air sealing (13)
Baltimore County Landmarks List (2)
bifold doors (1)
blower door (3)
bMORE resilient (2)
cedar gable louver (2)
cedar porch (3)
cellulose insulation (3)
ECOhistoric renovation (13)
foam free insulation (7)
foam-free foundation (14)
green materials (79)
historic preservation (2)
tax credits (2)
holistic home (80)
home improvement (80)
insulated headers (1)
Land Easement (2)
living building (17)
Maryland Historical Trust (2)
National Register of Historic Places (2)
net zero (24)
passive house (28)
passive house windows (4)
perlite foundation (1)
plywood window box (6)
preservation + design (92)
rumford fireplace (1)
the zero honeycomb (2)
TJI cavity (4)
TJI insulation cavity (3)
universal design on the gunpowder (4)
vapor barrier (9)
ventilation cavity (3)
weather resistant barrier (3)
window installation (3)
posted on February 22, 2017 by lili
Our Smithouse contractors are working diligently to remove part of the original stone walls on the interior of the historic farmhouse to open up to a larger family / living area. When it comes to 200-year (ahem -pound) granite, heavy-lifting is morning routine. Are you bootcamp ready?
posted on January 2, 2017 by carri beer
We are thrilled at the success and completion of our first Foam-Free, (near) Net Zero, Passive House in Western Maryland. The home is currently in the final stages of testing and certification and interior finishing. It has been an educational process with material usage, system selection and install, air sealing and insulation, window install and team collaboration.
The views and placement of the house are extraordinary and achieve the homeowner’s goal of a comfortable, accessible, high performance home designed to view the meadow, marsh and forest.
For more photos of the final walk-thru, visit the project page.
posted on May 26, 2016 by carri beer
We are helping to realize a sculptor’s design of the Honeycomb House. The project is designed to meet Passive House Standards, be Net Zero Ready and will be completely FOAM-FREE. It is a pleasure and a challenge to be part of this creative venture with Michael Hindle of Passive to Positive and Daniel Gantebein, sculptor!
We are thrilled that this project is now under construction. The owner is serving as general contractor and has overseen the successful initial pour of the basement wall!
As well as the install of our foam-free foundation using perlite under the slab.
The StegoWrap vapor barrier was used and the slab was poured.
Given that this was our foundation plan, I’d say so far, so good!
posted on March 2, 2016 by carri beer
Carri and Michael’s home renovation is being featured as a Guest Blog on Green Building Advisor!
posted on December 16, 2015 by carri beer
Upon the arrival of the Roxul mineral wool insulation for sub slab, the contractor relaid the Stego vapor barrier (taped to edges at perimeter). This delay actually may have been a good thing, as the mineral wool was protected from the elements and heavy foot traffic and slab was able to be immediately poured.
The framing of the second floor and roof are nearing completion. We are using 2×6 structural walls with 3/4″ plywood sheathing, all edges and corners taped and sealed. The headers above each opening are two TJIs with Roxul mineral wool sandwiched between them – we have insulated headers! The lead carpenter did not find it to be time consuming or of any issue, but rather thought it was pretty cool and a no-brainer.
The fireplace is a Rumford fireplace, the most efficient design in providing warmth to a space.
posted on September 28, 2015 by carri beer
The construction for the addition and renovation to our Gunpowder project is moving along quickly. Because the under slab Roxul mineral wool was a little difficult to source and had a longer lead time, our contractor got creative and “pre-installed” the StegoWrap vapor barrier to wrap under the sill plate. We will go back and cut out the barrier to install slab insulation, tape back in the vapor barrier and pour the slab.
Framing is 2×6 walls with 3/4″ plywood sheathing, fully taped to provide our primary air barrier. We are then installing 1-1/2″ of Roxul mineral wool, Tyvek and then furring strips. This has been a terrific learning experience as we work with the contractor and project lead to find economical, smart ways to create a foam-free, well-sealed healthy envelope.
posted on August 20, 2015 by carri beer
We are so excited to be breaking ground on this project. It has been a long time in the making and through perseverance and the dedication of the owner, we are moving forward! We have really enjoyed working on this project and look forward to seeing it through construction. Hayes Construction is the contractor and will be working closely with us to create this custom addition and renovation. We are so excited that this will be our second FOAM-FREE project!