It was an interesting day.
Exhausting, but interesting. It was a day where words were tossed around, words with deep meaning, words that lead one down a road where there is no turning back.
Academic tomfoolery. Ballyhoo. Cries of mutiny!
Fortunately, I was able to leave work early - at 3 pm I needed to meet with the prospective HVAC consultant on the house. Yes, I find it hard to believe too, but my silly little house-on-paper has an HVAC consultant.
This was the first time this guy had come out to 'the site'. He is pushing - and I mean pushing - geothermal, so a ground source for heating and cooling. He is also beyond fond of a certain type of insulation, Icynene, which I've got to admit seems too good to be true. (Can one fall in love, deeply, with insulation?). Here is a bit about the product from the Icynene website:
Icynene®, the leading soft foam insulation and air barrier system, is becoming the industry standard for providing maximum building envelope performance. Icynene's pour and spray formulations represent a breakthrough in the science of moisture and thermal management.
Icynene® is the leading 100% water-blown foam insulation that minimizes air leakage for increased energy efficiency, creates a healthier indoor environment, reduces airborne sounds and offers greater design freedom. Icynene® maintains its performance with no loss of R-value over time. It does not shrink, sag or settle. Icynene® adheres to most construction materials and is the perfect insulation for walls, attics, ceilings and floors.Spray Formula
Applied as a liquid, Icynene® expands to 100 times its volume in seconds to fill every crack and crevice while remaining flexible so that the integrity of the building envelope seal remains intact over time. Icynene's spray formula has an R-value of 3.6 per inch. It acts as a complete insulation and air barrier to minimize air leakage and seal the building envelope for optimal airtightness.
Now, I'm not advertising for this stuff - but everything that I have read really does suggest it is the way to go. My HVAC guy says that if you are considering energy efficiency - that this product is probably the #1 thing you can do to help yourself out. Plus, in our humid climate, it handles moisture better than other products of it's kind. As is generally the case, it's expensive - quite a bit more than the average insulation. So - as is the case with everything now - it's weighing the advantages with the cost and the house's overall budget and aesthetic.
I swear - one day there will be a house. And it's likely that I will know way more about it than I ever dreamed I would.
What does all of this really mean?
It means that I was home early, with plenty of light, and had time to wander the garden with the new wild dog and Stan - time to inspect the beds for signs of life, tiny movements, growth - and I found myself spending quite a bit of time staring at the buds of the star magnolia - Magnolia stellata - somehow thinking that if I stared hard enough, and long enough, that perhaps the buds would start to swell, and that perhaps the white petals of the flowers would start to emerge. Well, as you might have guessed, they didn't. So I came inside, and baked a cake for my favorite 87 year-old camellia gardener, who I hope to sneak away and visit tomorrow. But tonight, as cool winds that are blowing across the midwest finally reach us here along the coast - a gale builds - and behind these winds are warm days.
There is no mutiny in the garden. There is never a need there for such foolishness. I'm glad that the garden is not real life.