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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!

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

net zero | passive house, maryland: advanced framing + trusses

framing 2

And suddenly…it’s a house.  The trusses arrived and were set at 24″ on center on top of our 24″ on center 2×6 structural wall on top of our 24″ on center MSR 2×10 floor framing on top of our basement wall.  Walking through the skeleton to see the clean, aligned bones was really exciting.  Our framers did a fabulous job with advanced framing and aligning all the structure.  It sounds simple and straightforward, but I’ve walked in many that seem junked up with unnecessary studs and multiple upon multiple jacks and kings.

framing 1

The blue line along the top plate is Tescon Vana magic tape sealing the corner edge of our plywood air barrier. Each spliced top plate is taped as well.

Next comes the roof sheathing, finalizing the plywood air barrier and taping all the seams.

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