Please comment on which design is more thermally efficient. They are roughly the same. The apt is 2' shorter on the out (left) as space is not need for stairs.

It is a cooler climate with 70" of rainfall and 16" of snow fall a year. Temperature lows in the 20's and highs in the 70's (Fahrenheit). Concrete, WA.

I know 3 vehicles and worry about thermal efficient is kind of odd. I am more building for resale. I want some land but only need 1 bedroom. This happens to be a 2 bedroom as it ended up with that to fit an RV (with the roof design).

Electricity is relatively cheap. No gas to the property but can have truck delivered propane (propane furnace is an option).

Solar is not very effective as less than 1/2 the days have sun.

I have 2 dogs - they kick off some heat.

With the layout a small fireplace or pellet stove is not really an option. I would need to give up one (small) bedroom.

To the left is south. Windows into the shop are not an option on that side. On the north side windows are an option. With the out (left) design south facing windows are an option. I could flip the plan but I want the patio to have the southern exposure.

I assume the up (right) apartment is more efficient.

I don't think I need to insulate the shop. Surface area of apt is about the same with either design. My thought is sitting on a slab is a colder than suspended.

What are your thoughts on which is more efficient and how to maximize efficiency?

Also about overall energy efficiency, including the embodied energy of the building materials too?

There was a question on cost. Slab and roof are relatively expensive so that should be less. There is cost to support beams to elevate the apt and there is a cost to build in the flooring. From what I have read 2 story is cheaper. Slab alone is about a $4000 difference. Roof is about the same difference. So even it it cost $4000 to suspend the apt the two story is less.

apt shop out or up

  • Do you have any idea of the cost difference between the two? If, for instance, one is significantly cheaper than the other, you could use the savings to purchase more insulation, better windows, etc. – LShaver May 15 '18 at 20:45
  • I do not have bids but from every thing I have read the up will be less money. Slab and roof are relatively expensive. Some people may not like stairs but I call it a wash. Little better view from up. And I don't want it to overpower a main house. – paparazzo May 15 '18 at 21:03
  • Calculate the overall surface of the building. Assuming the same transmission of energy per sqft obviously the building with smaller surface is better. And as LShaver wrote, less area means less investment which could be used to make insulation of the remaining surface even better. Take care on the windows and doors. The let go a lot of energy. – Salt May 15 '18 at 21:03
  • @Salt I will add in the window. I think a total of 4 4x4. – paparazzo May 15 '18 at 21:05

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