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Featured on HOUZZ: Ways to Modernize your Kitchen

4. Swap old counter tops with eco-friendly ones
If you plan to install an island or replace the old counter tops, try and go green. Green materials not only reduce the carbon footprint, they also give a distinct look to the kitchen. Recycled paper (refer picture), recycled steel, concrete, engineered stone etc. are interesting and distinct materials you could consider. 

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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Nautiwoods: complete with portfolio pictures

Featured on Houzz: Dynamic Duo: How to Pull Off a Two-Tone Exterior Color Scheme

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Our project, a house in a garden is featured on Houzz in the ideabook Dynamic Duo: How to Pull Off a Two-Tone Exterior Color Scheme.

An except from the article in reference to our project:

“Of course, two-tone schemes need not be limited to contemporary-style homes. And you don’t necessarily need to go bold, either. A subtle color contrast is a good option for a more traditional home. Pick a house color you like and simply go a couple of steps lighter or darker on the swatch card to find your coordinating hue.”

CarMic House on Green Building Advisor

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

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universal design on the gunpowder: cabinets, drywall, concrete and chimney!

Framing is complete, plumbings lines have been run, electrical has been wired, ducts have been installed, and we are moving ahead at full throttle!

In the past few weeks Hayes Construction has put up drywall in all the rooms, installed flooring, given the tile guys the go-ahead, and is in the process of painting the rooms with the colors we chose last week. And the cabinets are in!

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The rooms are light-filled and spacious. The family room has a beautiful view of the the water, and a canopy view of the trees, which makes for excellent birdwatching from the windowseat. IMG_0273

The dining room is filled with light and has beautiful patio doors that will open onto back deck. And even the basement has a beautiful concrete floor and plenty of light.

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The mason did a superb job on the chimney, capturing Carri’s vision to blend the stone into the brick like a french country villa.

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Hayes has been wonderful to work with thus far and communication has been great. Anytime they hit a snag we talk about it at our weekly meetings  to come to a solution, which makes the process much smoother.

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That’s all for now folks, until next time!

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.

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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.

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