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the zero honeycomb | passive house, net zero: framing + taping

Our Net Zero, Passive House, Foam-Free home in New Jersey is taking shape!  The 2×6 framing has been completed and the plywood air barrier installed and taped.  Taping and air sealing the various overhangs and angles has been a challenge, but thanks to the diligence of the owner and Michael Hindle of Passive to Positive, the initial blower door test is set up to be a success!


net zero | passive house, western maryland: coming to a close

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.

the ZERO honeycomb: Passive House, Net Zero

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!

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 2.17.57 PM


Nautiwoods: complete with portfolio pictures

CarMic House on Green Building Advisor

Carri and Michael’s home renovation is being featured as a Guest Blog on Green Building Advisor!

CarMic exterior 3

net zero | passive house, western maryland: sometimes its the little things….

like beautiful garage doors by Clopay to compliment the cedar porch…

garage doors blog

and clean, straight plumbing and condensation lines set against a backdrop of taped SIGA Majpell.



universal design on the gunpowder: slab pour, rumford fireplace, roof framing

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. slab pour

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.

roof and fireplace

universal design on the gunpowder: framing and foam-free

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.

vapor barrier

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.

mineral wool on walls


universal design on the gunpowder : breaking ground

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!

foundation 2

mainstreets: old (new) buildings + events + people

I had the opportunity (and must admit great pleasure) to attend the Preservation Maryland Summer School this past Wednesday at the Frederick Douglass – Isaac Myers Maritime Museum in the heart of
Harbor East.  I must admit, though I love old buildings, I hardly imagined a day-long conference would turn out to be this much fun.  If you’re only thinking old timers,  buildings that have past their prime and in dire need of love and attention, you’re only seeing half of the picture.  Filled with professionals from all over the country, Preservation Maryland is truly opening a new interdisciplinary chapter.  This year’s focus on mainstreet revitalization got in depth on economic development, from fostering local cultural heritage – Berlin MD, Buffalo NY, to event programming as in Capital for a Day in  Brookeville, MD or pop-up shops in Renaissance Covington, KY.  And how does larger scale, mainstreet urban re-development directly relate to our special interest in residential architecture or even be considered interdisciplinary in nature?  The goal, and happily to say, success of Preservation Maryland, the National Trust along with Preservation Green Lab as well as the Maryland Historical Trust is engaging many disciplines from urban planning, architecture, preservation, business development, history and culture, sustainability, arts and tourism and many many more to underline the importance of cross-pollination.  Understanding these as nutrients for a healthy organism, one begins to see architecture and old buildings as a tapestry of social sustainability – with an overarching goal for engaging spaces, events, buildings…ultimately people.
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contact us · F · best of houzz houzz 2017
8333 main street, 2nd floor · ellicott city, md 21043
410.313.8310 baltimore