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Need Advice on New 10,000 sq foot construction home including full radiant, AC, controls, automation

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KDD
KDD Member Posts: 3
Hello all,

Have been lurking and following for many months. Just started my 10,000 sq foot dream home construction on Long Island. Allready have warmboard subfloor laid down on entire 1st and second floor. Plan on doing tubing in the basement slab when it is poured. House has natural gas. Have a number of questions:

Do you think backup heat source will be needed?
Does anyone know of thermostat options that integrate with entire home automation systems or cell phone controls to control different zones, temperatures etc?
What would you guys do in terms of AC? Conventional system, unico, other?
Should I have more than one boiler (for radiant and for house supply) or one is enough?
Basically looking for any and all advice on what you guys would do with any of these things at this point if you had your choice? No plumbing, HVAC, electrical has been put in yet.
Any advice on incorporating driveway snowmelt into this? Would it be separate?

Thanks any advice appreicated.
KDD

Comments

  • the_donut
    the_donut Member Posts: 374
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    Guys will disagree with me on this I am sure, but I am not a fan of burying things. Makes it much harder to repair when the inevitable leaks come. I prefer radiators and lines I can see, modify and service when I need to.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,635
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    May I humbly suggest that unless you yourself are an architect or similar, you clearly have the funds available to do this right -- and want to. In which case, I personally think the best possible thing to do would be to find the best (probably nowhere near the cheapest) heating firm you can, and have them work with you on this. Yes, it will cost. It will be a small fraction of the overall cost, and assuming you find someone really truly competent it will pay you back in terms of decades of comfortable, trouble free heating and cooling.

    Try "Find a Contractor" on this site for starters.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Solid_Fuel_ManSuperJRich_49delta T
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
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    what Jamie said (but I'd do redundant boilers if it were me..)
    kcopp
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,736
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    What Jamie said. You need a guy to service all this stuff right? You can not expect to get a good guy down the road if you dyi this job. The more funds you take out of the hands of the pros, the more you will need to hope the system runs flawlessly for the rest of time .

    Anyhow, why install a backup? If you’re doing ac you could maybe do heat pumps Incase the boiler takes a nap. Heat pumps will not keep you fully warmed up but it’s not huge added costs above the ac units.

    You could even put electric heaters in the ducts (air handlers) as a back up too. Cheap insurance. Your electric meter may spin off its axis but so what

    I might suggest 2 boilers, some lead lag control. Maybe each boiler designed to do 80% or so.

    Don’t do a knuckle head radiant control system for goodness sakes

    Good luck, seems like a nice project
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    gary@wilsonph.com
    Rich_49
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
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    2 boilers like @GW said, plus a whole house generator.
    I almost completely remodeled my split level.
    The 2 floors on the right
    -level 4-MBR, MBath, WIC, gym, laundry
    -level 2-3BR, Bath
    all have radiant heat-Boiler, oil fired w/indirect.
    The 2 levels on the left (not fully gutted) have baseboard.
    The upper 2 levels have AC, heat pump and Heat strips-Never used Heat pump for heat, or the heat strips
    The lower 2 levels have a separate AC system, set up the same.
    Plus a gas fireplace.
    And just added a whole house gen, which has been humming along nicely since 7pm last night.
    So...lot's of back up & peace of mind.

    I am a bit concerned that your laying tubing and warmboard, but don't have a complete design. I would suggest getting that done before you get much farther.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • GroundUp
    GroundUp Member Posts: 1,955
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    I would agree with the above, and will add that driveway snowmelt can easily be incorporated. Keep in mind that snowmelt takes a HUGE amount of BTU. Depending on the area you want to melt (assuming the whole driveway?) you will likely want to add a third boiler solely for the snowmelt. I usually count on a minimum of 100 BTU per sq ft, so a driveway with any size to it will have a huge pull on a system also trying to heat 10,000 sq ft of house. With modulating boilers nowadays it can be done on one boiler, but I sure wouldn't take the chance
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,829
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    You don't need a contractor yet. Hire an engineer.
    Rich_49Brewbeer
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,736
    edited March 2018
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    Also, I laid my radiant board after Sheetrockers were done. I don’t know why you decided to lay panels at this time, and you sure don’t want tubing getting marched on by every tradesman under the sun.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    gary@wilsonph.com
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,736
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    Ac....Unico once dominated. I’ve done many systems in the 2000s. It’s rare you’ll find a pro ac and boiler radiant guy but they sure do exist. Of course you’ll find people that will do an ok job at both.

    Geothermal is the most elaborate. Next is mini split (ducted or non ducted), tradition duct is next, Unico last, my general opinion. Many contractors can really do a ho-hum job. Few can make this top shelf
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    gary@wilsonph.com
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,261
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    What kind of home automation system are you looking for? I might suggest thermostats are compatible with multiple web platforms such as IFTTT if you want to integrate and control the whole house from one mobile ready site. There are other thermostats that provide better comfort control for radiant, but they would be accessed from a proprietary web module and not readily actuated by any other commands from your smart house control.

    For snowmelt, you would likely be best served with a dedicated boiler.

    Is the current Warmboard installed based on a design from Warmboard? If so, you may want to get a designer or engineer involved immediately to review the design and make sure you will get the results you are looking for. Talking from experience.

    If you want the best in comfort, you will want to integrate and air system with the radiant to provide AC, humidity control in the summer and winter and to provide air exchange to maintain a healthy environment.
    Rich_49
  • SuperJ
    SuperJ Member Posts: 609
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    You need a properly engineered design to make everything work properly. It’s more than a sum or quality parts (like your warmboard). You need a design to figure out number of circuits, layout pattern, spacing, lengths and temperatures and pumping requirements. Don’t just start throwing tubing in your floor hoping to figure it out later.

    Don’t skimp on insulation for the basement slab underneath and perimeter and put double what you think you need. And watch your contractors like a hawk when it comes to anything slab heating related. Only one chance to get it right.

    Be careful with the controls interface. A lot of cell phone or iPad type control systems go obsolete and unsupported pretty quickly. And a lot of really solid high quality controls don’t necessarily have a fancy iPhone app, don’t let that dissuade you.

    With 10k sqft I would consider a pair of smaller boilers. I’m a big advocate for designing for low water temps (110-120f max)for future flexibility. (Maybe one day you’ll have a geothermal or air source water to water heat pump.) Most of the year your heating load is quite low so being able to modulate down to around 5-15kbtu is a great idea, but isn’t as necessary if you have a decent buffer tank or a high mass low head boiler (like the Viessmann Vitocrossal). Again it comes down to a solid design.
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,766
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    the_donut said:

    Guys will disagree with me on this I am sure, but I am not a fan of burying things. Makes it much harder to repair when the inevitable leaks come. I prefer radiators and lines I can see, modify and service when I need to.

    I don't disagree with you whole heartedly . However , that being said , this individual wants radiant .
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,766
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    You don't need a contractor yet. Hire an engineer.

    Not knocking all engineers but when it comes to designing this stuff most are sorely lacking the knowledge of what happens in the real world on the physical side of these systems . He'd be batter off with a very savvy contractor designing the system . He'd save money also in RFIs , change orders to the engineer when someone liek me starts picking the engineer's design apart . Just sayin
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
    Mark Eatherton
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,766
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    GW said:

    Also, I laid my radiant board after Sheetrockers were done. I don’t know why you decided to lay panels at this time, and you sure don’t want tubing getting marched on by every tradesman under the sun.

    Warmboard S ( structural ) is the subfllor and should be laid down as the deck . If you were gonna do it afterwards , Warmboard R should have been used ( a bit less expensive ) . At that point there are other better options than either WB product in my opinion .
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,658
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    I've done many large homes and would recommend a radiant specific heat loss that makes it easy to balance manifolds and get a handle on supply temperatures required. I'm a fan of Viessmann boilers and indirect water tanks. I design for continuous circulation and avoid thermostats in every room, and use them sparingly. Viessmann makes a link system (Vitocom100) that allows internet connection and iPhone link. Snowmelt usually uses a separate boiler, depending on load requirements.
    Finding a competent system designer or mechanical engineer with radiant experience is paramount.
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,766
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    Look up and see if anyone in your area is aquainted with Climate Automation systems for your interfacing needs .

    Your home , dependent upon building envelope will quite probably require less than 200,000 BTuh at design . That's also plenty to make DHW . The design load for the Monster in the attached picture is 194,000 BTUh .

    Did you pay Warmboard for a design ? If you'd like , give me a call to discuss .
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • KDD
    KDD Member Posts: 3
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    GW said:

    What Jamie said. You need a guy to service all this stuff right? You can not expect to get a good guy down the road if you dyi this job. The more funds you take out of the hands of the pros, the more you will need to hope the system runs flawlessly for the rest of time .



    Anyhow, why install a backup? If you’re doing ac you could maybe do heat pumps Incase the boiler takes a nap. Heat pumps will not keep you fully warmed up but it’s not huge added costs above the ac units.



    You could even put electric heaters in the ducts (air handlers) as a back up too. Cheap insurance. Your electric meter may spin off its axis but so what



    I might suggest 2 boilers, some lead lag control. Maybe each boiler designed to do 80% or so.



    Don’t do a knuckle head radiant control system for goodness sakes



    Good luck, seems like a nice project

    May I kindly ask what a 'knuckle head' radiant control system is?
    Rich_49
  • KDD
    KDD Member Posts: 3
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    What kind of home automation system are you looking for? I might suggest thermostats are compatible with multiple web platforms such as IFTTT if you want to integrate and control the whole house from one mobile ready site. There are other thermostats that provide better comfort control for radiant, but they would be accessed from a proprietary web module and not readily actuated by any other commands from your smart house control.



    For snowmelt, you would likely be best served with a dedicated boiler.



    Is the current Warmboard installed based on a design from Warmboard? If so, you may want to get a designer or engineer involved immediately to review the design and make sure you will get the results you are looking for. Talking from experience.



    If you want the best in comfort, you will want to integrate and air system with the radiant to provide AC, humidity control in the summer and winter and to provide air exchange to maintain a healthy environment.

    In terms of home automation, really looking for a way to wirelessly (from mobile device) control thermostats. While I know that many AC system thermostats incorporate into home automation systems, I have not heard of radiant heat thermostats that do. I wish there was a way to incorprate radiant heat and AC control into a single thermostat (for diff zones of couese) that also integrate into home control

    For the main 1st and 2nd floor, yes warmboard did a design and layout and there is warmboard-s structural subfloor in those areas. For the garage, and basement we are going to lay tubes in the mudjob and there is no design done. Can you tell me about your experience? Is warmboard design a bad one?

    Your last paragraph says incorporating air with radiant to provide AC, humidity and air exchange. How?
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
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    KDD,

    You'd be money ahead to hire a qualified designer, like Rich, to finish your design. There is a LOT of critical work that needs to be completed, and soon.

    WarmBoard is a fine product. I'd like to caution you now, that although you WILL be more comfortable than any other system available,but if the home is super insulated, the floors will never really be "warm" to the touch. I agree with the premise recommending the use of ENV Control, from Climate Automation Systems. They have the ability to control E V E R Y T H I N G. If you can imagine it, they can write the syntax to control it.

    I also agree with the recommendation to separate the SIM system from the space heating/DHW system.

    As for cooling, depending up the loads, the floors could be used for base loading the cooling system. This will require keeping the home positively pressurized, and will require dehumidifcation to control the dew point. Otherwise, Hi Velocity cooling can work, but struggles trying to handle the Latent loads, which are high on the coast.

    ME

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

    Rich_49Harvey Ramer