, October 23, 2009
CHINOOK IS HEATING UP
Earlier on in August crews came in to install our in-floor radiant heating system. This type of heating involves laying a series of pipes within the floor - in our case a poured concrete slab - in which pre heated water is pumped through to warm the floor. There are no hot spots when heating this way. The floor is warmed and this warmth "radiates" throughout the building for a comfortable even heat. The concrete slab becomes warm and toasty just like a rock heated by the sun. Although the Chinook will take longer to get up to the right temperature, once stabilized, it will hold the heat for longer than most other buildings. The thick straw walls will insulate to almost R50 so it is a very efficient structure. We are still trying to figure out what the energy will be to drive the system; we are considering solar thermal and solar photovoltaic as possibilities.
Once the concrete floor was poured it was troweled to a smooth and even finish. Next were the floor polishers. It took about 5 days on slow, tedious grinding to get the finish we wanted. The grinding machines ended up taking about .25" of material off of the slab, exposing the beautiful array of aggregate within the concrete. Staring with diamond bits of about 30 grit, the finish grind used diamond polishers of about 3000 grit. The final product was amazing. Just like a marble slab where you almost see your reflection.