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posted on January 6, 2017 by carri beer
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!
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 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 July 15, 2015 by carri beer
We now have our LP SmartSide up and looking more like a house, though we are hiding all of our fantastic details. We have some warm and natural exterior colors waiting to be applied.
The garage and shop have also been built and will be a nice bonus space to this Western Maryland cold, snowy climate.
My favorite is the cedar porch. The crew at Gosnell worked patiently with me to build what I had envisioned. It is thrilling to see in person and I’m looking forward to the final product with painted siding and stone porch. The approach to the house is successfully comfortable and happy.
posted on May 13, 2015 by carri beer
brennan + company’s cutting edge Foam Free foundation detail mentioned in Journal of Light Construction article! Thank you to Michael Hindle of Passive to Positive to crediting us for working together to create this detail.
posted on April 29, 2015 by carri beer
Upon hanging the TJI insulation cavity, the vapor open Weather Resistant Barrier (WRB) was installed and all seams were taped. Given the pressure of the cellulose that will be blown-in behind this WRB, we decided to use Solitex Mento 1000 and taped with our favorite Tescon Vana tape.
The next layer is the ventilation cavity / rainscreen / furring strips. We decided on horizontal with vertical furring strips to keep the cellulose bulge in check and maintain an acceptable ventilation cavity as well as provide a more substantial nailing surface for our engineered wood siding.
posted on March 25, 2015 by carri beer
We have built our structural 2×6 wall, installed and taped the plywood air barrier, and have created all of the window boxes. It is now time to attach the 11 7/8″ vertical TJIs to our wall. This TJI cavity will be filled with cellulose and serve as our main insulation layer in our Climate Zone 5 project location. The TJIs are non-bearing and their vertical installation is addressed by Weyerhaeuser TrusJoist TB-821-2014 (comes up on a google search).
Per the advisement of our structural engineer, in the areas where the TJI is not resting on the concrete foundation wall (with a bit of mineral wool sandwiched between), but is instead ‘floating’ we used a light 40 series joist hanger at the base of each TJI. He also called for blocking top, bottom and mid-height.
carri to present “foam-free foundations” at AIA Baltimore Committee on the Environment’s March 24th meeting
posted on March 12, 2015 by carri beer
posted on January 27, 2015 by carri beer
Michael Hindle, CPHC, and I headed out to Western Maryland to review the window box and TJI insulating cavity mock-up. It was cold and snowy. Really cold. I think I was the only one that noticed. The Gosnell crew is amazing, and, apparently impervious to freezing temperatures.
I said it was freezing, right? FYI, because of the freezing temperatures we chose to use tape for our water-tight detailing rather than a liquid applied product. Once again, the Tescon Vana tape performed extremely well. That stuff would stick snowflakes together.
As shown in the photos above, every corner of the box is being taped as well as every edge of the window (allowing bottom free draining). Our 11 7/8″ TJI wall is resting on the 4″ block ledge with a spacer of mineral wool sandwiched between the plywood base plate and the block. The window box is a 5/8″ plywood box with a horizontal TJI top and bottom.
Teamwork, Teamwork, Teamwork. It is really a pleasure to watch these guys take pride in their work and listen to and learn new ways of building. Peaceful implementation by the contractor is such a key factor to making these super-tight and efficient envelopes successful. Teamwork is always LESSON ONE.