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the zero honeycomb: net zero, passive house construction update

I think I’ve mentioned before that it has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with an amazing artist and sculptor on their net zero, passive house.  We took the day to visit the site in New Jersey and it was thrilling to walk through these spaces that as complicated as they were in 2D, I was able to create the 3D visualization in my head to successfully build a set of construction drawings.  But there is nothing like walking through the actual spaces that now physically exist.

So many great things happening with this project – foam-free and net zero; perlite under slab; pre-manufactured wall trusses as the insulation cavity; low-cost, DIY construction techniques; and creative use of color and material.

I can’t forget to add the experience of exceptional lunches from the garden with every visit!

ZERO on the Severn: Construction Starting on No Foam, Net Zero Retrofit in Annapolis

We are excited to begin construction on this Net Zero, Deep Energy Retrofit of a 1900’s bungalow set on an amazingly gorgeous, perfectly oriented site on the Severn River in Annapolis.  We are fortunate to have a client dedicated to efficiency, beauty and quality.  The result will be an extraordinary retrofit of a completely inefficient, moldy, run-down house into a foam-free, healthy, zero-energy home.  We are wrapping the existing exterior framing – wall and roof – in 5″ of mineral wool,  replacing and relocating windows with high-performance, triple-glazed windows and completely air sealing to create a Passive House level shell.  We are employing fixed and operable shading devices to provide necessary shading. Materials and design inside and out are natural, durable and environmentally friendly.  This project is another in collaboration with Michael Hindle of Passive to Positive.

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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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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Most Resilient Concept Winner!

So thrilled that our team received the award for “Most Resilient Concept” at the bMORE Resilient Competition Reception last night!

Team: Carri Beer, Lili Mundroff, Michael Hindle, Jack Sullivan, Peter I. May Ph.D., Adam Ganser, and Katelin Posthuma.

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net zero | passive house, western maryland: working outside while we still can

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.

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The garage and shop have also been built and will be a nice bonus space to this Western Maryland cold, snowy climate.

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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.

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net zero | passive house, western maryland: the views are revealed, window + door install

The large bird viewing windows have been covered with plywood for months as we await the delivery and install of our doors and windows.  The client chose INTUS uPVC windows for their performance, cost and manufacturer provided sill extensions.  The fact that the client could visit a local showroom and see these windows in person was also critical to their decision making.

Our window detail went through many rounds of design and mark-up between myself, Michael Hindle, CPHC and the team at Gosnell Builders.  The result is an air + water tight detail with little to no thermal bridging and over-insulating of the frame.  We also maintained our FOAM-FREE insulating details!

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Making the 2D line drawings translate into construction reality was not a problem with our eager construction crew.  Though labor intensive, the resulting air tightness and performance will be outstanding.

window installNot to mention the amazing views for bird watching!

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net zero | passive house, maryland: mento + furring

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.

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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.

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8333 main street, 2nd floor · ellicott city, md 21043
410.313.8310 baltimore
washington