Over the weekend we traveled up Boulder Canyon and into the foothills to visit a building site where another of our custom designed homes is currently being built. This mountain vacation home, while traditional in style and form, was designed using simple passive solar strategies (as pictured right) and some of the most modern green building techniques, including SIPs (structurally insulated panels).
The site plan (as pictured right) illustrates one of the most basic and effective sustainable building techniques, proper solar orientation. This simple design technique can account for up to 80 to 90% of the energy demands per home or building.
Energy Efficient Foundation Insulation Techniques
Basements of yesterday are cold and damp but you can eliminate this by using some of today'savailable insulation techniques. For this project we were able to achieve a whopping R-Value of 29 while eliminating the often troublesome traditional vapor barrier by utilizing a combination of rigid XPS (extruded polystyrene insulation) where all seams were tapes and sealed with spray foam insulation coupled with treated 2x4 framing @ 24" O.C., with fiberglass Insulation in each cavi
Floor Framing using I-Beam Joists
Traditional lumber today is often warped and twisted on account of poor storage and curing techniques thus resulting in increased labor costs. In order to counter-act this we designed the floor boxes of this mountain home using Engineered Wood I-Beams. The I-Beams boast several advantages over traditional framing lumber including: Increased rigidness and limited deflection rates, lager span capabilities, better uniformity (less warping), and they are more sustainable because they use more new growth trees compared to traditional lumber.
SIPs (Structurally Insulated Panels)
Conventional homes are constructed using 2x studs with insulation in between each framing cavity. This century old building technique can result in undesirable air infiltration and thermal insulation breaks wherever a stud occurs. We solved these potential problems by utilizing SIP for the wall and roof framing. The SIP panels helped us to not only achieve amazing R-Values of 48 on the roofs and 24 on the walls but also vaulted ceilings throughout the home thus increasing the feeling of the interior spaces. The SIP panels are also expected to be installed between 1 and 2 days upon site delivery. We will be documenting this particular construction process using time-lapse photography within the next few weeks.
be updating the blog with SIP installation videos, information and pictures of: the ultra-energy efficient Weathershield windows used, the recycled corten siding panels, solar panels, and much much more. Stay tuned!